Goodbye, 2012. Welcome, 2013.

(Originally posted at http://www.definingmia.blogspot.com)

In the past year I've been all over the place.  Moving, starting new jobs, meeting new people and saying goodbye to others... it's the beginning of a new year, and I think I'm finally in the process of settling down.

I learned a lot in 2012.  I made a lot of big decisions, without the amount of thought necessary to back them up.  I also learned, the hard way of course, which of the people in my life were worth my time and which one's weren't.  There was heartbreak and lots of tears, anger, and regret.

(I drove across this bridge, 5 miles.  That's pretty good for someone who is afraid of water.)

I'm still a pretty big believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason.  All of these things that happened this year really proved this to me.  If you had asked me a year ago, I would've said that picking up everything, quitting my job, and moving out of state would be the last thing I would do anytime soon.  However, just a few months later I was searching for jobs and any way out I could possibly take.  Little did I know I'd be moving back home again a few months later.  It seemed like I'd set up one home, just to box it up and move to another.

This past year I visited parts of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and Maryland for the first time.  I made 2 trips from Michigan, to Maryland and back to interview within two weeks, and even went back to work the next day after driving through rain one way and snow the other.

My first speeding ticket was this spring, in the middle of nowhere on the turnpike in Ohio (ouch).  I made new friends, and realized how great it was to have a fresh start in a place where no one knows who you are.  I was alone out there, but I made it work, and in the end I had a blast.

I saw one of my favorite bands that I've been listening to for years in Philly, and one of my favorite singers in Ocean City, NJ.  I took my camera for a walk in New York City.

I saw the ocean for the first time (that I can remember), and a HUGE slimy slug.  Maryland has a lot of weird bugs.

I found an obsession with red lipstick and cut my hair short, on a whim, right after stepping out of the shower. I wore a 24-hour heart monitor for the first time.

I found out that organic ice cream, "Pluots" (a mix between a plum and an apricot), pudding made from bananas and avocados, and crab are all delicious.

I celebrated two years with my unlucky Cobalt in October.  I adopted Skittles, a Maltese Pekingese, and I lost my kitty cat, Phoebe to a disease.

I fell in love the quickest I ever have in my life with a little kitten a friend found in his neighborhood, and later that day took her to be put to sleep.

I caught up with old friends and made new memories, and took my first trip to a real "Up North"


The chance I took in 2012 to experience a clean slate and a variety of new experiences and lessons sounded like the perfect way to start a new life, but instead, being so far away, and coming back again, made me realize how much I appreciated what I had back at home all along.

Last year was full of excitement and changes.  After surprising myself as much as I did in 2012, I can't wait to see where I'll be even six months from now.

So welcome, 2013.  Glad to have you.



New Blog

I made more of a personal blog, linked below.  Follow me!



My Favorites

Looking at my earlier post, my favorites have changed a bit... they usually do that with the seasons. :)

My Favorites Right Now:

Everyday Make Up
Loreal Paris MagicSmooth Souffle in Sun Beige (503)
Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette
Mark Hook Up Black Liquid Eyeliner
Rimmel Black Pencil Eyeliner
Hoola by Benefit
Rimmel Volume Accelerator Mascara in Black
Maybelline Baby Lips (the pink and blue one)
Tea Time Sublime Ballmania Lip Balm (for tanning, SPF 20)
The Loreal Paris Foundation made my skin less oily, so dropped the ELF sheets

Designer Skin's Black Noir, Obsidian, and Luminary
California Tan Cypher Face (LOVE the bottle)
Gold Bond Ultimate Healing Concentrated Therapy (hand cream... best ever)

Any Dove shower gel
Aphogee Moisturizing Shampoo
Aphogee 2 Minute Reconstructor
Diamond Shine Volumizing Conditioner
St. Ives Apricot Scrub

After Shower
Age Beautiful Leave-in Serum by Zoto's

Hair Dye
Age Beautiful in Dark Brown by Zoto's
This turns out a very nice shade of black, fades merely a smidge...
...compared to Ion, which was Fade City.
Brilliant shine, awesome conditioning power, very vibrant.
Love it.

Sally Beauty
Love Culture
TJ Maxx
Charlotte Russe
Barnes & Noble
Bath & Body Works
Bed Bath & Beyond

Hungry Howie's :|
On The Border
Red Ox
Jimmy John's
I really just like home-cooked meals to be honest...!

Skinny jeans (LOVE my white ones)
Sweaters & cardigans
Both flat & heeled boots
Chunky heels
Jean Jackets
Dark Denim
Moccasins & Ugg Boots
Pencil Skirts & Blouses
Opaque, patterned, or lacey stockings
Peacoats & Scarves
Touchscreen Gloves!

