Friday, December 30, 2011

the miracle acne clearer-er upper

Several years ago, my acne started getting pretty severe. I'd had very clear skin, and then, suddenly, out of the blue, it was a mess. And it wouldn't go away for ANYTHING. Just got worse, until it was covering both of my cheeks and my chin. It was painful, ugly, and out of control.

I have tried so many products. So many. Here's a summary:
Neutrogena Skin ID
Neutrogena Grapefruit cleansers
stridex pads (2 different kinds)
Burt's Bees
Biore strips
6 different spot treatments
Origins face washes
a BUNCH of different face masks and recipes
clearasil cleansers

I'm sure there are some I'm not thinking of.

Then, in November, I went and had a microderm appointment to see if that would help.  The lady was suuuuuper nice, and recommended a (pretty expensive) brand of face care. In the car, later on the phone with Mom, I said " I think I'm going to just go ahead and spend the $80 on it. I'm so sick of this, and it seems to be working already, and I don't want crappy skin for my college Graduation. " She agreed, and I went back to the store a week or so later and bought the first half of the new products- they were out of the others, and I was going to go back in two days to check.

That evening, I was on Pinterest, just bumming around when I saw "the Aspirin Face Mask" for acne. I thought, what's the harm, I should try that.

I did, and was pleased with the initial result. I decided to wait 4 weeks before I opened the new expensive stuff and see if I thought the aspirin was doing the trick.

I returned the product yesterday.

This face cleanser is the best I've ever used. It leaves my skin feeling fresh and clean. Occasionally I use some lotion on my face, and I am using a "Say Yes to Tomatoes" spot stick.

In four weeks, over Christmas, no less, my face is at least 50% better. It doesn't hurt, the spots are going away quicker.

So without further ado:

The Aspirin Face Mask:

lightly coated aspirin tablets
warm water

Let the aspirin dissolve in a few drops of water ( I use a little tiny bowl for this and help it a long with a pickle fork). Add in a little honey so you're at about 40% honey and 60% aspirin mixture. Stir together. Smear all over your face and let dry. I leave mine on for about an hour, although I've left it on for anywhere from 10 minutes-overnight. Rinse with warm water. Repeat once or twice a day.

That's it! It costs me about 30 cents to make this for myself, and I love it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

100 reasons I'm reaching my fitness goal in 2012

I'm starting my new year's resolutions early. This year, I am going to get to my fitness goal. I will do whatever it takes, healthily, to get down to what medical professionals say is an "ideal" weight for me- about 130 pounds. I'm not sure, but I think that is a loss of over 50 pounds.  My BMI needs to come down significantly. (as much as 15 points according to some calculators)
I've never been big on scales. I've always been heavy, and muscular, which has always meant that I weigh more than I look like I weigh. But tomorrow, I go to buy a scale. I am hoping that it will put it in my face that everyday, I need to make progress. No more excuses. No more "tomorrows" or "starting on Monday" or "I'll just have one".

Operation Skinny B*tch is now in session. Hold on, people. It's gonna be a heck of a ride.

I will do it. For all of these reasons (which are in no specific order whatsoever):

