hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
I've decided to import my LiveJournal account over here & start using Dreamwidth for primary again. Very few of the people I used to know on LJ are still there, and in any case I can & will continue cross posting from here. It's just that it makes me somewhat anxious for my blog to be housed entirely on some Russian servers, especially in the current political climate. I'm nervous I could somehow lose all of that writing, and I've been writing on this journal for literally more than a decade.

It's been 20 years to the day since I burned my hands back in 1997. That thought struck me this morning.

Today is for chilling out, taking the Christmas tree down, & getting the garage door back to where we can park Bryan's car in the garage again. Off I go to have more coffee! 


Aug. 21st, 2016 04:21 pm
hillarygayle: (Nurse Hillary)
Got the idea from [livejournal.com profile] spikesgirl58, who got it from someone who heard it on NPR.

List your first 7 jobs!

1. Assistant at a law office: I was 18, and this was the summer between my senior year of high school & freshman year of college. I had gotten my first car, so I was capable of even HAVING a job for the first time. I lived on a farm about 20 miles outside town, so without transportation, there wasn't much I could do. I was so excited to have an office job! I did a lot of filing, a lot of errand running, went and got lunch for everyone, etc. Three days a week, 8 to 5. Good times, cushy job for my first one!

2. Clerk at post office at my college: Small post office on Harding University campus. In addition to distributing the actual mail, we dealt with a lot of on-campus mail, which was free. It was kinda fun that you could just drop something in campus mail with someone's personal box number on it & it would make it there. I sent all kinds of stuff to my friends. Pledge week was SO ROUGH--it's when everyone was accepted into the "social clubs" (Harding's version of sororities & fraternities). SO MANY PACKAGES! SO MANY FLOWERS!

3. Secretary for a "crop duster": This is a colloquialism for someone who does aerial application of agricultural products. Pesticides, fertilizers, etc. They're sprayed on from small planes rigged for this purpose. This lasted only part of a single summer between my sophomore & junior years at college. It was one of those "feast or famine" kind of jobs where I either was on the phone and actually DOING things constantly, or I was literally doing nothing but waiting for the phone to ring. I plowed all the way through the Wheel of Time series at that job, which at the time consisted of 8 books.

4. Unpaid intern at a local manufacturer: This was for my communication degree at Harding. I worked in the publication/public relations department, doing stuff for the company magazine mostly. Took some photos, did some photo editing work, wrote some copy. Didn't get paid. Yuuuuuuck!

5. Service manager at a dictation equipment business: First job out of college! This was in Dallas, where we lived for about 6 months in 2001. I did scheduling for the service technicians who repaired the dictation equipment sold by our company. I just googled them and they still exist!

6. Secretary: This was at the local university after Bryan & I moved back here to Arkansas. Looking back, the director of that department was SO toxic. So, so very bad for my mental health. I did get a huge tuition discount for Bryan though, who was going back to school at the time, as he hadn't been able to find decent work with an advertising degree.

7. Software support technician: This was for a company that made utility billing software. Spent all day on the phone helping people with computer problems, and occasionally took business trips to do the initial installation and show them how to start using it in the first place.

For those of you who are new to my LJ, I had one more job after #7: I worked for an interior lighting company who designs & manufactures the lamps you might by at Target & Wal-Mart. I'm not sure what you'd call my job; I coordinated a lot of communication between the ladies who chose what designs would happen, the manufacturers in China, and shipping to stores in the US. I didn't really have a single defined job function; I did whatever was needed. That meant I was laid off first when the company hit a bad patch. I went on unemployment for a while and hunted desperately for another job, but eventually decided I wanted to go back to school--either to be a high school science teacher or a nurse. I suppose you know what I chose. :)

During nursing school, I met my good friend Tashina. She and I went through the one year accelerated BSN together, and then we chose to start our doctorates the same year as well, graduating together in May of this year. While I'm an acute care nurse practitioner, though, she chose the path of a family/psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (a dual doctorate!). It's this that made me realize something today. I told her she's totally ruined the character of Harley Quinn for me!

The basic conceit of Harley Quinn is that she was a psychiatrist who practiced in Arkham Asylum, and the Joker won her heart with sob stories and basically being super interesting. As we all know, he also abuses her both mentally & physically and it's basically one of the least healthy relationships in the entire universe (up until recent events in the comic, I've heard, though I don't read it). Only, to me, it's totally not believable. It's based on the idea that he was able to basically con her into loving him. I've seen the stuff Tashina knows about her patients; she sees through their crap when they don't even know it's their crap! Given the jaw dropping assessments I've seen her make, I just can't swallow that Harleen Quinzel the accomplished psychiatrist would fail to see through the Joker's garbage. That's too far out there, even for comics. ;) Tashina has declared it "fantastic" that she ruined this for me. 
hillarygayle: (Hg Princess)
Recommendation time! I have recently ordered some skirts from eShakti (I've always wanted to, and some amazing father-in-law got me a gift certificate *cough*Augie*cough*) and some from Modcloth, since my friend Tashina recommended them. After a couple of snafus (I didn't measure for eShakti at first, and then I over-estimated my size at ModCloth) my skirts are all in, and I'm thrilled!

They have the 1950s silhouette I can't find in mainstream clothes, and they fit like a dream! They are all extremely high quality, lined skirts WITH POCKETS. I know that's a big deal for everyone, but speaking from the perspective of a fat lady, that's the holy grail. High quality, pocket-having, classically fashionable skirts that FIT. So of course, by the "choose two" triangle of "fashion, quality, & low price," that means...

