Category Archives: manic monday

(manic monday) Rocket City Bloggers’ Year Long Blogging Challenge: Weeks 3 – 6

Oh, dear. I really am behind. The point of a weekly challenge is to post weekly, so I suppose it defeats the point if I end up posting monthly instead… yet here I am, with four weeks rolled up into one post! This is kind of a manic Monday, isn’t it?

Week 3: Assuming the apocalypse is upon us, what do you stock up on?

Let us also assume this is a survivable apocalypse (zombie, holy) and not a nuclear one which would annihilate everything, including hope. In which case: I stock up on nothing because I would almost certainly not survive zombies. Is that a depressing thought? Totally. Do I curr? Naw.

In the spirit of participation, let us suspend all belief and say that the biblical apocalypse occurs, or that I do somehow manage to keep myself alive after a zombie-disease outbreak, and have reason to consider long-term supplies. This is what I would want:

  • Weapons: a bow and many arrows, as they are recoverable.  An impressive collection of knives (for hunting and cleaning animals, as well as protection and other survival necessities)
  • Books on the following subjects: generic wilderness survival and medicine, hunting & fishing (and how to clean animals for eating), plants, and first aid
  • Rope
  • Water containers and a large stock of purifiers (such as iodine tablets)
  • First aid supplies, including antibiotics

Seeing as how I’ll be dead for all of this, my plans are moot. Next!

Week 4: What is your favorite joke/cartoon?

While I love many cartoons, choosing a favorite is easy: Adventure Time, because I am an adult, and seriously this show.  Fortunately my kids love it as well, so I have an excuse to watch it. Not that I would need an excuse if I didn’t have kids, because it is that awesome. Never growin’ up.

LSP forever

Because I have a rather dark sense of humor, all of my favorite jokes are the most inappropriate. I cannot possibly choose just one, but for the sake of the challenge, here is a (not so?) tame joke that never fails to make me laugh:

What is the hardest part of a vegetable to eat?

The wheelchair. 

I’m sorry.

Week 5: What are you passionate about? 

Reading. Writing. (Not arithmetic. So bad at math, tho.)  Photography. Art. Love. Learning. Those don’t require much explanation.

I am also passionate about mental heath awareness. Being bipolar and having many friends with different mental health issues, I know firsthand the difficulties of existing in a world unaccepting and ignorant. Even close family members can be hurtful without meaning to be: “Wow, you don’t seem bipolar.”  My disease is mild and under control, quite different than its frightening rap. Can I fault people for having no clue? Of course not. I can understand their side – give to them what they had not been able to give to me – and use my passion and knowledge to bring awareness to those around me. A flickering light.

 

Week 6: Are you a city mouse or a country mouse? 

I suppose you’d have to call me a suburban mouse. I love visiting both the city and the country, but my real home is right in the middle. That’s all I got to say about that. (What’s a good day without a Forrest Gump quote?)

Week seven coming your way – on time! On its own!

The Rocket City Bloggers are a diverse group of bloggers with at least one thing in common: writing from the Huntsville, AL area, otherwise known as Rocket City. This April began a Year Long Blogging Challenge, and I am attempting to participate. Clearly, though, this is proving to be more of a challenge for me than I initially believed.  Click the image below for more awesome people from the Rocket City.

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manic monday: hot mess follow up

Once upon a time I promised I would post updates on various skin and beauty products I am trying. It always makes me crazy when bloggers say they will follow up on something and then don’t ever mention that thing again. Spoiler alert: all of the products came with mostly happy endings. Come into my parlor, said the manic to the sane, and we shall kill many birds with one blog post.

From the top now!

Retin-A and clindamycin 
These prescriptions are equal parts blessing and curse. For my tenderest of skinses, I found myself often taking breaks that gradually extended until I quit using them both entirely. While it was recommended that I continue to use Retin-A for both its anti-aging and anti-acne properties, its sole purpose of constantly sloughing off the top layer of skin made for much flakiness. Certain areas were near constantly tender to the touch, and going without sunscreen was asking for the mask of the red death. (Not that one should ever go without sunscreen, but I was practically vampiric with my ramped-up sensitivity to sunlight.) I spent many weeks – off and on over the course of about 6 months – in flaky, tender misery. As I mentioned in the first post, I dealt with purging on top of it all, so my acne seemed to get worse for quite a while.

