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RIP Cosmo’s, and why i’m watermarking my photos.

Last weekend was the last chance to order from Cosmo’s before they closed their doors. When Leigh and Ken announced they were closing, I immediately placed an order to help them clear out their stock (and I ordered enough to get free shipping so it wasn’t any more than I would spend at the health food store). But when they put up a code for 40% off of everything, I couldn’t resist even though I am not exactly rolling in the money.

One of the items I ordered got oversold, so Leigh emailed me and asked me what I wanted as a replacement. My reply was, “Chocolate, other jerky’s, chocolate, any non-perishable food item, chocolate, whatevs.” I got extra chocolate wrapped up like a present and a jar of Biscoff cookie spread, way more than the value of what they were replacing. This isn’t the only time that my Cosmo’s order has included a little something extra. Ken and Leigh are good people and I wish them luck in the next part of their life.

And now why i’m putting my url on my photos from now on: Pinterest and tumblr.

Actually, since this is long and not everyone will care to read that much about the subject, let me say that it is NOT because I think I take amazing pictures. I have nothing to sell, I don’t have ads on my site that I want more people to see. Since I only update about once a month i’m not even really concerned with how many people read/look at my blog. I used to think it was kind of ridiculous for non-professionals/non-artists to watermark their photos. If you still do, feel free to think i’m an asshole.

I have a Pinterest account and I think it’s great. I love having visual bookmarks of recipes, makeup ideas, gardening ideas, etc. There are some things about it that aren’t so great, like the fact that they save a hi-res copy of the pinned image. And that so many people DO NOT ATTRIBUTE/LINK BACK TO THE CORRECT SOURCE. I’m saying this as a user and not as someone who has found my images on there, I hate it when I see a pin I like and want to click through to the blog/site, and…it goes to a tumblr, or the person saved it and uploaded it themselves. Don’t do that, guys! I know when you’re re-pinning stuff you probably don’t always go and look at where the image came from, but if you are pinning something, make sure it’s from the site of the person who it belongs to, so at least people who want to follow the trail, can.

My friend Sunny has made a bunch of posts about this in the past month, if you want to read more about it.

What really gets me is tumblr. I kind of hate tumblr, but I know a lot of people who use it. My husband bought a tumblr t-shirt just to give me grief. Sometimes when I check my flickr stats, I get links from tumblr, and mostly I just make that Marge Simpson sound and move on. It bothers me that someone can post nothing of their own and get a couple dozen likes/reblogs for it, but the person who actually created the content gets jack. I’ve never turned off sharing of my photos on flickr though, until I found a referral on one of my food photos for a pro-anorexia tumblr. I absolutely do not want anyone using anything of mine to support hurting themselves, if I can help it. Can I?

But even if you have sharing disabled and your photo protection as high as it can be, someone can still use the bookmarklet function on either of these sites. The only other thing you can do is opt out of the flickr API search. But someone can still stumble across your photo and use the bookmarklet.

Now, a lot of people straight-up do not care about this stuff. That’s fine. If you don’t care, none of this matters. If you do care, you are basically screwed. There is nothing you can do except get off of the internet, because this is the way things are now. So that’s why I decided to just start putting my url in the bottom corner of my photos. Sure, someone can save my photo from one of these sites and crop it out, but considering how easy it is to repost things these days, less people are going to go through that effort. And if they do, there’s nothing I can do about that!

posted: March 27, 2012
under: elsewhere on the internet, life, pictures, products

Vegan Things I’ve Bought That I Love…

…because I will not be buying much in the near future! See previous post about Chester and his money-eating, multi-vet-trip hip. He is doing fantastic and his ability to get around on three legs is kind of scary, he just had some swollen foot issues and then his bandage needed to be re-wrapped. We’ve all gotten used to the routine of carrying/being carried up and down the stairs. We moved all of our stuff back upstairs because I was unhappy sleeping on the couch, neither of the dogs were eating right, and Chester seriously spends most of his day upstairs sleeping anyway. I’d rather carry him up and down the stairs than have all of us be miserable. Moving on!

P.S.  This wasn’t all supposed to be beauty products but I kind of went on for so long about zit cream that I decided to cap it at three things.

