To all my followers….

I’ve migrated all my the content from this blog over to my main/primary blog

stylemenerdy.wordpress.com which also has the domain tomorrowlandtribune.com from when it was a Disney only blog. Now that I write about most things under the generally nerdy umbrella, I’ve decided to combine the blogs, so go check out my primary blog and give it a follow! Thanks!

Advertisements

Harry Potter Bath

Yup you read that right! I’m going to tell you how to brew the perfect Harry Potter themed bath using some of my favorite Lush products (disclaimer…one of them has recently been discontinued…so if you see Grass body was…grab it while you can!) I’ll put the links to all of these in the bottom!

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan and I have managed to integrate the fandom into most every aspect of my life, including my bathtub. I have managed to do this using a perfect concoction of Lush Cosmetics products that in some way connect to the books or characters!

Step

Step 1: The bath bomb!

The bath bomb is the product that Lush is best known for and with good reason! It turns a tub of water into a mystical wonderland! The bath bomb that I picked for this is mostly based on the name, the color and the scent. I picked Phoenix Rising because of it’s fabulous tie in to both the rise of the Order of the Phoenix in the book of the same name and Faux the phoenix belonging to Dumbledore. It’s a fabulous purple color with lots of gold, seaweed glitter and a wonderfully spicy smell of apple cinnamon! It turns the water a fabulous purple color with PLENTY of sparkle to go around! (An alternate bath bomb should this one not be available is Dragon’s Egg with lovely gold seaweed glitter and polka dots!)

Step 2: The Body Wash

This is where I tie in a recently discontinued product but only because it works so flawlessly! Don’t worry though, if you can’t find the body wash, I have other ways of integrating the grassy scent of Hermione’s perfect love potion into the mix! The body wash is called Grass and ties in very well with what Hermione’s Amorentia smells like. It smells like fresh cut grass but with a hint of neroli to make it smell beautiful! I absolutely love this body wash and can’t get enough of it! Another way to integrate the grassy smell is through a candle. I know Yankee candle has a candle or two that has hints of grass in it!

Step 3: Shampoo

Not everyone washes their hair in the bath, I know, but the Dirty shower gel adds another element of Hermione’s love potion to the mix perfectly! You can also use other Dirty products that will give off some of the same scent, like perfume or soap. It smells of spearmint, which not only connects to the book and one of my favorite characters but also really wakes up the senses to keep you from relaxing too much while you’re re-reading your favorite book in the series for the 50th time.

Step 4: The Face Mask

I always use a face mask while I’m soaking in the tub, because I like to make it a head to toe treatment! I would suggest using Mask of Magnaminty to keep with the mint from the potion and the candies of the Hogwarts Express or Cupcake to tie in with the fan favorite chocolate frogs! It also has mint in it to keep with the minty theme! If you really want to bring the steam of the Hogwarts Express or potion making into the mix, prep your skin with a steamer tab!

Step 5: Ambiance!

No bath is complete without proper ambiance, especially not a themed one! So grab your computer or iPod, and go to http://harry-potter-sounds.ambient-mixer.com/gryffindor-common-room It’s amazing! It makes whatever room you’re in sound like you’re at Hogwarts, whether it be a common room or the Great Hall! I also suggest grabbing some of the spine candles from etsy that look just like Lupin’s or some of these candles from the Mud in my Blood Store http://mudinmyblood.storenvy.com/ (right now the candles are sold out but if you find the shop on FB you can see when they are restocked). Then light than candle, grab yourself a pumpkin beverage, a Pinterest recipe butterbeer or a large cup of tea and dig back in to your favorite book in the series and relax! Shut the door and pretend you’re at Hogwarts for an hour, it’ll be like you’re at a Harry Potter themed spa! Enjoy you’re bath!

