A Skincare Routine You Can’t Refuse

When I began this blog, my lengthy list of topics to cover highly excited me to write and share posts with others. However, amidst the post- graduation of Undergrad and new beginning of Graduate school, the real world has truly taken advantage of me. Finally falling into a new routine sans-Oneonta, this allowed me to figure out a skincare routine that works.

Often I find myself sharing makeup & skincare tips to others and writing extensive texts to help all out. I’m not the kind of woman who believes that all beauty and anti-aging processes are “top secret” and not to be shared. A human should want to aid in the progress or growth of another individual versus being competitive with another. It is 2015 after all, I’m thinking survival of the fittest is simply not applied when it comes to “woman’s beauty” as celebrities like to believe it is.

Here is my skincare routine, after much research and trial & error. I will share with you my current routine and what works best and what I SWEAR will work for others. This works best for acne prone people or people looking for anti-aging routines because most of this removes dead skin cells and I work on young PREVENTION.

Morning:

  • Wash face:
    • Cetaphil or another PH balancing cleanser.
  • Moisturize:
    • I use Neutrogena Oil- Free Moisturizer with SPF.
  • Prime:
    • BB Prime Time Primer- I use tone: Medium
  • Beauty blender (gentle on makeup application)
    • Any cream foundation- I use NARS Cream Foundation
  • Translucent Powder
    • Makeup forever HD Translucent Powder

If you like to add more color, add it before you put on the translucent powder. Think of the translucent powder as a veil or protective “lid” over your makeup.

You are now Moisturized & Sun-safe for the day, you also now have flawless skin.

Night Routine:

  • First, wash Face to remove makeup with any soap, not a scrub.
  • Second, Clarisonic (best purchase for all women) with warm water and use a salicylic acid soap.
    • Alt. Second, If no Clarisonic: Use a scrub and scrub the dead skin off your face everyday.
      • Why do you think men’s skin looks so good as they age? They rid of the dead skin by shaving everyday!
      • I use- Philosophy- Microdelivery Scrub
  • Toner or Apple Cider Vinegar. (I ALWAYS use ACV) make sure to get the one with “The Mother”. Dilute it with some water.
  • Your Lotions or Potions
    • Each night I switch what I use on my skin. I use Retin-A sometimes, Moisturizer, Vitamin A, C, D or E, or Collagen and Placenta Cream, (gross I know but look it up, its magic and I don’t even have wrinkles, it makes my pores disappear. Beware that it does not smell nice.

Enjoy!

If you would like one on hair growth and health, let me know. 🙂

Learning a Foreign Language in America

Unless you’re born or raised by natives, immigrants, or born from practicing speakers of a foreign language… you’re going to have a tough time learning a language in America. If you dedicate yourself to learning the ins and outs of a language and engage yourself in conversation and community, you can certainly teach yourself and become fluent. However, some of us student who relied solely on a University level curriculum, had more of a difficulty learning. Currently a Spanish major in my fourth year, I can not begin to explain the difficulties I’ve had as a language learner. People in other countries are able to speak English and at least one other language whether it be native to their country or a dialectal derivative of their language. (For example, most people in Spain are able to speak Spanish, English and Catalan.) Having went to American schools, I wasn’t able to learn a language thoroughly at a young age and learn it as well as they try to teach us chemistry.

Middle school Spanish existed solely of vocabulary and a small introduction of the reflexive verbs. Most of Spanish class was spent on worksheets and talking to friends… in English. High School Spanish was more of a breeze because we participated in fashion shows saying words like “camisa azul” and “sopa de pollo.” The introduction of Spanish in the school systems wasn’t enough. It simply wasnt. The version of the language taught is the same version you pop DVD’s into the TV for your children to learn ABCs and their colors. Its too simple for young adults that they actually lose interest. When I went to college and had to pick an area of concentration to compliment my Education degree, I chose Spanish. Thinking that the majority of this country will be Spanish speaking in the next decade or so and it is a good idea in order to obtain a job in the future, as long as I study I wont have a rough time. Boy, was I wrong.

I’m not knocking my own University’s Foreign Language department, by any means. This blog post is a generalization and overview of learning a foreign language in this country as a participant in American schooling systems following apparently effective curriculums. In college, my sophomore year was my first year of Spanish since my Senior year of High School and let me tell you, my experience was none other than the feeling I could imagine one would feel is being hit by a freight train. Okay, so maybe that’s a little hyperbolized… but stepping foot into a two hundred level Spanish course after solely vocabulary and a few verbs and little conjugation in High School left me dumbfounded at first.

