Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Hello My Name Is Vol 2 - Seeking Submissions

I am putting out another issue of Hello My Name Is zine - a zine that I started to end stigma associated with mental illness and those that have it. I did not plan on doing an issue #2 but after such a warm response at EBABZ on issue 1, I am doing another issue. 

What I am looking for: I would like a selfie of you and you to fill in these blanks Hello my name is and I have ______mental illness____ but that _____offer up something positive____. 

Example: Hello my name is Kendy, I have OCD/anxiety but that does not stop me from being an awesome cat mom.

Keep it short and sweet. Please send in your photo and completed mini story by Jan 30 2017. My email is missmuffcake{a}aol.com. Each contributor gets a copy of course.

Monday, November 7, 2016

This Is Not A Test

Sorry I up and vanished in the middle of my 13 Days of Halloween postings. Matt got sick, we had stuff to do and I had a few killer anxiety attacks since then. So please accept my apologies. I am working on a new issue of Cemetery Gates that involves a lot of research, doing a bit of self care and trying to just chill the fuck out. I hope everything is going swell for you!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 5 - Cruelty Free & Creepy Cosmetics

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It is so cool to find makeup nowadays that is not only unusual with their color choices but also cruelty free and vegan. A decade ago it was harder to find cool cosmetics that satisfied my dark side as well as lived up to my cruelty free checklist. Here are a few of my fave companies and product picks that keep me looking drop dead spooky!

Makeup Monster's Cosmetics: I love their liquid lipsticks. They make some lovely gray shades such as Wolfsbane - a fave of mine. 100% vegan line.

My Pretty Zombie Cosmetics: I heard of MPZ before checking out their booth at Sinister Creature Con but had brought anything. They have some pretty shade shifting colors and wear nicely. They get bonus points for helping cats in need through SNAP CATS. Vegan products marked.

Melt Cosmetics: Has really great colors for the eyes and lips. Their stack in Rust is something I use daily. The quality of their products us top notch so do not let the price tag turn you off. Vegan products marked.

Lunatics Cosmetic Labs: Home of the coffin shaped eyeshadow palettes! The Supernatural collection is perfect for daily use. The colors blend nicely. The lipsticks go on sheer and I like layering them over matte colors. 100% vegan.

Medusa's Makeup: Has great long lasting lipsticks that I really like. Their highlighters are really great and I use them pretty much daily. I subscribe to their monthly box and love the full sized products I have gotten. Vegan products marked switching over to 100% vegan.

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 6 - Celebrating With Friends

I am lucky to have friends that love Halloween as much as I do. Even though most of my pals live far away the mail lets us celebrate in hauntingly fun ways!

 photo <\a></p><p><br></p><p><a href=The Spooky Vegan spoiled me once again with a box of goodies in our annual Halloween swap. She sent me an assortment of wonderful stuff including bat stickers, cookies, lip balm, cat toys, buttons and so much more fun stuff! It is like the Pumpkin King came via UPS!

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Also I have gotten some great cards from my friends. Card sending and recieving makes my heart warm!

Thanks for being my friend!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 7 - Pumpkin Dandies Review

I finally got my paws on a bag of Pumpkin Dandies Marshmallows over the weekend. I saw them online last year and this year but never found them in store till I was in Whole Foods (Arden - Sacramento) last Saturday. My mistake was I bought one bag - I should have bought more! Hopefully I can get a few more bags because these lil fluffy sweet morsels are divine!

First up I made Matt and I each a cup of cashew milk hot cocoa topped with a fistful of Dandies - yum! It was the perfect end of the day treat. The pumpkin flavor blended well into the dark chocolate coco I served up. it was like having a coffee house treat at home. As I was making the cocoa Mady had to sample them and was purring with happiness.

I made crispy treats yesterday with them. The mini marshmallows melted perfectly (in the past the bigger sizes tended not to melt fast enough unless I cut them down into thirds). The marshmallows made the brown rice cereal I used taste like fall. Perfect! I paired a treat with a cup of tea and I was in heaven!

These are so tasty! They make pumpkin spice special. Dandies vegan marshmallows are the best thing since sliced bread! They have the ability to bring back memories and create new ones!

