Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A New BzzCampaign Review - L'Oreal Double Extend Mascara

So, as most everyone knows, I'm a makeup junky. Anything that adds color, volume to my eyelashes, or "allure" to my face is something that I'm all about! So, when I got the offer to join a product review campaign for a new mascara product, it took less than 2 minutes for me to sign on as a participant!

L'Oreal has a new product, called Lash Boosting Technology. It's a two part effort - in the day time you use a base booster and mascara combo to make lashes look thicker and longer. And, at night, you use a lash boosting serum to help create thicker, fuller lashes. The claim: In as little as 4 weeks, you should begin to see thicker, fuller, stronger lashes, with less lash fall out when you remove your makeup - assuming you use the mascara and booster combo by day and the serum by night.

Well, I couldn't resist. I'm a fan of mascara, and am absolutely amped about the possibility of getting thicker & fuller lashes. I even plan to try eyelash extensions at some point, probably from Wink Eyelash here in the city. I just got the package which included a simple instruction guide along with the two part mascara (mascara and concentrated serum booster) and the nightly lash serum. So, here goes with the Day 1 review.

Pre Eyelash Pics:
As you can see, I have decent length and thickness already to my lashes - and yes, they naturally curl. :)

Ease of use:
I must say, it's pretty fool proof and quick enough to use. First you use the booster in the gold end of the mascara stick and coat the lashes. Simple enough! Then follow up with the actual mascara.

So far, I'm not a fan. Yes, my lashes look darker and longer, but they also feel plastic-y (eek!). In the past, I've been using Fiberwig - which I love. It really does make lashes look thicker and longer - yet keeps them feeling soft. Right now, I have hard lashes, and the mascara is so thick that it looks like a PSA for not using too much mascara. And, I have to add that I'm not a novice to makeup - I know how to apply mascara correctly. The mascara looked sooooo goopy I had to use my eyelash comb, which I practically never use, to attempt to separate my lashes.

I'm not counting L'Oreal's product out yet - as I still need to use the nightly serum and I still have a month to go of using this product. But so far, it's not looking to great. :-/

Extra important info: This product is hypo-allergenic and has been opthamologist tested as safe for people wearing contacts, etc - super important since I spent money to get Lasik this past Spring.

More reviews to come... :)

Monday, October 26, 2009

I love to cook...fried tomatoes as a side to my curry beef stew, beans & rice


This is a short but sweet post...

As many of you know my background is a "guess that ethnicity" game show. So, I have west indian and southern in my family tree. Tonight, as a sort of random homage to my roots I just made my first batch of fried tomatoes (no not green like the movie). Soooo tasty...omg...the guys might be assed out as I sampled one and it was amaziiinnggg. :) Yummy! I'll post pics later :). Oh yes, and that is a side dish for my curry beef stew with red beans & rice.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yay I'm about to start my own column!

So excited today! I'm getting my own column on Examiner.com! I'm going to be the new "NY Tech Dating" columnist. Absolutely awesome since I used to do date coaching and I'm a big proponent of online dating and tech solutions to making the dating life easier! Once my first article gets approved I definitely plan on posting my article links up here for you guys to read and review!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Learning to Be Thankful...


I'm not a hardcore blogger like say my sis w/her Kitten Lounge blog (an awesome blog by the way) but when I do write, it's because I feel very inspired to do so. It's been roughly a month since my last blog post and I definitely have good reason to write today. Every once in a while, you come across something that really does inspire you or at least give you a reason to sit back and reflect on how much you have. And it reminds you to be thankful of everything that you've been given.

Now, I'm by no means an ungrateful person! People who know my life story know that I've been through enough to definitely count my blessings and thank God for taking me as far as He has. But, today I was sitting on the 5 train, minding my own business when I noticed a little old Jewish man sitting across from me. There was nothing extraordinary about him - he was slightly stoop shouldered, with a basic short sleeved button down and pants pulled up to his arm pits. In his own way, he was slightly adorable. 

Now, by now, you're probably wondering why I emphasized the fact that he was Jewish - why couldn't he be just a "little old man"? Well, that's because on his left forearm, there was a tattoo there. And most people know I like tattoos, especially when they have a real significance. But, if you saw this man, you would agree with me when I say, there's no way this old man would voluntarily get a tattoo, especially on his forearm, and especially since it was just a series of numbers and letters, much like a product code. 

So, through all my history classes, I had always learned about how in the Holocaust, people were tattooed with a number, much like product on a shelf, or cattle at a ranch. And considering that it's now 2009, more than sixty years after the end of WWII and the liberation of Jewish people forced into concentration camps across Germany and other parts of Europe, it was a real eye opener to see this man snoozing quietly across the train car from me, with a tattoo that represented a serious and embarrassingly shameful chapter in world history. 

It's one thing to read about something in a book, or see it on TV, because in some ways, you're still distanced from it. Those atrocities you see happening to someone else - somewhere else; are just that - someone else's drama. But when you see a piece of history sitting in front of you, it really does blow your mind. It's a very sobering experience. As I sat there (since I was underground and could no longer get reception on my iPhone), I kept thinking - imagining what that man must have endured. To think - he must have been anywhere from a child to a late teen when everything happened. I can only imagine the stories he would tell - if he's even willing to tell them. 

