Sunday, May 12, 2013

Here's Lookin' at You!

As I was browsing through some of my favorite blogs for twenty a few minutes at work Friday morning (right before I dove into 8 straight hours of completely focused, nose to the grindstone paralegal work), I realized that they all had something in common: they wrote things that pertained to me and my life.  At first this seemed to confirm my longstanding suspicion that the world does indeed revolve around Nicole Leigh Clarke.

But then I took a moment to consider briefly that maybe my fellow bloggers wrote about things other than themselves in some clever scheme to, you know, interest people.  So I decided to really think outside the box here and post about something other than my exercise and drinking habits.  

Since I've stumbled across the concept of blogging, I've gathered a ton of ingenious, useful information from other people.  And it's a cryin' shame that I haven't shared any of that info with the lovely people who regularly boost my page-view count well into the double digits.  That being said, below is a somewhat (ok, almost completely) random list of life-changing tidbits I've been keeping all to myself.

So here's lookin' at you, gorgeous!

1.  Reading the news doesn't have to ruin your morning.  

Just because 3/4 of the daily news includes either an explosion, nuclear threat, or some other sort of mildly alarming foreign rift doesn't mean that you can't enjoy your cup o' joe (or, in my case, two cups of green tea).  Every weekday morning, I catch up on the most important events from the day before by reading The Skimm.  This clever site sends you daily emails covering US and world events, but in a way that doesn't make you want to crawl back into a dimly lit room with Evanescence on repeat.  Because seriously, what's not to love about a site that serves Kim Jong Un's latest antics with a side of sarcasm?

2.  ...And if the Skimm's sarcastic spin on serious world events doesn't put a smile on your face, Richard Russo will.  

If there's one thing I like more than tea, it's a book that distracts me from my adult obligations.  I feel like I'm constantly on a quest to find these books (I can't tell you how many half-read paperbacks I have stuffed into various corners of my life because they just can't keep my mind off of my internet bill).  So I figure that when I do find such a gem, I should probably share it.  I randomly picked up Richard Russo's Straight Man at the used book store by my apartment and life has noticeably improved since; nothing like looking a fool on the bus because you can't suppress a bit of a chuckle.  I swear, when you're reading this book, your dirty laundry briefly stops existing.

3. Just because you stayed up all night reading Straight Man doesn't mean you can’t have a delicious, healthy breakfast.

Two words: Overnight Oats. Being forced to leave homemade Mickey Mouse waffles in the past (i.e. become an adult), I thought I was left with two options: 1. Wake up at least half an hour earlier to make myself a decent breakfast or 2. Grab a doughnut or Mickey D’s hash brown on my way to work.  Although I'm not a huge fan of the obesity epidemic (compliments of Mickey D himself), I really, really like sleep.  So thank the merciful god who lead me to Overnight Oats. Lately after work, I've been throwing together my favorite combo: 1/3 cups dry oats, 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, 1/3 cup skim milk, 1/3 cup canned pumpkin, 1 tbs. ground flaxseed, a generous sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice, and a dollop of honey.

It takes literally less than 5 minutes to mix up and put in the fridge, a small price to pay for the treat that awaits me the next morning. Although I haven’t tried any of the other varieties (I just can't let go of pumpkin), they all look super delicious.  It would be plain selfish of me not to share something that lets you sleep in without threatening coronary disease.

4.  While you're at WalMart stocking up on store brand pumpkin and oatmeal to save your moolah, pick up some apple cider vinegar and baking soda too... it'll make you beautiful like me!

But seriously.  It's amazing how many ways you can inappropriately use everyday stuff.  You'd never think that things you normally use in the kitchen are actually double-timers; apple cider vinegar and baking soda are actually pretty effective skin treatments.  And they're cheap too!  (Because, let's be real, if I had $7K to spend on a facial that would make me look like Mila Kunis, I wouldn't be scrubbing my face with baking soda).
But I'm not Mila Kunis, and because I'm guessing that you aren't either, listen up:

Apple Cider Vinegar makes a pretty legit face toner that I've been using for a while.  Once you get over the smell (I'm dating a soccer player, which involves some unpleasant interaction with sweaty goalie gloves and shin guards, so this was easy for me), it starts looking like a magic potion.  Because it's so acidic, you definitely need to dilute it (they say 50/50 in water) to avoid really drying out your skin.  After you wash your face and before you moisturize, wipe the mixture with a cotton ball on your face and voila!  You smell like a house salad, but (after a week or two) you have noticeably softer, nicer skin!

Baking Soda can evidently be used as a cheap, natural face exfoliant.  Who knew?  I actually tried this for the first time this morning, so I may be totally regretting this premature tooting of the horn next week.  But in terms of cost and excellent reviews, it seems like something worth sharing.  Two or three times a week, mix some baking soda with either face cleanser or just straight water for an exfoliant you can spend 3 minutes happily rubbing around your gloriously frugal face!

Anyway, I bet you didn't know blogs could be so informative (especially if the only blog you read is mine which, while entertaining, is about as insightful as a pair of chimpanzees grooming their backsides).  I hope you found this info half as useful as I have.

But if you're not at all impressed, and are angrily beating your head against the keyboard or in the middle of writing me angry comments demanding more big, colorful pictures of my life... don't worry.  This took way too much time and effort to become a regular thing.

P.S. Although I'd like you to think I thought of all this stuff myself, I'm not actually a creative genius.  If you want to know where I got this stuff, or want to start reading more blogs (but don't know where to start) I find a lot of interesting info here...

Or if you're not particularly interested in useful info, and just want to be entertained...

because she's a lot funnier than me.

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