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 8 - Trick or Treat Yo Self

Treat yourself this Halloween to some of my personal favorite finds. Because you only live once unless your religion dictates otherwise.

I am in desperate need of this Ouija Board pillow! I will be conjuring some money up shortly to buy one!

My favorite prime time zombie is now a Pop Figure! Preorder Olivia Moore from Izombie today! She even is holding a plate of brain-food and hot sauce!

Bring in some good luck with this limited edition black cat pin. Scratch you're it! Creepy Co. has a lot of cool pins so pick up a few more in your cart while your there.

Burn down the house with a Buffalo Bill inspired candle, it smells like lotion - duh!

Maybe a night in is what you need. Get medicated with this Jack O' Lantern glass pipe. The vine detail is pretty cool!

Monday, October 24, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 9 - Spooky Movie Slam Book

Person I want to trick or treat with: Sam (Trick R Treat)

Person's closet I want to raid: Buffalo Bill (Silence of the Lambs)

People I want to sit with at lunch: Nancy and the girls (The Craft)

Who I want to have help me decorate/craft with: Jack Skelington (Nightmare Before Christmas)

Friend I want to have my back Angela (Sleepaway Camp)

Who I want to collab with in art class Bridget and Ginger: (Gingersnaps)

Sunday, October 23, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 10 - Sinister Creature Con 2016 Celebs P1

Last weekend I got to go to Sinister Creature Con in Sacramento with the boyfriend. It was my first con and even though I had a lot of anxiety about the crowd,  I was really pumped on going! Matt and I watched/re-watched some of the movies that featured guests that would be there starred in.

Matt has more photos on his blog, I am very shy about approaching people and to get the photos I did were nerve racking.

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First up in Wednesday Mourning  - goth model and TV personality. She was passing out free coloring pages at her table. I did not want to ask her for a photo at first (nerves!) but after chatting with her for a minute I did.

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We also met Felissa Rose star of 1983's classic Sleepaway Camp. She was the nicest person! We talked to her for the longest time. She was engaging and very friendly. She even offered me some of her Pop Chips!

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We left before the costume contest took place but I got to snag a photo with someone dressed as Oogie Boogie!

In the coming days I will post some of my haul and other goodies!

Friday, October 21, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 11 - Trick or Treat Memories

This week brings up a lot of a lot of emotions for me. It is the anniversary of both my sister's and Mar's passing. I reflect a lot on memories and buy candles to light in their honor and eat foods that remind me of them. I have built altar memorials, donated money and reminded people not to drink and drive to honor their memories as well.
Above is a photo of my sister and I as kids. I am the Care Bear and my sister is a pink kitty. I know my grandma made my costume but I am not sure if she made my sister's. Probably - it was the 80s and both of our costumes had that sewn with love look! We were the first in a line of grand kids for my grandma Shirley so we got special treatment. My sister and I loved trick or treating. My parents took us to neighborhoods they grew up in as well as our own. We got to visit grandparents and cousins and after 'checking' our Halloween candy we got to eat some. To be a kid again!

It has been 3 years since Mar passed and like my sister I miss him and think about him everyday. He was my world and was my best friend. He was pretty chill with costumes as long as we kept it simple. My sister dubbed him 'the closest goth cat that Mickey will have' - Mickey being the pregnant rescue we took in. To tie all of these memories together my sister said Mar was a big cry baby till my grandma Shirley picked him up one night while visiting, and he stopped crying.

I miss my sister, Mar and my grandma but I have some good memories. Memories are kinda like Halloween candy - it feels good to have a heavy haul of them.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween] Day 12 - Bust Magazine's Horror Movie List

Have you picked up a copy of the latest Bust? If not you better go grab a copy before some snot wad decides to destroy the covers! Besides some spooky beauty picks - many of which are vegan + cruelty free there is a pretty impressive list of horror movies that are perfect for any time of the year but, might get more love right now. When I got the issue Matt and I went through our collection and had a bunch on the list. We then set out to find a few more and see what was streaming and have been on a kick the last few weeks.

