Saturday, August 29, 2015

I'm back!

Hello, everyone! I'm finally back! It's been a crazy six months (I can't believe it's been that long!), and I've decided that I really need to get back into blogging! Here are some updates of things that have happened since I last posted:

In regard to our living situation: We still live in our warehouse apartment. The intro video went viral overnight, thanks to Will's many subscribers and other people who thought the issue was worth sharing. Since then, we've received a lot of backlash from the management company and other tenants of the building who think we don't belong in this type of place and that we are trying to gentrify the building. The management company who had been here for over four years left in March, and a new company took over. They kept the onsite manager, who continued to fail to do his job. We had to seek out a restraining order over one of the tenants who kept harassing us; he has since left the building. Now, the new management company has hired a different onsite manager, so there's hope. We aren't sure how much longer we'll be here, and that has been a constant stress over the last six months.

In other, more positive news, I graduated from college in May! I'm the first person in my family to have gone to college, and it was an extremely proud moment for them and me. It was (and continues to be) extremely emotional to leave the place I'd spent most of my time over that last four years. This month was particularly hard since it's back to school season. I went to Target and they had all the school supplies out and I got so sad that I didn't need to worry about preparing for the school year.

Right before graduation, I interviewed with a company that manufactures foods and cosmetics for a job in quality control. I got that job, and started one week after graduation. It was awesome to have somewhere to go immediately after graduating, so I didn't feel so, "What do I do now?" The job basically involved me testing raw materials and products to see if they passed basic identification tests, such as moisture, density, color, etc.

After being there for about a month, a position opened up the analytical lab, and they offered it to me. Now I do a lot more wet chemistry to test the same products as I was before. I do a lot of titrations, ICP, HPLC, and GC. It's great to be actually using what I learned in school for something!

What I'm doing now: The last few months have been particularly hard in terms of adjusting to working full-time. I know that it might sound weird, since everyone does it and it seems like something at should be easy, but it's been really hard knowing what to do with the limited free time that I have. For the past four years, I haven't really had to worry about what to fill my time with. My time would either be spent working on school stuff, or procrastinating by doing something that would waste a lot of time. Now, I have such a small amount of free time it's hard to know what to do. I think I've finally found a balance of when I need to be doing productive things, like laundry and basic cleaning. But it's still hard to know what I should be doing to have fun. I don't really have a hobby... I don't play an instrument or sport or really have any activity that I truly love. I watch a lot of TV, but that usually makes me feel pretty guilty since I'm not doing anything for long periods of time.

So, in order to find something that makes me happy and that I can consider a hobby, I've decided to try different things to see what works. Recently, I've started doing yoga every day. In the past I've found that trying to exert myself through running every day was too difficult to keep up with. With yoga, I can decide to either only do it for 15 minutes if I don't feel I have enough time, or I can go for an hour. It's been great to finally keep up with something.

This is also why I've decided to get back into blogging. I really enjoyed posting recipes and reviews in the past, and even though my living situation has been pretty crazy, I need to stop making excuses about why I can't do things and just do them.

So stay tuned for more recipes, reviews, and general updates! Hopefully there will be a lot more of them soon!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Reasons I haven't been posting!!!

So, it's pretty clear that I haven't posted in ages. This is largely due to the fact that my boyfriend and I have been dealing with our terrible manager, management company, and neighbors. Over the last few months we've been working on a way to get our story out there. This video series is that story. Please, if you have the time, share these videos with as many people as possible.

Moving in:
Property tour: 
Missing rent checks: 
The landfill:
Electric bill fraud:
Leaking roof: 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sorry I haven't been posting... and I edited my first video!

I am so sorry I haven't posted in forever... I am a terrible person. But I started senior year, and am much busier than I had anticipated, so this has kind of been moved to the back burner... But I thought that I would mention here that I edited my first video over the summer, and Will decided to post it on his YouTube channel. Originally I had planned to get a few videos done over the summer and hopefully continue filming and editing throughout the semester, but busy-ness happened and I wasn't able to. But, as he mentions in the video, we didn't want this video to go to waste, so he did a few final touches on it and posted it. I know it's super rough but I'm really proud of it. I had never done anything like video editing before, so I think it turned out pretty well! Let me know what you think, and hopefully I'll be able to get back to posting some baking/cooking/review posts soon.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

St. Ives Scrub Reviews

Hey everyone! So awhile back Target was having a sale on St. Ives scrubs where if you bought three you got a five dollar gift card or something like that, so I thought, for the sake of the blog, why not get all of them and see which one is best? 