And I continued to think, about how easy it is to get so caught up in your own day to day drama and how doing so can totally warp your perspective. Seeing that little old man with his concentration camp tattoo, or meeting someone who's been through the genocidal situations in Africa, Bosnia/Croatia, etc - it really helps you to realize that no matter how bad things are here in the States, we still have the ability to take for granted that our rights will be heard. Even more, we can sleep soundly with the assurance that our rights even matter; that some arbitrary uprising won't happen. My biggest issue of the moment is finding a booking agent for Japan...there are people across the world who's biggest issue is simply surviving the night to see another sunrise. 

Seeing this little old man on the 5 train today was just a reminder to me (although I already knew this) that life in all it's forms is severely precious. And, that we should never forget - whether it's the Holocaust, African subjugation in the Americas, tribal genocide in Africa, or ethnic cleansing from various centuries (including present day) in various locales. Life is precious, and it's something that should be respected and revered, regardless of the race/gender/age that it takes.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Blame It On Mickey D's...Or What Happened to Personal Responsibility?!


I just finished watching a two year old documentary on McDonald's where the US division was vilified for creating fattening foods that encourages obesity in children and everyone else who opts to eat at McDonalds. So...I found it interesting how many of the "obesity experts" were: 1. obese themselves (I guess that proves that they're an expert) or 2. refusing to blame parents for poor parenting skills...

So...I have to put this out there. Yes - McDonald's sells tons of "bad-for-you" food with a dash of "fake-good-for-you" food sprinkled in there too. However, there's such a thing as personal responsibility. Rather than bitching about how McDonald's sells bad food, how about complaining about how parents are such poor parents nowadays? Case in point: at one point in the documentary, a mother is quoted as saying (and I'm paraphrasing here) "We go to McDonald's at least 2x a week because little Joey (*name change) screams and cries until we go". Okay, now...if I had acted like that when I was little...I definitely wouldn't have been rewarded with a Happy Meal! Last time I checked, Mickey D's wasn't so starved for business that they were stealing children from the playground and force feeding them Happy Meals. :-/ So shame on the mom for being so weak kneed as not to be able to tell her child no!

But this goes hand in hand with the whole "pass the buck" mentality of this country. No one wants to take responsibility for driving (or walking) to McDonald's, eating crappy food, and bypassing the gym and any attempt at healthy living. It's much easier to complain and point the finger because your @$$ follows you around corners.

Sigh...well I for one don't intend to blame others for anything in my life unless there's real blame to place on someone. My eating and health choices are my own responsibility. And whenever I decide to have children, it'll be my responsibility (and their father's ) to install healthy eating and exercise habits.

Okay...that's my random rant for the month. :-) Comments, questions or random musings? Feel free to leave me a note!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Racy? Trashy? Confused?!


So, normally I don't make posts on current events, but this one just seemed so out there, I had to make a comment. In a few weeks there's going to be a Miss Universe pageant. Now, back in the day, I used to watch all the pageants - Miss America, Miss USA & Miss Universe. Not the teen ones tho...not really my thing.

Anyway, there's quite a bit of hubub about Miss Japan's "cultural costume". Actually...it looks something of a HAM (Hot Ass Mess) IMO. Personally, I'm in love with traditional kimonos and if I actually had somewhere to put the darn thing, I would have bought one and had it custom made when I was in Japan last year. Now...had the hemline on her kimono come down significantly further...I would be all over this outfit. But as is - heck no I won't go.

She's defending it as being edgy fashion, but it just looks slightly ermmmm cheap? But hey...what do I know...I just used to work in the fashion industry. In the Garment District. For strong performing lines. In New York. :-/ There's too much going on in this outfit...making it a FASHION FAIL.

But you be the judge! Tell me what you think!

Monday, July 27, 2009

OMG! It's Been a Minute!


So, it's definitely been a minute since I updated my blog. I've been super busy with work (in a good way since it's my own work!). And what have I been up to? The following:

So as everyone knows, I'm a social media marketer who officially started my own company (Big Apple Style Marketing) not that long ago. I prefer working with entertainers (musicians, artists, actors, DJs, etc.) and helping them to gain visibility as well as perfecting their "Google-ability" by enhancing their placement in natural search.

Over the past few months I've really made some great partnerships with major Internet content providers as well as mobile providers. So, now I'm in a perfect position to help emerging/new/hungry artists get their trade seen & heard by eyes & ears from around the world!

So, now that I've established those relationships, it's time for me to actually take the time to put my website together rather than working off of word of mouth (which has been good...but a 24-7 presence is awesome too!).

Saturday, June 6, 2009

한국어 Begins Again!!!!


So, the saga with my Korean lessons has finally come to an end. Sadly, two weeks ago, my original Korean tutor returned to S. Korea since he realized that he couldn't afford college after being accepted to SUNY Buffalo. I know, a serious fml moment.

But, after two weeks of searching, I found a Korean tutor who speaks good English! Yayyyy. We met yesterday and after some directional issues (didn't realize the Columbia U area was so spread out), we finally met up. Even better, we'll be doing a lot of virtual sessions via skype. So, I'm really psyched because now I will be taking my Korean lessons much more seriously and hopefully soon, I'll be speaking it fluently! :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Maslow Epiphany!

So, I was messing around yesterday doing nothing in particular when I had an epiphany. Back in high school, I spent my freshman year studying world literature and no one from North Central HS who was in the accelerated English course could forget these two books: Books that Changed the World (which I still have) and Literary World Encyclopedia (something like that - it had a globe on the cover). Those books covered everything from philosophers to some of the literary "greats" throughout the world. And one philosopher in particular who I remember very well is Abraham Maslow.

