Friday, February 27, 2009

Dr. Laslow Skin Routine

A few months ago I wrote that I have a slightly weird but awesome skin routine that came from Dr. Laslow. My Texan friend Rhonda, who has skin that easily caused me to approximate her age as 20 years less than it was, swears by it. She's done it every day since she was 18 years old, and believe you me, I do it every day now.

Dr. Laslow was a dermatologist back in the 1960's, I believe, who it was harder to get an appointment with than the president of the time, they say. Once he died, a couple major skin care companies bought all of his books and products and stripped them off the shelves. None of his stuff is available any more. I'd assume that it's because, if you use this method, you don't need to buy the expensive products that those companies sell. There is a book available that is written by a female journalist who was a patient of his and documents meeting with him and all he said, along with other things:
I bought it on Amazon a couple years ago. You can now get it there for under $2.

The method outlined in this book goes off of the theory that skin ph maintenance is the most important thing. Your skin is pretty acidic, and the soaps you use to wash it (which would always be basic in nature) strip that acidity away, leaving your skin exposed to pollutants. What's usually done next is moisturizing it, and the author of the book above likens over-moisturizing skin to watching an ice cream scoop slide down a wall after it's been thrown up against it. Gross, but effective imagery, I say. Apparently, rather than moisturizing stripped skin artificially, the goal of this method is to seal in your natural moisture, giving your skin to remain smooth and tight, rather than softening it with that mystery-ingredient moisturizer and allowing gravity to take hold.

So, here's what you'll need.
1) a large bowl. I use a wannabe Tupperware from Ikea. Actually, what you're supposed to do is scrub your sink before each use, but I both am lazy and live with boys. Ilk. I just keep the bowl in the bathroom cabinets and throw it in the dishwasher every now and then to sanitize it.
2) facial soap. You're supposed to use a ph balanced one. I used to use this:

But, I can no longer find it in any store, anywhere (I could probably order it from drugstores.com or something but again, lazy) so now I use this:
3) and here's the odd part - apple cider vinegar. Yeah, you'll smell like a pickle for 5-10 minutes after doing this whole thing, so avoid people. Solution? Doing this in the beginning of your routine. So afterwards, while you're de-vinegar-smelling, you can be brushing teeth, fixing hair, changing into pjs, whatever.I use Heinz because it's the least vinegar-smelling. Also, I definitely buy the above industrial-sized one. It lasts me about two months.
4) and, of course, a towel.

So, here's what you do:
  • Run tap water until it's hot. Really hot. Basically, as hot as your skin can stand it.
  • Place bowl under tap while you lather the face up and get it good and clean as the bowl's filling
  • When you're ready to rinse, rinse your face 30 times (the number is important) with the really hot water in the bowl.
  • Empty bowl, rinse it thoroughly.
  • Re-fill bowl about halfway or 2/3 of the way with hot water, and pour in enough vinegar so that the water smells strongly of vinegar and it slightly tints the water a yellowy/orange/brown (you know, vinegary) color.
  • Rinse face with hot vinegar water 30 times.
  • Dry face thoroughly (I definitely notice a difference when I leave my face damp. It's best to make sure it's super dry).
So there's the routine. And it sounds time-consuming, but now that I've been doing it for awhile, it probably takes me about three minutes. I have the best skin now that I've had in my life - and I've inadvertently stopped doing this before (over Christmas I ran out of vinegar on the east coast, and I didn't do it for a month). I see my old "friends" start to pop up within a day or two of stopping.

So, that's my recommendation! And, if you start to try this, don't expect to see your radiant new skin til about the third week, after doing this twice a day (morning and night). It takes that long for your skin to heal from the current damage, and keep the ph balance.

Not only will your skin be clear, it will be smoother, your pores smaller, your color better (rosy cheeks and all that), and it will be incredibly soft to the touch.

Give it a try! It's much cheaper than what most of us do to maintain clear skin, and so easy!

