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Friday, December 17, 2010

Need last-minute gifts?? (Or something cute for you?)

My mom-in-law and I have recently opened up an etsy shop called juniper + clover, and we have some REALLY cute things you should check out - get something for a last-minute gift...or get something for YOU! ;) 

They're reasonably priced and all handmade. It will mostly be a wedding and baby item shop once we really get rolling, but right now, we're featuring some adorable, stylish wintry staples she has knitted and crocheted. They'll keep you warm, cozy, AND fashionable! 

We have warm and fuzzy scarves, trendy fingerless gloves, and cute purses for sale right now, and we can also take custom orders. 

If you need your order in time for Christmas, make sure to buy today (tomorrow at the absolute latest) so we can get it shipped out to you in time for the USPS' holiday deadline! (Custom orders would of course take longer, though.)

As I've mentioned before, KameraWhore and I will also be opening up our own online shop for the closet narcissist soon...we've been working steadily to make, by hand, some really great things for you!! We really wish we could have had some of our stuff listed in time for the holidays, but we're still perfecting everything to make double sure what we're bringing you is JUST RIGHT. :) It's stuff that's so cute, we can hardly bring ourselves to sell it!!

In the meantime, you can buy some lovin'-yourself-themed shirts I designed here:

I can't believe Christmas is almost here and 2010 will soon be drawing to a close!! How strange!

Hope you're all enjoying this time of year and not staying too stressed out!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Announcing the L'Bri Rejuvenating Facial Peel Winner!

Congratulations, Kylee!!

You have won the L'Bri Rejuvenating Facial Peel! I know you're going to like it.

We will get it out to you as soon as possible once we've received your mailing address.

Wow, looks like a lot of us aren't doing so great with our nightly skincare regimen! lol I think it's the common consensus that we're just too tired at the end of the day.

Thanks SO much to ALL of you for checking out our blog and entering the giveaway...we hope you'll like our blog enough to come back often! :)

I took the number of comments and retweets and used to pick our winner.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Walk this way, talk this way...

Flickr photo by Pierre Mallien

What does the way you walk say about you? Have you ever thought about it?

When I was in high school, I somehow got it in my head that I had a weird walk. haha It's funny looking back on it now, but you know how if you really hone in on something you do or don't do, suddenly you can't stop thinking about it and judging it to a ridiculous point? I felt like the way I walked was too stiff or awkward or something; I'm not even really sure why now, other than the fact that back then I assumed I was being judged on every minute detail of my being by my peers. At some point, I stopped worrying about it, though I do have different walks for different situations...more on that in a minute. But the other day, I caught my reflection as I was walking down a hallway where the opposite wall was a reflective surface, and I tried to assess how I was walking in a normal, everyday situation.

Reminds me of that episode of "Friends" where Joey and Chandler are having a conversation about how Joey walks. 
Joey: Do you think I need a new walk?
Chandler: What?
Joey: Well, I've been walking the same way since high school. You know how some people walk in a room and everybody takes notice? I think I need a "take-notice" walk!
Chandler: Are you actually saying these words?

Anyway, there have been all kinds of studies done on body language and the way you walk, and while I don't think it's all 100% accurate, I think there's definitely truth in some of it. You can even pay a coach to train you how to walk differently so that you appear more professional or confident.

I will just admit it - I tend to get super frustrated with people who walk slow. I tend to walk fast and talk fast; I like to get where I'm going, and slow people are in my way! You'd never know I was born in the South to listen to me talk or watch me walk through the mall! (You can hear how fast I talk in our first video - I don't realize how bad it is til I listen back to myself.) Some might perceive slow walkers as lazy. But maybe they are just of a different mindset that they don't need to be in such a frenzied hurry and should take time to smell the roses.  And what's so wrong with that? Nothing. And people might look at fast walkers in a negative light as well. But the point is, people do tend to get an impression of you based on the way you walk and carry yourself, whether their impression is right or wrong. Joey's right that some people carry themselves in such a way that commands more attention.

