Rants & Ramblings

 

Here is where I share general thoughts and I get to rant and rave about all those things running through my mind. I probably wont post here that often as I want to keep things focused on fashion and the positive side of life.

 

Why I Am So Over Life Updates

2019-05-07 11:30:56 karenmsmith77

The last thing I want to be writing right now is yet another life update. But after another couple of months of unexplained absence from the blog and most of my social media, I don’t really feel right about jumping back in without explaining to my regular readers what has been going on.

I did manage maintain social media for a while, but honestly life has just been consumed by other things and I didn’t have the energy to even put towards that. So I had to decide what priorities were. And there has been a lot of things happening in life recently that just had to be my priority.

I honestly don’t remember how much of this got covered in my last blog post when I tried to come back last time, so I will just start in the beginning. If you do follow me on social media, then you know at least part of what happened. I did adopt a new kitten. What you may not know is I ended up adopting a second kitten.

After my cat Ophelia passed away this winter we were not planning on adopting any more for a while, but we soon realized Lady Catterly was having a harder time with it that we had expected. So we adopted kitten number one.

Sophie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her name is Sophie, and she does the best Gene Simmons impersonations. The first week we had Sophie things went really well between her and Lady Catterly. It was the next week when things started to change,  and Sophie became very aggressive.

I have had a lot of people tell me this was normal for kittens, and some degree of high energy and kitten play is indeed normal. But when I say she was being aggressive, it was including things you typically see only when cats are going after prey. We kept hoping it was going to get better, but after several weeks of it just getting worse And it got so bad, we were really worried we would have to rehome her.

So we did a lot research and talking to people again. A friend who helps run a rescue organization suggested the best thing to do was to get another kitten who was about the same age and size. She said that occasionally there are kittens who are just so far above average on energy, that when paired with a cat that doesn’t want to play as much as they do it can lead to the kitten becoming aggressive.

My husband and I talked it over. Neither of us were opposed to getting another kitten. And it wasn’t as if we hadn’t had three cats before. So I went on search of another kitten close to Sophie’s age.

Luna Lovekitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So that is how we ended up with our second kitten or third cat. And I named her Luna Lovekitty, which if you are a Harry Potter fan you will get the reference.

But you are at this point probably wondering how getting new cats kept me from blogging. I promise, I am getting to that part, and it’s not just the cats.

So we did the slow introduction thing again with Luna Lovekitty, just as I have with every cat I have ever introduced into my home. Luna had been fixed just a few days before we adopted her, so we wanted to make sure to take it extra slow and only let her out a couple of hours at a time so she wouldn’t strain herself. But after just the first time out playing with Sophie I noticed that Luna’s incisions where she had been spayed were leaking. (Previously I had also noticed when we adopted her that her incision spot was lumpy, for lack of a better term. At the time I just thought that maybe her stitched had been done oddly, but didn’t think anything else about it until this moment.)

Of course this happens all late on a Friday night. Along with it being a weekend, the Humane Society where we adopted her was having phone and messaging issues, so getting ahold of them was not possible. We took her to our regular vet in an emergency appointment.

It turned out that Luna had an infection from the stitches they used. My vet said occasionally that cats react to the type of material they use in typical stitches. So they gave her some antibiotics and told us to contact the humane society. She needed to have her surgery redone with different stitches, and there was concern that the lumps we were feeling in her tummy was actually a hernia. In the mean time she had to be kept separate and calm. We also had to clean and disinfect the area where her stitches were several times a day. The topper was they wanted all this to happen for two weeks.

And if you want to see the saddest thing in the world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…it would definitely be a cat in a head cone.

Luna’s got her surgery scheduled, she was in and out in one day. They replaced the stitches with what they called meta plates. However, I thought they looked like just regular staples to me. The one thing to be thankful for was that it was not a hernia she had. It was from the allergic reaction, a cyst like structure had formed under the skin. They were able to remove that at the same time they did everything else.