If you go to the sites right now, the first thing you're going to think is "WHOA, expensive!" and they are. However, both sites have sales quite often; in fact, all 3 of my ModCloth skirts were on sale for 70% off, meaning I spent less than $20 on each one. eShakti gave me a $25 gift card each time I ordered, as well as a $10 gift coupon each time I left feedback. That means I ordered 2 more skirts this morning & spent $12. I had to have the ModCloth skirts altered because I bought them on clearance & they were too large, but eShakti has a very generous return policy if you want to exchange: you pay to ship the items back, but they refund the full amount on a gift card so you can get new ones that fit.

My favorite thing about Modcloth.com is the wide variety of patterns & styles, & my favorite thing about eShakti.com is the customizability of everything on the site. You can even put in your specific measurements, in case you have a much larger than usual difference between waist & hips, for example. Also please note: your size may be MUCH different on these sites. I'm a size 16-18W or 1-2X in mainstream clothing, but when I order from eShakti, I am I size 26W, and from ModCloth a 3X.

So. All that to say: I have had a VERY good experience with both companies & I highly recommend them. Just remember to measure yourself first, do NOT freak out over the larger number sizes (the number doesn't matter--only how awesome you're going to look), and watch for the sales!
hillarygayle: (Agent Happy)
 Recommendation time! I have recently ordered some skirts from eShakti (I've always wanted to, and some amazing father-in-law got me a gift certificate *cough*Augie*cough*) and some from Modcloth, since my friend Tashina recommended them. After a couple of snafus (I didn't measure for eShakti at first, and then I over-estimated my size at ModCloth) my skirts are all in, and I'm thrilled! 

They have the 1950s silhouette I can't find in mainstream clothes, and they fit like a dream! They are all extremely high quality, lined skirts WITH POCKETS. I know that's a big deal for everyone, but speaking from the perspective of a fat lady, that's the holy grail. High quality, pocket-having, classically fashionable skirts that FIT. So of course, by the "choose two" triangle of "fashion, quality, & low price," that means...

If you go to the sites right now, the first thing you're going to think is "WHOA, expensive!" and they are. However, both sites have sales quite often; in fact, all 3 of my ModCloth skirts were on sale for 70% off, meaning I spent less than $20 on each one. eShakti gave me a $25 gift card each time I ordered, as well as a $10 gift coupon each time I left feedback. That means I ordered 2 more skirts this morning & spent $12. I had to have the ModCloth skirts altered because I bought them on clearance & they were too large, but eShakti has a very generous return policy if you want to exchange: you pay to ship the items back, but they refund the full amount on a gift card so you can get new ones that fit.

My favorite thing about Modcloth.com is the wide variety of patterns & styles, & my favorite thing about eShakti.com is the customizability of everything on the site. You can even put in your specific measurements, in case you have a much larger than usual difference between waist & hips, for example. Also please note: your size may be MUCH different on these sites. I'm a size 16-18W or 1-2X in mainstream clothing, but when I order from eShakti, I am I size 26W, and from ModCloth a 3X.

So. All that to say: I have had a VERY good experience with both companies & I highly recommend them. Just remember to measure yourself first, do NOT freak out over the larger number sizes (the number doesn't matter--only how awesome you're going to look), and watch for the sales!
hillarygayle: (Agent Smith Not So Bad)
Thought I'd do a post for those who are always complimenting me on my makeup & hair. I get quite a few questions about specific things I use (probably my eyeliner is the most commented on!), so I figured a list was in order. Here are some of my favorite, won't-do-without products involved in my beauty regimen.

Nyx Liquid Eyeliner, Noir Collection: This is a very close duplicate of Urban Decay's 24/7 Liquid Liner in Perversion, only the Nyx brand costs about a third of the UD. I have several colors of the UD, but I noticed that the black was my go-to, and I always ran out of it first. I went through several brands trying to find an acceptable dupe: L'Oreal (brush wasn't good), Makeup Forever (also crazy expensive & I didn't like the applicator), ELF (runs & transfers when you sweat). The Nyx turned out to be almost identical. It will easily wear 14 hours without transferring, running, or flaking. Love it.

Nyx Mascara: I am a mascara connoisseur. My preferred mascara look is volume: I want it to look like I have a veritable fur coat of thick eyelashes. Currently, I'm working my way through all the Nyx mascaras to see which ones are my favorite. So far, Full-Figured wins for my favorite waterproof. Le Provocateur is thus far my favorite non-waterproof, but Voluptuous (which I tried for the first time today) is possibly in the running. Again, these are about a third of the price of something like Urban Decay or MAC, and easily as good.

Urban Decay Primer Potion: I have never found an eyeshadow primer that works as well as this one. For those of you who've commented on the vibrancy of my eyeshadow, this is the secret. I use this on my lids & my eyeshadow remains very true to color and it will stay easily for 14 hours. I use the anti-aging formula, which doesn't have much color at all on its own; it's a sheer wash. If I need the color to show up a bit more brightly, I use...

Maybelline Color Tattoo or Nyx Eyeshadow Primer: Over the top of the primer potion. If I'm using Color Tattoo it's the very pale silver/white metallic color, or if it's the Nyx it's matte white. This gives me a perfect blank slate for the super, ultra bright colors.

Fresh lip balms: These come from Sephora, and they're one of my very few "must haves" among the really pricey makeup brands. These babies are $22 a tube, but I have never found anything that remotely duplicates the beautiful, sheer color wash or the incredible soft feel. They aren't sticky in the least. I wear these usually when I've done one of the extremely bright eye makeup looks. They feel incredible, they look amazing, and they are extremely good for your lips.

Blotting papers: These are awesome. Instead of using more powder when you get shiny during the day, you use one of these papers to blot the oil off your chin/nose/whatever. It keeps you from looking like you caked a lot of makeup on. These come in a million brands. I got a LOAD of them last Christmas when Target had the ELF brand in 3-packs, and I'm still using those up. Nyx has them as well.

