Friday, January 10, 2014

What does a hero look like to a five year old?

I often scour the web for writing prompts that inspire a topic for me to free write about. Usually I am looking for some sort of prompt that will spur a fiction story out of me, but that is not the case today. I aim for the fiction usually because I find it more challenging for me to write.

I write non-fiction every day in my day job, so writing about myself seems just like a bit of overkill sometimes. I hope you all don’t get bored with my rambling, if you do, I’d stop reading now if I were you.

Anyway, on to the prompt: When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

When I was 5? I don’t know I think that is a bit young. I remember being told that when I was young I said I wanted to be a park, because, fun all the time, yes! Or you know, the French fry guy at McDonald’s, because, yum!

But when I think back to the posters on my wall of well-known figures, the first I can think of is of Jim Abbott, a Major League Baseball pitcher who was born with one hand. He played on the California Angels from 1989-1992, which would put me at about 7-10 years old.

Jim Abbott Cannons

I was so inspired about how he didn’t let his disability kill his dream, and he was a successful pitcher despite having only one hand. He was an inspiration and so amazing to watch as he pitched the ball with one hand and then quickly put the glove on that hand after the ball left his mound.

My takeaway? Since I was a young girl people who struggle and overcome their adversities to become successful have always fascinated me.

Now I didn’t follow Jim Abbott through the rest of his baseball career, so I can’t comment on what I think of him specifically, but I can say that I am still inspired by people with disabilities.

Each year, in our humble little Kiwanis Club of Los Altos, we put on the Kiwanis Special Games, which is a day that celebrates disabled Santa Clara County students’ abilities. Seeing the smiles on the athletes’ faces as they participate in events specifically tailored to showcase and celebrate their abilities is a magical experience.

The Kiwanis Special Games is one of the events that I volunteer my time toward that I am most proud of.

In the same way, I hope to continue to be inspired by challenges and not see them as roadblocks. I am challenged by the concept of writing fiction. Sure I might be able to start a story, but I have yet to find a way to truly finish one.

I continue to work toward bettering myself as a writer. Writing about things I enjoy in every day life (nails, random beauty products), and challenge my concept of writing by reading lots of different type of fiction stories. Browsing writing prompts and seeking inspiration in all sorts of places.

Having Phenylketonuria, which I’ve written about before, also challenges me. Sure that makes having a baby rather difficult, but I will overcome those challenges and pray that it is a process that I can handle with ease.

At the end of the day we all face challenges, some small, some large, some permanent, some not. It’s how we face those challenges that really define who we are as a person. Sometimes we do it with grace, other times we complain all the way through. Either way, I hope I face my future challenges in a way worthy of respect and admiration, just as I felt about Jim Abbott all those years ago.

Question of the day: Who was your childhood hero? What do you think of them now?

Happiness of the day: The right song coming on the radio at just the right time, especially while driving. Makes everything better. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Healthy nails = proper moisture

Proper moisture and cuticle care is the way to gain healthful looking nails and I have been rather random about all the different products I have been trying to achieve the optimal moisture.

Today I am featuring two products that I use as an intensive overnight treatment because the formulas are so thick, you don't want to put this on and then go browsing on your tablet (the product will transfer right to your screen).

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First off, this is the BEST moisturizer I have found. I have tried countless drugstore and specialty store brands. None is as long lasting or nourishing as this lotion. I put this on before I go to bed and I can still feel it in the morning 8 hours later!

The lotion is Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Lotion Healing with Aloe formula and can be found in most drugstores. It comes in a 14 oz. bottle with a pump or a 5 oz. tube. I see the larger bottle in the $8-10 range. Great price and a good reminder that even the nicest brands can be outdone by drugstore brands.

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The second product I'm not completely sold on yet but so many people online rave about it. I'm trying to use it regularly to see what all the hype is about. Lemony Flutter is from LUSH, a company I have just begun trying but am finding to really like some of their all-natural, cruelty-free products.

First off, this product doesn't have the greatest smell, but it is mild (at least to me, it is repulsive to some people online). It's not quite the lemon or citrus scent you expect considering the name, but it is more of a lemon petroleum jelly type smell. It's too mild for me to really be bothered by it. For me, the product is just so thick, after applying you can't touch anything for a long time because it takes a long while for the thick shea butter formula to sink into the skin.

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To apply I use my index finger to swipe up some of thick formula (some people use a brush to apply, might try that later) and rub it along my cuticles and the skin around my nails to keep them soft and moisturized. It basically leaves a greasy white cream along edges of my nails and doesn't soak in for a long time. I follow that application with the application of the lotion above, probably waiting 10-15 minutes before hitting the sheets to let everything soak in.

Anyway, so far so good. I like the way my hands look and feel after applying this the night before. This morning my nails of the day (new mani) look like this:

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Nails feature Zoya Dove with a glitter gradient tips of OPI Servin' Up Sparkle. Inspired via a Pintrest mani.

And before I leave, I'll share this little deal currently going on from one of my favorite nail polish brands. Zoya, a wonderful natural nail polish company, is holding their Three-Free promotion they do at the beginning of every year. For a $12 processing and shipping fee, you get three of their colors. Spend $25 or more, and shipping is free. Before I went on my no-buy, I got six colors for $27.

If you want to check out some quality polish and don't want to spend a fortune yet, this is just the thing to get your feet wet (or nails in this case). Zoya just increased their polish prices from $8 a bottle to $9 this year, so this is a good time to stock up because deals like this don't happen often (usually only around Christmas and the start of the New Year).

Happiness of the day: Smelling a fresh rain shower when I stepped out of the house today.

YouTube of the moment: The Secret Life of a Polish Addict. Now I'm not totally this bad, but I admit there are definitely some truths to this video.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! Resolutions time...

Hi everyone, Happy New Year. Time to make some resolutions, ones worth keeping.

While many people this time of year make health/fitness related resolutions, I've decided to make a different type of resolution.

I want to be in a positive state of mind, "no I'm so tired, I can't handle work, blah blah blah" attitude. I am so lucky to be where I am in my career and while the day to day can be cumbersome, I'm going to make it my goal to enjoy myself and find happiness in the little things every day.

I also want to make it a goal to write more, creatively so. I want to use online prompts and really work on the craft of storytelling. I sit so paralyzed that I can't write a good fiction story, that I need to dive head first and actually try. If I start, maybe I can actually accomplish something. These stories might be something I share here in my blog, or I may just write for my own pleasure (in a notebook or something).

Also, and I always say this, I want to blog more. Since I have become such a nail fanatic and am getting into some makeup stuff, I thought I'd start there giving my two cents on some recent purchases.

So to kick it off, here are my nails of the moment:

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Essie Bahama Mama. I got this with Kohl's cash and am very happy with the color and the application. My nails are shorter due to a break on my thumb nail.

Yesterday I reorganized my nail polish collection by color. I know, I really don't need ANYMORE nail polish. So a new goal is to try not to buy nail polish again until at least March (my birthday month where I might get some deals or free gifts). I have approximately 185 polishes, and near 40 untried. And more coming in the mail (BAD TRACI!!!!). 

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Happiness of the day: It's Monday and I was gifted some great Earl Grey Tea this morning from Peet's courtesy of the kind copy editor in our office. It has given me the appropriate pep in my step to keep a smile in my face. 

Song of the moment: Lorde's Team. Seriously I did not know this was Lorde and was scanning the local radio playlists trying to find this song and I finally realized it was Lorde. Duh. I'm silly, but still really jamming on this song. 

Question of the day: What are your New Year's resolutions? What is the likelihood you'll keep them?