Don't know who Maslow is? Tsk tsk...go wiki him lol. But in short, he came up with a theory in the '40s that people's focus in life changes depending on their needs, and that it's impossible to focus on ephimerial things like "happiness" and "satisfaction" when your more basic needs (i.e. water, food, shelter, safety) haven't been met.

Relevance? Very relevant...because there's no rule that your position on Maslow's "Needs Heirarchy" is always going to be progressive. Depending on what's going on in your life, you can find yourself anywhere on the pyramid and you can find yourself going back to the same level more than once in your life depending on your situation. Also, you can be on more than one level at a time.

Relevance to me? Well after a bowl of Frosted Flakes, I was lounging, listening to the Today Show I realized that I feel as if I've reached the top of Maslow's theory. This is huge! There was a time when I couldn't think about anything except his lowest level - Security (food, shelter, home, etc.) because life was just that hard (no lie!).

But over the last year, I've been able to really focus on my happiness, my goals, just anything that I wanted to do - not just on surviving. And especially with the last few weeks, after quitting my job, I've really been able to "actualize" my goals and make them come true! While most people are asking me why I'm not freaking out about surviving, I'm actually just enjoying my life and focusing on "the bigger picture". So, having said that...I have some new rules for myself:

- I will never again set my net value as low as a yearly salary for a job.
- I will no longer put everyone else's goals ahead of mine!
- I will be more socially conscious - it's good to give back!
- My self respect is not for sale!
- I will work with integrity and respect - snapping out the side of your neck at any and everyone is not an acceptable way to work.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sunglasses - NY & Co has awesome accessories!

Well, I was out today earlier in the morning for a few appointments and did a quick dash into the NY & Co. on 5th Ave. I don't really buy their clothes because they don't fit me - but I LOVE their accessories. So, originally I went in to buy a purse but I didn't see anything that really moved me...but then there were sunglasses! :)

Okay, so I do have more expensive sunglasses - Diors and Dolce & Gabbana's. However, between just plain breaking them and my dog attacking the arms on my glasses, I don't always feel like buying designer frames. :-/ And I found some cute ones today at NY & Co. so no complaints there! The frames were originally $14.95 but with 30% off, came to about $10.95 each! And I think they're pretty cute so there! Check out NY & Co. if you're in the market for a new set of shades!

Yet another multi-post day!

It's been a busy few weeks people!

I can't believe how much busier I am now that I'm not longer working a 9 - 5. Funny, but I still feel like there aren't enough hours in the day, but at least I end my days with a feeling of contentment and satisfaction versus frustration like in the past. These last few weeks I've had a ton of developments for one of my clients and things are moving so quickly, that you shouldn't be surprised if in the near future you start seeing some major changes and new names on the celebrity scape!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back in the day....

Okay...who remembers the song that went:

"Back in the day when I was young I'm not a kid anymore but somedays I still wish I was a kid again..."

It was a rap song...but I'm definitely feeling a nostalgic moment right now! I'm watching Ferris Bueller and they did the scene where Cameron and Ferris get Sloan out of school. They did a quick pan on an answering machine and Sloan had one of those '80s charm bracelets next to the machine!

Remember this I think we use to have a ton of those in the house! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

I'm going to a reality show casting Friday! :)

Yup, that's right I am! Hehe...

Normally I avoid reality shows for their overall cheesiness (sp). But this one is for dog owners who are social. Well I'm definitely social...and I have a dog! :) So, I will be going to a casting Friday with my Yorkie Jimmy Choo! I'll let you know how it goes! :)

And no...my hair isn't quite this big and curly anymore lol!

Another Multi Post Day! - the 헌국어 Sh*t Hits the Fan :-/


So, my Korean tutor finally got into an American college like he wanted to - SUNY Buffalo. Yayyyy right? Nope.

So, either way, he would have left the city and I would have had to find another tutor...but it turns out he didn't realize that u need $ to attend college here. So, he got the acceptance letter, but then realized that he didn't have the $ to afford it. I know...an fml.com moment right? So, instead of him leaving for Buffalo in the fall, he's leaving for South Korea --- NEXT WEEK!

Yike-rs...now I have to find another tutor...or find someone who can help him figure out the financial aid issue when your an international student...either way, it's an fml moment.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mani-Pedi's & Goodies from Down Under!

Mani-pedi season has officially begun for me! And for once I decided to explore my neighborhood and see what I could find on the cheap. Turns out that within two blocks of my house there are three nail shops...but only one of the three is (IMO) safe to use lol. Two of them just looked too run down and depressed to even want to trust my nail beds to. The other one was a nice small (although somewhat short staffed for a Saturday) and very clean salon called Rose's Nails. My only complaint was that they were super short staffed on the weekend, so a mani pedi that shouldn't have taken more than an hour (not including dry time) took much longer because I had to wait between my mani and the pedi.

Anywho, the ladies were very friendly (and I must say I was happy to start understanding what some of them were saying since they were Korean and I'm studying Korean -- oh yeah more drama with the Korean tutor but I'll post that separately *sigh*) and clean. They were constantly wiping and cleaning which makes you feel good. The shop was tiny - practically a walk in back out but it got the job done. In total I spent $26 for a basic mani-pedi and that included the tip. In the future though, I'll be going there only on Mon - Wed since they offer a mani-pedi for only $16. :)

On to my goodies from down under. So, as everyone knows...I LOVE eBay and I got this awesome find on there. it's a clutch purse made of straw and leather. I think for everything I spent maybe $10 including shipping. It took a bit to get here because I bought it from an Australian eBay store but it was soooo worth it. :) It's vintage and there's such minimal wear on it...me gusta! :)

It's going to look great with my spring/summer wardrobe! :)

Another Multi Post Day!