In other news, I've started planning for T's birthday. Right now is the first time I've ever wished he didn't occasionally read my blog, because I'm SO excited and wish I could tell you guys what I'm going to do. Don't worry, you'll get a full report once it's done :)

Today's whiteboard quote:
"Continuity gives us roots; change gives us branches, letting us stretch and grow and reach new heights."
~Pauline R. Kezer

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Thought

Thought is a powerful thing. I'm sure most people now are aware of the "Law of Attraction" and how it works - that what you think about, good or bad, brings some of what happens to you (not all of it. It's fully my belief that some things are just part of the bigger picture/plan and they happen no matter what). The tricky part is that, however this actually works, value judgments don't come into it. For instance, if you have a picture of something in your mind (and/or on your wall, etc.) that you really want and you think about it all the time, it's likely to come to you, because those vibrations of you thinking about it will bring the real thing (all that new scientific stuff about atoms just being waves and that the particles are only here half the time, but that everything's made up of stuff that seems like thought and on and on and on - I'm not a quantum physicist so I can't explain it correctly). Unfortunately, if you have a great big fear and you dread it all the time, always picturing this horrible thing, although it may be accompanied by hopes that it WON'T come true, it's just as likely to happen as the thing that you were wanting to come into being.

SO, with these things in mind, and with pure psychological/spiritual health in mind (my energetic and spiritual training has taught me that -this is probably also a familiar concept- emotions like love and gratitude kind of grease the wheels of life so that good things are more likely to come to you), my goal of the day is to monitor my thoughts.

It's not as easy as you'd think!

To notice the things I'm thinking about, and to alter them to what I'd want to be pulling into my life, and not only that, but to be taking measure of the flavor that I give to these thoughts. Am I dreading a long day at the office? Instead of that, I'll be thankful that I have a pleasant and safe job to go to, and I'll also give thanks that the weekend is looming. On the tail end of that I'll give an extra, focused moment to picturing what my dream Thursday (job, life, commute included) would be like, and send a little push of good feelings to that picture too. And on and on.

So, try it! See what happens. You may be surprised at what you think a lot of the time.

What are the things you're trying to bring into being?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Pivotal Day Potential and Del Taco Deliciousness

My whiteboard quote of the day is
One of the illusions of life is that the present hour is not the critical, decisive hour. Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Reading that today gave me a new jolt of energy. It's been one of those mornings - running late getting ready to leave the house, then stuck in gridlock traffic, and on and on. Knowing that today can be as pivotal and transformative a day as any other (more obvious one) is freeing.

Last night, instead of going out to the Cajun restaurant, T and I decided (during a phone conversation as I was checking the freeways online for him in my pajamas and bathrobe....it could have been at 7:00pm....) that we were too tired to get gussied up and go out. But, it was Fat Tuesday. So...

Del Taco. So much of it that I couldn't move for a half hour afterwards.

Fast food twice in one week, that's some kind of record for me. Usually there are months between my drive through visits.

Today I have an ortho appointment - new trays coming, sandpaper going between my teeth, oh joy.

But, it's hump day! That means the weekend is close enough to look forward to.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tuesday

It's Tuesday. Tuesday means that the weekend truly gone from last time, and not quite close enough to look forward to.

Tuesday is the pivotal day in my school week - if I don't get stuff done today, I'll be officially behind.

Tuesday means that this afternoon I'll take a field trip to go buy things for tomorrow's catered lunch and tea.

I just realized that this Tuesday means I'll be hearing a hack saw down the hallway....("lemme borrow that for a minute.....")

And this Tuesday is also a holiday which all of you twenty-somethings in the US should be aware of. Which means, dinner out with T and a Cajun restaurant by the pier. Sounds fun! (although I have a strong aversion to anything remotely spicy. I'll have a blue long island and it'll make it all better) I'll find the biggest earrings I own.

Oh, and Carrots in the Kitchen's goal this week? Homemade bread. It's a goal because it might not happen.

And today's whiteboard quote, totally unrelated to the above, but totally related to this:
"But each of us must find out for himself or herself what their gift is, so that they can use it in their life."
~Jimmy Jackson, OJIBWAY

Monday, February 23, 2009

Magic Mountain, take I

Today I'm not quite connected. I was walking out to my car (finally with no-gloves-needed weather), repeating to myself the mantra to "be here now, be here now, be here..."

Ever have those days? When you're just living in your head, or more like a few inches above your head, actually? And you need to be tacked down, Wendy sewing Peter Pan to his shadow style?

Maybe no one knows what I'm talking about. Oh well! ANYway, in an effort to tie myself to myself and my day with a needle and thread, or a monitor and keyboard (and memory card from the camera), I'll document Saturday's trip to MM.

I snuck out of bed early in the morning, tiptoed downstairs, made myself a nest of blankets and pillows on the chaise, and got to work, catching up on school stuff, and on the deplorable state of my toes - it was time for a pedi! So, with frequent filing, cuticling, etc stops, I hit "send" on all of my nearly-due assignments and silenced the to-do list's pinging in my head. I was able to enjoy the day, no worries.

