Showing posts with label A Dash of Staph. Show all posts
Showing posts with label A Dash of Staph. Show all posts

Friday, May 8, 2015

Last-Minute Mother's Day Gift Ideas

Mother's day is right around the corner! If you're scrambling to get something for the ultimate lady in your life, I've got you covered.

1. This darling Nambe Fruit Bowl & Tree for the humbled homemaker, from Neiman Marcus, $125.
2. The SunnyLife Bronte Cooler bag for the on-the-go mom, from Shopbop, $34.
3. The Beach Bombshell Box for the eco-friendly mom, from AbesMarket, $98.
4. This famous fine art print for the artistic mom, from, $39.99.
5. A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson (hardcover) for the literary mom, from Barnes & Noble, $19.44.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

How Do You Deal With Anxiety?

I've learned to reign in my anxiety over the years, through sheer will. It hasn't always been easy. After  a traumatic experience back in college, I was flooded by fear and anxious feelings. I reached a point where I could not sit with my family and watch TV. Any unsuspecting movement would have me teetering on the brink of a break down. For example, a commercial featuring an incoming car. Yes, it was really that bad.

Convinced that I was having multiple heart attacks at the age of 22, I spent copious nights in the emergency room. I was actually a little relieved when I was finally diagnosed with anxiety disorder, which symptoms I was told mimics a heart attack.

After my so called "near death experiences," I began taking Zoloft to abate my anxiety but the medication only seemed to make matters worse. I became significantly more anxious, sensitive and emotional. I had always been emotionally stable, it was one of my most cherished traits. So, It was difficult to watch myself crumble into a shell of my former, more vibrant self. It was even more difficult on my mother. I felt incredibly helpless, like I was gradually sinking into quick sand but was unable to rise to the surface, no matter how hard I tried.

One night, I stumbled on an infomercial about generalized anxiety disorder. They were advertising a self-hypnosis CD of some sort, so I decided to give it a try. At that point, all of my skepticism fell by the wayside because I had reached my lowest point. I was desperate and was willing to try anything.

That CD changed my life...

It was narrated by a man with the most soothing voice who instructed me to picture a serene place and sound. For me, It was a quiet beach with waves lapping on the shore. I would lie in bed and mentally transport myself to that beach, all the while visualizing all of my anxious feelings wafting off of my body, escaping through my pores. Lo and behold, it worked!

On occasion, I would still get intense panic attacks where I couldn't calm myself enough to visualize anything. Luckily, as the years went by, those attacks were few and far between. Now, I seldom get panic attacks. Whenever, I feel one coming on, I simply close my eyes and picture my little piece of paradise.

Do you have anxiety? social or otherwise? If so, how do you deal with them? I'd love to hear how you tame those nagging anxious feelings!

(Picture via here)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Are You Comfortable Talking To Your Friends About Sex?

Whenever my friend and I meet up, the conversation inevitably turns to sex. I'm no prude, although some will beg to differ, but I'm just not comfortable going into decorative anecdotes and innuendos. That's not to say that I don't enjoy a good adult conversation but when the conversation veers into salacious territory, I clam up and revert back to a giggling, blushing prepubescent. In a way, it feels like I would be violating my partner's privacy by sharing a deeply personal moment.

Growing up I was taught to be very ladylike and to close my legs when I sit, I even took a few etiquette lessons, courtesy of my late father who was a stickler for good manners. I carry those experiences with me so they definitely play a role in preventing me from oversharing intimate details about my personal life. Not that there's anything wrong with anyone who chooses to go that route. In fact, I admire my friend for being so frank about his sexual experiences.

How candid are you when talking about sex with your friends?
(Picture via here)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

The Secret to Keeping Your Sheets Tidy

A clean bedroom equals a happy, peaceful mind. I find that making my bed every morning gives my bedroom an instant facelift. However, soon after I climb into bed, that inevitable slip-and-slide situation ensues.

Lately, I've been tucking my sheets beneath my mattress, a method known as the "Hospital Corner." It works like a charm. My mother even goes one step further and pins her sheets to her mattress. If you have little ones, I recommend that you avoid the latter, you don't want any ouchies.

Will you give the tuck method a try? or have you been implementing it all along?
(Pictures via here)

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Female Friendships

One of my favorite bloggers, Joanna, from A Cup Of Jo wrote a post recently about maintaining female friendships and it made me realize that I'm not a great friend, especially to my girlfriends. I pride myself at excelling in everything that I do so this is a difficult realization to come to terms with. I naturally gravitate towards males, it has always been that way. I've never been good at forming lasting female relationships. That's not to say that I don't enjoy their company and value that indescribable bond that comes with being friends with a member of the same sex, but somewhere along the line there always seem to be a disconnect, on my part. I neglect my friendships. And no, I won't bore you with any excuses as to why that is.

