We Love Fine’s Bee & Puppycat Contest: Le Puppycat Macaron

Remember when I entered my minimal Bee & Puppycat tshirt design in We Love Fine’s contest? I posted about it on my blog and on our Facebook fanpage a few times and thanks to YOU (everyone who voted) I won! So now they’re selling the Le Puppycat Macaron shirt and I’m so excited~ It’s been a (long) while since I’ve felt compelled to enter in any digital design contests and so happy you enjoyed the tee!

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Wee! I feel so honored! And thankful! And this is of course how I looked when I won. Keep in mind this is after a long day of working from home while 4 kids are on summer break, taking them to the zoo after work and then walking over to the baseball park to eat with David’s coworkers and play in the sunshine. I’m surprised I’m even still awake but it was the first moment I had to myself all day! And how exciting to hear my design won a place in the contest full of amazing designs by other fans! I fell asleep before this was taken. Yes before.

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Buy the tshirt HERE!

Amnesia: When You Forget Your Life and Love

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I’ve been through a lot of things in the last 30 years, and yes, I know it sounds incredibly cliche and probably quite unlikely. I never ever thought some things would happen; others were completely normal to me and even more seemed like a movie or soap opera (completely unreal and strange). Every one of these things has changed me and made me who I am today, I am grateful I can speak about these things and live a healthy life both in spite and in honor of them.

Almost exactly a year ago one of my worst nightmares came true. I say worst nightmare about several key fears of mine and every single one of them has happened in some way. I’ve arrived at a place that I’m fearful to even have a worst nightmare anymore (so I don’t!). My furry companion (and life-long best buddy!) passed away at the age of 17 as I explained in Cats Are Good for Your Health and that was tough enough.. but next I came face to face with an even scarier experience. My soul mate had a major health scare (an isolated siezure) which was followed by severe amnesia for the following two days. I was strong, I kept positive. The kids really had no idea because I maintained that everything was completely fine and that dad was just feeling sick. I helped him feel safe even when he didn’t really know who I was. I took charge of his health and comforted him when he was confused, hurt or overwhelmed. They said his memory should come back within a few days if not the following weeks or months. They said it should come back but they didn’t know when because they’d never witnessed such a severe case. I just believed his memory would come back even when I didn’t understand why. I believed he would be ok and his brain would be healthy. I believed he would again remember me, our children, our home, our life. I knew he couldn’t have a tumor or serious condition. I practiced the law of attraction and stayed positive.

His memory gradually came back over the following days and the whole experience became an invaluable lesson for both of us in different ways, something we won’t soon forget. I got the experience of knowing that if the love of my life didn’t know me and got to decide if he would choose to do it all over again, he would. He told me in his severe amnesia that although he couldn’t remember who I was or our relationship he knew inside that I was his soul mate. He said he had this feeling inside that I was the only girl for him. He knew that he wanted to marry me and he knew my nickname when contemplating for a long time in the far parts of his brain (even though he kept calling me Farah Fawcett–the sex symbol when he was a kid). What was humorous was when he told me several times he didn’t know me but he’d like to get to (hah!) and felt shocked and modest when I helped him find the restroom and stepped inside.

For him, he felt grateful in an unreal way. He said he woke up into a life he couldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams and he hoped he could always remember how blessed he is even when he feels he is struggling. He saw all of the small and big things alike and how important each and every one of them are — how lucky many of us are but we forget because we’re so involved in our lives. When we came home he couldn’t believe this huge house was our home.. he couldn’t believe he lived here with me and loved seeing the photos of the wonderful times we shared. He DID remember Hobbes and he didn’t remember that he passed, so he got to mourn that several times over the days but he also got to know Calvin (as a kitten) all over again and felt grateful that this tiny feline wanted nothing more than to cuddle him.

We fell asleep that first night in each other’s arms when he still didn’t really know who I was and I felt incredibly grateful that no matter what he remembered I knew he was the only man for me.

To be continued…

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(500) Days of Summer Discernment

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“If you don’t like Zooey Deschanel, you’re incapable of love.” is a phrase that has shoddily fallen from my lips a lot, lately. Theoretically, this may have something to do with the following facts:
1. She’s my doppelganger, and who doesn’t love their second self?
2. I support everything Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for a Cutie / The Postal Service) does, and any friend (or in this case, wifey) is ‘okay’ in my book  and/or
3. I encourage rampant sarcasm.