1. Because I refuse to be self conscious in my bikini when I move to LA.
2. Because I won't be known as "the one with the pretty face"
3. Because I won't have awkward "tight clothes" ruts on my skin.
4. Because I don't want any more size large clothes... and I need new ones
5. to be proud in the dressing rooms and locker rooms
6. Because I like the stares and compliments
7. to enjoy buying underwear and bras
8. to look fantastic in my dance clothes
9. to walk onto any store and be able to try things on
10. for better hugs
11. so my old friends double take when they see me coming
12. for my five year reunion
13. to not be lost in the gym
14. so the only thing that wiggles when I walk is behind me
15. to sit cross-legged in smaller chairs
16.  because curves are beautiful
17. to never ever worry about my shirt riding up again
18. for my health
19. to be comfortable in child's pose
20. to never be out of breath at the top of the stairs
21. because I'm too beautiful to hide behind a layer of blubber
22. because that dress is perfect, and it is a shame for it to live in the closet
23. to never pinch those "chicken nuggets" again
24. to love being picked up
25.  to take beautiful pictures, without worrying about how I'm standing
26. for the pure hedonistic pleasure of it
27. to not lie about my weight on my resume/ measurement sheets
28. For more energy
29. to stand next to my sisters and not feel three times their size
30. so I can wear short shorts and not yank them down every three steps
31. to avoid the doctor as much as possible
32. to be able to wrap my arms around my pulled up knees
33. to finally be where I planned to be 5 years ago
34. so all the hopes of " and it won't be long until I'm x size" will be over
35. So the boys will stare
36. to never worry about my belly being bigger than my boobs
37. to enjoy playing outside with my dad and brother
38. to outrun the zombies
39. Because the Doctor runs a lot
40. So I don't have to have knee replacement at 40
41. because I've grown up; time to shed my chrysalis
42. the less weight on a broomstick, the better
43. also, less likely to get splinched
44. to have to get remeasured in the costume departments
45. because I want to own a sweater dress
46. because this body is the only one I get
47. to inspire others
48. because this one thing, I will be completely in control of
49. To never go down the path of eating disorder again
50. to have the confidence to make the first move
51. So if I get selected for the Hunger Games, the odds will be ever in my favor.
52. to NEVER look like my gene pool, as much as I love them
53. to prove them all wrong
54. To never think "I'd have gotten that role if I wasn't fat" Ever. Again.
55. because a true triple threat has brains, brawn, and beauty.
56. because I'm finally done procrastinating
57. to work off the stress
58. to climb the rock wall
59. So I *have* to buy new clothes
60. so that I'll feel comfortable with (moderate) theatrical and cinematic nudity
61. to be deceptively strong, like my spirit
62. to always have the feeling of "I lost the weight. I can do this"
63. so I fit in his arms better, whomever he may be
64. so people use the phrase "coke bottle figure" when describing me, not "a little on the bigger side"
65. To be in the petite, not "curvy all over" section in the magazine fashion tips
66. to not always play the mothers
67. to "look" Musical Theatre
68. to never again bust out a seam. In anything.
69. To get rid of a pair of jeans for a reason other than a hole in the thigh.
70. more small clothes fit in suitcases than big clothes.
71. to be able to run one mile
72. Because my knees need this
73. because I'm tired of the excuse that my knees can't take it
74. to not be afraid to get on the scale at the doctor's
75. so my (future) tattoo will not get stretched
76. No. More. Control Top!
77. To never, ever, ever need surgery due to my weight.
78. So that no one will need to see past my my weight to find me attractive.
79. So that I'm never ashamed to be naked
80. to never have to sidle through narrow walkways
81. to never get chafed in the summer
82. to hear the phrase "Wow! What have you been doing?"
83. to make my brother proud of me.
84. to know my favorite outfit looks damn sexy when I wear it
85. because guys are more into fit women than "fat" ones. Genetic fact.
86. to be able to say "I'm little!" and not feel like a fraud
87. because my friends will be so impressed
88. so that first physical impressions will be just as impressive and memorable as when I start talking.
89. So that casting directors will try to seduce me.
90. for every insult, remark, and "suggestion"
91. because I'm strong, but you'd never know it.
92. because fitness is the most natural state for our bodies
93. to be another example of fit, healthy and beautiful instead of the model "before" picture
94. because it's more fun to cuddle
95. to need to get padded out, occasionally
96. because I'm tired of it literally weighing me down.
97. Because being lazy is disrespectful to my body
98. to look great in clothes
99. because I am worth the effort
100. because I am committed to self improvement in all areas this year.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Blessed Yule, Joyous Kwanzaa & Happy Festivus!

Did I miss anyone?

If I did, then I apologize. May your holiday bring you much joy!

This Christmas (for that is what I celebrate!) I am finding that what's most special to me are the quiet moments in my days. The moments where I can take a minute, over my coffee, cookie in hand, and simply enjoy sitting on my couch. Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas. I love the entire event. I love all of the shopping and crafting. I love the decorating and wrapping. I love the music and lights. The food, the time spent with friends and family, the chill in the air and the way children's eyes sparkle. The excitement of Santa coming juxtaposed against the divinity of the birth of Jesus Christ.  I love the entire event.

But I am glad for the few moments of silence in a season that is so full of mental and emotional noise. It is rejuvenating to the soul, to be silent. It helps us to refocus, rethink, and recenter.

Take time, in the next few days, while we hustle from one house to another, rip open the wrapping paper, squeal over new treasures, and try to talk over each other to stop and breathe.

And take time to think of those that aren't busily wrapping and unwrapping gifts. Of those who are lonely, sick, hungry and cold this weekend. And when you are cleaning up from your Christmas, considering giving back to your community and our world.

I know that I will be getting rid of a copious amount of stuff after the holidays, and I encourage you to do the same. Heaven knows we all have enough stuff!

But whatever you do, enjoy it. This is a joyful season, and I hope it brings you much, much joy.

And thanks for reading this, whoever you are! you have no idea what it means to me that you do.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

HOW TO: Epsom Salt glasswear

hey everybody! Hope your Christmas is going so well so far!!

Today I've got a very simple tutorial for the pretty jars in my Christmas Post. Remember those pretty candle holder jars and the bottles full of pretty sparklies? Well, here's how I made them

clear glass jars, bowls or bottles
bag of epsom salts
white glue

shallow pan ( I used a disposable aluminum cooking pan)
foam brush
small bowl

1. pour some white glue into your small bowl and some epsom salts into the shallow pan.

2. Using your paintbrush, paint the outside of your glassware with the white glue.

 You want a nice thick coat- the thicker the better, but try not to let it get drippy!