What I will say is that meaningful friendships take time and commitment. That's true of any relationship. I've never challenged myself to do the leg work to reach that coveted stage, that "sisterhood of the traveling pants" stage where you've built an unyielding bond that no one or nothing can sever.

When it comes to friendships Socrates once said "Be a good one, and you'll get good ones." Like love, friendships are just two people looking in the same direction. I'm not a good friend because I don't take the time to nurture my friendships. I'm a constant progress of growth and change, this is just one more thing that I need to work on.

(Picture via here)

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Running Into An Ex

Running into an ex-boyfriend, the inevitable encounter we ladies all dread. We picture the moment it will happen in our heads, and off course, we always look fabulous. However, in reality we usually end up looking like frumpy aunt Franny. Why do we always look our worst when we run into an ex-boyfriend?

I never wear sweat pants to go outdoors. I mean never, except for about three weeks ago when I bumped into an ex from college. Off course, I was wearing pig-tails because apparently the encounter needed an additional dose of awkward. Yep, looking like a six-year old sealed the deal. We shot the breeze and talked about our lives and all the while I just wanted to run away. Why couldn't I have been wearing one of those killer power suits that day?

Have you ever ran into an ex looking less than your best? do share!

(Picture via here)

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir

I really want to add another fragrance to my rolodex of scintillating scents. For some time now, I've been coveting a fragrance that is warm, spicy, sexy, complex and intoxicating. Am I asking for too much? So, when I came across Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir, the description immediately captured my attention: "the sensuality of a daring red dress," "spicy woods," dark and enigmatic."  I just had to have it, so I went ahead and purchased the 30 ml bottle.


I was really disappointed after the first spritz, it just smelled like a field of cloves. Anyone who knows me is aware of my dislike of cloves, have you ever eaten one of those things? yuck! However, after a few minutes, the scent began to mellow out and the cloying clove smell completely dissipated. I was intrigued. A few minutes after that, I sniffed my wrist and was flabbergasted. It was woody, a little spicy and totally seductive. It's not exactly the sexy fragrance I was looking for, but it's definitely a contender for my ever-changing and ever-growing repertoire of scents. I look forward to trying some of Jo Malone's other fragrances.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, 2015!

I cannot believe 2014 is already over. Yes, I've had a few derailments along the way but I have to admit, it has been one heck of a year. 2014 was my year of self-discovery. I surprised myself this year, I truly did, and I've had several of those, "Yep, I just did that," and "nailed it!" moments. Not to mention, I fell in love, received my master's degree, and somewhere in between faced and overcame all those little fears that I previously allowed to stunt my personal development. I plan to enter 2015 full of fearless energy and I will ride that wave for as long as I'm able.
 I'm ready for you 2015!
 What are your plans for tonight? Hitting the town? 
 Be safe and a rapturous New Year, all! 

"God gave us our memories so that we might have roses in December."
- J. M. Barrie

(Pictures via herehere and here)

Friday, December 26, 2014

Thoughts Of The Future

When I was younger, the future seemed so far away. In many ways, like a fairy tale because the structure of most of my thoughts and yearnings were implausible and consisted of mythical beings like elves, goblins, dragons, fairies and other magical creatures. I assure you, I'm not exaggerating. Those whimsical notions were only exacerbated because my nose was always buried in Charles Perrault's Cinderella, or some other Disney fabricated folly.

As a child, I remember wishing with all my might for the days when I would have to make an adult decision. But now that those days are here, I'm terribly afraid. Afraid of making the wrong choices, utterly rattled about what's to come.

However, what I'm comfortable with is my choice not to be a mother, at least for right now. Lately, I've been bombarded with questions about marriage and motherhood. You can almost guarantee that nosy relatives will inevitably swarm around a late-twenty something woman during the holiday season, venomous stingers prepped and ready to strike. Their sole mission: to coax the childless woman into birthing a new colony. Being the deflecting Ninja that I'am, I brought my career endeavors to the forefront and quickly somersaulted my way into the arms of my sole ally, the one person who truly understands, Stapha. My cousin, Robino.

However, what I failed to realize was that he too had joined the ranks of the swarming honeybees."When are you going to have children?" he said, his brows furrowed. His stung was searing and soaked with heavy puzzlement. I never expected to hear such a question from my uber-independent and somewhat jaded cousin/partner-in-crime. I felt sucker-punched. I was mostly taken aback by his tone because tethered to that innocent inquiry of his was the phrase every woman dreads, "before it's too late." As if there is something unnatural even alien about where I'am in my life right now. It didn't seem to matter that I had just earned a Master's degree a few days earlier. No, the important question was, where is your husband and why don't you have a screaming tot permanently attached to your hip? It also didn't help the matter, that my grandmother reminded me, ad nauseam, that my mother was raising a family by the time she was 21.