Unfortunately, that was not the end of Luna’s struggles. She has since also had a stomach bug that she had to take medicine for. She has had a really hard start to life. Thankfully things are getting better for her, but taking care of her and the other kitties did consume a lot of my time. At one point all three of them were sick and on medicine, and they all had separate vet appointments. It really was all I could do just to keep up with them and their health care.

But as I said, it has not been just the cats that has taken me away from the blog. Amongst all of the time I have spent taking care of the cats health, I always have the issues with mine. While I am definitely feeling better than I was last year since I am in clear from the B-12 deficiency, I will always have my fibromyalgia to contend with. And in general our weather has been cold and rainy until the last couple of weeks, so I have had at least a couple of bad days a week. Pair that with a couple of major sinus infections that lasted longer than they should, and it really takes time away from what you are trying to do.

I have also had a lot of positive things keeping me busy. I believe in one my last blog post I had mentioned that Steampunk Symposium was coming up. That happened, and a lot of fun was had by all. My friend Jenny and I did do a panel. I still intend to share a recap of that here.

We also keep finding things that need to be finished with our house before my niece moves in with us at the end of this month. So while I keep feeling like we are almost done with what has to be finished, we aren’t really finished. In fact there is a lot to be done even after she moves in, we just have a list of things that must be done before she is here. At the moment I have am trying to clear out the closet of the room my nice is moving into. That of course means I have lots of things I will be adding to my Poshmark closet if you want to check that out.

And we have planned a vacation for this year, or I should say we are still in the midst of planning. We will be going to London this August. Do expect to see some vacation tie in posts again this year, both before and after the trip. Just like last year, some of them will be clothing related while others will be centered around other aspects of travel. If there is something you would like me to cover specifically, or if you have a question, make sure to send me a message.

My schedule at this point seems to be getting back to a normal pace, so I hope this time I will be actually able to consistently blog.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in: RantsTagged in: alergic reactionB-12 DeficiencycatsfibromyalgiaHealthhome improvementLady CatterlyLondonLuna Lovekittynew KittenPoshmarkSophiespayedsteampunk symposiuntravelvacationwhat has kept me awayworking on my home Read more... 0 comments

Product Fails - Makeup, Hair Care, And Subscription Boxes - January 2019

2019-01-31 11:25:28 karenmsmith77

Product Fails January 2019

There have been a lot of things I have loved over the last year, and there so many of them that I want to share with you. But, I thought as I come back from my winter break from the blog, it might be good to get the bad out of the way first. I did after all say last year that I would do one or two of these posts a year about things that didn’t work for me. And that is exactly what these post called product fails are, at least for the most part, they are products that didn’t work for me. That is to say that, I recognize that most of these products may work for someone else. Just because they are a fail for me doesn’t mean they don’t work for other people. We are all different people and can have different favorites.

For the sake of these posts I will not be linking to the products. So lets take a look at the products I have tried over the last few months that didn’t work for me.

Makeup

NYX Total Control Drop Foundation

 

The first product I tried this year that was a fail for me is the NYX Total Control Drop Foundation. I was really excited to try this as I had heard so many great things about both drop foundations in general as well as this one in particular. But it just didn’t work for me.

While it was advertised for all skin types, I don’t think it really works well for anyone with textured skin, especially if it is dry textured skin like mine. This formula dries down to a really matte finish, and it left my skin looking extremely dry and cakey. It dried my skin out even more than normal and it was almost to a painful point. I even gave it a second try, but still had horrible results.

 

NYX PRO Total Control Drop Foundation Brush

 

Along with the foundation I had to try the NYX PRO Total Control Drop Foundation Brush. There are many foundations out there that suggest using a certain brush with the foundation, but it’s not always necessary. However, everything I had read and saw prior to using this foundation made it seem that using NYX own foundation brush with the product was very important for proper application.

I have definitely had foundation brushes that I thought was fantastic, but it has never been my first choice for application of foundation. But this brush was a fail because I felt like it absorbed twice the amount of makeup a sponge does. I never could figure out where it was absorbing to, but the product was definitely not on my face.