Okay...so today is a multi-post day...Mondays typically seem to be with me anyway!

I'm so bummed I won't be able to go to DR (the Dominican Republic for those of who aren't up on your country shorthand) this weekend for my boyfriend's cousin's wedding. :( It would have been fun but stars and $ weren't aligned like I would have liked for them to be. Oh wells...which is why I'm dedicating this post to them because my boyfriend's cousin's fiancee chose the cutest wedding invitations and they deserve a post of their own.

Since they're doing a destination wedding, they chose passport themed wedding invites! Too cute right! And the actual invitation itself is formatted just like how a real passport would be on the inside too! See for yourself!

So congrats Mary & Peter...here's to a flawless wedding and an awesome marriage! :-D

Saturday, May 9, 2009

An awesome twist on nameplate necklaces!


So earlier this year I met a cool crew of people on twitter --> @couchobjects. They're a UK based jewelry team that make nameplate necklaces out of black acrylic. They have some standard ones which you can buy from their Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6829806. The standard necklaces have cute phrases like "twitterati", "@me", "social", and "API". Very cute stuff!

But, what's hot is that you can also get customized necklaces so I decided to get a customized necklace with my twitter handle --> @bigapplestyle. So for a mere $30.00 I had a customized nameplate necklace designed! And two weeks later it arrived!

Unfortunately, it came broken. :( But the ladies at Couch Objects were so cool about it and refunded me for the necklace and offered to send me another necklace from their stock items for free. (very cool!). So, I picked up the "twitterati" necklace.

And yes, the necklace is quite a talking piece. Thankfully, my friend told me to try supergluing the broken necklace, and I did. So, now I have two awesome necklaces that are great talking pieces wherever I go. I highly recommend checking out Couch Objects!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My New Favorite Lipgloss! Smashbox O-gloss!


So last week I was in Sephora and I was in need of a "feel better buy". It was the day of my Mint car-sharing debacle and I was so PO'ed about it! Anywho...I saw an ad earlier in my Sephora email newsletter about a new lip gloss from Smashbox called O-Gloss that works off of your body chemistry to create the perfect pink tinted lip gloss color.

So, no lie, I was a tad bit skeptical. As anyone who is brown toned knows...sometimes colors that are toted as "awesome" for the fair skinned masses don't always come up to snuff for those of us with more melanin! So, I was at the Sephora in the Palisades and decided to give it a try. I smeared some on my hands (as I never put tester make up on my face - heeve skeeve that's like putting everyone's bacteria on your body!) and within a minute or so, a very sheer soft pink shade began to appear. It swipes on clear and then you feel minor tingling as it starts to take effect. I have it on in the pic below with the poor boy cap on but it was starting to dry up so I don't know how well you see it - but it was just a hint of color which, on my lips, I prefer. I'm more about doing the eyes up rather than my lips. :)

Okay, so now I'm in love with this stuff! I think it's around $20 a tube but so worth it! Smashbox also has a lip gloss with the same tint regulating properties but it also includes a lip plumper. Personally, I don't need a lip plumper (lol) however I'm sure it does wonders for those who do.

Verdict...big thumbs up! :)

Why I Love Buying from the Hong Kong Vendors on Ebay!

So, as a lot of people know who know me, I LOVE Ebay! There's just something about that site that I love. And I don't use it to buy cheesy stuff like porcelain figurines or collectibles. Since joining Ebay back in 2004, I've been gathering Puma purses, cute leather accessories (gloves/hats/etc.), designer denim for cheap and recently a plethora (sp) of cute fashions from Korea, Japan and Hong Kong. Why? Well because the clothes from Asia tend to fit me better...and I know that they'll usually have styles that aren't as common over here, which means I won't see everyone and their mother wearing them over here.

And, that's no small feat considering I'm in NYC - where almost anything is available. :) So, a couple weeks ago, I ordered some accessories from this one Hong Kong vendor. A pair of black leather driving gloves and a vinyl poorboy cap. It took about 15 days (the only draw back of ordering from Asia) but it finally arrived today! I think including shipping, I might have spent $40 for both items. And oh yeah, the other reason I love shopping on Ebay - the grace period for submitting payment. It's nice to know that I can "Buy it now" or win a bid today but have usually up to seven days to submit payment. ;)

Today is a multi-post day!

Yuck, it's gross out! But I have great news. :)

Today was my 1 week post LASIK eye exam and apparently everything is going just fine. Since Thursday I had been using the series of drops four times a day as instructed. Apparently, my corneas are healing so nicely that I no longer need to use the antibacterial and anti-inflammatory drops anymore.

From here on out, I only have to use the regular eye drops that are meant to keep my eyes from getting dry. Yay! And, as of Friday, I can start wearing make up again...which will be awesome since I love wearing make up. :)

Overall, my vision is pretty great. I get a few halos at night, but nothing horrible. My very far away vision is still a little blurry...but all in all...I am very satisfied...the money was well spent. :-D

Friday, May 1, 2009

1st Day After LASIK & Feelin' Fine!