 

I’m sure i’ve mentioned it before, but my hormones started going apeshit a few years back and I had to start dealing with seriously itchy, oily, cystic acne (I also now cry off and on for three days before I get my period, it’s lovely).  I had acne in junior high, and the occasional zit thereafter from passing out in my makeup and such.  But cystic acne is AWFUL.  It starts with an itch.  Then the grease comes.  Then a painful bump slowly appears.  And you couldn’t even pop it if you wanted to, because it’s so deep under the skin.  There’s no turning back, no washing your face or using some zap-zit product to beat that little bastard back.  We’re talking a good week, and that’s if you manage to keep your dirty hands off of it (if so, you’re a better person than I am).  Then there’s acne scars which take weeks to fade!

At first, I would just get a single zit on my chin around period time.  I bought some face scrub from Lush, used it 1-2 times a week, and had no problems.  Then it slowly got worse, until I was using half a dozen things to try and help my skin.  Tea tree oil pads, vitamins, jojoba oil as a nighttime moisturizer, eating yogurt like it’s going out of style (and yes I drank plenty of water and all that).  That also worked for awhile, and then about two months ago I realized that despite my best efforts, it…wasn’t working.  I always had a zit.  And again, not a tiny whitehead, but a painful, deep zit that hung around forever.  I was really tired of spackling my face every morning to cover up the redness that takes forever to fade, so I gave in and bought the acne.org treatment (which is benzoyl peroxide, and vegan).  I have had exactly three zits in the last month, all regular small ones, all were from skipping cleaning or forgetting to put this gel on.

 

Even though I love this stuff and it’s only 2.5% BP, I should note that there are some possible side effects from using it, so if you want to give it a whirl and you’ve never used a BP product, order the travel size first!  The regular tube is eight ounces, which is a loooooot of product to be stuck with if it makes your skin dry or itchy.  I don’t have that problem, but your mileage may vary.  I’ve read that using BP can make your skin ‘age’ faster, but i’d rather have wrinkles than feel like clawing my face off nearly every day.

I do like to try and use as many natural, good-for-me-good-for-the-earth products as possible, and that’s why I love Pumpkin & Poppy Cosmetics.  I’ve mentioned Kristy’s youtube channel before, but this past year she started her own vegan mineral makeup company, and it’s amazing how much she’s grown in such a short amount of time.  She’s gone from just a few mineral foundations to doing themed collections with lipglosses and now eyeliners.  If you’re wary of buying homemade ‘vegan’ cosmetics (thanks, Glittersniffer), Kristy is vegan herself so she won’t be selling you pinks with carmine in them.  But I think my favorite part is that she themes her collections after movies and literature, so instead of trying to pick some random brown out of a product lineup, you can be like, “zomg, I love Labyrinth and I totally want a Bluto inspired eyeshadow!”  Her holiday collection was called Christmas In Gotham, people.  Kristy is also super friendly, interactive, and is very transparent about her ingredients and why she uses each one.

If you buy anything I suggest the Moth Wing eyeshadow, which is a really cool but work-friendly color, or her foundation sample pack so you can figure out which color works for you.  Thanks to the above zit gel, I can now get away with wearing just my mineral foundation without having to polka-dot my face with concealer.  And look at that crazy gorgeous vegan red blush up there!  Hot shit, dudes.

 

 

And finally, I give you…my nail polish collection, as it will stand for quite awhile.  After the holidays were over, Ulta and Sally’s both started clearing out the old nail polish collections to make room for the coming spring collections.  And…I went a little crazy.  And maybe doubled the size of my collection.  But i’m a bargain hunter and i’m pretty sure that all of maybe five bottles were bought full price.  Most of my Zoyas I got through some kind of promotion on their site, all of my Sinful Colors polishes were $1 at Walgreens…and most of the holiday colors I got (almost all of the China Glaze and a lot of the ORLY) were $4-2.

P.S.  I found out after my spree that while China Glaze polishes (not counting treatments and some top/base coats) are vegan and they don’t test on animals, they currently can’t confirm that their ingredient suppliers don’t test (but they’re in the process of getting that info to comply with the animal testing ban that’s coming up in the UK).  I think this is a personal comfort thing, on one hand it’s kind of like ‘no one is vegan because mice get killed by the threshers that harvest fields’, but on the other hand, it is just nail polish and not food or what have you. I don’t buy from Essie or OPI because they are owned by parent companies who definitely test, some people think that’s okay because Essie and OPI don’t test themselves.  I don’t think any of their polishes are so amazeballs that I need to buy them over 100% vegan or 95% vegan brands.  Once you get outside of food, veganism can be tricky, just do the best you can.