 

Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in Moody

 

I recently tried the Tarte LipSurgence Lip Tint in the color Moody. I had gotten this sometime last year, either in a multi pack lip kit or in a subscription box. I honestly can’t remember which. And I do believe that Tarte is clearancing this product out and planning on not carrying it anymore.

Now Tarte claims this is the best of two world. You are supposed to get the pigmentation and staying power of a lipstick with the hydration of a balm. This was definitely not my experience. If anything I found this to be the exact opposite. It was very drying on my lips and it went on patchy and wore off fast. Now I did try mine in a sample size. I will suppose that it is possible that could have effected it somehow, or that I got a bad one. I doubt it though.

 

Clinique High Impact Mascara

 

I also tried a sample size of the Clinique High Impact Mascara. I honestly thought I would love this mascara since one of my top five favorite mascaras is the Clinique High Impact Curling Mascara. However, with this mascara there was a lot of clumping and flaking that I never experienced with the curling version.

I know at least part of my dissatisfaction lies with the wand. It is incredibly different from the one in the Curling mascara.

 

 

 

Hair Care

Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo

 

I had actually been using the Macadamia Professional Style Extend Dry Shampoo for some time. It had been one of my favorite dry shampoos.

But when I received my most recent order I first noticed that the bottle looked different. I was hoping that was all that had changed, but that was not the case. I immediately noticed upon application that the fragrance was different. And it wasn’t too much longer that I had an allergic reaction.

So if you don’t have fragrance issues like I do, this one may be a great one for you. I do believe it is only the fragrance mix that was changed, the way it behaved in my hair was the same. And it is a great dry shampoo for anyone who has dry hair.

 

Aquis Peime Starter Kit

 

Most of you know I often get packaged called VoxBoxes from Influenster. A couple of months ago I got one containing a hair care system from a brand called AQUIS. It is sold on the AQUIS website as well as at Sephora.

When you are sent a box from Influenster there are always requirements you have to meet in order to receive future boxes. For this particular box the only requirement was to review the product on Sephora’s website. However, I had initially intended to review this here on the blog in she shampoo and conditioner review series. I did not end up doing that because after using this product once I had nothing good to say about it at all, so I decided to wait and include it here instead.

This was sent to me claiming it was great for thick heavy hair that breaks easily. It was supposed to limit the amount of water your hair was exposed to, all while thoroughly cleansing your hair. And it was supposed to be easy to use. While I am sure this works wonderfully for some people’s hair, it did not work for mine. My hair never felt clean and at least a couple of the steps didn’t realistically work in my hair at all.

 

 

Subscription Boxes

For the last category, I only have one item at the moment. Unfortunately I do not have any pictures of this to share, and I think once I explain what happened you will understand why.

So some of you may remember back in November I was sharing some Scorpio related products. I had mentioned in one post that I would be doing a review of the My Zodiac Box. I have actually paid for two boxes, one of which I sort of received. I say sort of, because they sent me the wrong box (This was after them not sending my box out to begin with). I spoke to the owners and was told I was going to be sent a replacement. I waited a couple of weeks and nothing came. So I messaged them, and no response. I messaged again, and again no response. So obviously I cancelled my subscription, and in no way can I recommend this box to anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in: RantsTagged in: AQUISAQUIS Prime Starter KitcliniqueClinique High Impact MascaraDrop FoundationDrop Foundation BrushDry ShampoofoundationFoundation Brushhair careHigh Impact MascaraLip TintMacadamia Hair CareMacadamia Professional Style Extend Dry ShampoomakeupMascaraMoodyMy Zodiac BoxNYXNYX Foundation BrushNYX Pro Total Control Drop Foundation BrushNYX Total Control Drop Foundationproduct failsproduct flopsScorpioscorpio boxSephorasubscripption boxsubscription boxesTarteTarte Lip TintTarte LipSurgence Lip TintProduct Fails January 2019 Read more... 0 comments

Goodbye 2018, See You In 2019

2018-12-23 14:20:56 karenmsmith77

This is going to be a pretty brief post again. If you follow me on social media, then you may have already seen my post the other night about me being ill. I have managed to get both Sinusitis and the Flu at the same time, and I have been pretty out of it. I am starting to feel minutely better, but it will most likely be a few days before I am really better.