Many moons ago, I promised myself that I would never allow anyone to pressure me into motherhood. Yes, the future is here and those questions have surfaced, and seem to be coming at me from every direction. I can't very well put a lid on them. But what I can do is make the decision to deal with these life-altering issues in my own time and in my own terms. I'm so unsure about most of these topics, but that's perfectly ok. The time will come when I will be sure. I hope.

(Picture via here)

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

For those of you who are celebrating Christmas today, may your Christmas be merry, full of magic and oh so bright!

(Pictures via here and here)

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

An Old Christmas Tradition

When I was younger, my mother used to buy me these darling french book series called Martine. Each Christmas, like clockwork, I would read the books until I fell asleep. I must have done so for at least ten years straight. Recently, I found the collection of Martine books on amazon and the nostalgia was just overwhelming. What a great tradition to pass down! Doesn't snuggling in bed with your favorite book, and perhaps a mug of steaming hot chocolate sound heavenly?  Do you have any special Christmastime traditions?

Also, check out these classic children's books from ToysRus!

(Picture via here)

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Staph Likes (Feeling: Proud)

I simply cannot believe how grown up Alex has gotten, it seems just like yesterday that he looked like this. No matter how old you get, you'll still be my baby brother. I love you, Alex!

How to email a busy person. This will really come in handy since I will be graduating from grad school in about two weeks. I need to get those recruiters' attention.

Lost love.

Snowy, Sparkly Pine Cone Ornaments. What a fun kid project!

Oribe Maximista Thickening Hair Spray. I need this, like now!

We Never Met. What an interesting Instagram feed!

I love these shoes from just fab. They're perfect for the holiday season!

Happy Socks! What a great holiday gift idea! I love, love, love lounging around the house in snuggly, colorful socks.

I'm loving this Fleece Pajamas from Intimissimi! It's sort of like a family tradition of ours to buy new PJ's for the holiday season, this one is definitely a contender.

Boozy chocolate pot de creme. This has become my go-to desert. Quick and divine!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Chanel No 5

Have you seen the new Gisele Bundchen commercial for Chanel No 5? She's  just stunning! However, I wish that I could muster up the same kind of enthusiasm for the iconic fragrance. My mom has an enormous bottle in her room which she uses periodically, but I never truly developed a liking for it, and I've tried. I would dab it on my wrists and each time, after the initial alcohol scent dissipates,  I hoped to detect nuances of spicy, sexy, intricate notes that would make me fall utterly in love with it, but all I ever get is muddled flowers. I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but it just smells like old lady.

Do you like Chanel No 5? Coco Mademoiselle and Allure are my favorite Chanel fragrances. I'm also looking forward to trying Coco Noir.

  (Picture via here)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Masculine Scents

My boyfriend wears this Yves Saint Laurent cologne, sometimes I snuggle extra close to him because the scent is subtle but also warm, spicy and intoxicating. I remember when I was younger, my mother used to always wear masculine scents. Remember this oldies but goodie? I think I'd like to jump on the bandwagon too. I've been wanting to try this and this yummy musk from Kiehl's. Black XS by Paco Robanne and this Men Energizing EDT spray from DKNY have also peaked my interest. Would you wear a masculine scent?
(Picture via here)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

What Staph Likes (Feeling: Tired)

Tired of soggy cauliflower? roast it!
Would you like fries with that? too bad you're dead. Drive-thru funerals, seriously?
Riveting photos of the Underground Railroad.
Learning to love criticism.
Best way to reheat leftover pizza.
A baked potato party! My mother, Alex and I do this all the time!
The Nudes Palette eye shadow from Maybelline. Great for the fall season!

(Picture via here)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

'God Only Knows'

BBC has assembled the likes of Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Lorde, Chris Martin, Stevie Wonder, One Direction, Dave Grohl, Sam Smith and others to sing the Beach Boy's "God Only Knows," to promote its launch of BBC Music. You know you want to sing along!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Fallen For Fall

To me, fall has always felt like a season full of wonder and magic. For some reason, the shift in the weather feels like a fresh start. I can't help but  to feel positively revived by the change of pace, which is funny, because everything feels slower and lazier, but in the best possible way.

Last week, on my way to Cafeteria for Yves' cousin's 30th birthday party, I had to pull my blazer tighter onto me to keep the chilly air at bay. Like the geek that I am, I suddenly felt giddy, with visions of hot toddies, throw pillows and a roaring fire swirling around my crazy brain. And no, I don't even have a fireplace in my house. I don't know what it is about this time of year, I  just feel warmer and full of hope, like anything is possible.
Speaking of feeling warmer, I'm in dire need of cozy sweaters. What do you think of this one from J.Crew?

(Pictures via here)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Disney Princesses Redux

Disney Princesses have never been so bad. Emmanuel Viola, an Italian illustrator and digital artist turned the prim and proper Disney princesses of yesteryear into total modern day rebels, with piercings and tattoos to boot. No need to come charging on your white steed, Prince Charming! these ladies are certainly no damsels in distress.
(Pictures via here)
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