Shave.


I was given a free welcome box from Wet Shave Club for men, and I’m excited to share my findings with you!

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I’m already loving the wet shave instructional card.

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First up is the Spiced Rum Shave Soap. The rum scent with that extra little kick of spice smells fantastic! The products are all natural which is great too.

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Second, a really nice brush. Nice tough bristles with soft edges. Great for ridding hair that has just been shaven and for lathering the face for shaving prep.

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Next is the razor + blade. Very nice quality and the handle has a slight heaviness to it so you can really be precise when you use it.

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This small leather guy looks like a blade cover which is made really nicely.

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Lastly, the Ship Commander Aftershave Balm. It has a really nice, fresh scent, and with the addition of menthol, it’s got a kick to the smell. I can imagine it tingles and feels fresh on the skin after shaving.

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All in all, this subscription box is a great deal! I will leave the actual testing of the products to my fiancé, but things look great so far!

If you like what you see, treat the man in your life — subscribe for 1, 3, or 5 months, or 1 year with the Wet Shave Club. If you’re a new subscriber, you can enter your email address and receive $5 off your first box!

Moisture.


So in preparation for my wedding in two and half months, I have really been paying attention to my face and keeping it looking its best. I have been falling in love with Benefit Cosmetics so I decided to try their Total Moisture Cream after receiving a sample with the Bluff Dust I bought from their website (I will likely do a review on it soon). Then I used a 20% coupon from Birchbox — can you say it was down to $33?!

Let me tell you, this cream is great! You use a very little bit at a time, and the moisture is outstanding! I’ve been using it every night before going to bed for a week or two, and I may start using it every morning too. The scent is light and my face felt smooth for hours! Let’s just say this is yet another Benefit product I need in my life always.

71.


71. That’s how many days are left until I get married to my best friend. That’s IT.

We’ve been dating for almost 5 years (March 6 marks 5 years), and this is the moment I have been waiting for pretty much our whole relationship. It feels like we’re married already, but I hear that things completely change upon marriage. I’ll let you know if that’s the case.

Anyway, I have been a pretty active member on Birchbloggers, Birchbox’s blogging group on Facebook, and I got to thinking. Since I have been waiting for this special day for so long, I really want to look my best. March 21 marks the day of our families and friends coming together to celebrate us and our relationship. That’s huge, especially since his family is from Connecticut and Texas, while mine is from Virginia!

One of the products I got from Birchbox to help me during this 71 day quest is Puff Off by Benefit Cosmetics. I have always had a little puff to my under eyes, and I’ve just never felt very motivated to improve the problem. Until now. I used my hard-earned Birchbox points to get it, among other wonderful things as well, and boy was that a great decision. Tried it out last night, and immediately felt and noticed the difference. I also have pretty sensitive eyes and wear contacts, and it didn’t bother them at all! I felt a little tired this morning, used a little dab of Puff Off! and bam! under eyes looked and felt great.

I know this will be a lengthy process in a short amount of time, but am so happy to be feeling my best!

Has anyone gotten to try this miracle product, Benefit Puff Off! yet?

Wedding.


It’s crazy to think that the cycle has begun for my friends to start getting married. Heather, whom I met as a freshman in college (almost six years ago!), and was my roommate for Junior and Senior year, got married yesterday. She and Aaron have been together for about 8 years, so even before I met her.
Upon receiving in the invitation to go, I was so excited. Even yesterday, I was so ready to celebrate the moment she had been waiting for for a long time. Chris and I made the trip to Jersey in the afternoon. The ceremony was beautiful, and my other roommate from college, Jazzmen, was in her bridal party.
Sitting in the crowd on the bride’s side, I couldn’t help but realize; this is it, the beginning of the weddings. Although I’ve been out of college for two years, it still didn’t feel so real to be engulfed in adulthood as it did yesterday. Jazzmen will get married this September, my good friend, Mark, in February.
Me? If we were able, Chris and I would have gotten married a good year or two ago. But it’s not plausible since he is just graduating from college next week. I hope it will be within the next three years, but all I know is now is not our time.
I was also able to see a few of my friends we graduated with, and only get to see every few months. I miss walking down the residence halls popping in to each of their rooms, versus trying to make plans to meet whenever we can.
All in all, I wish Heather and Aaron the best, although I know they don’t need my wishes. And to every 20-something out there, the day will come which will launch adulthood reality: your friends’ weddings.

Three.


It’s been three years since the greatest day of my life. Did I know that back then? Not at all.
March 6, 2010: We went on to Spring Break after hanging out every night for a few weeks. I had never felt worse than I did leaving him for about a week.
March 6, 2011: he was studying in Greece for a class. As upset as I was, I knew how important this opportunity was, and laid that anniversary aside.
March 6, 2012: I visited him while he studied abroad in London. As if it was not enough to be visiting London, the only place I had ever been to outside of the United States. We visited Westminster Abbey, the most incredible place I’ve ever seen, and once we stepped outside, I was presented with the most beautiful promise ring. It meant more than anything to share that time with him, especially since I knew he greatly missed everyone at home.
March 6, 2013: Today, we weren’t able to spend time together until tonight. We planned on making a freezer pizza my parents gave us, accompanied by some sangria from a jug he bought a week ago. Instead, we were blessed enough to receive some money from his grandfather to go to dinner. And where else, but Iron Hill Brewery! Salads and beers, what a most perfect combination.
We spent many times apart due to the distance from where we lived, and although our places now may be temporary, I can’t think of anyone I would rather be with. He truly makes all the storm clouds in life fade behind rainbows.
It’s crazy, but when you know, you know.