Therefore, it seems only logical that I would be watching (500) Days of Summer over and over… And over… And over again. I’m fairly certain that there’s a cult devoted to Deschanel, and after the release of this movie, the members in which doubled, maybe even tripled in size. Unfortunately, I have yet to pledge my allegiance to actress/singer-songwriter by branding her face on my rib cage and learning the secret cult handshake, so if you thought this article was to be consecrated to her, you’ve been sadly mistaken.

What I would really like to share are all of the things I learned the third and fourth (..Fifth…And sixth…) viewing of romantic comedy-drama. The quotes that had stuck out distinctively, yet were so easy to over look. Like Twilight merchandise in a Hot Topic store. The little lessons embedded within the script that may or may not have been intentional, but will be interpreted and analyzed anyway (It’s your high school English class all over again. Did the light at the end of Daisy’s dock really represent all of Gatsby’s hopes and dreams, or was there just a light at the end of her dock? How do you know, teaching’ lady?! Did you have coffee with Fitzgerald or somethin’?!)

Tom: What happens if you fall in love?

Summer: Well, you don’t believe that, do you?

Tom: It’s love. It’s not Santa Claus.

Do you remember Santa Claus? Do you remember the whole-hearted belief that he existed? Ever got into a fight at school over his actuality? You never had to see him Christmas night, despite how late you may have stayed up, to believe that it was him who had put all those presents underneath the Christmas tree, but you were willing to fight for his honor. Don’t you wish you had believed in him just a little while longer, nostalgically wishing for that same whimsy every holiday?

Love is an awful lot like Santa Claus, it only exists if you believe in it. You won’t see Cupid’s arrows shoot through someone’s chest cavity, but there are literally millions of signs that prove it’s existence.  And we need to fight for the belief that it’s there, much like we had done with Old Saint Nick. What most older (cruel) children seem to forget when they crash our childhood down is that Saint Nicholas did exist, as does love. The only difference is that Kris Kringle was a mortal person, whereas love is an idea. A feeling. An indescribable occurrence, that will only live as long as we allow it to.

Most days of the year are unremarkable. they begin, and they end, with no lasting memories made in between. Most days have no impact on the course of a life. May 23rd was a Wednesday.

This was a quote with the kind of brutal and merciless honesty that cut me like a hot knife through butter when it collided against my ears. Imagine being on your deathbed and realizing that most of the days in your life were painstakingly monotonous. You woke up, you went to work or school, you came home. There were only a few special memories lingering in your head after your seventy,eighty,ninety years of life.

We need to find a way to make our lives mean more to us. We cannot keep spending  the majority of our time here interacting with a lifeless machine. We need to stop telling our friends ‘happy birthday’ on their wall as we say it on the right side of the screen and actually make the effort to remember on our own, make a phonecall. Social networking should not be synonymous for social gathering. Life is too short for these hollow friendships that are solidified with ‘likes’, comments, and ‘wall posts’ rather then actual conversation. Everything there is to know about me cannot be found on my page.

Paul: Robin is better than the girl of my dreams. She’s real.

To often I see girls and guys pass up their opportunity with an absolutely fantastic person because they’re waiting for someone ‘better’ to come along, who never does. We need to get over ourselves and get to know one another before we make any sort of judgements. There is no such thing a perfect dream guy/girl, everyone has flaws (and I don’t care how cute you think ‘awkward’ is, not everyone’s flaw is going to be ‘awkward’). We need to stop waiting around for some dream person, or some dream job to come up and sweep us away, or we’ll be waiting around forever.

Tom: People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not ya know, some words that some stranger put in their mouth. Words like love, that don’t mean anything. Sorry, I’m sorry, I um, I quit. There’s enough bullsh*t in the world without my help.

This one is as simple as it gets: What are words if you don’t mean them when you say them? When you speak, speak from your own heart, as genuinely as you can.

Summer: We’re just friends.

Tom: No! Don’t pull that with me! Kissing in the copy room? Holding hands in Ikea? Shower sex? Come on! Friends my balls!