Nyx Matte but Not Flat powder foundation: I use this over moisturizer or BB cream in the summer. It lays down just enough color to even out skin tone, but isn't heavy enough to melt off my face when I sweat.

Nyx BB Cream: Favorite tinted moisturizer, & I've tried MANY! Feels very light on your face, but will even out skin tone even if I have the whole redness/irritation thing going on around my nose or chin.

BH Cosmetics: Eyeshadows & blushes! Their palettes are INCREDIBLE deals! So are their brush sets. They have wonderful sales quite often. This is a perfect way to get a wide variety of colors all at once for a really low price. Their shadows have far more pigmentation & color payoff than anything you can get in a drugstore, but possibly slightly less than Urban Decay. However...drugstore price. :) So it balances out. Their brushes are not to be missed; soft & durable. From BH, I have the Galaxy Chic, blush duo, professional blush, 88 cool matte, 120 1st edition, & Take Me To Brazil palettes, bronzers in Diva & Starlet, and the 36 piece red snakeskin brush set.

Maybelline 24/7 Longwear Lipstick: Nurses, ever wanted a lipstick that would last your whole 12 hour shift? Found it for you. This is what I wear when I'm going to work & I want my lipstick to look perfect all the time, but I don't wanna mess with it. This stuff doesn't come off unless you take it off. It can be very, very drying, so if you have problems with cracking lips you're gonna want to miss this one. It's hardcore.

It's a 10: Leave in hair treatment. Works as a detangler, strengthener, conditioner, you name it.

Redken Pillow Proof Blow Dry: Spray it on my hair before I blow dry it, and it shaves a good 10 minutes off my normally 25 minute drying time! It also seems to keep my hair straighter until I wash it again. It primes the hair as well so it's less damaged by the blow dryer heat. I really wish this hadn't worked so well, because it's a bit expensive. :(

Suave Keratin Infusion Dry Shampoo: Do I think there's a difference between this one & Suave's normal dry shampoo? Nope. This one just smells better. I wash my hair every 3-4 days, since it's incredibly time-consuming to wash, condition, & blow dry it, and if I don't blow dry it, it will stay wet for 10-12 hours. On the 2nd or 3rd night, I will spray my hair with this before I go to bed. It's an aerosolized powder that absorbs the oil & refreshes your hair. I don't think I'd recommend it for curly hair, & I certainly don't recommend it for dry-ish hair, but if you have long hair that tends toward the oily side? Give this a try.

hillarygayle: (Kero-chan freaks out)
It sounded so impressive when I laid it all out for [livejournal.com profile] thejessone that I decided to put it here too.

This week is a bit different because I decided to work Thursday instead of Saturday to help the schedule out.

I have a heart sounds exam this week. It's open until Saturday. It is a "do not pass this test=do not move on in this program" test. All the studying inherent to that (I have 8 chapters left to read).  This includes where to listen for what normal heart sounds & what murmurs. How to grade a murmur Grade 1-6, what a murmur indicates pathologically. How you can make each murmur louder or softer using physical maneuvers or medications. Oh, and identify 9 heart sounds by hearing them. Next module in acute: read 5 PDFs, one white paper, 2 videos, & 2 textbook assigned readings.

In philosophy each week, there are 2 discussion board posts due, along with an essay-style quiz; this week's reading is only three chapters, thankfully. I have a paper due in early October, here, however.

In biostats: adobe connect session on Wednesday. She hasn't released the assignment information so I can know how much of what to read, but we always have an attendance assignment and a quiz in addition to the adobe session.

So in short, I have never been required to read this much in my life, and I had no idea it would feel like I'd been worked to the bone after staying home all day.

Students: This is MADNESS!
Professor: This. Is. GRAD. SCHOOOOOOOOOOL!
Professor: *kicks us in a scary hole*

A versus B

Aug. 30th, 2013 10:26 am
hillarygayle: (Miyazawa looking up)
Of course, one of the first issues to come up when I'm in grad school: what grades do I want? Do I go with that urge to be a 4.0 student? Or do I need to chill out & settle for a B, and when I get an A every so often, I'll just call it bonus?

To hash this out with myself, I first determined why I want to make the highest scores. This has probably got several factors. When I was in elementary & high school, I made mostly A scores with very little effort. I was the slacker salutatorian. (I did have a lot of extra-curricular stuff, though, and that's when I first became aware that maybe grades weren't everything, but more on that in a minute.) I was told this was great, wonderful, this was why I was going to college. And it was true--my first scholarship, the one that allowed me to go to college in the first place, was because I scored very high on the ACT & because I had stellar grades. (And I could write a killer essay.) I have always been praised for my grades. So: historically, A's are my modus operandi, and because getting good grades allowed me to move up in education. And the last factor…self-image. I am an extremely intelligent person and I know that. I have always felt that I needed to PROVE my intelligence by getting the grades.

So in the last 3 weeks, I have set up those facts to determine if I think they are good enough reasons to try for A's in an extremely rigorous doctoral program. UTHSC is the first clinical nursing terminal degree program in the United States (ooooh, look at me giving a source). I am not in some half-baked degree factory. The professors teaching my classes are the giants in their field. With that in mind:

Get A's because I've always done it: Well, anyone who knows me is aware that tradition is like my LEAST favorite reason for doing something. In fact, I buck tradition quite often just on principle.

Good grades allow me to move up: This is the terminal degree. There is no scholarship for making amazing 4.0 grades. There is no further to go, unless I want to move laterally & get some hours for education (which is quite likely), or maybe later get a PhD (I don't think that's likely, but one never knows). However, simply HOLDING a DNP will be enough for those things. My GPA will not matter at all. In fact, my GPA was not a weighted factor in my selection for this program. I was accepted ahead of at least 2 people with GPAs far & away higher than mine.