 So this is the whole line of face scrubs so far. The apricot, green tea, and oatmeal have been around for awhile, but the pink lemon and orange is pretty new. 
 All of the scrubs have this image on them, which tells you how scrubby/exfoliating they are. 
 First: The oatmeal. This scrub is "gentle", meaning it won't leave your skin feeling like you washed it with sandpaper. Immediately after using this scrub your skin will feel noticeably softer, which is what it claims to do, so good job them. I don't really have a problem with dryness, so I'm not sure if it works very well in that department. 
In terms of acne, I wouldn't use this scrub as a daily exfoliator. I used this every day for about three weeks and I noticed more acne than usual. However, this does help with acne if you use it as a mask. Once a week I will wash my face, then put this on and leave it for about half an hour (the instructions say 5 minutes). This gives it time to dry. I've found that even if this doesn't completely get rid of acne, it helps to bring pimples to the surface so they can either be popped (I know you're not supposed to but I'm gonna do it anyway) or go away faster. 
I would put this scrub in 3rd place.
 Next is the apricot scrub. This is labeled as "deep" on their scale. To me this just meant that there were larger pieces of exfoliant in the scrub. I didn't notice that my skin felt a bit more exfoliated than it did with the oatmeal, but it wasn't too rough after one use. However, if you are going to use this more than once a day, your skin might get a bit irritated (or if you have sensitive skin once a day might be too much). I didn't really notice anything good happen while using this scrub. I didn't even notice "softer skin," which is what they claim this helps with. My acne got worse, and to me the smell is a bit strong. I have since started using it as a body exfoliant about once a week, but I don't like to use it for my face. 
4th place.  
 The green tea is placed in "moderate" on their chart. The scrubby bits are much smaller than the ones in the apricot and oatmeal, but I feel like they do a better job of exfoliating. While using this I definitely saw improvement in my acne (which is probably due to the salicylic acid, something I use very regularly), and while I haven't really noticed huge improvement in the blackhead department, I have noticed that if you leave this on for a few minutes while in the shower (or if you're just washing your face) it really helps with redness. I have continued to use this since trying it and now it's part of my daily routine. 
1st place! 
The pink lemon and mandarin orange is the newest addition to the scrub line. It's also placed in the "moderate" category. The exfoliators feel a bit bigger than the ones in the green tea, but nowhere near as large as the ones in the apricot. I really enjoy the smell of this one, because it's noticeable but not too strong like the apricot. I do think that this makes your skin appear brighter after using it, and I haven't gotten any breakouts while using it. Another aspect I really like about this scrub is that it's a bit creamier than the others, and when you combine it with water it kind of lathers a bit. You won't get any noticeable foam, but it feels more like a foaming cleanser. I have also added this one to my routine.
2nd place

A few months after I got these scrubs, St. Ives started selling their apricot scrub with salicylic acid. I probably won't try it since I didn't particularly like the scent or the scrub, but I'm assuming it'll work much better! 

I hope you found these reviews useful. If you have any comments, or any thoughts about these products or other products I should try, go ahead and leave a comment below! 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Instant Pumpkin Spice?!

I, like many other people, am crazy for the Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL). I was there the first day they started making them again (August 26th at my local Starbucks), and if I could I would probably have one every day... Since I don't go to Starbucks every day (and since I definitely can't afford to go every day...) I decided I would try the Starbucks Via Pumpkin Spice Latte. I've never tried a Via before, because I usually just make my own latte, but I can't make a PSL at home, so I was really excited about these. 

 Look at the Fall-ness! Can't you feel the Fall??
 Only 120 calories per serving... much less than the 300 calories for a tall with 2% (probably means it's not as good...) 
 Only 4 per package... 
 Looks questionable... 
 Here I added the recommended 8oz... which is clearly not enough. The smell is kind of gross, much like the other instant lattes you can get at the grocery store. 
I added more so it looked more acceptable. It smells icky, it tastes pretty gross, and I don't even get a hint of pumpkin flavor. It just tastes exactly like the other instant lattes you can buy at the store, which means it's not good and not worth the money. I wish I still worked at Starbucks and could get discount PSLs... *sigh*

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Clarisonic vs. Olay ProX

Hey everyone! So you may remember quite awhile ago when I got the Olay ProX cleanser. This is what I decided to use instead of forking out a lot of money to buy a Clarisonic. I happened to get this for free because my mom bought it in the clearance section of Safeway. 