If, internally, you aren't as confident as you'd like to be, if you tweak the way you carry yourself when walking around and externally seem more confident, it could very well end up increasing your confidence level. You've probably heard people say that if you fake smile, eventually you'll feel happier, and this is the same concept. If you walk with your shoulders straight, your head up with your eyes looking around  (rather than at the ground or fixed stubbornly on your destination point and without frantically darting, which exudes insecurity), and go at a natural pace, you will appear more confident and therefore more approachable. Once it becomes second nature to you after a while, you may just find that you actually FEEL more confident and in line with the way you are presenting yourself to others. If you allow yourself to believe anything for long enough, it will become your reality. 

I always make sure to keep my shoulders straight and my head up when I walk. I think that part has always come pretty naturally to me; part of it is confidence, and part is just wanting to be very aware of my surroundings, and plus, I like to smile at people I pass because it's just something I believe in. When I don't want to be bothered, I'll consciously walk faster with my eyes fixed ahead and make a beeline. When I'm walking in the dark alone, I constantly look all around me (yet without darting) to present myself as being aware and not vulnerable. I don't know if I'll ever master the sexy walk, though! 

So just something to think about if you want to appear (and become) more confident...but don't obsess over it like I used to! ;)

Friday, December 3, 2010

One girl's guide to loving her "imperfections."

Along the lines of yesterday's post about being a Body Image Warrior, I wanted to share with you this great video by Caty. She found us on our new YouTube channel (due to our ONE and only mega-hit makeup tutorial, heeheehee), and my eyes were immediately drawn to the title of this video when I looked up her channel. 

If you've ever hated even just one part of your face/body/hair/whatever, and who of us hasn't, you really should take a look at this. She has a really interesting perspective. You might start to view those things in a new light. :)

Just for conversation's sake, since Barbie is mentioned in the video (and I'm not trying to be argumentative towards the video at ALL - just stating my own experience), it was never my dolls that made me try to live up to an impossible standard; for me, it was models in magazines, as I've talked about before. Actually, it was Niki and Krissy Taylor on the cover of Seventeen, if you want me to be specific. lol I was endlessly tormented over not looking like them. Oh, yeah, and Cindy Crawford's workout video. I was not a size 6 in high school, and every time she mentioned her size 6 jeans in that video, I felt fat, despite the fact that she was saying it wasn't a big deal not to be a size 6. Nowadays, I'm secure enough in myself (okay, MOST of the time) where I can look at models with appreciation rather than comparing myself, because I got older and started learning to appreciate me just for being me, but it wasn't always that way during those awful, sensitive pre-teen and teen years. Anyway, to me, Barbie was just a doll, not an ideal, and she taught me to hone my creativity by making up stories with characters, plots, and conflict resolution, as well as decorating, sewing, and improvising since I didn't have a "real" Barbie house and furniture. Some of my happiest childhood memories are of holing myself up in my room to play. 

Anyway, I guess maybe what I'm trying to say is that while I can definitely see why Barbie can easily be criticized, I think it's important to teach kids that she's JUST a doll and that magazines are JUST magazines. Appreciate them for what they are without internalizing it into your self-esteem. Easier said than done, but that's the goal. It's a weird, fine line, I think, between taking personal responsibility for how you feel about yourself and whether society has a moral obligation not to impose its standards onto you. On the one hand, I don't think society should impose beauty standards on us, yet I don't think it's completely unavoidable either, and I don't think Barbies should be banned either because I don't see them as inherently bad. It's all in how you perceive them, I think. I can feel myself beginning to ramble, so I will leave it at this. haha

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Be a Body Image Warrior!

I must be honest and admit that at times, it is hard for me to read other blogs regularly...I have a normal job that can make me sick of looking at a computer screen, a husband, six pets, co-run the closet narcissist, and a multitude of other things that keep me insanely busy...but if we follow your blog, we DO eventually read!! :) I LOVE reading other blogs and wish I had more time to do it regularly. I usually find myself going through several at a time when I'm not as busy so I can catch up since I can't always do it daily.