I of course missed posting the subscription box reviews I had for Thursday and today. And if you have been with me for at least a year or more, you know I take a couple of weeks vacation from the blog to work on my home and Poshmark every year after Christmas. I had planned on taking three this year because of a lot of changes that need to be made before my niece moves in this summer. But due to being sick it looks like that may be extended. I am just going to officially call it, and say that my vacation has started.

I will be posting on social media some during this time, I won’t be completely abandoning everything. I will be back to the sometime mid January. I was hoping for the 13th, but it really will depend on how long it takes me to recover from being sick.

Good news for those of you who have been missing fashion posts, I do have several planned for January and February. I am hoping some of the home changes we are making will make it easier to keep them coming on a more regular basis. I will also have those last couple of box reviews for you as well as some shampoo reviews and some new things I am working on.

In the mean time, I want to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 

 

 

 

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Ways To Give Back This Holiday Season

2018-12-14 13:43:40 karenmsmith77

Presents are great, especially when you get something you really love. As I have said many times here on the blog gift giving is my primary love language, so I understand the importance of a good gift. But there are also times where maybe you aren’t really doing presents, and what you really want to concentrate on is giving back.

Whether you are giving back to loved ones or in a broader sense, like to your community, you may not be completely aware of what your options are. That is why I wanted to share some ideas here on how you can give back.

 

Your presence is my present

One of the most meaningful and impactful ways to give back is being present and giving of your time. Ironically this often the hardest thing to do for many of us. When it comes to how you do this for the people you love, only you and they know what will really be a meaningful way to show up for them. But let’s talk about ways you can give time to help your community.

A great way to serve your community would to be volunteering some time in soup kitchen. Of course if you are living in a smaller town you may not have a soup kitchen, but perhaps a local church or food bank may offer some sort of community meal for those who are less fortunate. Organizations doing this type of work will vary from town to town. But one organization that has soup kitchens is nationwide, the Salvation Army. Not all Salvation Army locations have soup kitchens, but most in middle to large sized cities will.

Perhaps you are more of an animal person, or maybe you are just an introvert. Did you know you can become a volunteer at an animal shelter? There are lots of ways to donate your service to animal shelter, all depending on your time, ability, and experience. But there is something for everyone to do. Like food banks, the organizations in your area may vary by name. But in most of the US you will have either a Humane Society or an ASPCA close to you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to any of your local shelters to see what kind of help they need.

Maybe you really love children, and you feel like your time would be best served by working with them. There are so many kids out there that need good role models in their life. Sometimes it means nothing more than just spending time with them and listening to what they have to say. You can give this much needed support to a child in need by signing up to be a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program.

If none of these are quite right for you, and you don’t really know where to volunteer in your community there is help. Check out the website Volunteer Match to find the opportunities that are right for you.

One man's trash is another man's treasure

Many of us may want to volunteer our time, but because of various reasons we can’t. But I am willing to bet that almost all of us have things lying around our house that we no longer want or need. Things that are just taking up space. Rather than tossing that out or getting ten cents for it at a yard sale, why not donate your clutter?

There are lots of places like thrift stores, community outreach centers, abused women’s shelters, missions, churches and homeless shelters nationwide where you can donate new and used clothing as well as household goods. There will always be local places that are specific to your town, but there are absolutely national services that are accessible to most people in the US, and in some cases across the world.

Here is a brief list of some of the most accessible organizations to donate to:

To find out where you can donate locally a simple google search should help. Please keep in mind each place will take different items and have different requirements for what they accept. If you have not donated to a place before always call ahead or check their website before just dropping items off.