Outlook.


It turns out that my outlook has been all wrong. That’s the reason why my last post was over five months ago. Instead of taking the opportunity to just go and do things, I got comfortable and felt stuck in the routine 9-5 (well, for me, anywhere from 8:15-6 or 6:30), which told me I wanted to get back to my apartment and do nothing else. I wasn’t happy about living this way, it was just a tunnel where I couldn’t see the light at the end.

Finally, someone led me to that light. It took a dreaded walk from our street to Rex Avenue, and then into Fairmount Park. Christopher asked me what I do to relieve stress. I replied “nothing,” and tried to leave things there. He said when he gets stressed, he goes out into nature and walks. “Why don’t you go for a walk every now and then?” he asked, and I wondered how one could find enjoyment in just doing that.

I admitted that I used to find inspiration in everything which left stress to the wayside, and would elaborate on my findings on this blog, but that it had been many months since I had written. More so, it had been many months since I had discovered inspiration in daily life at all. Then I remembered something that happened maybe a month or two ago:

After work one night, I stopped at Walmart to pick up some cereal for the next morning’s breakfast. As usual, I zoomed right to the aisle, making it as quick as possible since i was not happy that I had to stop and buy it, and made my way around the store just in case I saw something else I needed. I was walking back up front to the registers, where to my left in the greeting card aisle, I saw a young girl tap dancing all around while her mom looked at the cards. That made my stride slow a bit, and I thought, I need to take time to slow down and enjoy life, not necessarily by tap dancing through Walmart, but by finding those little reminders of inspiration.

It was after I remembered that memory that my outlook was shifting. I wasn’t happy to be out walking since it was cold and windy, but, we watched two geese jump off of rocks and fly toward the water. Absolutely incredible! In application to daily life, my job can be very hectic, but if I were to focus less on the cold wind and the stressful times, and instead look for the incredible things that happen, like watching geese flying from the rocks, well, things might just be a little easier and there might be more love for life.

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Lucky.


I met my mom at 30th street station in Philadelphia in the early afternoon on Friday. We got a little to eat. Then headed to the University of Pennsylvania hospital.
Waiting. My mom and I wished every second would pass when there was no update from a nurse about my dad on Friday. We would get something like, “He’s doing well, but it is taking a long time because of the scar tissue from his previous surgeries..I don’t know when they will be finished..could be anywhere from 7 pm to 9 tonight.”
We knew we were in it for the long haul; my mom having been at the hospital since 7 am, and I, since the Lucy Septa bus from 30th Street Station to the University of Pennsylvania Hospital had not come on time, since 2 pm. We had also been told the doctor may call us; unfortunately my mom and I were trying very hard to keep both of our cell phones from dying!
It was 6:30, and the waiting room nurse told us to go into the hallway because the doctor was coming down to talk to us. I probably wasn’t the only one to secretly be panicking inside; I didn’t know if it was good or bad that he was on his way down. And so early?
A rather slender, asian man came down the stairs from the fifth floor, just having operated on my father for nine hours. He shook both of our hands, and flashed his bright, large smile. He told us that he completely reconstructed my father’s ascending aorta (the part over the heart), descending aorta (the part that extends from the ascending and travels down the spine), and replaced his artificial heart valve, put in place 15 years ago. All I could say was Wow! as his smile was so comforting, I would have trusted him with my own life. My mom compared it to that of Tiger Woods.
He said he was going to head back upstairs and finish up, so that we should be able to see him in an hour after he was brought up to the ICU. But an hour passed, and turned into waiting for a nurse to tell us he was set up and ready to see. We weren’t going to make the 8:45 pm trains.
Finally, she came to get us around 9 pm. We both have seen him right after surgery many times before, but it doesn’t get any easier to handle the waiting, and then that moment we were in. All the cords, machines, and breathing tube. Beeping that sounded like ringtones going off all around the wing we were in. A little hard to handle, myself not having had much to eat due to worry. But the nurse explained everything she would be doing, when she would be removing things as he woke up, and that made my mom and I feel really good because we had actually been informed about that mess around him.
My mom kissed him and said we’d see him tomorrow, and as I reached the door, I said “See ya later, Dude,” since the entire day had been filled with worry and almost void of laughter. We could have taken a bus, but it had stopped running three hours before, which Christopher told me when I called, because neither of us wanted to be stuck on the corner in Philadelphia. We were lucky to find a cab back to 30th Street Station, since there was a massive event going on not too far away. My mom’s phone had died while we waited for the nurse to say we could go in to see my dad, and luckily mine died right after that phone call to Christopher.
My mom made her way on the Lansdale/Doylestown line, and I waited for the Chestnut Hill West back to the apartment. I had been reading “The Time Keeper” by Mitch Albom, but I found it hard to read more due to hunger and to just missing my boy. The train pulled to a stop, and there was Christopher as I looked out the window. Tears fell so quickly out of my eyes, and I hugged him for few minutes.
That Friday felt like the longest day in the world. But to come back to him, having seen my dad being fine, I was truly speechless, grateful, and teary-eyed. I couldn’t stop saying how grateful and proud I am of Christopher. It was as if my heart had been exposed to the final beeping of a heart monitor, and then miraculously pulled back to life. And I just couldn’t help feeling so lucky to have the prayers of him, our family, and our friends keeping us hopeful throughout the day.
I felt as I did so many years ago after every other surgery my dad had; so afraid and unsure, to hope for a great recovery. The night before I could not stop crying because I was so worried. But here I am on the other side. Lucky to have more days with my father.

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