 50% off, yes! 
 It came with its own cleanser, which I didn't use. 
 And then my mom decided it would be nice to get me the Clarisonic Mia2 as a gift. I did an unboxing, and told you I would do a comparison at some point... That point is now... 

 Right off the bat you can see some differences. The Clarisonic is much bigger than the ProX. Not just in the size of the body, but the brush itself covers a much larger surface area. 

After using the Olay ProX for the first time, I was impressed. I had never used an electronic cleanser before, so I was pleased with how well it cleaned my face compared to just using face wash alone. The ProX has two speeds, but the first one was much too slow, so I would always use the faster speed. Even then though, it doesn't have very much power and if you push into your face you can tell the motor is struggling. In contrast, I have never changed the speed of my Clarisonic. I just turn it on and go.

A nice aspect of the Clarisonic is that it's rechargeable. The ProX came with a AA battery, which I had to replace after a month of use. The Clarisonic charges for 24 hours initially, and then they claim that that charge lasts for a month. In my experience it lasted about two months, and then I felt I should recharge it just to be safe because I was going out of town. But it had no signs of dying.

Another aspect of the Clarisonic that's better than the ProX is that the Clarisonic has a timer. Once you turn it on, it vibrates at 20 and 10 second intervals (which you're supposed to use to know when it's time to clean different areas of your face), and then turns off after one minute. This is nice because it helps you to focus on different areas, and also reminds you not to overdo it.

The biggest difference between the two is the way in which they work. The ProX spins the entire brush in a circle. When I first got this, I just assumed that that was what the Clarisonic did as well, but no. The Clarisonic just sort of pulses. You can choose to move it in a circular pattern on your face, which I do, but it doesn't move the entire brush like that. Instead the brush just sort of vibrates. I think that this works much better than the ProX, and it might be the reason that I've seen better results using the Clarisonic than I did with the ProX.

The only upside to the ProX is that it's super cheap in comparison. You can buy one for about $20 at your local drugstore, whereas the Clarisonic is closer to $150. I would recommend getting the ProX only to someone who wasn't sure about making the purchase, or to someone who wasn't sure that an electronic cleanser would work for them. If you think for sure you'll use it, I would absolutely recommend the Clarisonic over the ProX. I've seen much better results using it, and it just seems to be much better quality (which it should be for the price!).

Finally, because the Clarisonic is so popular, they have a lot of accessories available. For example, they have a wide variety of brush heads that you can buy (you're supposed to change the brush every 3 months, so I'll be buying a new one soon). These include special brushes for acne, deep cleansing, and sensitive skin. They also have brush heads for your body, and they've started selling a whole system just for your feet. You can buy the brush heads just for the feet, but I'm not 100% sure that they fit with any Clarisonic system.

If you've found this helpful, or have any thoughts about my review or the products themselves, go ahead and leave a comment! Thanks for reading!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Senior Year!

Well, it's that time again. School starts this week... goodbye Summer, I don't know where you went, but I'm so sad that you're gone. This semester should be pretty stressful and terrible, and I just want it to be Christmas already!!! I'm overloading since I had a change of mind of what I want to do as a career, so I'll be in five classes. On top of that I'm doing research with one of my professors, since I didn't get a position with all those applications I filled out (I'm guessing they got lost... cause why would someone not hire someone with no experience??)... and this is the semester that I have to write my thesis. I don't really have a good idea of what I'm gonna do that on, and I need to pick a topic by next week. Also I need to focus on my application for grad school... so... stress and business. I'll start regularly posting again next week (hopefully).

In other news, my sister moved in to her dorm this week. It was weird seeing all the freshwomen moving in and gave me lots of feels about this being my last year in college. I hope that she focuses and adjusts well to college life... but last time I checked she still hadn't been to the dining hall, so I'm pretty sure she's just gonna starve in her room... which she might do anyway after seeing the food options...