There are of course other things you can donate, outside of clothing and home goods. Lots of places take food donations for those in need. One of the biggest and wide spread food banks in my state is God’s Pantry. To find out where the closest food bank is to you, you can check with Feed America. In addition to food banks most soup kitchens and some churches will take food donations.

And if you are feeling really generous, you can also donate your car with some organizations. Catholic Services as well as NPR and Goodwill will accept donations of car.

Quote by Dalai Lama

I often hear people talk about how they want to make a difference in the world, but they don’t know how or don’t feel capable of doing anything big enough to make a difference. I just wanted to give everyone a reminder that while it may not feel like a big thing to you, sometimes even the smallest things feels huge to someone who has nothing. And small things can have big impacts.

In fact if you want to see more of the impact you are making, try helping one family or one person rather than going through a big organization. Many small organizations will let you adopt a family to help. Or you most likely know someone in need and don’t even realize it, maybe even someone you care about. Many people are too embarrassed or too proud to ask for help. In this country we are taught from a young age that we should be independent and its shameful to ask for help. But many people do need help.

So you might ask how do you help someone who won’t say they need help. I know it seems unproductive, but you can do it. Some options might be just asking if they would like some help. If you are going to donate things, perhaps make a post on social media asking if anyone wants to take a look at the items before you donate them. Where there is a will, there is a way. But I think the easiest way to make an impact for the people you care about is to just let them know you care and that you are available if they need you.

And this is me letting you all know I care about you. How can I help?

 

 

 

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Posted in: RantsTagged in: abused women's sheltersanimal shelterASPCABig Brothers Big SistersCatholic Serviceschurchescommunity outreach centersDalai Lamadonate a cardonating itemsDress For SuccessFeed Americafood banksgive backgiving bakcgiving your timeGod's PantryGoodwillHabitat Re-Storehelp the less fortunatehomeless sheltersHumane Societymake a differencemissionsNPROne Man's Trash is Another Man's TreasureSalvation Armysmall things make big impactssoup kitchenthrift storesvolunteerVolunteer Matchyour presence is my presentQuote by Dalai Lama Read more... 0 comments

A Reminder To Give Some Love And Forgiveness To Yourself

2018-12-06 12:26:24 karenmsmith77

Today’s post won’t be anything terribly long. I just wanted to remind everyone that during this Holiday season that is all about giving, its important to also give something to yourself. Be kind to yourself and give yourself some love and forgiveness.

practice self love

There is often lots of pressure on us, especially us ladies to be perfect. There is always lots to do during the Holidays. But no one is perfect, and that is okay. Allow yourself forgiveness for not being the utter ideal of feminine or masculine perfection.

There are all kinds of stresses for people this time of year. Maybe your like me and love the Holidays but the weather puts a lot of stress on you. Maybe you are like some of my friends and have social anxiety and just find the parties too stressful. Maybe you are like the majority of people and you have family that are assholes. No matter what your stress may be, be kind to yourself and know you are not alone. You are enough as you are.

I put together a short list of resources that may offer you some help in dealing with the stress you are feeling.

Better Help – online therapy

Grokker – A website and app with yoga, meditation, and relaxation videos.

Breathing Techniques – An article on WebMD about breathing techniques that can help you relax.

Get Help Immediately – A list of various emergency and crisis contact numbers and emails for agencies around the world. Organized by country.

Massage Envy – Get a massage, facial, or muscle stretch session at one of the many locations of this chain.

Stress Management Self Help Books – A list of what is available in the stress management category on Amazon.

Relaxation Music – A list of music videos for relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted in: RantsTagged in: better helpbooksbreathing techniquesemergency contactsfacialforgive yourselfforgivenessgrokkerholidayslovemassage envymeditationmuscle stretchonline therapyrelaxationrelaxation musicrelaxation videosself lovestressstress managementyogapractice self love Read more... 0 comments
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