So, as promised, I'm going to blog about my LASIK experience! Yesterday, April 30th, I went in for my LASIK surgery which was scheduled for 10AM. I arrived at the Laser One LASIK center on Park Ave around 9AM where I was walked through my post-op care step by step. I have to say, the staff there was really friendly and reassuring - something you really want because surgery in general is really intimidating. And, with LASIK, it's kind of scary because you're messing with your eyes!

Anyway, once I was there, I had another quick exam on my eyes to make sure that the notations that they made a month and a half before (although you don't have to wait that long between the exam and the actual surgery) hadn't changed. After two brief exams, I was given booties to cover my feet and a cap to cover my hair before I was led to OR - which was really chilly by the way so definitely accept the blanket when it's offered to you! Probably the only most nerve wracking thing is the waiting...because once you get started...it all moves pretty quickly.

The whole operation takes roughly 30 minutes, with 20 of those 30 minutes devoted to prepping the eye and verifying the calculations on the lasering machine before they get started. So when I first entered the OR, I was put on the operating chair - it reclines; and then given a blanket. I was also given the choice between hugging a teddy bear or these soft stress balls. I opted for the stress balls - and trust me, it's a good idea to take them just because, it gives you an outlet for your energy when you go through the procedure. Then I was given a series of antibacterial drops to clean the eye area as well as numbing drops.

I always find the numbing drops a bit wierd, because your lids feel heavy but your eyes feel nothing - so strange. Anyway, I was left to sit for a few minutes (5 maybe?) while the drops took effect. Then the prepping began! They covered my left eye while they prepped my right eye. First, they taped down my eyelashes - not an entirely uncomfortable feeling - but strange anyway. Then it was on to more drops to ensure that my eye was properly numbed. Then they put (and I don't even know how to explain it because this will sound horrific when it really wasn't) these spreader type wire clamps between my eye and eyelids (both upper and lower) to keep me from blinking and moving my eye more than necessary. No lie, this is THE most uncomfortable feeling you're going to experience in the prep stage. It's not to the point of pain, but it feels really unpleasant and takes a moment to adjust to this.

So, once you're eye is properly prepped, the fun begins lol. I was instructed to continue to focus my eyesight on the blinking orange light from the larger machine. First, my doc made a few markings on my cornea, outlining where the cuts were to be made and where to re-lay the flap. Then came the suction portion (read as an unpleasant experience). Thankfully, my doc talked me through the entire thing - but it's still a pretty unpleasant experience. This suction instrument is placed around the cornea and then it sucks on (literally) and you lose vision for a brief period (like literally seconds) from the pressure of the suction instrument while the flap is being created (so no...you don't see your eye being cut & thank God for that!). Then the suction is removed and the doc lifts the flap (which you see - it's freakishly wierd but cool at the same time.

Your vision gets obviously fuzzier (fyi I was really nearsighted...like on the -7 level) when the flap is lifted. Then the doc does some swabbing and rinsing to clean up the eye before the lasering begins. I was always told that the average laser time was around 30 seconds for most people...for my right eye, it was 47 seconds because of my extreme nearsightedness. It's wierd, because you can just barely see the laser working across your eye (it's a blue laser incase your curious!). But, once it's done, the doc returns the corneal flap to its original position and smooths it down so that it's a nice secure flap.

The flap heels on its own, so basically he just did some rinsing and smoothing - no stitches needed. Interestingly enough, once the flap was back down, I was able to see the orange blinking light that I had been staring at non stop for the past few moments much more clearly. Then it was time to remove those wire clamps and the tape that had been covering my eyelashes. The tape hurt when it came off (yikes! but I don't think that I lost any eyelashes!). Then I was given the antibiotic and steriod drop as well as this gel before I was instructed to keep my eye closed while they worked on the left eye.

The left eye was the same routine except that for some reason it was slightly more uncomfortable than the right eye. Probably five minutes were spent on each eye. Happily once the procedure was over...I could already tell that my eyesight was wayyy better than my original measurements. I could see the grid in the air conditioning duct above the operating area and I could clearly read the numbers on the clock across the wall. Then the doctor did a final post op exam to make sure that the flap was laid down properly.

So, I was instructed to go home and sleeep for 4 - 6 hours and then take a series of drops for the next four hours and lubricating drops every hr that I was awake. So, I got home around 12:30, and after lunch I went to be by 1pm. After waking up around 4:30, my vision was definitely better. I could clearly see everything. And for the most part, I felt like when I used to wear contacts and wear them too long. Where I could still see everything clearly but that it was a little cloudy from dryness.

The next day:

I had to go in for my post op exam. It was actually quite brief - barely 20 minutes. Everything is healing nicely and I'm due for another exam next Tuesday. My visionis improved - but I definitely still need the rewetting drops since my eyes feel dry. So, no make up til next Thursday, no rubbing my eyes for two weeks.

Overall, I'm very pleased with the results...being able to go back to normal life after just one day is phenomenal. My vision is supposed to fluxuate for the next week/week and a half but I love the results so far!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mint Carsharing Not So Mint-y :(


I would say stay away from Mint (www.drivemint.com). I've been a Zipcar (www.zipcar.com) member since 2006, and decided to give Mint a try since they were promoting the whole "cars for as little as $2.00 an hour". Of course I knew that this was only going to be for the dinkyest (sp) of cars since I'm not in love with smartcars but I thought it would be great to have an occasional alternative to Zipcar. Anyway, I joined earlier in April and just had my first and last experience with renting a car from them. So I booked a car yesterday (Apr 27th) and everything was good.