3. Roll your now sticky piece in epsom salts

4. Allow to dry!

5. Fill with candles or other holiday decor!

epsom salts: $3/bag (one bag is PLENTY)
glassware: variable. I had mine on hand, so it was free!
white glue: $1 bottle

-great, super easy, quick project with great result
-cheap and not overly popular!

-messy. Both in making and in upkeep. I have trouble with epsom salts all over my apartment.
-when used as a candle holder, the epsom salts become opaque and matte, losing some of the frosted look. They are still very pretty, though!

4/5. I'd definitely try it again, and I'm very pleased with the result!!

*these pictures are not mine. No copyright infringement intended.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Guess what, guys?
I finished the apartment!! And it looks so very precious! AND, I have pictures! So welcome to my house, everyone! Let me show you around!

Front door, with this precious Peace wreath, which I just love.

On the door to the coat closet are my Christmas cards!

Moving into the living room, we have this arrangement on my coffee table...

and this lovely thing on the wall. Which I LOVE. Favorite project.
Balcony door got some love....

here's a close up!

when you turn around, you've got these lovelies! ( I LOVE that glitter feather!) But wait, what's that behind it...?

oh, no big, just a homemade table runner, and such!

mirrored on the dining table! But what's that behind the table?

more lights, ornaments and garlands, of course! Moving into the kitchen...
Aren't these towels just THE CUTEST?! And I made them myself! Really, I DID!

And if we look up... more tinsel and lights!

 And now for the grand finale....

my liiiiittle tiny tree and a few presents!

 Isn't it all just the cutest?!  I love every piece of it. Tutorials for some of it coming soon!


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

seriously. Cookbook.

Why do I not cook for myself all the time??

Here's my latest culinary experiment:

Spinach Salad with warm ham:

1 clementine
package salad greens
serving ham steak, raw
3 medium white mushrooms
pancake syrup

wash mushrooms and greens. chop mushrooms into bite sized pieces. (I choose to halve them and then chunk them but whatever works)

Peel clementine. Arrange half of clementine on plate with mushrooms and greens. Leave 4-5 pieces, set aside.

cut ham steak into bite sized pieces.

add syrup to skillet and put over medium heat. Use enough syrup to safely cover bottom of a small skillet. Wait until it starts to really sizzle, then squeeze two or three sections of the clementine into the syrup. Put the rest of the pieces in the skillet.

Add ham and the last pieces of clementine.

Cook in skillet and make sure to flip over- a few minutes on each side. Done when starting to turn golden brown, don't let the meat get too dark!

Put on separate plate for a few minutes to cool.

Add Feta crumbles to plate

Place ham and clementine pieces over top.


I didn't use any dressing, but if I had wanted some, I would have gone for a nice balsamic or raspberry vinaigrette!

Friday, December 2, 2011

recipe: ham steak bake!

Sometimes, you guys, I have great ideas.

Today, I had one.

And it was so tasty!

I'm sorry I didn't get a picture, but I had to box it up and get to rehearsal. Anyway, here's what I remember of the recipe!

Charis's Potato and Ham Steak Bake
(Like all my recipes, it serves one!)

1/4 large ham steak, defrosted
1 medium potato, scrubbed
1-2 carrots, peeled
1/3 white onion
olive oil
garlic powder

1. Cut potato into slices, then halve.  Add Carrot, chopped into about bite size slices. Add to boiling water ( I used a medium sauce pan) Boil until they easily can be speared with a fork. (About 5-10 minutes)

2. While those are boiling, take olive oil, honey and spices and mix together in a 12x12 baking dish. I used about 4-5 tablespoons olive oil, 2-3 tablespoons honey, and liberal sprinklings of the spices.

3. Dip Ham steak into mixture, coating the outside. Set aside for a minute.

4. once veggies are done, put them in the baking dish. Using a big spoon, gently stir them until they all seem covered in the mixture. Add more oil or honey if you don't have enough. Dish should have some liquid left over. Add onion, in large pieces while stirring.

5. Nestle the ham steak into the middle of the dish, around and slightly under the veggies.

6. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, until onions are getting translucent, and meat is cooked through.


prep: 20 minutes
cook: 20-30 minutes

Thursday, December 1, 2011

90 day challenge: wrap up!

Well, friends, here we are, 90 days later. How'd we do?

Ok, I'll start.

I am pleased to announce that I made it about 75% of the way to my goal. I am wearing size ten pants, and when they need to be washed, they are baggy on me. Not when they've just been through the dryer. That's where the 75% comes in.

However, there are plenty of things I could improve on. The biggest one is continuity. I am a project starter, not a project finisher, and that applies to exercise FOR SURE. I did better with the eating, but I can afford to improve there too.

However, all things considered, I am pleased with the results of the last 90 days. I think my next step is to tone up. Which, unfortunately, means working out. Abs don't tone themselves. Sadly.