Whew! I hate having to mentally keep checking what must be done. It's so nice to have a free day.

And off to Magic Mountain we went. We stopped on the way to grab coffee - and T got some kind of green tea thing. I apologized in advance. I knew that, without caffeine, my loving and attentive T may just want to toss me off the roller coaster, at the high point, because of the combination of my hyperactive morning personness and caffeine.

note: I don't drink anything caffeinated more than a couple of times a month. It's a habit I started in college. Home was 11 hours away, so I liked to keep my caffeine tolerance waaay down so, when I needed it, I'd be bouncing off the walls (or car windows, as needed). It worked. And I like it. Not to mention the fact that I realize what this stuff does to my body - why would I want to have enough to build up a tolerance? Yeesh.

So, here's the day:

We arrived soon after opening. All of the rides had decently short lines still and we decided to jump on a few good ones and go home after a few hours. Why make yourself sunsick and tired when you can come back all year?
In the Fortress of Solitude (Superman ride. Which wasn't very true to its name, judging by the crowd :) )
I've only ever been to MM about 3 times, and it was T's first, so we did have to consult the map. Shameful, I know. After we'd ridden our fill of coasters, gotten sufficiently light headed and hungry, we headed toward the entrance.
We may have fed some ducks from my cheerio stash:
And, on the way out, of course, we (meaning I) had to ride the carousel. I can't explain it, it was just there, and so lovely, with all the lightbulbs (seriously, would you brag about this?) glowing:
We were so awesome that we had the ride all to ourselves.
Moving carousel mirrors do not the best picture taking make, but I tried:
After our rough-and-tumble morning, we knew that a nutritious, balanced meal would hit the spot, so we picked one up on the way home.
Or something.
Happy Monday!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Sinky Mouth

At some point in the last yearish, I decided that I should change my language.

Cursing isn't all that ladylike, after all. But, as someone who had recently emerged from years of various college campus immersions, I didn't have the nicest speaking patterns. I blame my colleagues.

In my defense, my vocabulary was great! My friends used to get annoyed with me for putting in random $5 words. Right next to 4 letter ones, that is (that's not the part that aggravated them...)

So, I started making up curses. They have changed and evolved, and nowadays tend to just be noises with consonants thrown in. It's now common to hear me throw out a "holy sheraza!" or "frickafrack!" or, even worse, "oy vay!"
- "So now you're a jewish grandmother" my sister says -
I can't explain that last one. But, that's why I call it a sinky mouth rather than a potty mouth. And there's always T's favorite curse - "Holy Stromboli!" Yeesh.

In other news, my massage table arrived this week! And last night I finally unpacked and dressed it in the lovely soft and organic linens I bought, and used T as my guinea pig. Here's the one I got:


The plan is to start doing Reiki on the side. I was trained up to Level II in 2003, and I haven't used it professionally at all. What is Reiki? It's a form of energy healing that, according to those who've just gotten up off the table, feels like you've had a massage or acupuncture. It uses a lot of similar logic as those, although it just involves gentle, static touches rather than kneading or needles. You can read more about it here.

But, I haven't done it regularly in a while. It's a good idea to do self-Reiki daily (actually it's unethical to charge for Reiki unless you're doing self-Reiki daily, because with it flowing through you in order to get to your client, if you're not already all Reiki'd up, you're potentially stealing your patient's Reiki! No bueno). So, I'll be practicing on T, and on the roomies if they have about an hour a pop to spare, then in a couple weeks I'll start to advertise. Wish me luck! I got a portable table so I'll be able to travel to clients' homes, rather than them come to me, which is nice for everyone included. They don't have to deal with driving to a new place, and I don't have to clean my house :)

So, if you're in the LA or Redondo Beach area, let me know if you want Reiki :)

Ok, done with plugging. What else is awesome about today? It's Friday. And what's doubly awesome? There's a seminar today so I have a blueberry muffin and orange juice from Panera gazing at me from my desk, longing to be eaten. Oh, don't worry guys. It'll happen. And triply awesome? Six Flags Magic Mountain tomorrow! Some exhausting fun is exactly what the doctor (being me, hey I'm more than halfway to my Ph.D, I can self-diagnose fo sho) ordered after this crazy and stressful week at work.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Roller Coasters

This weekend, T and I are going to Magic Mountain! We bought Season's Passes, and as long as we go once (beginning of the season sale) they'll pay for themselves, and as long as we go four times this year, the parking part will too. I love the exhausting fun that theme parks provide, and cheap too, if you consider the above. Here's my pass from last year:
I only went once, so it was kind of a waste. But, now that I can drag T with me (I got one by myself last year) I know it will be different. Besides, I know in the future I won't always be within an hour's drive of a park like this, so why not live it up and get vertigo now, while I have the option?