I picked up the car today (Apr 28th) and "surprise surprise" the gas indicator is LAYING on E. Already I'm a bit pissed because with Zipcar, you have to leave at least a quarter of a tank or you could face fines. Mind you, I rented this car to make a much needed appointment that was scheduled for a few hours later - already I got the vibe that things were going downhill from here.

So, I realize that I need my membership number to get gas (if you're familiar with Zipcar, this is something they do as well). But the membership number isn't on the card. Well, Mint claims that they have an "OnStar" like system where you push this little button in the console and someone will "promptly" call you back. So, realizing that their version of the "copilot" doesn't tell me where I can find the member number, I push the button...and wait...and wait...and wait. Then I call the 800 number on the card...and get voicemail. (oh wait...it gets better)

I try again and finally get a live body who informs me that my membership number is the last four digits of my SSN. Okay, I understand that since it's a highly sensitive number, that wouldn't be printed on the card...but NOWHERE on the website does it say that either. So, there I am on my iPhone, struggling to search for some clue and I would have been S.O.L. until someone called me back.

So, now I'm driving around looking for a gas station in Manhattan, (mind you, possibly 20 minutes have gone by since I initially pushed that "Mint/OnStar-esque" service button) and someone calls me. Let's just call him "Joe". So, Joe is calling me back, on his cell phone while he's on the street...who has customer service calling you from the street? There was road noise in the background, and he was completely distracted. By this point, I already knew that I wasn't going to be relying on Mint for much of anything in the future. I thank him for the follow up and finish up the call.

Fast forward 20 min later, and I'm finally at a gas station (apparently 3pm in Manhattan is gas time because everywhere I went it was hard to find a space to pull up). So, I've got my gas...and now the car won't start...

Slightly frustrated because I'm now 40 minutes behind schedule and must now reschedule the appointment, I foolishly push the "Mint/OnStar-esque" button, assuming that surely someone will pick up now. Thankfully, I had something similar happen with Zipcar so I remembered what to do. So, now I'm back on the road and probably 20 minutes passed from when I left the gas station and I was finally well underway on the West Side Highway and guess who calls but "Joe". Joe then unceremoniously hangs up on me half way through our conversation when I complained about the poor customer service.

He then proceeds to call me on my cell (while I'm driving?!) and leaves a message. I had to make a pitstop at my home, so I check my messages and now Mint is telling me that by pushing the little Mint button in the console, I have somehow ended my reservation.

So, I call Mint and get a live body who transfers me to Joe. Once on the phone with Joe, he basically says I need to return the car so that I won't receive charges, and completely glosses over the poor customer service that I received. In fact, his response to me was "we have 6 people here manning the customer service phones so they were probably busy which is why they couldn't get to you." When I complained about the car being literally on empty, he said "oh well I don't know what you want me to do about that, it's something that we can't control" and then when I complained and compared it to Zipcar proceeded to tell me that Mint has 30,000+ members (and I highly doubt that can all be in NYC with them barely having 30 cars in Manhattan) who all said that they left Zipcar because they received poor customer service from them (Zipcar). He then proceeds to chastise me for not picking up my cell phone and not having a bluetooth piece (which by the way Mint claimed came standard with the Honda Accord that I had reserved but I don't remember seeing it anywhere so whatev I guess) so that I could complete the call.

It irked me that I couldn't reach someone when I needed them the most (while I was on the road) and when I continued to try to clarify that point, "Joe" then said "we don't need members like you". Oh, and did I forget to mention that you can't extend a reservation because you won't be able to find a reservation even when you log in?! I was forced to extend the reservation because of the time I lost in the city struggling with this car that didn't have gas and locked up at the gas station and was forced to create an entirely new reservation for the additional hours that I needed.

Wow...that's all I can say...I've worked around people and in customer service positions all my life and I can't imagine ever saying that - especially when my complaint was founded. What if I had been in an accident and needed to contact them or the car had been stolen? It's not comforting to know that Mint calls you back when it's convenient because they only have 6 people manning the phones. And, rather than owning up to their incompetence/poor planning, they get people on the phone who yell at you for not saying "oh well these things happen". Maybe if it had just been one lone issue, (like just the gas and nothing more) I wouldn't be so pissed...but it was one thing after another.

My verdict - you get what you pay for. I see now why they offer rates as low as $2.00 per hour - because their customer service is seriously lacking. Maybe other people have had great experiences, and if so congrats to them. However, I'm no newbie to the car sharing game. I've never put a call in to Zipcar and gotten voicemail nor have I gotten a car with less than a quarter tank of gas. And I've never had a customer service rep YELL at me no matter how flustered I might be on the phone.

As I promised "Joe" I'm writing about my horrible experience in the hopes that people know about this company that's masquerading as something professional when it's clearly not. I'm not saying that Zipcar is 100% perfect because sure, there have been times where I was like "why?" However, Zipcar is an established brand with established protocols. This was my first and last attempt with Mint and I will be canceling my membership with them.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Who's That Lady in the Ikea Commercials?!

A random musing before bed

I LOVE the Ikea commercials...something about that lady playing a "stream of consciousness" that validates the person's thoughts is an awesome thing. My faves:

1. Sleep in - the gym will wait

2. Slam those cabinet doors - because your boss is an idiot

Sweet dreams world!!!! ;)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

What a Busy Weekend!

Wow...the weekend flew by!

Official Day 2 of my new life and I feel like I have so much to do. I put together a list of "to-do's" for this week...geeze it was a full page long! So, rather than a freak out...I compartmentalized and tried to put everything into perspective!