Get the A because I am intelligent & need to prove it: Here it is, then. When I boiled it down, I realized this is a pressure I'm putting on MYSELF, and I'm not sure it's worth it. If you put any stock in the numbers of the IQ test, I am a genius (hello, absentminded professor type!). Who am I proving it to? My closest friends already know. My family has always known. The people I work with treat me as a walking encyclopedia of knowledge. Colleagues seek me out for collaboration. None of these people need me to get a 4.0 in graduate school to realize my brains are a useful tool. Besides--why exactly does that matter? Intelligence does not equal worth as a human being.

One of the things I learned in the transition from high school to college is that when someone is looking at you for a position or scholarship, a well-rounded candidate looks better than someone with perfect scores. Thinking of my nursing students from last year, I understand that. Someone who has found an equilibrium between their extra-curriculars & their grades is stable, capable, proficient, & aware. People who focus only on grades often miss the wider world, and in my profession, that's not acceptable. Do I want people to know I'm intelligent? Sure. Do I want that to be the only important facet of me? Absolutely not. The smartest nurse in the universe is worth less to some patients than the nurse who really, honestly cares about them as a human.

This program being what it is, a 4.0 (or even >3.5) is going to be a TOUGH row to hoe. I would probably have to give up my hobbies, my free time, possibly even working. I would have to ignore Ganon & Bryan. I would have to do nothing but school…and looking at those reasons for getting the A, I can't say I think it's worth that.

My recent epiphany: B stands for "balance". B's are what I get when I study all my stuff, I work all my problems, I skim all of my assignments & highlight the relevant portions. They are what I get when I do my best, but refuse to give myself stress related illnesses & pin all of my self-worth on achieving a score. At the end, I will still have a DNP and I will still pass the APN boards and I will still become an acute care nurse practitioner. In this program, they will not come easy, but they are achievable without me killing myself. I can maintain my equilibrium this way. B is for balance.

(And C is for cookies & coffee, which might also be critical to my success in this program!)
hillarygayle: (Hottie Daffodil Sunglasses)

Most of us know by now that it's better for the environment (especially as regards our carbon footprint) & better for local economies to live on things that are produced locally as much as possible. This is relatively easy to do if you live in a large metropolitan area & have disposable income. (Intersectionality moment: being poor can make this a very difficult thing to do; it is cheaper to buy mass produced stuff. Other bloggers have addressed that more eloquently than I could, so google!) This is not so easy to do if you live in a rural area, or in a place that's not necessarily rural but is pretty far from major metro areas like I am (the nearest are Memphis @ 1.5 hrs away & Little Rock at 2 hrs away). I have still made it a point to try & source my routine food staples locally wherever I can. I am a notorious reader of labels--not for calories or fat, but for production location!

So, all that said, I decided to make a list of things I eat regularly that I know are produced in Arkansas!

Tips: lots of grocery stores will carry local brands of stuff if they can get it reliably. Wal-Mart is actually really good about this, as are Harp's & Country Mart. Kroger is okay, but I have not known Target to do much of this in my area. The famer's markets in Little Rock & Memphis are known for their local produce & goods, and the Jonesboro market (as if I don't say this enough) has become outright awesome in the last 2 years, with locally produced bread, meat & veggies. During market season, you could locally source an entire cookout or dinner party from within this state, and not use a SINGLE PRODUCT from elsewhere.

Honey: Culps, Jonesboro, AR. Sold in Wal-Mart & Harps. Fisher's honey, a national brand, is out of Little Rock, AR.
Bread: Ozark Hearth, Rogers, AR. Sold in Harps (who carries almost their entire product line!) and Wal-mart.
Petit Jean Meats: Little Rock, AR. This is a national brand; I've been able to find a LOT of their line in Kroger & Harps. Their peppered bacon is amazing & their smoked sausages are a staple at our fondue parties.
Pancakes & Waffles: De Waffelbakkers, Little Rock, AR. This company makes those epic little pancakes that come 3 to a package & you stick 'em in the microwave for a minute & 15 seconds and they're AWESOME. They also make little packages of waffles that are shelf stable & slightly sweet. They're incredible with jam or Nutella.
Wine: Post Familie, Wiedeker, & Mount Bethel vineyards. These are all located in Altus, AR. My absolute favorites are the red muscadine from Post Familie & the sangria from Wiedeker, but Mount Bethel's merlot & fruit wines are on my list to try. I've heard outstanding things about the fruit wines.
Beef: Nine Oaks Farms in Brookland, AR. Hands down the most outstanding bratwurst sausages I've ever had. I don't cook much beef (beef is an environmentally heavy food no matter where it's sourced) but when I do, I buy theirs.
Eggs: Nine Oaks Farms, Brookland, AR. Also Goobertown Farms, Goobertown, AR. (<--this is the gentleman about whom Ganon exclaimed "He has EGGS, Mama! Like FROM REAL CHICKENS!") Once Upon A Farm, Piggott, AR. I usually get these when I'm at the farmer's market during the summer, but Goobertown Farms will meet you in town weekly with eggs if you request!
Pork: Once Upon a Farm, Piggott, AR. Uncured bacon!
Veggies & Fruits (seasonal): These usually come from my farmer's market peeps, but certain grocery stores are VERY good about carrying seasonal produce, especially if it's something the area is known for. For example: Bald Knob/Newport/Judsonia strawberries, Fayetteville blueberries, & Mississippi tomatoes are all very easy to find at Kroger or Harps during their respective seasons.
Ice Cream: Yarnell's Ice Cream, Searcy, AR.
Bottled Water: Mountain Valley Spring Water, Hot Springs, AR.
Seasoning: Cavender's Greek Seasoning, Harrison, AR; this is widely available in Wal-Mart & Kroger. Woody's BBQ sauce, Waldenburg, AR (I grew up with their kids!).
Kettle Corn: Iron Works Kettle Corn, Russellville, AR.
Candy: Juanita's Candy Kitchen, Arkadelphia, AR.