Here’s the links to the Lush products!

http://www.lushusa.com/Dragon%27s-Egg/03154,en_US,pd.html#start=4

http://www.lushusa.com/Phoenix-Rising/03575,en_US,pd.html#start=15

http://www.lushusa.com/Dirty-Springwash/9999903165,en_US,pd.html

http://www.lushusa.com/Grass/9999903127,en_US,pd.html#start=7

http://www.lushusa.com/Masks/masks,en_US,sc.html

#LoveWins Today

It’s not a good day to be a Catholic. I definitely don’t mean that in the way most would believe I do. I’m a huge supporter of the LGBT+ Community and I’ve been waiting a long time for marriage equality to become the law of the land. I’m very very proud of the Supreme Court for finally making the right decision and allowing everyone to marry the person they love legally in this country and putting the kibosh on anyone telling the LGBT+ community that they should be denied that right. However…I’m very disappointed in the statement issued by the Archbishop of Philadelphia, the diocese of which I was a member for over 15 years of my life. I’m incredibly proud of the comment my mother made in standing up for the many people in our lives that belong to the LGBT+ community and continuing to publicly offer them our love and support. I’m not proud to say the diocese I’m from today. When it comes to education and as evidently presented today on their policy of including everyone under the umbrella of God’s love, they failed. Obviously, the Archbishop Chaput does not speak for every member of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, in fact, the amount of people who agreed with my mother’s statement grows by the minute. My heavy concern is in the blind opposition from people who clearly believe that they can defend their exclusion with Biblical proof texting and hate. It’s a lot of blind ignorance and that’s really disappointing. I’m proud to be a member of the Catholic church and have been loving the inclusive message of the current Pope, Pope Francis. He spreads a message of love while the Archbishop of Philadelphia spreads a message of fear and exclusion. My mom made an excellent point when she said that the newly universal law of marriage equality in America has no affect on the way she raises her children (which she did quite well) or the marriage of anyone else. If you believe that the marriage of someone else or the gender of the person they marry has any effect on the way your marriage turns out or the way your children are raised, maybe you should check yourself. Mind your own business and let people love who they want and marry who they want. A life of love is always more Godly than a life of exclusion, hate and fear. If you don’t want to explain homosexuality to your children, that’s too bad…but someone else will likely gladly step up to the plate and do it for you. I’m including a link to the statement made by the Archbishop today and feel free to peruse the comments. I’m proud of the forward thinking of most of the Catholics I know when it comes to marriage equality. I can only hope that someday the rest of the community comes to accept a life of love or at least stops persecuting the community that has done nothing to them or their straight marriages. I’ll get off my soapbox now but it’s not an issue I will ever stop speaking in favor of. I’m proud to be a Catholic who accept everyone and I suspect that God does too. As my brother so eloquently said when my mother said that one of the commenters believed that 11 states had the rights taken away today “oh and I guess all 50 states had their rights taken away when the court ruled on civil rights in the 60s.” I’ll leave that for you all to think on. This is an important day in American History. I hope that some day the next generation studies it and wonders why it took so long.

https://www.facebook.com/ArchbishopChaput?fref=nf

Top Ten Things to Get You Out of a Funk

So you’ve found yourself in a funk. I’m not talking about depression or anything serious that requires slightly more professional attention; I’m talking about PMS or just plain being in a bad mood, whether you know what caused it or not.

1. Exercise. I don’t care if this is yoga, dance, running, whatever is your jam, just move. As Elle Woods told us all “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t”.

2. Clean…you will feel incredibly accomplished if you adult-up and clean part of your house. Clean your room, your bathroom, your kitchen, the living room…use cleaning products…it makes you feel like you did something

3. Make your bed. Now some people do this every day…I’m not one of those people. If my bed is make, I feel like a productive member of the human race.

4. Treat Yo Self. This is my life philosophy. Life is short, if you can afford to, treat yo self with a special food treat or something. Retail therapy is always good therapy. Tight on money? Go to the library and get yourself a new book or movie.

5. Take a bath. I live by my bathtub, there is a huge stack of books and comic books there, I usually have a cup of tea or a glass of wine with my bath and there is ALWAYS some sort of LUSH Cosmetics product there to lift my spirits.

6. Laugh. Whether this is accomplished through listening/watching standup comedy, reading a humorous book, hanging out with a funny friend or watching a funny movie, laughter literally releases happy chemicals into your brain and you will thank yourself for this later.

7. Go some place fun. You can do this either with a friend or alone. I’ve done both. For me, these places include, Starbucks, Walt Disney World (a good ride on my favorite attraction paired with a hug from a character usually does the trick) and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter (or really anywhere in Universal).

8. Read a book. Take a break, sit down and read a book. i recommend an old favorite that transports you back to a wonderful time in your life or a magical place totally outside of the world. The first Harry Potter book is one of my top 5 choices, along with the Hobbit, Anna and the French Kiss or Looking for Alaska. (Looking for Alaska will induce tears if that’s what you need, a good cry).