But on top of my new work that I'm doing, I also have my LASIK scheduled for this week and I intend to document it as best as possible on here! So, a quick recap of my LASIK saga to date:

Back in February I went for my initial evaluation to see if I was a candidate for LASIK. So, for better or worse, I have thick corneas, making me a positive candidate for LASIK. Although, I also learned that since my prescription was so high (I've been nearsighted since I was 6), instead of it only taking 30 seconds per eye, it'll take about 50 seconds per eye to get the perfect "don't need glasses" vision that I'm craving!

So, I originally went to http://eyeny.com/ for the evaluation, and initially I was given a quote of $5200. And I would have been all good with that price, until I found out that the actual surgery was going to be done at http://www.laseronenyc.com/ and it would only cost me $2800 - yeah I did a "what the what!" moment. Especially since it would be the exact same doctor performing the LASIK surgery.

So, FYI...buyer beware...always do your homework...because in my opinion, there's no reason why the Park Avenue location should be charging much less and offering financing when the 14th street location wasn't offering financing and was nearly $3000 more! :(

Although, what's also nice is that the cost of the LASIK includes any pre-evaluations, and roughly six post-op visits. Anywho...when you go for any of the evaluations, you can't wear your contacts for at least 10 days, because contacts greatly effect the shape of the eye. Likewise, since my LASIK is this upcoming Thursday (4/30/09), I haven't worn contacts for at least two weeks now just to be safe.

The actual surgery itself isn't supposed to be more than thirty minutes from start to finish. And most of that time is prep related (i.e. making sure the entire eye area is sterile etc.). Then I'm just supposed to go home, sleep and spend the rest of the day resting. I think that'll be the hardest part for me since I'm used to always being active!

So, I'll keep you guys posted on my LASIK saga! But first...I'm hitting the gym for the first time in nearly a year tomorrow morning! :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Here Comes the Sun!


It's a brand new day and it's finally sinking in that I am no longer a full time employee! I don't feel that sadness that I would normally get (or overwhelmed in some cases) that there weren't enough hours in the weekend!

Well, actually, I'm working today...I made the choice to go back to modeling, and I have a gig to do today so...I'm still employed good people - just not in the traditional way! Anywho...there's so much that I need to do now that I'm freelance...and things have been developing nicely!

I felt like someone released me from jail yesterday as I walked to the subway...I even had a spring in my step! lol. And then barely four hours after I had been unceremoniously told I could go home, I got THE CALL...so in the very near future I could be a regional casting director/talent developer. It's not outside of the scope of my abilities but it's absolutely exciting too!

I'm so excited and feeling optimistic about life-you guys have no idea how much that job felt like the 1000lb gorilla in the room. Actually, not just in the room but on my back. Anyway...time for me to greet the day! :)

Friday, April 24, 2009

Am I the Only Native Midwesterner to Never Have Heard of This?!

I'm reading the "Single in the Suburbs" Blog on MSN and the author mentioned PawPaws...what the heck is a PawPaw? And I've never seen a PawPaw in my life. And FYI, I spent my entire childhood growing up in Indiana and never left til I went away for college. How could this escape me?! Lol...

Rolaids Spells Relief!


I am finally no longer one of the masses who works a traditional 9-5 and hates their job! After working a year and a half for someone who throws temper tantrums (although they're significantly older than me), I am now 100% freelance! Woohoo

And of course, I did it on such a beautiful day! I'm so excited for the future and as if on cue, all the back pain, stomach upset and general frustrations that I had been feeling for the last six months have disappeared!

Hey, I don't recommend that everyone quits their job...some people prefer the stability of a steady paycheck, and I can't blame them. But if you've ever had a dream that you wanted to pursue, then now is actually the best time for it. Despite the ridiculous economy, freelancers, and new entrepreneurs are flourishing.

So, what are my goals now that I no longer have to clock in and out or have a "time to make the donuts" mentality? Well they are as such:

-Finish editing my book, Mind Games
(and what's awesome is I no longer have to sneak in important phone calls on the way to the bathroom or on my lunch break)
-Update my modeling portfolio so I can get 100% back in the game
-Promote my clients for my own marketing company that I've started --> Big Apple Style Marketing.
-TRAVEL - because it's nice not to have to say "Mother May I" every time I want to take time off or go away!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Korean Tutor Update (한국어 산생)

Crisis averted!

My tutor is just going home for a month. He hasn't been home to see his family since like January of 2008...Although I'll probably still have to find a good tutor while he's gone though!

And with that good kids...I'm off to bed! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Neutrogena's New Make Up Line


So as many of you guys know, I'm a BzzzAgent (www.BzzAgent.com) and my latest assignment was to review a new mineral cosmetics line from Neutrogena. Sadly, I'm kind of doing this under the wire...but I won't tell if you don't!

Anywho...I was given a make up kit to test! Super easy since I'm a make up junky. You can usually find me at Sephora at least once a week. But don't think that I'm kind of make up snob! I'm not...I still have yet to find anything that beats my Wet 'N Wild Liquid Megaliner in black...smooth & precise every time!

The Kit:

This was a four piece kit with the following items:

-Concealer in # 15 w/SPF 20 and loose powder in the bottom

-Nourishing Eye Quad "Tea Biscuit 120/Neutrals w/SPF 15

-Nourishing Eye Liner in Brown Sugar with a smudger on the bottom and a pencil sharpener inside.