Winter Activities
Christmas... decorating, shopping, baking, family...
Christmas Lights (Downtown Rochester!)
New Years shopping (sequined dresses!)
Staying warm

Television Shows
Grey's Anatomy
Vampire Diaries
Lifetime :]

These haven't changed much...
...the new Twilight wasn't so good, what a surprise.

Genre - Chillwave
Polish Girl - Neon Indian
A Walk - Tycho
The Twelves
Synth, synth... and more synth.
Romanian Techno...Edward Maya and Inna
My classic favorites... 311, Pink Floyd

Red-Orange and Mauve
Jewel Tones
Hot pink, Dark Turquoise
Neutrals, earthy colors
Anything Crocheted
Pinstriped pants for the office
Tone-on-Tone patterns

I didn't realize this wasn't added before but...

Health and Nutrition Articles
Automotive News!

And of course, my white iPhone 4S and it's cute pink Skull Candy case.



My Favorite Vitamin Right Now

Hi guys!

I never write for this blog anymore!... I always promise I'm going to, but I always get busy!  Instead of getting busy writing on the internet, I'm usually getting stuck reading...and reading... AND READING.  But regardless... here is some killer information I've stumbled upon while trying to find the right supplements to ease my problems with blood sugar and immune support.  Right now I'm taking 11 supplements in the morning, 11 in the afternoon, and 7 at night, all for different things.  Out of all of them, one of my favorites right now that I've been researching is MSM.

MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane) is found in the cells of all living things and is very essential to the health of the human body.  It is known to shorten healing time and support healthy cells, cartilage and collagen for healthy joints and strong, fast-growing hair, skin, and nails.  This means great anti-aging benefits for the skin and body.  It also works with other vitamins, especially vitamin C, by improving their absorption and increasing their effects.  MSM has shown to improve asthma symptoms and also relieve or eliminate different kinds of allergies and allergy symptoms.  Before taking the supplement, I read about the different benefits online, both from articles and from user reviews. 

I've heard differing opinions about the correct dosage, but most sources of information on MSM will tell you to start low, and slowly build up the dosage every week or two weeks (depending on the increment).  I started myself at 2,000mg a day (capsule form, one in the morning, one in the afternoon both on an empty stomach) and am now increasing to 3,000mg a day, 4,000, and so on.  My main focus on using MSM was my TMJD (arthritic) discomfort and cracking/popping in my jaw.  After the first couple doses I already noticed an improvement in the fluidity.  Any dull aches have disappeared, but the sharp pains (although less frequent) and cracking are still there.  I have read, however, that a minimum dose of 8,000mg a day is needed to see dramatic improvement in arthritis symptoms... which I'm slowly working myself up to.

Although I'm waiting for the jaw problem to subside (or completely disappear!) I have noticed a few other benefits that I wasn't expecting as much... or at least not so early on!

Hair, Skin and Nails:  My skin looks great.  I did take a hair, skin, and nails vitamin (B complex and Biotin) for a while a couple years ago, which gave my skin an amazing glow, but it took MONTHS to achieve.  With MSM, I started noticing it on day two, and it's been getting better ever since.  The area I'm noticing the improvement the most is around my eyes; my complexion looks less translucent and the area overall looks a lot healthier.  It's been only just short of a month, so I haven't seen much with my hair/nails yet, but seeing what MSM did with my skin -- I can't wait to see what it does with the rest.

Sleep and Mood:  Out of all of the supplements I've taken so far, the only two I've seen to greatly improve my sleep and mood are MSM and Magnesium.  With both of these, I've noticed I get to sleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and feel very well-rested in the morning (sound like a sleeping pill commercial?!). I started taking Magnesium after finding out that a lot of the symptoms I have had over the past several months were appearing to be VERY similar to that of a Magnesium deficiency (irritability, poor memory and concentration, anxiety, dizziness, etc.).  Sure enough, once I started taking 800mg a day, almost immediately I felt better.  But, over a couple weeks, the benefits stayed, but my blood pressure tanked.  Usually at a textbook 120/80, I was at a 98/76... when I was feeling NERVOUS!  I dropped down to 200mg a day, and the blood pressure problem stopped, but the benefits also subsided a bit.  Starting MSM, I've noticed an increase again in the stress relief and mood improvement.  Like with Magnesium, as I increase my dosage, I feel calmer everyday.. but without the low blood pressure.  I've also noticed more mental clarity and more ability to focus.  In any situation where I would normally get nervous and feel overworked, I feel calm and focused.