I am not going to post the whole list here - I want you to go pick up a copy of Bust! Here is a sampling of the movies - the ones I really like! Are any of these your favorites as well?

Dumplings - 2004

The Craft - 1996

Gingersnaps -  2000

You're Next - 2013

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

[13 Days of Halloween ] Day 13 - New Zine - Halloween Issue

I have a new issue of The Stay At Home Girlfriend out now. I put it together in a few short weeks to get it out in time for Halloween. The idea came to me fast and I acted on it. I decided to do a Halloween countdown and to get things started with my zine. So here is a peek inside the zine - and if you want to buy a copy see the link below. 

Lurking inside these 28 pages you will find much more. If you like what you see and are curious about the other content please pick up a copy today!

Friday, September 30, 2016

Too Faced Born This Way Absolute Perfection Foundation Review

I bought Too Faced Born This Way foundation after trying a sample looking to replace what I was using. I had heard good things about this product on social media and magazines. I bought the shade Vanilla after sampling that and Ivory (the later being a golden undertone which I usually go for but the shade washed me out). It went on smoothly, did not feel cakey and the shade Vanilla is a good match for my skin tone even though it was labeled for more pink undertones. At $39 a bottle it is pricey but it does come in a lot of shades which I like.

I have been using it for a few weeks and have come to dislike this product. I noticed if I wear it more than 2 hours my face becomes a shiny mess and my makeup does not stay on. I thought it was just me and the hot weather making my face look like an oil slick so I asked around and others have the same problem. It does not matter what primer I use or how much setting powder or blotting I do it still leaves my face look like a mess. I even using a setting spray and things still get messy.

I am now stuck with this foundation and woeful pocketbook! I hate when this happens.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Lush Solid Perfume - Kerbside Violet Review

My friend just introduced me to Kerbside Violet one of Lush's new solid perfumes. Floral, rich and comforting is how I describe the scent. It has a fresh picked quality that leaves you grounded in a calming aroma. After one whiff I was hooked. Mixed in with Death & Decay (my current scent) you get a heady scent that reminds me of flowers baking in the sun at a cemetery. Floral, dark and rich but not overpowering these scents work well on their own but try them mixed together for a twist.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Pizza Bell - Elk Grove CA Review

Recently the boyfriend and I decided to check out Pizza Bell in Elk Grove, CA. We were a bit hesitant at first - mostly because we are pizza snobs. After the first time we were hooked and went back for more pizza love.

    Pictured: combo pizza with Daiya, Beyond Meat, olives and mushrooms. 

When you walk into Pizza Bell you get that old timey pizza joint feeling, large TVs, arcade games and comfy sit awhile booths. You order up at the counter - there is a special vegan menu - look for that. The options are really good, no soggy crusts topped with wilting veggies here. They offer Daiya cheeze, Beyond Meat styled two ways: Italian sausage or pepperoni, loads of veggies, ranch dressing and different sauces. You can get pizza off the menu or come up with your own by picking from various toppings. Crusts selection is up to you as well from thin to thick - we went with thick and it has to be some of the best crust ever! 

The calzones are insanely huge. We ordered them for lunch and could not eat dinner later on. They are stuffed with anything you want and the crust is buttery and delicious. Mine was filled with veggies and the boyfriend got a combo one.

Garlic twists - ohhhhhhh how I dream of them since my first bite. Stuffed with Daiya and served with vegan ranch and pizza sauce these are like a meal on their own. So buttery and gooey! I am a crust person and these are top notch. Get them with a mini pitcher of beer!

Pizza Bell also offers 3 vegan desserts. We had the apple twists but sadly no juice left in our phones for photos. They are so good, it is like a cinnamon roll + apple pie in one. Slathered with creamy glazed sweetness!

Everything about Pizza Bell tastes fresh. The dough to the toppings do not taste like they have been sitting around. They have a separate vegan section so there is no cross contamination issues - score! So many choices that you do not feel like you are missing out. This makes Pizza Bell a vegan pizza lovers destination! 