I kinda like this list. I discovered some new ones while I was researching this, and I think I will keep updating it as I find new stuff.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Green Coat)

When I was young I hated my freckles. Most likely because everyone commented on them. They were distinctive & noticeable & with my red hair, they made me stand out.

Teenage Hillary would never have believed that 34 year old Hillary would be on her back porch without sunscreen, intentionally getting some sun on her face in order to darken her freckles for the summer. :) Because they are distinctive & noticeable & make me stand out.

The Chop!

Nov. 9th, 2012 10:21 am
hillarygayle: (Nurses for Obama)

Well, this is my new anthem for down days! Such a fun song, plus sequins & glitter & eyeshadow & drag queens. PERFECT.

Heading out for the morning to turn grades in at ASU, & then to do whatever I want. I have had a cold since last Friday & I let it get me down last weekend, but I now have Aleve-D. I can power through anything. I GOT THIS.

Think I'm gonna wear bright silver eyeshadow today.
hillarygayle: (Agent Fishface)

I had the best experience at Burger King today. They've really changed up their menu, & they have some super cool sounding stuff. Their dipping sauces especially. So I got onion rings & asked this guy about the sauces. From the beginning of the conversation, he had this body language that Bryan has termed the "Hillary is a Rock Star" effect. I'm pretty sure it was the same body language I had around Jeff Coffin. It usually happens among nursing students (probably bc they're constantly being told what a nurse should look like & I'm a respected, credentialed nurse who looks nothing like that, but I digress), but I get it from people who crush on me, too, like the girl at Starbucks. This guy was even getting tongue tied. :)

Me: Can I get TWO sauces? *playing it for all it's worth*
Him: SURE!
Me: Which ones are good on onion rings?
Him: Depends on what you like. The jalapeno bbq is really good, but it's got quite a bite. *very obviously trying to seem manly*
Me: Oh! Is the kung pao sauce hot, too?
Him: Yeah, that one is REALLY spicy.
Me: OKAY! I'll take one of each!
Him: o_O

In his defense, I did sort of troll him. I was playing it off like I wanted to avoid the sauces that were hot. I was feeling mischevious. Sort of LOKI-LIKE, IF YOU WILL. Like this time me & Q & Jess were in Rogers & the gelato guy was like "You won't want more than a bite of the spicy chocolate, it's too hot!" and Q ordered & consumed a whole scoop. :D

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

hillarygayle: (Default)


Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Red Polka Dots)
So I was at Target yesterday & there were lots of shoes for the upcoming season. Autumn fashion is my favorite. I really love boots, long skirts, jackets, bolder makeup in darker colors. I see autumn the way I want to see myself: calm, cool, intellectual (it seems intellectual to me, what with school starting back & all), with a bit of bite. That's deeper than I meant to be here, though. Really I'm just going to post photos of shoes!

Geek chic
This was a favorite of mine. It's not quite my style; I don't have a lot I'd wear with this shoe, but MAN IT'S SO BLOODY CUTE. I love the ultra bright sole; it's not a place you usually see color on a shoe.


Silly as it feels to be renewing my basic CPR when I am ACLS certified (if I'm currently certified to run your code, you'd think that would mean I was also certified to provide basic chest compressions & rescue breathing, which ARE COVERED in ACLS), I had to. I took pictures, just to keep myself from being hella bored.

Bagging an infant mannequin
Bagging an infant mannequin.

Infant compressions
Two finger technique for infant compressions (used in a 1-rescuer scenario).

As a public service announcement, though: those who are BLS certified by the American Heart Association, please be aware of changes to the basic CPR order. Instead of ABC (airway-breathing-circulation), we now do CAB (circulation/compressions--airway--breathing). It was found that stopping to open the airway & check for breathing were causing a delay in the start of compressions, and since the vast majority of adult collapses are cardiac in nature, & not respiratory, that was a problem. This means CPR now begins with a round of 30 chest compressions (at least 100 compressions per minute rate), then follows with 2 breaths.

In a side note: I would like to have a "Keep Calm" phone case. I want it to say "KEEP CALM & START COMPRESSIONS." :D

Been doing a couple of different fashion things lately. Hair first!

Clippy extensions are my friends
Extensions! Hot Topic carries synthetic hair extensions in crazy colors. I now own a LOT of them. :) They satisfy my urge to have ridiculous colors in my hair without having to pay a ton of money every time I need to get my roots done. Bonus points: they blend fantastically with my long hair, they can be styled by curling iron (low heat), and I get to have a different color depending on my mood or outfit. In fact, I'm considering letting the black streak grow out entirely & moving entirely to clip-in extensions.

Lipstick focus
Lipsticks! Instead of focusing on my eyes, as I am usually wont to do, I've recently discovered the fun of a lip focus. I do an extremely minimal eye (my go-to minimal look is my usual Urban Decay Primer Potion in Eden, Invincible Light by MAC, & Urban Decay 24/7 waterproof liner in whatever color), and then I put on a crazy bright lipstick. My favorite colors for this are red & purple.

I've recently been in love with setting mists. They're misted over your face before foundation & then after you're entirely finished. They help keep a matte look, & keep your makeup from meting off. Urban Decay has one called "De-Slick" for $18, but E.L.F. from Target has the same formula for $3. Unfortunately the E.L.F. has a sub-par spray. My solution: I snagged a tiny bottle of De-Slick as a 100-point perk from Sephora. The atomizer on the bottle is top-notch. Once I finished the sample bottle, I refilled it with the E.L.F. product! Tada! Exact same effect as the UD for much less money.