Happy Thursday! Thank goodness the weekend's almost here, it's been a nutso week!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Photo Collage: Wednesday's Drive to Work

Let's get started. Departure: 6:44am.

Why am I able to take all these pictures while I'm supposed to be driving?


Because for most of the trek, this is what my speedometer looks like:


Anyway, this'll be a ride along with me on the highways of LA. Be thankful, those of you who don't have to jump on interstates twice a day! Some of the views are kinda nice though...


In the home stretch...


Campus sweet campus.


Unlock office door (check),


Open blinds (check),


Turn on candle warmer (I have a thing for smells, what can I say),


Water office plant,


And post today's quote.


Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Vday Weekend 09 Recap

What a whirlwind weekend! Ones like this make you actually ready for the week, rather than dragging on Monday (or in this case, Tuesday) morning. I think a bit of this may have to do with the 3-day weekend, no? I wonder if I'd always feel this way if every weekend was three days long. Probably, until I got used to that and needed a four dayer! Sigh. Oh well, a girl can dream...

Anyway, on to the recap!
...but I'm getting ahead of myself...

Friday night was the party for Friday the 13th/the boys' "housewarming"/B's birthday. Who, by the way, made the most awesome vegan-but-didn't-taste-vegan-in-the-least spread:

Some friends came in,


I got to hang out w/ my sis, who lives across the hall from me yet I never see her,


And there was a lot of this,


Some of this,


Which inevitably led to this (Rock Band).


Now, on to Saturday!

This year's was the best Valentine's Day I've ever had. I've realized, over the years, that it's not about how extravagant the gifts are, but about how you feel about each other. One of the problems is, when we're young, us ladies somehow pick up the idea that "better" presents mean that our significant others care for us more. Well, I can tell you from personal experience that this theory is a load of B.S. (excuse the French, or something).

In my past, I've gotten crazy elaborate and too-big presents, no presents at all, and things in between. And, to be completely honest, I can get myself stuff if I want it. I'd rather have love.

Not that T's any gift-giving schlub! Friday he brought me home roses (which were laid on my pillow and I didn't see until I had stormed into the room when we were having a difference of opinion about something completely random, as in I can't even remember what it was, before the party. There's not much that'll diffuse a tantrum better than T sitting down on the bed behind me, rustling the flowers' paper as he moves them out of the way, and therefore creating mixed feeling within me of feeling guilty for not seeing them before when he'd clearly left them there for me to find, and gratitude for having such a sweet guy, and double guilt for being a brat...)

Anyway, the point of gifts is to show that you're being thought of. So, why not show that in little ways, all the time? If something (God forbid) happens to one of you, I doubt that you'd ever hear the other person saying "man, I really miss those big checks so-and-so used to bring home so we could get the industrial air conditioning unit"... I bet you're more likely to hear how hugs are missed, or someone going out in the morning to get the rain-sodden paper so the other doesn't have to, and those type things.

Just thoughts. Take em or leave em.

But, back to the point. Saturday morning we got up and drove up to Pasadena to go to the Huntington Gardens.
I bought a membership last year and don't use it nearly often enough. I love going (refills my inspiration fuel tanks or something like that), so he came along with me to breathe in the beauty of the perfect weather in Pas that day.

Next, we went to get massages! It was T's first, and it'd been way too long for me. Thankfully, T was a huge fan and we've decided to try to make them a quarterly event. (Marking seasons? Special occasions? We're not quite sure yet, but what we do know is that once a year is way too little to do something that awesome).

Once we were all relaxed-like (and hungry), we went to Gogo sushi in Pasadena (if you're anywhere in the vicinity, go! It's amazing). That's probably what I miss the most about living closer. We've decided to make Gogo a monthly event. Yum.


Finally, back home. Where we got almost through season 3 of the Sopranos (I think if I never hear an f-bomb again after I'm done w/ this show, it'll be too soon), and T made me
this delicious pizza.

Happy Tuesday!
(oh, and btw, my very awesome green hat and such on Vday were fruits of my crocheting labor of late. I made them all in 2 days. Yay for instant gratification!)