Monthly Archives: August 2012

Little things making me happy

A few things I’ve been enjoying:

1. A new hairstyle (and a new hairstylist). The style is actually not that different from what I had before– but the quality of the cut is much better.

It’s not unusual for me to go to a salon, get a (usually very expensive) haircut, and then have to “fix it” with my own scissors at home. This time, I didn’t have to do that.

I’m more convinced than ever that getting a good haircut is all about good communication. This stylist listened, and I got the exact hairstyle that I wanted.

2. Wen hair cleansing conditioner. Yes, I bought an infomercial product!

This one happens to live up to the hype. My hair has never felt so silky, even though it was recently damaged from coloring.

I’ve been using no-lather cleansing creams for years, so I wasn’t bothered (or impressed) by the lack of soap/shampoo in this product. I do like the fact that it’s an all-in-one product (no separate conditioner). And like I said, it makes my curly hair soft and silky without weighing it down.

3. Diorsnow BB cream. BB creams (sometimes called CC creams) are a relatively new development in the world of cosmetics. They are combination skin treatment, sunscreen, and foundation. The concept originated in Asia, and from the reviews I’ve read, Diorsnow is the western brand most like the Asian creams in its formulation.

Diorsnow, as the name implies, promises skin lightening and brightening effects, with an SPF 50 sun protection. It also provides enough coverage to hide small skin imperfections.

I like the fact that I can wear this product as a makeup base, without having to apply a separate sunscreen and primer under my foundation.

A surprising benefit is that it actually has improved my skin. Most notably, it seems to be doing away with some milia (small white bumps) that I’ve had on my face for years. This is good stuff!

There is a downside. The product only comes in one color, and it’s very light, giving my face a ghost-like appearance. I’ve been using a lot of bronzer to warm it up.

I wouldn’t wear this BB cream for special occasions; but for everyday wear, I’m enjoying the convenience, the sun protection, and the skin benefits that it’s providing.

4. NYDJ Jeans. At first, I wasn’t convinced that they were any better than my trusty Walmart jeans. (And they cost $85 more!)

But every time I wear them, someone asks me if I’ve lost weight. And I’ve noticed that they retain their shape better after washing. And there is a definite butt-lifting effect.

O.k., I think I’ve been convinced to switch over to this brand.

———–

So that’s my list of (material) things I’m loving at the moment. 🙂

Back to school– but not as planned?

I mentioned on my previous blog that I was going back to grad school.

I started the application process, talked to some people about recommendation letters, told my employer about my plans…

and then I didn’t do it.

I haven’t totally ruled it out. But something stops me when I think of spending that much of my precious time and money on something that I’m frankly not that interested in. Sure, it would help my career. Apparently, however, I’m not dissatisfied enough with my current career situation. I like my job, I make a decent salary. Yes, it could be better, but is it worth sitting through 2-3 years of dull courses* and a big chunk of money up front? I’m not sure.

*Trust me, they are dull. I’ve heard plenty about them.
 

I haven’t completely ruled it out. There are benefits to improving my credentials; and I really do like the idea of being in school again. I just don’t think I’m as excited as I should be.

Perhaps graduate school isn’t exactly what I need right now. But there is one thing I am sure of: I am itching to learn some new things. Or should I say, I’m itching to be taught. I’m self-taught in so many things, but currently, I feel the need to learn from others, in a more structured environment.

….

Last week I attended a school reunion with some former classmates. It wasn’t a class reunion per se, but more like a gathering of old friends.

One of these friends was an old music-friend, one of the very few serious musicians I knew in high school. We bonded over that, back then; and when I saw him again last week, I was reminded of how much I’d enjoyed my time as a musician. Ever since, I’ve been inspired to immerse myself once again in music. But rather than just sitting at the piano and picking out pieces to learn on my own, I think I might want to take some lessons from a professional instructor.

The other thing I’ve been missing (as mentioned in a previous post) is my sewing hobby. I’m so ready to start sewing again. And again, I feel the need not to just sit down and sew, but to expand my knowledge of the craft.

I’m thinking I might want to start with some online sewing courses, and eventually, maybe, work my way up to an in-person couture sewing retreat.

….

One of the things that made me hesitate about graduate school was the worry that I might not have time for creative endeavors. These things have already been on the back-burner for years, due to family obligations (and my own inability to set aside time for myself). The thought of putting them off for another few years– well, it’s just painful.

As much as I do enjoy my career, it’s not what matters most to me. It’s a source of income which happens to be interesting and fulfilling. But it doesn’t inspire me like my other creative endeavors.

When I considered that, I started to think that maybe I should invest more time in the things I enjoy the most, and see where that takes me.

So that’s where I am right now– pondering these things and considering my options.

….

P.S. About that reunion: It was a really good experience in that it made me aware of how much I’ve changed (for the better, in my humble opinion). I felt confident, open, and friendly. I realized how much I’ve shaken off a lot of the negativity and guardedness that I carried around throughout my younger years.

All the incremental changes I’ve made over the years are having a positive result. It makes me feel hopeful about the efforts I’m putting into self-care and a positive mindset. Sometimes you don’t see results right away, but the changes are happening.