Well. We are headed off to Texas to visit the Grandminions today as soon as the boys get home. For the first time in years, I've got Labor Day weekend off! We may drive through rain on the way there; I'll be happy if we do. I'm ready for autumn & rain & jackets & umbrellas. Summer was fun, but it's time to move on.

hillarygayle: (Hottie Camera)
I had an amusing moment yesterday. I already posted it to Facebook, & I don't usually cross-post to here, but it's a pretty amusing thing across the board.

I was at the farm, swimming with Ganon, Jagger & Layla (my niece & nephew), & my mom. Momma & I were swatting wasps & yellowjackets with swatters. The lake that used to be there on the farm has been drained to make room for more fields, so the only source of water for miles during this drought is their pool. So we were smacking the wasps so they didn't get the kids. No big deal.

Until I heard a buzz different from the others. This was less "buzz" & more "droning hum". o_O I looked around for the source & saw the biggest wasp-like monster I have ever seen. I think I've seen mice smaller than this behemoth. I had my swatter raised, but it suddenly looked rather inadequate. I wanted to warn Momma of the situation, so I said "MOMMA..." and instantly heard in my voice that high, urgent tone kids use to get their parents attention when they're alarmed. Momma saw it and I saw my own thought process on her face, too: this fly swatter is NOT sufficient.

Instead she snagged Layla by the back of her jacket & said "IT'S A HORNET. OKAY, KIDS. BACK THIS WAY." We let the hornet have all the water it wanted.

The funniest part struck me afterward: that I used that tone of voice. Even when your kids are 33 years old & swimming with THEIR kids, you're still "MOMMA," complete with urgent inflection, when something hits the fan. ^o^

The highs have been in the 80s for the past 2 days! Today we edge up to 90 or 91 again, but it's expected to go back down. A local meteorologist (Ryan Vaughn, who is hilarious on Facebook) made the bold statement that he thinks we're done with 100 degree weather for this year. o_O! Either way, I'm happy for the respite. I can even officially start longing for cool weather. I got a super awesome black jacket at Torrid when we were in Dallas (thanks to their sale, I got a $60 jacket for $10 when all the discounts were said & done), and I am anxious to wear it. It's really structured & military-style so it'll look good with flowy, bohemian maxi-skirts. One of my favorite looks, for sure.

This week is Q's birthday! I work that day, & so does Jess, so we're eating pizza here tonight. Not a big deal, but sometimes you don't want a big deal for your birthday, you know?

Now, soon as the colder weather rolls around, there is going to be a fondue party in this house & THAT'S when we make a big deal of things. :) There will be all sorts of fun then, like bacon-wrapped, goat-cheese stuffed dates, gouda foundue, all kinds of wine, & possibly some pie. There will also be a general LJ invitation for those of you close enough to drive. ^_^ This fantastic shindig will occur sometime in September or October. LOOK FORWARD TO IT! :D


Aug. 4th, 2012 12:55 pm
hillarygayle: (Kero-chan TEETH!)

Yes. At age 33 my uncoordinated butt played this game in public. Because I don't give 2 poops what anyone thinks of me when I'm having fun. :)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

hillarygayle: (With chopsticks!)
Today has been a day of hanging out at the house, doing laundry. I work tomorrow, but then begins 2 weeks of vacation! On Wednesday, we're going to Frisco to visit the Mimi & Augie for one last time during the summer. Thus, the laundry. I have to have scrubs for tomorrow, but tomorrow evening I won't feel like doing any laundry, so I need to have all our "packing clothes" done by then, too.

It's going to be hot as hell in Texas, but that's not really different from here. In fact, it will be less humid there, so that's actually slightly better. At least my hair will be happier. Gonna have to pack lotion though. I BAKE in Texas when it's this hot.

I have decided: one of the things I will never be judgmental about is teaching kids to clean up after themselves. I will never judge a parent for just choosing to do it themselves. I'm pretty patient & persistent, and I realize the ways in which Ganon is like me means that he needs an early start on stuff like organization (because it's how he's going to compensate for his highly distractible intelligence). So I teach him, regardless of what it costs me. But MY WORD, how much more time & patience it takes to teach him how to clean things up rather than just do it myself.

Like his Mama, he has a natural affinity for lists & check boxes, so today we started that. I posted 3 check boxes on his art easel with chores beside each: clean up the toys in the living room, clear off the coffee table, & make sure the dogs were fed and watered. It kept him on task because he wanted to check off the little boxes. Just like me. So far, so good.

I'm looking forward to the drive on Wednesday. It sounds crazy, but I really like long drives. Alone, with people I really like, whatever. I am made for road tripping. I'm going to go dig through podcasts & see if there are some interesting ones for the drive. I have a bad habit of getting distracted by my iPhone while driving, & therefore picking it up to check email or Path or whatever, and that is not okay. I think stocking up on interesting podcasts might be a good solution to keep my brain engaged.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Eyeshadow)
I have this "thing" for looks named after Dave Matthews Band songs. Q & I are bizarrely huge fans of DMB (HEY ASK US WHERE OUR TICKETS ARE FOR THE DALLAS SHOW WHY I'M SO GLAD YOU ASKED THEY'RE IN THE FREAKING PIT), so it fits that we'd do this. 

We always thought green & gray would be a cool theme for the song "Spaceman"; sparkly gray for outer space, shiny green for little green men. I recently got a GORGEOUS kelly green waterproof eyeshadow from Makeup Forever, and I'd been wondering what to do with it. It hit me suddenly as I was getting ready to put on my makeup this afternoon that it would be perfect for the Spaceman theme. So without further ado, here's whut I dun...