Pizza Bell is located at: 8591 Elk Grove Blvd, Elk Grove, CA 95624 - right across from one of my favorite little cemetery haunts. Eat pizza and go for a cemetery stroll.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Fancy Black Lipstick That Won't Break The Bank

In my teens up till my mid 20s my go to lip color was either dark burgundy or black. My go to lip products were either eyeliner or cheap lipstick. When I went vegan in my early 20s finding 'odd' colored makeup that was both vegan and cruelty free was a pain. I had to make due with earthy colors and black eyeliner for everything.

I have experimented with loads of colors through the last decade and lately alternate between a rose nude shade and purple. However when I was out shopping the other day and saw a display for e.l.f.  with a black lipstick on it I got giddy with nostalgia.

e.l.f.'s Moisturizing Lipstick in Black Out was swatched as soon as I got home.  For $3 I did not expect much - thinking it was going to be like the black lipsticks of past that were more grey and super dry or greasy-cheap looking. One swatch on my wrist however had me do a double take. It went on creamy, it smelled faintly of vanilla and was a really deep glossy black.

I wore it out the next day. I used a black liner to line my lips. It went on smoothly, did not dry my lips out and it did not smell/taste funky. It is a stunning creamy black color that is not too shinny or cheap looking. With that being said it does not stay on - especially if you eat but this is with all lipsticks. It easily transfers on things like straws but again I think we have all been spoiled by liquid lipsticks lately. I really like it though and will be using it again.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Self Care After Being Sick

Recently I got over strep-throat and was on 10 days of antibiotics. Killing germs often brings on more problems that we might not think about as we try to feel/get better.Here are some tips, tricks and products I have in my feel better arsenal.

Take your meds: Duh squared! Listen to the pharmacist and read the info you get with your prescription. Set your schedule per dosing instructions and allow time to eat/not eat if you need to have an empty stomach or a snack with the medicine.

Tea for all your troubles: A warm mug of tea is soothing no matter what's got you down. There are plenty of teas on the market that help with all sorts of medical problems but honestly buying your favorite brand - even splurging on something fancy is best. That way you can enjoy it after you recover. One thing to consider avoiding with tea though is caffeine. I find green tea is okay but anything labeled as 'energizing' - save it because you need rest!

REST!: Yes, rest! If you can take a nap, take a nap. Take two naps if you can! Resting is they key to quick recovery. Even stretching out in bed with a cat or two for a bit gives the body a chance to fight off sick cells.

Skin care - get your glow back: Sometimes after being sick you might loose some of your natural sparkle. To combat dull skin try a soothing mask. My go to right now is First Aid Beauty 5 in 1 Bouncy Mask
I know $38 is a splurge but the texture and how my skin feels after this mask is really good. I feel hydrated, look rested and not like a sickly zombie. I received a sample tube of this with an order and will be buying this in the future.

From the inside out: Water - drink it! Antibiotics tend to dry you out, thus leaving you grumpy, your skin grumpy and everyone around you grumpy (okay that is stretching it). Eat lots of fresh fruit, sip on water and flush those toxins out.

Yeast beast: A crappy side effect of antibiotics is getting a stupid yeast infection. If you are prone to them like me get a tube of Emerita Yeast Assist Cream. This really helps plus it's 100% vegan and natural.

I hope that you do not have to use these tips right now because you are sick. If you are - please close down your computer and take a nap. I hope you feel better soon!

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Blackheart Beauty Tin Smokey Eye Shadow Palette Review

 The Blackheart Beauty Tin Smokey Eye Shadow Palette is $12 (but often Hot Topic has a 25% off sale) but do not let the low price scare you away. The colors blend well, are nicely pigmented, the shimmers are not cheap looking and the mattes are not chalky. I have been using these colors a lot lately - reaching for this palette over ones I have that cost triple this price point. The shadows in this and other collections (from what I read online and ingredient lists) are vegan. Pro tip: use a good brush to apply these and not the dinky one it comes with. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

National Coloring Book Day

I have a stack of coloring books geared to the adult crowed. When I need to take a breather I pull one out and get to work and get lost in the lines and the colors. It is National Coloring Book Day - here are some picks based on what I have and things that look interesting.