Anyway, one of the blogs I read is Bright Side Dweller (great outfits-of-the-day by Chelsea, with an underlying theme of loving your body, so right up our alley!!), and today as I was catching up, I found a post of hers that I wanted to share. Her post links over to another blog, Medicinal Marzipan, that I hadn't heard of before, thereby introducing me. It operates under the same philosophy of having a more positive body image in the face of a very critical culture. YES!!!

Here is an excerpt from Bright Side's post:

Maintaining healthy and positive body image is a passion of mine. The world is full of so many messages meant to make us obsess, detest, and reject our bodies. Instead of letting society, the world, the media, etc. dictate how I feel about me, I choose to fight against these influences and fall in love with my body and encourage you to join me. While striving to embrace, love and accept yourself is an ongoing battle, I am a body image warrior and will not give up, even if sometimes I give in to the negativity.

Once you've read her open and honest post, which I'm sure you will relate to, head on over to read the Body Image Warrior post she's linking to on Medicinal Marzipan. 

We have now added the Body Image Warrior badge above as a fixture on our sidebar, as you have probably figured out by now that this is something we very strongly believe in and promote! It's why we're here (though we also like to just have fun sometimes).

Be a Body Image Warrior for yourself...tape the picture to the mirror and be reminded as you're getting ready each day. For years, I have had a little sign taped to my own mirror (I think I have mentioned it before) that has these lyrics from a song by Joy Drop: "I am not beautiful like you; I am beautiful like me." Oh, and while we're on songs, "We" by my fave singer Joy Williams is another good 'un for you along these lines.

I think you will find both of the blogs encouraging and inspirational!

Happy reading, and happy loving yo' fine self!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

L'Bri Skincare Review & *Giveaway!* (worth $35.50)

As a part of the Business2Blogger network, I was asked to review a skincare line called L'Bri (pronounced luh-bry, not luh-bree) and write a blog post about it. I had never heard of the line before, but I am always up for trying new products, especially when it's free! ;) To preface, I have not been compensated for writing this review other than just receiving the free products, and I wouldn't say anything in a review that I didn't really feel! I should've reviewed them sooner, but they were patient with me when I explained that I was distracted with wedding plans and the honeymoon, and I wanted to use them for a while before reviewing them.

I was surprised at the amount of items they sent me - I felt like I'd hit the jackpot!! I received two cleansers (Deep Pore and Gentle), Gentle Moisture Lotion, Facial Masque, Rejuvenating Facial Peel, Smooth 'n Firm Eye Repair Gel, and Gentle Freshener spray.

I was first impressed with the ingredients in the products before I even tried them. I am no ingredients expert by any means. But I have always been one to read them and try to learn what they are for the most part. I always prefer natural and organic products when they perform as well as their "chemicalized" counterparts, so I was really excited to try these. The main ingredient in all of their products is aloe vera gel. Can't go wrong with that, right?! When I checked out their web site later, I saw that one of the things they promote the most is reading the labels on your skincare products. I try not to be paranoid about it - but watchful. Also, they do not test on animals, which is obviously very important to me.

My first question was whether or not the Deep Pore Cleanser ($15) would remove all my makeup, especially since it's not a foaming cleanser like I'm used to. It's hard to fathom, for me, that a non-foaming cleanser could do just as well for some reason. But it really does remove all my makeup. If I'm wearing heavier eye makeup, I might have to go over that area again, but really, that's par for the course with most cleansers for me (I wear several coats of mascara), and it only takes a small amount. Since it's not foaming, it's also not drying, which is a big plus in the colder months for my combo skin. The Gentle Cleansing Lotion ($15) also does a good job of removing makeup. I think I prefer the other one because this one doesn't feel like it rinses quite as clean...but that's probably because it's leaving a moisturizer behind, which isn't a bad thing. 