9. Make something, bake something, cook something, build something, do one of those weird Pinterest projects you pinned ages ago! I tend to enjoy it more if I can eat it but to each their own.

10. Take a nap. Sometimes you just need to sleep it off. Put some good, calming music on and just sleep it off. You will likely feel better when you awake.

So You’re Not a Morning Person?

So, if you’re reading this I’m assuming that you, like me despise getting up early in the AM more than more horrid things you can think of. Like me, you probably feel sub-human before 10am and feel sorry for the people that you encounter this early. Before the caffeine of your morning coffee (sometimes soda) hits your blood stream, you don’t feel quite alive, you feel like you’re seeing the world and experiencing it like someone trying to see without their prescription glasses. People often mistake you for hungover, despite your sad lack of drinking the night before. If this sounds like you, here’s some tips for fooling the world and yourself into believing that you are a fully pulled together person, even before 10am.

1. Get 8 hours of sleep. I know this isn’t always possible, but at least try. If it’s not, remind yourself that you got far less sleep in college and you will get through the next day without killing someone else or dying yourself.

2. If you use a conventional coffee maker, and by that I mean, not a Keurig, time it to make your coffee so that you can pour and go.

3. Better yet, have it make you two cups, one to drink as you get ready and one to drink on the way to work. Set all your fixings up next to it, your mug for home, your travel mug for the car and your creamer, flavoring and sugar.

4. Pick out your clothes in the evening. Put yourself together a super cute outfit before going to sleep so that A) you actually look forward to putting your outfit on B) you know you look fierce when you walk out the door even if you don’t feel fierce.

5. Eat something!!! I always feel significantly better once I’ve eaten something. Now this is partly due to the fact that I have low blow sugar and I become what’s known as “Hangry” when I don’t eat and you should probably keep your distance until I’ve eaten if you want to keep your head.

6. Use some products in the shower/at the sink that make you wake up. I use citrus body wash and an exfoliating face cleanser that invigorates the skin and makes you feel much more alert! I recommend Angels on Bare Skin or Ocean Salt from LUSH Cosmetics as well as their Dirty or Happy Hippy shower gel.

7. Use a mouth wash that wakes you up…and bring some gum. Mint obviously wakes you up, but if just your toothpaste doesn’t get you alert and focused, get a super intensely flavored mouth wash and you’ll be sure to be alert…and if you’re going to drink a bunch of coffee…bring some fun or the mouth wash strips…your co-workers will thank you for it.

8. Do a super short yoga flow. Do something that gets your blood moving, if you’re like me and you hate mornings, running is probably not your activity of choice. Yoga is gentle movement, a gets the blood flowing without getting the heart pounding. The inversion of the forward bends will get the blood to your head and you’ll feel much better.

9. Make your breakfast and lunch the night before. I assume at this point that you’re more functional at night than the morning. So take the time at night to make your food the next day something you will want to eat. Don’t just throw a frozen meal in your lunch box, though I’m guilty of doing so myself. Get some decent food together. Make yourself a smoothie or an iced coffee and throw it in the fridge that way once your face and outfit look flawless, you can grab and go.

10. Set up funny alarms on your phone. On the days that I know it’s going to take more than one alarm to get me up, I set alarms that remind me of what I’m going to have to miss if I don’t get up. For example. Alarm 1: 6am “Get up…now” Alarm 2: 6:10am “No yoga for you…enjoy your tight muscles” Alarm 3: 6:15 “Great…your going to be tight, and now you don’t have time to shower…hope your co-workers enjoy your greasy hair and stench”. On days when my wake up time isn’t quite so early, I have Jarvis from the Iron Man films wake me up. It’s an app you can download to your smartphone and he’s really quite polite and you feel significantly less awful about the fact that you have to get out of bed.

Book Review: Parlor Politics by Catherine Allgor

In her book Parlor Politics: In Which the Ladies of Washington Help Build a City and a Government, Catherine Allgor does exactly what the reader expects her to do. She goes through several examples, the most detailed of which is Dolly Madison, of women who were equally as influential in Washington D.C. and its evolution of the city Americans see as their capitol today. Allgor limits her study of the women of Washington to the white, upper class in order to more accurately describe a certain, powerful section of the private sphere. Catherine Allgor points out that those working behind the scenes in Washington, the wives of the men with the power, were just as integral to the development of the city and the government as the men they were married to.