Muscles and Exercising:  Possibly the most exciting benefit I've noticed, since I love to overwork myself when working out (especially with stretching and yoga)... muscle soreness in the morning after a vigorous workout is GREATLY reduced, if not completely eliminated.  After a whole night of dancing, which usually kicks my ass, not only are my muscles not sore in the morning, but I don't find myself nearly as exhausted by the end of the night.  I almost feel like the Energizer Bunny...

Word to the Wise: Obviously before taking any supplement, do the research and/or talk to your doctor.  For example, I almost bought a bottle of glucosamine for joint support from Vitamin Shoppe the other day, convinced it would help more than anything -- and I was ready to start taking it that night.  Thankfully I didn't, because glucosamine is nothing but TROUBLE for people constantly having issues with too much insulin and low blood sugar.  So, do the reading first!

But on a better note, vitamins are absolutely essential to the health of the human body and mind.  I've done quite a bit of research in my spare time (which I'll try to pull together to share soon!), and I'm convinced that most of the health issues we see regularly can be fixed by looking at the levels of vitamins and minerals in our bodies.  Different supplements have been shown to cure and treat some of the nastiest of diseases like diabetes, depression and anxiety, and IBS... without of the nasty side effects of prescription drugs that are so easily given away by doctors. 

Maybe it's just me, but I think nutrition is absolutely amazing.



Charmed Boutique - 15% OFF!

Hi Guys - it's been a long while!

I just recently opened an online shop on Storenvy.com.  I am selling charms, earrings, pendants, necklaces and bracelets. 

Visit Charmed Boutique today by clicking here, and recieve 15% off with the coupon code CHARMED15

Also, please like the Charmed Boutique Facebook page!


My Favorites

Good Afternoon!

I've been thinking a lot lately about how my favorite products (shampoos, cosmetics, etc.) seem to change quite frequently.  I often find myself buying something like a tube of lipgloss, loving it so much and going back to the store to get another bottle *just in case I run out*... only to find that before I even run out of the first tube I've found a new favorite!  Has this ever happened to anyone before?  Now that I look at some of the duplicates in my makeup collection I realize how much it adds up! :)

My favorites right now:

Everyday Make Up
Maybelline Super Stay Foundation - Classic Beige
Coastal Scents 88 Warm Palette
Mark Hook Up Black Liquid Eyeliner
Rimmel Black Pencil Eyeliner
Loreal Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
Physicians Formula Magic Mosaic Light Bronzer
Burt's Bees Original Lip Balm (I lose these all the time!)
Own Nightime Lip Therapy
Own Plump Hydration Lip Therapy - Chili Pepper, True Mint
ELF Blotting Sheets

Tanning -Designer Skin's Smile You're Darker
Hand/Body - Aveeno Daily Moisturizing Lotion
Face - Neutrogena Oil Free Moisture for Combination Skin

Clean & Clear Berry Morning Burst Splash Shower Gel
Diamond Shine Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner
PanOxyl Face Wash
$1 Pink Scrubbie!

After Shower
Diamond Shine Illuminating Smoother
Sally's generic form of CHI Silk Infusion

Hair Dye
Ion Creme Darkest Brown (Sally's)

Sally Beauty
Forever 21
Love Culture
Manic Shoes
Charlotte Russe
TJ Maxx
Barnes & Noble

Noodle's & Co.
Breakaway Deli
On The Border!

Skinny Jeans
Denim Shorts
Basic Tanks
Colorful Cardigans
Flip Flops
Jean Jackets
Dark Denim
Colorful Crocheted Vests
Pencil Skirts

Summer Activities
Bike Rides, Walks, Bonfires
Outdoor Malls
Fishing, Swimming
Photography Trips

Television Shows
Grey's Anatomy
Gossip Girl
Vampire Diaries

Flash Dance
The Breakfast Club
Donnie Darko
Sweet Sixteen
Confessions of a Shopaholic

Last Friday Night - Katy Perry
Britney Spears
Strobe - Deadmau5
Hot - Inna
Hotel California - The Eagles
Stereo Love - Edward Maya
Pink Floyd, 311

Coral Pinks and Aqua Blues
Neutrals, Earth Tones
Wide Stripes
Polka Dot

And of course... favorite season: SUMMER.  I'm sure I'll be adding more to this list later today.  What are your favorites?


Lip Gloss Love Affair Giveaway!

Hi Guys!

Right now, Lipgloss Love Affair is hosting a giveaway called "The Super Kawaii Giveaway"!

Enter here.

Good luck!! :)

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