Posh Adult Coloring Book - Inspirational Quotes is full of positive quotes (a few border on religious - not my thing) with bold lines and a zen-nature feel. I like this one a lot and pick it up for days when I feel disconnected from happiness.

I own A Brothers Grimm Coloring Book and Other Classic Fairy Tales: Escape into a World of Fantasy and Imagination coloring book but have yet to color from it! It reads more like a book and has beautiful art book styled illustration.

Gemma Correll is one of my favorite illustrators - my go to cute cat fix!  Her Feminist Activity Book is chock full of her cute illustrations and witty humor - I need to pick this one up!

I love the skull kitty cover on Cats in Costumes - a hand bound coloring book by whyhouses. They even have a Vegan coloring book! All the books in their shop look really cute and have that handmade feeling that makes something special!

Are you coloring today or do you color everyday? I have a page pocked out and ready to go! Off to have fun!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Chimes - Toasted Coconut Toffee Mini Review

Recently I bought a bag of Chimes Toasted Coconut Toffee candies after hearing about them. Vegan toffee is not something you come by often - toffee after all really is a butter infused sweet. They are individually wrapped hard candies that are sweet with a hint of sea salt goodness. Upon opening the bag and sharing with the boyfriend we both agreed they are super good! They are nutty and toasted tasting and the hint of sea salt adds a nice kick. Made with real ingredients and not artificial flavorings these are really a tasty treat that is full of flavor. Everyone I have shared them with enjoys them but the biggest fan so far has been Mady! I popped one into my mouth and as soon as she smelled it, ran up and started pawing my mouth! I had to hold one out for her to lick. She has done this to Matt too! Mady really likes her sweets - silly kitty!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Summer Essentials

It is soooooooo hot. I am melllllltttiiinnnggg. Here is how I am trying to keep the temps at bay and not loose my cool.

Honest 3 in 1 Facial Towelettes not only remove makeup but are good to wipe down your face post gym or post house cleaning marathon. They are gentle and do not irritate my sensitive skin.

I am a huge fan of Sanuk's yoga flip flop series. When I saw the Slinged Up Flat Sandal on the DSW site for under $30, I had to have them. The wrap around strap is cute and the soles - while flatter than I am used too are comfy for extended wear. If you are not a fan of flip flops because of flat feet issues - get a pair of Sanuk yoga flip flops and you will not need to worry.

I love cute food but I am also not about to spend five hours making something look cute and have it eaten in five minutes. So when I spotted these ice pop molds I had to have 'em.  koji Ring Popsicle Molds are easy to use - just fill up with juice/drink of choice, insert the ring pop base and chill in the freezer for a few hours. I did not think they would turn out - but they did! The icey mix did not get stuck to the molds and were easy to get out.

The Pink drink from Starbucks made with coconut milk is sweet heaven.For those not in the know it is strawberry acai refresher moxed with coconut milk. Wow - this is refreshing and it feels so tropical! The bits of strawberry and creamy coconut milk makes it perfect for a hot summer day.  It is like a melted paleta in a cup! Pair it with a cookie for an awesome mid day snack!

Summertime means glowing skin. Medusa's Makeup has a to die for highlighter called Moonlight - that I keep on reaching for. It is my fave highlighter right now. It is only $12 and out performs some of the high end highlighters  I have in my collection. It gives the skin a nice glow without chunky glitter, streaky color or an off putting shade. The company is very vegan friendly and offers up vegan products in many categories all you have to do is look for the vegan symbol.

Cotton candy is such a summer time treat! No need to go to the fair and surround yourself with screaming children and drunken idiots with Pina Colada cotton candy from Lolli & Pops.  It is a bit pricey at about $8 a container but the boyfriend gifted me with some for my birthday and wow is it good! If you find yourself in a Lolli & Pops store know there are some vegan options like single sourced chocolate bars and a small natural candy selection.

How are you beating the heat this summer?

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Favorite Hair Care Products

My hair care routine has upped it's game thanks to Maui Moisture. I bought these products on a whim at Ulta during a BOGO sale. Without the sale they retail for $8.99 per bottle and the bottles are generous. Plus they do their job without having to use access product.
I picked the Bamboo Fibers line because my hair lacks moisture and is prone to frizz and breakage. My hair felt thicker and luxurious after one use. Most products from Maui Moisture are vegan (steer clear of the honey line), cruelty free, free of SLS, mineral oil, gluten and synthetic dyes. They even use post consumer recycled packaging.

Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Shampoo  lathers super well, rinses clean and leaves hair smelling clean and earthy but not like a health food store bulk bin.

Maui Moisture Thicken & Restore Bamboo Fibers Conditioner  feels so thick and luxurious, almost like a deep conditioner. My hair is left soft and tangle free and the frizz is kept to a minimum. A little goes a long way.

These are bargain priced products that feel luxurious. I plan on trying more products from this line and company shortly.

Monday, June 20, 2016

First Day Of Summer - Must Have

I wear sunblock year round - to keep my skin safe and my tattoos looking good for years to come. I have had some crappy sunburns in the past that left me always stocking up on SPF when the sun comes out. Today is the first day of summer I hope you are ready!
If you are not ready go pick up a bottle of Sun Bum Original SPF 30. It is affordable - a bottle is around $10 - $15 (though on sale a lot of the time). It is vegan, cruelty free, offers broad spectrum protection, water resistant for up to 80 minutes, hypoallergenic and photostable (retains protection after sun exposure).
Matt and I have been using this for a few weeks now when we venture outdoors. It has a subtle sunscreen scent which does not linger all day, absorbs nicely, does not feel heavy or greasy (no chest breakout for me!) and has not bothered our sensitive skin. I like the lotion formula more than the spray I picked up last year. The nozzle kept getting clogged and I felt it did not spray evenly, making me worried if I would get a burn. You might have better luck than me with spray formulas though.
If you are looking for an all around good sunscreen pick up a bottle. Follow sun smarts like wear sunglasses, reapply sunscreen as needed, drink water and have fun. If you have a favorite sunscreen please let me know. I am always looking for ways to stay sun smart!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bronzer For Those That Avoid The Sun

I am not one to tan or fake a tan - never have been a fan of what one might consider the 'healthy look'. I like avoiding the sun and staying a nice shade of pale. For me pale is a light shade of olive - somewhere between the light color of foundation and the medium shade found in stores. A lot of things that tend to be labeled medium look orange on me and things that are labeled light are too yellow! The woe I face when picking out suitable colors!

One area that I have had trouble with in the past is bronzers and countouring colors. These always tend to make me look muddy or like a self tan product newbie nightmare.So when I saw some good buzz online about Physicians Formula Butter Bronzer with Murumuru Butter (ingredient fact: yellow fat collected from seeds of the plant) I decided to pick one up. I paid around $10 for it and since buying it a few weeks ago I cannot stop using it.

The compact is very nice. Hard plastic with a compartment that houses a cute little foam applicator and mirror under the product. The smell is amazing - very tropical like sunblock without the funky chemical smell. I bought the light color and it goes on nicely with the sponge provided. I use it to contour my cheekbones, jaw and forehead. When applied to my nose it gets a bit cakey and needs extra blending. It is not as shimmery as it looks in the pan, it goes on subtle and blends well. This gives me the perfect look for hot weather temps and does not feel heavy. I would buy this again for sure! It is available at drug stores and big box stores and should be easy to find this season.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

1 Million Steps For OCD Walk - Oakland

I did a 3.2 mile walk in Oakland over the weekend with my therapy-boyfriend Matt to be a presence in the OCD community and show others (and myself) we are not alone! 

Over the years I have been more open about having OCD and anxiety. In the past I thought if I did not tell people about it that maybe it would just go away or they would not pick up on it. However as guarded as I was, I let people into my life and had to open up communication and share my struggles.