Allgor does a lovely job of describing how un-lovely Washington D.C. was in its earliest days. People who were traveling into the city often asked where it was when in fact they were standing at the heart of it. It was up to both the men and women of Washington society to create the society the city is now famous for as well as to create the base of what would be an incredibly strong government. The gender role reversal that Allgor describes is what allowed this to happen. She argues that the ones doing all of the political work was the women, while the men maintained the image of disinterestedness and attempted to avoid corruption. The women were the ones forming the groups and campaigning on behalf of their husbands or brothers attempting to gain them positions of power. They often hosted lavish dinner parties and social gatherings and passed them off as such instead of the political escapades that they really were.

One of the biggest aspects of Allgor’s argument is that gender as a societal construction functioned as an ideology. It “can be manipulated and shifted to help shift mechanisms of power” (http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=5033). Seeing it as an ideology allows gender to be a driving force behind the development of Washington as a hot bed of political gossip, power and ideas. Due to the actions of the women of Washington and their lobby groups and their use of the private and public sphere to manipulate American politics, the politics of the city became based upon networking and allegiance to certain people. The women that Allgor describes use their domestic role in the home and the nature of their role in society to establish a culture in American politics that remains even to this day.

Allgor’s argument is very well supported. Not only has she analyzed the women who have always been thought of as politically influential, first ladies Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison but sisters of politicians and women such as Margaret Bayard Smith, who while not the wife of any president, got swept up in the whirlwind that was the structure of Washington society. She explains in the first chapter, how important the relationships in Washington were and how politics and ideas were constantly the talk of the town. She describes how, despite its unfinished architecture and small town feeling, Washington was charming in its own way and had the beauty of an old European city. Allgor provides a plethora of evidence to support her story and her argument. She provides detailed diaries of the women that she profiles as well as detailed accounts of the parties that they hosted at their homes. She sorts through the tedious accounts of the lives of the women constantly portrayed in the shadow of their historically famous husbands. She does this in order to get to the bottom of their influence over Washington and how they managed to acquire such an amount of indirect power.

I am quite convinced by Allgor’s argument. Based upon her evidence and her examples of influential women presented as part of the argument, I do not feel that Washington could have prospered into the flowering political center of American culture without their feminine touch. I believe that if the men were expected to keep up the persona of being disinterested in politics and keeping up this appearance in the public sphere, then it was only natural that the women took over in the private sphere and managed to reach their influence into the public sphere as well. However, while the book is well researched and well supported, Allgor does not try particularly hard to stay objective. She clearly supports the women and appreciates the fact that they challenged their typical small town domestic role. They were afforded the opportunity presented by the unique development of the nation’s capitol to express their opinions to one another and put their ideas into practice via the influence they had over their husbands.

Allgor’s presentation of a different outlook on the development of political life in Washington allows for a much deeper understanding of the Founding Fathers. For example, while John Adams was an influential man on his own and in his own right, in accordance with Allgor’s argument, Abigail Adams was a huge influence over his political behavior and was as much a presence in his presidency as he was. Allgor does a great job of exploring different presidents from different eras of early America. She enables a student of early American history to examine how Abigail Adams, Dolly Madison, Louisa Catherine Adams, Peggy Eaton affected Washington politics, both for the better and for worse. While Louisa Catherine Adams and Dolly Madison were a political force in the betterment of Washington, Peggy Eaton, while she was in a position to take on a position of power in Washington, fell prey to the other women of Washington. She was judged by society of Washington for acting as a femme fatale; she was in the position to take on most of the feminine power in Washington, due to the widowed state of the President. The Washington gossip circles engulfed her and called her such names as a tart and other insults not commonly used in civilized society.

Allgor presents a compelling argument that as important as the founding fathers were to the development of Washington politics, their wives and the other women of the Washington lobbying circles, were equally important. Some of the most prominent women making a difference in the newborn capitol were Dolly Madison, Louisa Catherine Adams and Peggy Eaton. However, the women on the sidelines of politics were equally important. Their actions surrounding politics enabled their husbands to maintain the public demeanor of disinterestedness in politics, while they promoted their husbands through indirect political actions and appearing as politically supportive wives to the most powerful men in the country. “Remember the ladies” Abigail Adams remarks, and Allgor allows the reader to understand not only that they should be remembered but what they are to be remembered for.