When I read the instructions on the back of the Rejuvenating Facial Peel ($35.50), I couldn't wait to try it. It sounds kinda gross, but you put on the orange gel (which has aloe, of course, and fruit extracts - smells citrus-y and nice), let it sit for 30 seconds, and then start rubbing gently - and you can literally see and feel the dead skin sloughing off! You're basically exfoliating your skin with your own skin - yeah, I know, gross, but you have to try it! My skin feels so soft and smooth after using it, and my pores look smaller afterward too. Even though it's a peel, it's not harsh or irritating to your skin. It's a peel that doesn't "feel" like a peel. 

I also really like the moisturizer, Gentle Moisture Lotion ($22). It's very light and satiny-feeling but does the job well. You are supposed to wet your hands and then apply the moisturizer; I also like to do a light spritzing of the Gentle Freshener spray ($15) and follow with the moisturizer. It's very refreshing (pun intended) to find a moisturizer that isn't full of long names of ingredients you can't pronounce and that actually works really well without feeling greasy. It feels clean and fresh. It's also supposed to reduce fine lines, which I'm glad about. I had been using Olay's Anti-Aging with good results, but it's full of chemicals I don't recognize. I feel better sleeping with this on since skin repairs itself while you sleep. I haven't tried it yet, but they DO offer a moisturizer with SPF as well, which is super important.

The Smooth 'n Firm Eye Repair Gel ($28) feels really nice when you put it on after waking up in the morning. It's also not drying, which many eye gels are for me. There is so much product in the jar that you are really getting a lot for your money since you only use a bit at a time. I really love keeping it in the fridge and applying it cold! It gets super cold in the fridge and is like an icy blast of "awakeness" when you're feeling tired, and it does reduce puffiness. It feels good at room temp too. It's a very soothing green gel with aloe, cucumber, and herbal extracts. I hope over time it will lessen my laugh lines!

The Facial Masque ($26.50) makes your skin feel softer and seems to minimize pores. It REALLY holds your skin tight when it dries! It almost feels like you've grown a second, leathery skin once it hardens, and you almost can't move your face...I kept having to keep myself from laughing because I looked kinda funny but couldn't move my face enough to laugh. But it easily rinses clean and feels nice afterward. The only thing I'd change about it is the bottle pull it upward to dispense the product, so it leaves some on the top of the lid that you have to wipe off. I'd prefer it with a top like the cleansers and moisturizer. I do like the formula, though. It's not drying.

I do think I would buy at least some of these products once I run out. I feel like the ingredients are safer and that they are just as effective as what I'd been using, so that's a win-win. Some of the prices are a little more than I would normally pay but not necessarily unreasonable, considering they do last a while and are effective. I like that they're not saying you have to do a 25-step skincare routine every day; who has time for that?! 

You can't walk into a store and buy these; it's similar to Mary Kay or Avon where you have an independent consultant to buy from (I'm not a consultant). That is sort of a drawback to me. I'd love to just pick them up at the store when I run out of something or order online directly from their web site. I just don't like when consultants constantly pester me to buy more, but that's not to say L'Bri consultants do so; I have no experience with them yet. You can also request free mini samples of their products here! Just pay $6.95 S&H.

If you want to buy just one of these products to start out with, I'd make it the Rejuvenating Facial Peel ($35.50). It's different from anything else I've tried. Or you may get your chance for free!!

We are giving away one full-size, unopened jar of L'Bri's Rejuvenating Facial Peel!
Just leave a comment letting us know whether or not you ALWAYS wash your face before bed (I'm not even gonna lie - I don't always), and we'll randomly pick one winner!
You can also double your chances of winning by re-tweeting my tweet about this giveaway! ( 
Contest ends Wed., Dec. 8, 2010, at midnight Eastern time.

Don't forget, you can also request free mini samples of their products here! Just pay $6.95 S&H.