I tried to arrange them by color (the top is all glitters) for the people who are like, “How many colors do you need?”  ALL OF THEM, FOOLS.  But I am pretty happy with my color selection right now and it will take a long time before I get bored.

 

And here are some random close-ups of polishes that you really need to get all up in to appreciate, plus my fancy storage system:

 

 

 

 

posted: February 2, 2012
under: elsewhere on the internet, lists, pictures, products

Peace out, 2011!

So here is the funny thing about 2011. I spent the first three months in a solid depression over Bonny, sleeping about four hours a night on average. I spent most of my summer inside, watching t.v., instead of riding my bike or paying proper attention to my garden. And the panic over the holidays set in and most of fall was shot. Sounds pretty shitty, right?

But. BUT.

When I was going back looking for posts, I found a lot of good things. I got to see three of my favorite artists, I blogged about Ted Leo and The Thermals, but did I mention that I went to see Wild Flag and I washed my hands next to Carrie Brownstein? If I hadn’t just gone to the bathroom, I would’ve peed myself. When Brian and I left the show, I kept clutching my newly bought shirt to my face and smile-screaming into it.

I had lots of fun with MoFo and my theme.

I made friends with a baby squirrel.

Brian and I made donuts, something i’ve always wanted to try.

I helped raise over $500 for Ride To Light, and the frustration only made me cry once. Or twice.

I put myself on a personal budget to buy a new computer and became obsessed with nail polish
.

Fawkes. He has come so far in just a few months, from a scared dog who didn’t even want to be held or play with toys to a chewing fiend who constantly wants to be rubbed. He is also a little shit who chewed the vacuum cord, escaped the back yard TWICE this weekend, and one of those times was to the neighbors yard, and he came back without his dapper sweater that makes him more visible at night. And we still can’t find it. Speaking of dogs, after two years of blood tests, medication, and playing with his diet, Chester’s liver levels FINALLY dropped and he lost three pounds. It was nice to have a vet visit that didn’t end with me wondering if his liver was about to shut down. I love my dogs, I love my cats, I love our little family.

And lastly…Brian and I started P90X! It’s EXTREEEEEEEME!!! fitness, six days a week. We just started week three (out of 12) and it is crazy. Google ‘I hate Tony Horton’ if you want to see what we’re putting up with. But I enjoy it overall, and after being sad all year I was glad to end 2011 feeling strong, productive, and working towards a goal. I am NOT on a diet. I do not have a goal to lose x amount of pounds. My goal is to complete P90X, and that’s it. I actually couldn’t be on a diet and effectively do P90X because of all of the strength training! I am eating lots of proteiny things and green smoothies so I am eating pretty good by default, minus the upcoming pictures. I will probably go into greater detail about the hilarity that is me trying to do a pushup at another time.

Onto New Year’s eats! Now, Brian and I don’t drink. We are also lame anti-social assholes, so we just stayed home and made pizza and Dr. Pepper floats, and I actually crawled into bed 20 minutes before midnight. I was just happy that I wasn’t ringing in the new year shivering on the couch, stricken with stomach flu and sadness like I was last year.

My pizza was another take on the Amy Deluxe/Supreme, basically all I did was put it on top of a pizza crust (using Upton’s italian seitan), sprinkled with Daiya. Brian’s pizza was the rest of the Upton’s, mushrooms, and Daiya. Then before midnight, we assembled what I thought was the genius idea of Dr. Pepper floats with cherries. Don’t do this! The ice cream kills the DP flavor, making it taste like plain soda water. Also, it made me feel like shit the next day! I should’ve just drank my celebratory Dr. Pepper and called it good. Lesson learned.

For brunch on New Years day, we made biscuits and gravy, adding mashed up black eyed peas to the gravy and I put steamed kale with mine for color and vitamins and what not. And I drank a lot of water. A LOT.

And here is my mix of my favorite songs from 2011 (that came out this year, I listened to this song a few hundred times and let’s not talk about all of the Ke$ha). Also judging by this year’s album collage, almost every single band/artist I like that is still making music/not dead came out with an album this year! So next year is probably going to be a boring year for music.

posted: January 2, 2012
under: elsewhere on the internet, food, holidays, life, music, pictures

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