The professor spoke in Spanish 95% of the time. Your syllabus is 100% in Spanish and what’s expected of your assignments is also in Spanish. Half of the time I wound up turning around and asking what was said. I sat through classes confused, not knowing a single thing that happened and most of the time feeling very dumb. Everyone else seemed to know what the professor was saying and doing their assignments. I spent countless hours on homework’s which were only fifteen questions and I would get them back with a lower mark on them. I was afraid to use an accent, because I never knew if I should, not to mention it is embarrassing for the first time to try it OUT LOUD reading to an entire class. After this class ended, I decided to take the next required Spanish class and try to “survive” the system.

Later in my college career, as a Senior, I can now look back on my time spent as a Spanish major and I can see the road that I took to get here. I am in no way fluent, but I can speak and understand Spanish. It’s amazing how much you can pick up on a language just by being in a class at an hour each at least and have a few of them a day… every day of the week. I picked up on more than I realized. I can use a Caribbean accent, (which doesn’t sound Jamaican or what you would picture it to be) I can differentiate between dialects, hear phonetic sounds and make connections to other romance languages.

Eventually I stopped being scared and overwhelmed by Spanish. I found it fun and exciting. I made good friends in my classes and we could all relate on a special level that only Spanish majors would understand. We struggled together and helped each other in classes. Later I would be taking notes and writing papers in Spanish without a translator, who would have thought! 

Immersion was the key. Immersion with my professors from other countries, since I couldn’t afford the price of studying abroad. Since I was an Education major at the time, I had to take all Education classes and I wasn’t able to spend time overseas because I would be putting off my studies another semester. Had I known things would get complicated and I had to change my major to Spanish, I would have somehow studied abroad. But I made do with what I had in the Catskills, where Spanish was not prominent and just barely practiced. My professors would share stories of their lives and their families back at home and were more friendly than most of the American professors I had. They were likely to bond with students and not act so formal all of the time. They loved music and dancing. Many Spanish and Latin American traditions were encouraged.

I learned much more than I already had known, it just took some time. There are types of Spanish that are more Ghetto, more Valley Girl and the type of awkward language we speak to people like professors in english versus the english you speak at home. It truly was quite an experience being a Spanish major. I just wish the systems knew how to make it less of a reading experience and more of a learning experience versus one that is feared and a confusion to us. The transition between confused from high school spanish and taking three hundred level classes is tougher than you would expect. But it is possible.

Do you feel that the Foreign Language system in America is one that can be improved?
Was your learning experience as a student everything you wanted it to be when it came to learning a new language?

Growing Up Irish.

Growing up in a household with any traditions of culture is definitely a childhood to write home about. I felt the need to write about growing up Irish today because it is certainly an interesting background to have in this melting pot of a country. To say that growing up Irish is unique would be an understatement. It might have taken years for me to realize it’s important role in my life, but as an adult I can now appreciate and find humor in some of the best truths to being brought up Irish. Let the nostalgia begin!

1. Tea is no joke. 
Passing up a cup of tea in an Irish household is not such a good idea. It’s a good choice to just take the damn cup of tea because you’ll be sitting there for hours and quite possibly several rounds of tea afterwards. It took me a while to understand how I like my tea, but once you’re in the club, you’re in. And there’s no turning back to the kiddie table.

2. Irish bars have a different scent than any other bars
Especially in my childhood when cigarette smoking wasn’t prohibited in bars. It might be the mixture of the Guinness, the scotch or the Jameson lingering in the air. But it could just as equally be the scent of drunks. I never could really tell and I’m not entirely positive I do even now. (Yes, I went to bars when I was young because the 90’s were quite different and a family member owned an Irish bar.)

3. Irish music WILL grow on you
Middle school will tell you otherwise. The Wolfe Tones aren’t the ticket to the in-crowd as a teenager. But growing up with constant irish music playing and in our local Irish restaurants, they become a part of your self and family.

4. You have a claddagh ring.
And most importantly you know which way it should face and what it stands for.

5. Your parents were more excited than you were that you got your license.
Let the adults pile into the car after a family party because you, my newly licensed friend, are driving them all. And they WILL blast Rick Springfield or Billy Joel.

6. Irish names are really, really Irish.
With a name like Tara Fitzpatrick, I’m often asked if I’m Italian.

7. Your family has owned dogs with Irish names including counties and towns.
It’s a shame people aren’t as nostalgic about Long Island… I’d love to have a dog named Suffolk.