I really shouldn’t have to tell any of you lovely gals this, but on the slim and highly unlikely chance that this smidgen of wisdom skipped over you: Don’t send mixed signals. Be as clear as you can, as straight forward as possible. With relationships, at work, with friends. Misinterpretation can get ugly, especially when it’s deliberate. If you don’t know what you want, don’t act on impulse until you do. It will save you and a variety of people in your life a whole lot of trouble.

What about you? What are you favorite (500) quotes? Is there any reason why?

How to Hide Eye Circles, Roots & Blemishes with Glitter

I get so many questions about how I hide my under-eye circles seeing as how I am wicked and we all know there is no rest for those of us who are wicked! I posted this tip in Facebook years ago and so I figured it was time to share again and a few other tips I have found to be useful… and all of these tips use a few products you should already have at home! GLITTER and/or shards of metallic paper!

How to Hide Under-Eye Circles

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How to Hide Roots (new hair growth)

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How to Hide Blemishes

Don’t forget you can even hide your blemishes with stickers and glitter while still appearing that you are not overly made-up! Just take a page from Miley Cyrus’s book..

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… and never forget these words of wisdom:

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Seriously though, if you really do love glitter, you’re not into raving or cosplay and you’re looking for some inspiration please view the slightly toned-down glitter inspiration photos below… I am a long time lover of glitter and refuse to give it up even though I’m not in my teens (or 20s) anymore. Also please note I said slightly toned-down.. I’m still Miseducated after all and you’re not reading Cosmopolitan right now are you?

Glitterlicious Gallery

Young Drunk: Social Drinker or Alcoholic?

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I didn’t just drink when I was young. I drank alcoholically, drinking as much as possible as often as possible, and getting sucked into every drinking game in the book. I drank Jungle Juice. I played beer pong. I did “kegstands,” which meant being hoisted upside down to drink directly from the keg’s tap, flipping my shirt up and exposing my bra in the process. Luckily, I was too drunk to care.

I “bonged” beers, sucking an entire beer down in a few gulps from the business end of a funnel-and-tube contraption. I played “power hour,” taking one shot of beer a minute for a full hour, drinking the equivalent of five beers in sixty minutes. I played “Edward Forty-hands,” a game where you tape a forty-ounce bottle of beer to the hands of everyone at the party. Once bound, you can do nothing with your hands until you’ve consumed eighty ounces of beer. This can get complicated, because you have to finish the drinks fast in order to free a hand to go the bathroom. Drinking twenty-one shots on your twenty-first birthday is a newer tradition, one I missed. When I mentioned that tradition to people my parents’ age, they were shocked, but it’s ingrained enough in youth culture today that my twenty-five-and-under friends just shrugged when I asked them if it was normal.

Binge drinking is officially defined by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration as consuming more than five drinks within a single day. I first heard that during college, and I almost spit out my beer. Five drinks isn’t binge drinking! That’s a regular Thursday night. I wasn’t alone. More than a third of American college students binge drink.

I found it hard to believe at first, but fourteen percent of these drinkers have had ten or more drinks in one sitting. I had to verify those numbers over multiple sources to believe it. Ten or more drinks is a lot, so I was surprised that so many students admitted to doing it. Some take it to a deeper extreme: almost six percent will have as much as fifteen or more in an evening. Fifteen. That’s about a fifth of hard liquor. This type of drinking is known as “extreme” binge drinking, which sounds more like an X-Games event than a medical term.

Ten to fifteen drinks would be enough to get anyone wasted. I should know. I drank that much regularly. It’s definitely enough to make a 150-pound eighteen-year-old male vomit in his sleep, and could even be enough to put a 125-pound eighteen-year-old female in a coma. The first time I got drunk, I went to the hospital with a BAC of 0.36. I couldn’t have weighed more than 100 pounds at the time. I shouldn’t have been able to walk out of the hospital that night. I’m unbelievably lucky.

The more often someone drinks, the more her body will adjust to having blood laced with booze. That’s why I was able to drink more and more over time. I was proud of it. I could drink a lot of full-grown men under the table, and I liked to prove it. This is also known as building a tolerance, which is the same thing that can kill a longtime heroin addict. The amount of drug needed to catch a high starts to exceed what the body can physically handle. Binge drinking is one way to increase your tolerance, and after a few years of regular drinking, I was a pro.