On mah fayce: MAC Mineralize Skin finish in...something pretty pale
Cheeks: Hard Candy blush in Honeymoon, just under the highest angle of my cheekbones. Have I mentioned how much I love my cheekbones? 
Contouring beneath jaw: You can't really see it, but I use Sephora bronzer in Bahamas applied with a fan brush & then I blend the devil out of it.
Lips: Makeup Forever waterproof mineral cream for lips in muted pink & eyes in pewter (I combined them; they have numbers, not colors, and I'm no good at remembering numbers)
Eyes: Makeup Forever waterproof mineral cream for eyes in kelly green (all over lid) & bright silver (under bottom lashes). Then mineral pigment "Train to Nowhere" from The She Space all over the lid & "Drops of Moonstone" to highlight. For liner, I drew a thin, messy line of MAC's black kohl liner, then smudged the devil out of it with a smudge brush. Then I went over it with Hard Candy glitter liner in "Galaxy" (multicolored glitter in a clear gel base), which is my FAVORITE thing to do with this liner. On the waterline (and a bit under the lashes just to fill in a bit more), I used Makeup Forever's Aqua Eyes liner in bright silver; it's exactly the same color as the cream eyeshadow. The whole thing is finished off with Bad Girl waterproof mascara in black.

I don't know why I have such a thing for waterproofs. I think it's because they're generally long-wearing aside from being waterproof, and Q & I are both suckers for long-wearing makeup. We do work 12-hour shifts in pretty brutal jobs.

Posted via email from Painted Hussies!


Apr. 19th, 2010 06:00 pm
hillarygayle: (Compass)
I wanted to pull this quote out of the previous post and state it by itself. It's incredibly powerful, and it's a tenet by which I've lived my life for a very long time, even though I had never heard the quote.

“I beg you—do something to justify your existence, something that gives you the right to be dressed in your skin…because it would be too senseless after all, for so many to have died while you live doing nothing with your life.”
hillarygayle: (Hottie Turquoise Eyemakeup)
So [livejournal.com profile] onceupon, in her alter ego as The Rotund, linked to a new plus-sized boutique, LucieLu. I am EATING IT UP. This stuff is GREAT! It's priced a bit less expensive than Lane Bryant (for example, the Delaney skirt is $36 and I would immediately expect that skirt to be about $50 at LB), a bit more than Avenue, as [livejournal.com profile] onceupon notes. The REAL hook, though, is the style of the clothing. These clothes are more on-trend, less career-oriented. Obviously that appeals to me because I don't need "career wear." My career has its own wear. :D When I'm out, it's cute time.

Let's go shopping!

The Delaney skirt.

The Patience skirt.

The Teagan dress, which I don't see on me but I think would look AMAZING on [livejournal.com profile] starry_midnight.

The Emme dress, which I would like very MUCH to see on me. I love the design, the colors...I love everything about this dress. This is such a Hillary dress. They should rename it.

The Eau Claire dress. Another awesome one. I love the simplicity; the beauty is all in the draping & in the way that one, simple design draws the eye.

The Audra dress. This one is vintage inspired, faux-wrap. It looks like the top part has an interesting cut, and I'd be really interested to see how that looks on an actual human.
hillarygayle: (Hottie Turquoise Eyemakeup)
I get asked about my makeup. Like, a lot. I think this has less to do with the Inherent Awesome with which I apply my makeup and more to do with my complete lack of color fear. :D For example, my eyeshadow application may be neat & mediocre & uninspired, but if the eyeshadow itself is a combination of neon & spring greens (like today), people notice it and go "HEY! You're great at eyeshadow!"

But it occurs to me that through pure love of it, I have acquired a lot of makeup knowledge, and many of you have asked. Some of you don't even have the vocabulary, so that's kinda how I'm going to start. You other Makeup Monkeys please feel free to jump in and clarify if I start getting questions in the comments. I am certainly not the only makeup fan here, and there are a couple of people on my list who are far better at it than I am.

What I find is this: yes, the eyeshadow is the "centerpiece" of my face, but in order to be happy with it, I have to make the rest of the face look a certain way, too. For me, the look I'm most fond of is very matte, no shimmer. I contour my cheekbones and my jaw line and that's it. The only other place I wear much color is on my lips, and only in the winter. In the summer, my dearest [livejournal.com profile] asqmh has kinda converted me to the glossy, sheer wash of color type look. My high pigment MAC lipsticks are mostly for the cold weather.

If I mention products, I'm going to try & list both a high-end brand and a department store brand, so you know what to look for in your price range. I use a mix of both, honestly. I'm a Target girl, so anything I mention is available there.

Stuff That Goes On Your Face in General
In the order I use them in..

I use a mild soap for this, honestly. Some people will flip out & tell you NEVER to use soap, but there's this guy at the Memphis Farmer's Market who sells goat's milk soap and y'all, it's the BEST. This is what I use to wash my face, and it does me very well. I'm also extremely fond of several LUSH cleansers, like Ultrabland and Angels on Bare Skin.

Cleanser is mandatory; this one is optional. A "scrub" is something that exfoliates the top layer of your skin. I have a tendency toward dry skin no matter what I do, so I use scrubs to get rid of that top, dull looking layer. I don't use them every day except on my lips. My lips peel like CRAZY, and the only way to keep that under control is to use a scrub to get the dead skin off daily. My favorites are Ocean Salt from LUSH and the Walnut Scrub from Bath Junkie.

Toner is a liquid you use after cleanser & before moisturizer to make sure you've gotten all of the cleanser & scrub off your skin. Some people swear by this but it seems pretty optional to me. I will say that when I use a toner I need less moisturizer. I use Tea Tree Water by LUSH. Department store option: look for something by Clean & Clear or Noxema. Please note: astringent is different. It's harsher on your skin & I don't recommend it. Sea Breeze has an astringent. IT BURNS USSSSSS.