I started noticing OCD symptoms when I was about six. I was in therapy at an early age but I do not think OCD ever came up: the focus was on interacting with others and anxiety, from what I remember. I have had a broad spectrum of OCD symptoms: from hand washing, lengthy showers and lock checking for the last 30 years. However what I struggle with most is Emotional Contamination OCD right now. Many people think OCD is just life with a Costco sized bottle of  hand sanitizer and being super clean. That could be OCD for some and others like myself not so much.
Emotional Contamination is a term I learned recently and up until that point I believed I had Magical Thinking OCD (I do have a bit of that as well). Both forms are mostly mental, there are rituals to get rid of the fear that come with both. For me emotional contamination can be from people, words and even thoughts. A simple word can make me have a freak out session. If I am in a store and a certain word is said (I have a few triggers) and I am holding something to buy: I will put it back thinking said item is now dirty and might bring me bad luck or is full of 'germs'. I try to be discreet with my actions. I feel so much shame at times for my actions. I wish I could just get over it and if it was that easy I would have a long time ago. I do not expect others to understand this - I do not and I live with these thoughts all day and night - even in my dreams. I have been to doctors who do not even understand my fears - imagine that!
Having worries play in and out of my mind is tiring. I am tired a lot. I feel guilty for how tired I am at time. The average person gets up and goes to work, talks to people, interacts with society. To me that is draining. I get up, do yoga, see Matt off to work, do some house work and usually go back to bed. If I do not get extra sleep lately my eyes ache and my chest hurts. I get up up, eat, work on writing and answer emails. I try working with a schedule and planning my days to help me break things down and not be overwhelmed.

Sometimes I have my shit together! I can get things done, interact with people and not worry so much. Some days I am filled with so much panic that I need to shut down to even manage not falling apart.  Having a conversation with me is useless on bad days - my mind is on another planet - full of doubts and fears. I feel this makes me a crappy person. Days like these I tend to avoid others so I feel less ashamed and not cause more harm than needed.
After all I do not have OCD to harm or hurt people. I did not choose to have OCD. I try to function withing my own set of rules just to make things less of a hassle for others. I feel like I let a lot of people down and this often brings on so much depression in me I just curl up in bed and cry. Last summer it was really bad and I had to fight so hard to just want to live. Everyday I struggled with not wanting to die. I feel so ashamed in even admitting this. I never want to hurt anyone and I know my sadness was making others sad. It took months to get out of this mood. I fear it will come back. I do have support now in the form of groups - both online and in person. I know others know how I feel and I can tell them my most offbeat thoughts and they have my back. It is comforting.

Please know that if you suffer from OCD that you are not alone. 40 million adults in the USA alone suffer from some sort of anxiety disorder. Even though at the OCD walk I stood out - lack of athletic gear + green eyebrows I know I am not the only one. At times when I feel my problems are bigger than the world I will hopefully find the strength to reach out to others for help and together we can share our stories. Within each story we are breaking down societies ideas of what mental health looks like and ending stigma. Maybe you are not ready to share your story yet but one day you will be and know that your story might just help another person.

My daily advice: take everyday as that day. Even breaking a day down by hours helps ease anxiety and the what-ifs that cloud my mind. Breathe, breathe, breathe! Hang in there!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge Review/Compare

After years of using those little latex free sponges to apply my foundation I upgraded to the Beauty Blender. After using the Beauty Blender a few times, I was in love. It made my foundation look super flawless. The only downside is the cost - $20 per sponge.

A few people told me that they liked the  Real Techniques Miracle Complexion SpongeI decided to try it out after my last Beauty Blended croaked. I bought a 2 pack at Ulta for under $10.99 during a BOGO sale - already winning! I have seen them elsewhere but Ulta seems to always have them on sale plus even if they are not - they qualify for the promotional coupons you get in the mail. 

Besides the price I like the shape. The flat side is really good for applying foundation. The pointy flat edge really gets into the sides of the nose and is thin enough to do nose contouring. After using the sponge I can note some differences between the brands. This sponge stays damp no matter how much you ring it out. Also it absorbs foundation more, if you like a less coverage look, it may be better suited for your needs. It washes off and stains less in my opinion than the Beauty Blender which stained no matter how much I washed it. It is a good sponge and has multiple uses. Besides foundation I use it to blend in bronzer and concealer.

Would I buy them again? Yes. In the summer when I am more drawn to light foundation these are better for the look/feel I want. The price is also a big factor. They are an upgrade from the little sponges many of us use (or used). If you want to try a sponge without the hefty price tag then pick up these today.