I refused to admit that my drinking had gotten out of control. I told myself that bingeing is a symptom of alcoholism like nausea is a symptom of pregnancy. Not all pregnant women experience nausea, and not all nausea indicates pregnancy, so you can’t automatically assume that every nauseated woman is with child. She might just have the flu, or maybe food poisoning, or a migraine. Just because I binged didn’t mean I was an alcoholic. People who watched me drink didn’t think I was an alcoholic, either. They thought I was celebrating. Or maybe I’d had a bad day. They say, “I never thought you were a drunk.” Then they look down and sigh, “But then again, I was drinking, too.”

At some point during my downward spiral, I started to wonder if maybe I was drinking too much. I took an online quiz, trying to convince myself that I was just a youthful partier, that I wasn’t a problem drinker or an alcoholic.

NCADD Self-Test: What are the Signs of Alcoholism?

1. Do you drink heavily when you are disappointed, under pressure or have had a quarrel
with someone? Yes
2. Can you handle more alcohol now than when you first started to drink? Yes
3. Have you ever been unable to remember part of the previous evening, even though
your friends say you didn’t pass out? Yes
4. When drinking with other people, do you try to have a few extra drinks when others
won’t know about it? Yes
5. Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable if alcohol is not available? Yes
6. Are you more in a hurry to get your first drink of the day than you used to be? Yes
7. Do you sometimes feel a little guilty about your drinking? Yes
8. Has a family member or close friend express concern or complained about your drinking? Yes
9. Have you been having more memory “blackouts” recently? Yes
10. Do you often want to continue drinking after your friends say they’ve had enough? Yes
11. Do you usually have a reason for the occasions when you drink heavily? No
12. When you’re sober, do you sometimes regret things you did or said while drinking? Yes
13. Have you tried switching brands or drinks, or following different plans to control your drinking? Yes
14. Have you sometimes failed to keep promises you made to yourself about controlling or
cutting down on your drinking? Yes
15. Have you ever had a DWI (driving while intoxicated) or DUI (driving under the influence of alcohol) violation, or any other legal problem related to your drinking? No
16. Do you try to avoid family or close friends while you are drinking? No
17. Are you having more financial, work, school, and/or family problems as a result of
your drinking? Yes
18. Has your physician ever advised you to cut down on your drinking? Yes
19. Do you eat very little or irregularly during the periods when you are drinking? No
20. Do you sometimes have the “shakes” in the morning and find that it helps to have a
“little” drink, tranquilizer or medication of some kind? No
21. Have you recently noticed that you can’t drink as much as you used to? No
22. Do you sometimes stay drunk for several days at a time? No
23. After periods of drinking do you sometimes see or hear things that aren’t there? No
24. Have you ever gone to anyone for help about your drinking? No
25. Do you ever feel depressed or anxious before, during or after periods of heavy drinking? Yes
26. Have any of your blood relatives ever had a problem with alcohol? No

I answered “yes” to sixteen of the twenty-six questions. That put me in the “serious level of alcohol-related problems requiring immediate attention and possible treatment” category. I took it again and got the same results. I took a different quiz the following week. And another a month after that. Every time I took one of those quizzes, the results said I should seek treatment for my alcohol consumption, but I still didn’t believe it.
I wasn’t a bum. I wasn’t drinking in the morning. I didn’t get the shakes or hallucinate. I called the tests bogus. I knew better. I was different from those people who can’t control their drinking without a support group and a chip that says how many days its been since the last drink. I thought I didn’t need help. I was wrong.

I don’t know if binge drinking caused my alcoholism, or if I was an alcoholic from the start. The culture surrounding alcohol in my teens and early twenties certainly made it easy for me to drink lots and lots of booze without being labeled a drunk. From the very first time I had more alcohol available to me than I could physically consume, I binged, to the point that I had to be hospitalized. No one else went to the hospital that day, even though we all got drunk. I wasn’t alone in my overindulgence, but I was somehow different. I was an alcoholic, but it took me ten years to admit it and finally get sober. I’m glad I did, because it saved my life. I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t found the courage to say, “Hi, I’m Emma, and I’m an alcoholic.”