Even if you have oily skin, you should probably be using one of these. You've just washed the devil out of your face & it's time to be putting some healthy moisture back in. Also, drink water. Your skin likes it. That's not Makeup Hillary talking...that's Nurse Hillary. Physically, skin is healthier when you're hydrated. Obviously if you're oily skinned, you won't want a heavy moisturizer. Enzymion (LUSH) is a very good light one. In Target, look for the Oil of Olay brand and then pick one that says it's for your skin type. I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin lotion at night, to sleep in, and I use LUSH Celestial or Imperialis under my makeup during the day.

Optional. Sometimes I use it, sometimes I don't. Primer goes on over your moisturizer and creates a smooth surface for your foundation. I always wear it beneath powder foundation (it makes my skin look very matte, and then the powder evens out the tone). In a store like Sephora, you'll notice many brands: Sephora, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Makeup For Ever. They all cost more than $10, and all of them have a common ingredient: dimethicone. Want to know a secret? This is another tidbit from [livejournal.com profile] asqmh. Monistat makes a "chafing ointment". If you've ever worn a pair of wet jeans & gotten a rash, or if you've had "chub rub" where your legs rub together, that's what this stuff is for. Put it on your skin & it creates a barrier, smoothing out all of the friction-causing places. Monistat's ointment? Dimethicone. So if you can get over putting something called "Monistat" on your face, you can get a tube of primer for $5. :D It's what I use, and I also own a sample of Sephora's primer. They look, feel, and wear EXACTLY the same.

Now here we get into MAKEUP! Foundation is optional. The goal of foundation is to even out your skin tone. You want to match your skin tone as closely as possible. For this I do recommend going to someplace like Sephora or the MAC counter or another place where there are makeup professionals. If places like Target had testers available, it would be a different story, but as it stands you'd have to buy a whole product before you could test it. At Sephora or MAC or Ulta, testers of all products are available, and you can try out a foundation on your hand (or even your face, if you were so inclined!). It's really great. In fact, this is what I did a few days ago to test the powder foundation I got. You can't go on dark/light alone; skin has "undertones", and sometimes they're unexpected. I am ivory, but my undertones are more pink than gold (which is unusual for a redhead). Like I said, check them out to see what fits you best.

Foundation comes in many forms: powders, liquids, creams, etc. You can apply it with a sponge, a brush, your finger, whatever. Different forms have different "coverages"; powder applied dry has a light coverage and is good for natural looks, while liquids & creams have heavier coverage, and usually go on with a sponge or fingers. I favor 2 currently: Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse (in Classic Ivory) for my medium-full coverage and Sephora Mattifying Powder Foundation (in D20) for my light-medium coverage. I apply the Maybelline with my fingers and blend it all over. The Sephora is applied dry with a kabuki brush (short, very broad brush with a very short handle, meant to be used with a circular "buffing" motion). To illustrate what I mean by coverage: the Maybelline lightens my freckles to the point that you can't even see them on my forehead, and they're much more faint on my nose & cheeks. The Sephora powder lets my freckles shine right through; it just seems to "soft focus" my skin. They're there, they're just less sharp.

Blush is used to "contour" your face. It's slightly different from your skin tone; brighter or darker. You put it somewhere on your cheeks to achieve a certain look. For example, I use Sephora's Blush Trio in Apricot. I place it just on the bottom edge of my cheekbones. You can barely tell it's there; all it does is call attention to my cheekbones. It emphasizes them, makes you notice that they're there. Why? Because I have awesome cheekbones. That's the point of blush. You use it to emphasize the line you want on your face. You have adorable apple cheeks that make you look 10 years younger? Blush them puppies. It's going to depend heavily on the shape of your face, so I can't tell you precisely where to put it. To me, some of the best examples of blush usage are 1940s Hollywood actresses and pinups. Those girlies knew how to rock the rouge.

DO remember, however, that blush should not be terribly noticeable by itself unless that's the specific look you're going for. This is why I would never wear an extremely magenta blush; I stick to slightly cool tone apricots & peaches. You want it to blend into your own skin tone at the edges. Don't apply it so that it leaves a visible line. Lines look icky.

Bronzer is related to blush, but not quite the same. Some people use it to make it look like they've been in the sun; a fake tan, if you will. That's not what I use it for. I use it on my neck, just underneath my jaw line. This is because from the front I have a very defined looking jaw, but from the side I do not. Bronzer (EXTREMELY WELL BLENDED) beneath that jaw creates a more defined line. I put this on with a fan brush for super delicate application, and then I blend the living daylights out of it. You can use any bronze-toned blush for this. Physician's Formula is a great department store brand for this, and I'm currently using Sephora's bronzer in "Bahamas" I think.

I am not well-versed in using bronzer to actually, y'know, BRONZE oneself. I'm assuming it would go on the places one wanted to look "sun-kissed", like perhaps the tops of the cheekbones, bridge of the nose, etc. Again, BLEND THE DEVIL OUT OF IT. You do not want a line. Lines are not okay.

Finishing powder or setting powder is used to bring the look of a face together. In my case, it's a matte powder that I use to kill the last bit of shine on my nose & cheeks & forehead. Others don't use a matte powder; for example, [livejournal.com profile] asqmh is a junkie for MAC's "Mineralize Skin Finish". These provide a bit of shimmer and make your face look quite "glowy", as though someone lit a candle under your skin. It's a very pretty look if it's your style. My powder: Maybelline Dream Matte powder. I've not used any of the higher-end powders because I'm really very happy with this one.

That's it for now. I'll take a poll here: next, shall I do lipwear or eyewear?


hillarygayle: (Default)

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