-Healthy Volumizing Mascara in Charcoal

So, I gave it a whirl tonight and decided to apply it:

Okay...so the make up had potential but I must say, this set without some additional extras from other make up is a no go if you are of a darker skin tone (such as I am!). After taking the time to apply it, I felt as if I hadn't put any make up on at all. :(

The concealer can appear really light and for a novice (I'm not a novice, I used to work in Sephora and I live for make up), if you apply too heavy, darker skinned users will find that it's super reflective. I only applied a bit under my eyes. It does conceal quite well though. Typically I can have what appears to be bags under my eyes but you can't see any bags which is fab!

Next up was the eye shadow quad. Overall it was farely simple to use (a plus!) and the helpful labeling on the cover and illustrations on the back makes it easy for make up-phobes to create a simple smokey eye without trying to guess what colors go where. But honestly, for my skin tone the colors didn't even do a good neutral look...as you can see from the pics...

Kind of felt like I had raccoon eyes. Granted this is because I didn't mix in any of my other make up stash...until....

I tried to use the Brown Sugar eye liner that I got in the kit but I just couldn't. It matched my skin tone exactly - meaning that you couldn't see it at all. I traded it in for some Almay black mechanical pencil eye liner that I had.

Next up was the volumizing mascara...possibly if I wasn't already a fan of Fiberwig, I would have found this impressive. It did plump somewhat...but if you're familiar with Fiberwig and its abilities...this isn't really competitive.

And finally I cheated and used an illuminizer/bronzer combo that I bought from Sephora...because using just the Neutrogena (even with the Almay black eye liner) made me feel washed out. :(

The final verdict - The Eyeshadow Quad and the Volumizing Mascara are the best bets out of this line (specifically for the neutral palette). If you're not afraid of make up - the Quad is good for any skin tone, but you'll need to work it to make it pop. The Volumizing Mascara provides some decent results...but you won't get dramatic results unless you apply falsies before putting on the Mascara.

The Brown Sugar Eye Liner and the Concealer are too light for darker tones - I recommend them for olive tones or lighter...I think it would have a better effect.

Mom Kicks Kids Out of Car & Gets Arrested


No, she shouldn't have driven off but come on, if kids are being OD ridiculous...they deserve a lil tough love. I still remember when I was three and I was fighting with my sister (who was six at the time) in the backseat of the car. My mom told us to stop and in a fit of anger I said "I hate you". Okay, something that many kids say at some point or another...but my mom definitely attempted to drive and reach in the back to smack the stupid out of me at the same time. Suffice it to say that when I got home, I got the smacks I deserved. 

Anywho, the point is...let's stop rewarding bratty behavior. The mom works her butt off as a partner in a law firm to keep a $2 Million home over her kids heads. The least they can do is behave. By NY State making her the bad guy here...she's never going to be able to discipline her kids and now there'll be two more irritatingly bratty Westchester-ish type girls on the NYC scene. 

Your thoughts anyone?

But in Other News, My Boots Are the Hotness!

That's right, they're the hottness! :) I ordered them last week when I was in a "let's go shopping to cure the blues" moment. 

Oddly enough, they were cheaper on the actual Dollhouse website than at DSW - who knew. Anyway, they're actually brown (although they look black in this pic). I couldn't wait to put them on! :)

Boo I Think My Korean Tutor Is Leaving!

So bummed! Just got a text earlier today from my Korean tutor. So, he's been having issues with the TOEFL exam and might go back to South Korea. My thoughts? Nooooo! For the first time today I finally understood what the Korean lady was saying to the other Korean cashier at the bodega near my job!

She was ringing me up and said to the woman next to her "칠삼구 (chir-sam-goo)" which translates to "seven-three-nine" (incidently, my lunch came to $7.39). So, now that things are finally becoming clear for me...I can't have my tutor move back to South Korea.


And yes, I am taking Korean and the "why" is a funny story. So, last year I was going to Japan for vacation. I tried to learn Japanese by finding a Japanese tutor. But, all my Japanese tutors would flake after setting up the appointment. So, randomly, I got an email from my current Korean tutor saying that he couldn't teach me Japanese but he could teach me either Chinese or Korean; my choice. After meeting him I found out that he was from South Korea but had lived in China for three years. Well, his Korean was clearly better than his Chinese (by his own admission) and I opted to learn Korean instead.

So, that's the whole sordid story...lol...but I'm still bummed because I have no real desire to post another ad on CL and sift through a series of odd emails to find that needle in the haystack again. :-/

Fish Eye Pics!

So, my really good friend @skizm13 (for you twitter heads like me --> @bigapplestyle) sent me a link to a really awesome looking pic! Panoramic fish eye lens pics!

Check it out - click post title for the links. As seen on Gizmodo!

Looking at the pics makes me miss Japan...I def need to get back there. :)

Murphy's Law is a Bi-otch! :(


I always feel like the first post is so crucial! What should I say? What should I do? Lol...anywho...welcome to my world.

It seriously sucks though that I went through the time to flatiron my hair to make a "How to flatiron your hair" video on Youtube...only to realize that it's going to be rainy all day tomorrow in NYC. Click the post title if you really want to see it. :-/ Wish I had looked at the forecast before I spent 30 minutes doing my hair tonight. :-/ Arghhh...Murphy's law I guess.

In other news lol...I have finally picked up the art of crocheting. :) Yes, I know, terribly exciting but every other time I've taken the trouble to try to learn it I failed miserably. Part of it is probably because most tutorials are made for righties...and I'm a lefty. :)

Later ppl! :)