Then one day it started working. Like, really working. My pores were noticeably smaller. Any zits that appeared were tiny, barely noticeable. It was still occasionally flaky, however, and that really bothered me, especially since I couldn’t scrub it off without raw open wounds on my face. Seriously, fucking ouch. I dropped toner from my daily(ish) routine and stuck with the soap-free gel cleanser and simple, SPF 30 moisturizer.

For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave me a homemade body scrub, made from coconut oil, peppermint oil, and sugar. Using it on my body made my skin feel like a baby’s. I had yet to find an adequate exfoliant for my face, so I thought, why not use this all-natural wondrousness? Wondrous it was. The sugar gently exfoliated the flaky dead skin cells away, and the coconut oil melted gently into my skin, a perfect moisturizer.

Except a couple weeks later, my chin broke out in one or two painful, cystic zits from my former skin nightmare. A little ‘net research led me to learn that coconut oil, if not the correct kind, can clog your pores. (Like all Internet research, there are many conflicting views on this. What I linked is a pretty simple explanation of comedogenic vs noncomedogenic products.) I then began to experiment with the simple oil cleansing method (OCM), instead, replacing my gel and moisturizer combo with a 1:9 part castor oil/grapeseed oil mix.

Holy. of fucking. holies. This is it, guys. After the chemical nightmare of Retin-A and pore-searing clindamycin, my skin is GLORIOUS. Soft and clear and glowy. I have used OCM since January and have yet to discover any problems with it. Honestly, though, without the purging of Retin-A I don’t think I would have gotten to this place. The chemical purging and natural nurturing combo has really worked.

Want to see a before and after? Oh god, the before is horrifying. But okay. (These are both cell images so I apologize for the less-than-stellar quality.)

Grump Master Flakes

Grump Master Flakes

See how blotchy and uneven that is? Not to mention the flakiness and angry red spots. Please ignore the messiest brows ever. By the way, this was the day mentioned in the previous post where I tried to wear makeup but it burned so much I had to wash it off with only water in the work bathroom. I felt so shitty all day long, if you couldn’t tell by the sheer joy writ all over my disgusting, painful face. I am kind of mad this picture exists, if not for the visual reminder of how truly awful my skin reacted. Let’s be real, guys – this is legit what my skin looked like, off and on, for months at a time.

slightly less grump

Now, onto the after…

See what I mean? I chose this picture with its crazy uneven lighting because you can see the silky-smoov better, particularly in my problem area (chin). I do have some shiny areas, but nothing a quick blot once a day doesn’t cure. I’ve also noticed my makeup applies smoother when I use OCM versus the gel cleanser. So many people have complimented my “glowy” skin. 

Enough! Let’s talk nails.

Nailtiques 2
Why am I showing all these awful gross pictures of myself on the Internet? Fuck. Whatever, y’all. Nailtiques works.  I wasn’t super consistent about using it at first, but once I got on a couple-week streak of applying it under every manicure (probably every 2 – 3 days), I really noticed a difference. My nails are stronger, longer, and prettier. Not that I had much to work with from the start… lest I remind you of those dark days, the most disgusting of nail days ever recorded:

Mmm, look at those disgusting cuticles.

How do I even have any friends.

But! I hath redeemeth myself…eth! Behold the beauty:

IMG_4655

HOORAY

This is the first time, ever, that I have had consistently long nails (and those above are long enough for me – more than that drives me insane). When I was pregnant they were pretty sweet, but obviously that did not last.

Okay, that is probably enough of my babbling for one day. I’d love to hear some more stories about your own “beauty journeys” (corny), so spill it, people. Let’s connect. And let me see some of your disgusting befores so we can rejoice over the wonderful afters! Also so I don’t feel so gross and alone! *cries into chips*