8. A little wit goes a long way.
My grandfather will sit at the dinner table and not say a word until the end. At this time he will produce a one-liner with the most knowledgeable bit of wisdom and tack on the wit.

9. Most Irish people go by their middle names.
So often actually that calling them by their first name seems wrong.

10. At any given time, there were at least three rifles in your home.
Just incase the IRA needs a few most members in America. Always be prepared, of course.

11. Your family history can be tracked quite easily.
Mostly because my grandfather put in countless hours of research. But when you ask anyone from Ireland or Europe they can most likely account to each family member, how they died and when

12. If you go to Ireland, you better visit every family member you have.
Even if you don’t know their name. Even if you can’t understand their Derry accent.

13. Irish stereotypes are mostly all false.
Except for the drunk thing, thats pretty accurate. But most Irish have black have and light skin versus the typical red hair and green eyes stereotype. Although yes, it is common.

14. Irish people will give you the shirt off their back.
Not just Irish people do this, of course. However, I know that my whole family would give their right hand if I needed it. My grandparents are the matriarchs of the family and have instilled the same generosity in us all.

Better you, less chemicals.

The cost of college tuition is, without a doubt, costly. College can cost us our savings, our earnings and our souls. (As a soon to be graduate, I can attest to that one.) But becoming a better you doesn’t need to cost you as much. In fact, within my years at college I found many alternative uses to common household items that I had in my luxurious tupperware bedroom set in my dorm room.

With experience of myself and others, research and a pinch of common sense; I was able to come up with a list of these alternative uses in place of harsh medicinal cures and too many chemicals versus a simple few. Hey, if theres anything I learned in college, besides the fact that just because you CAN have pizza for breakfast doesn’t mean you should… let this be one of them. Enjoy!

1. Bio True Contact Solution
With much trial and error- I finally found this to be the best brand of Contact Solution. The solution balances out the natural PH level of your eyes and not only keeps contacts moist all day long, but can actually cure viral pink eye. Viral pink eye usually comes hand in hand with strep or the common cold, and there are only eye drops available to cure bacterial pink eye. Instead of waiting for it to run it’s course, throw a few drops in as you need a few times a day.

2. Visene Redness Drops
Whether you have a hot date, school pictures or lunch with your dog, you’ll want to rid of any blemishes. Especially when you have a day where people will be looking at your face all day. Redness eye drops (any brand, although I feel Visene has incredible strength drops) can get rid of the redness caused by anything from a blemish to a scrape. The blood vessels clear and give you an area where you don’t have any redness. Just be sure to carry the drops with you so you can re-apply later in the day.

3. Hair Spray
– Spray for less static under sheer or loose shirts to rid of cling. 
 or
– directly applied, (tightly close your mouth and eyes… unless you’re into that sort of thing) for makeup setting spray that will keep you from sweating, getting oily or your makeup running throughout the night.

4. Coconut Oil I don’t think I have the bandwidth on this website to list the endless uses for coconut oil. But I will list the most helpful uses I’ve found to work.
– cooking (1 tbsp) for eggs. Flavor and non- stick
– mouth wash  (sounds gross, but in a pinch it rids of bad breath)
– yeast infections (soak tampon in melted coconut oil and use overnight)
– lotion for dry skin
– skin tone evening oil
– evens out scars

5. Toothpaste
Takes off tanning lotion
 stuck on your hands (or any other spot you messed up on) in it’s entirety.

6. Aloe Vera Gel
I’ve gone to the dermatologist for many potions and lotions to use on breakouts and each of them, honestly, make my skin worse once I stop using them. Aloe Vera gel can be used on breakouts and heal them and keep your skin clear. It’s a more natural and cheaper way to avoid blemishes or heal them. (100% aloe vera gel, usually any brand)

7. Vaseline
Makeup remover, lotion, healing.

8. Summers Eve wipes & body wash
Takes away any itch for both men and women due to the PH balancing properties. Can also be used on bug bites to take away itch. Also works for Jock itch on males (they should make the bottle less feminine, really!)

9. Vitamin C Lotion
Skin brightening, skin tighter, skin more even toned.

10. Hydrogen Peroxide
For less than a dollar I can have the same teeth whitening results as the more expensive White-strips. Before brushing teeth, swish around in your mouth until foamy and rinse. Brush your teeth afterwards for brighter smile. Keep doing this as often as you need until you see results. Also heals cuts in the mouth. Peroxide has strong lightening properties, so be cautious to get it on anything. Can even bleach skin (doesn’t burn, just removes any instant tanner or color.)