Friday, January 30, 2009

Snow Days

As a teacher, I always look forward to the occasional snow day. It's nice to not know you have a day off and then "BAM" off you are. We had been waiting for snow days for a couple of weeks...mainly because the weatherman kept saying we would get a huge snow storm and then it would vanish (which made me seriously think about a career in weather...after all, you can be totally wrong and still get paid).

Sunday night it flurried here. I went to bed as usual, got up as usual and showered as usual. I got out of the shower, turned on the TV and saw we were closed. I couldn't believe it...we had hardly anything. I got dressed and watched the news and listened to them talk about how much snow was on the way, but they also said that there was a possibility of the storm vanishing as previous storms had. I decided that I would go to the grocery early Monday morning (since I had a totally random snow day) to beat any crowds that would rush there after work (let me clarify...I wasn't panic grocery shopping. I was simply grocery shopping. There is a difference. I wasn't going there to horde milk and water and bread. I just needed to make the trip).

Monday night I went to bed as usual. Woke up Tuesday morning and turned the news on and saw I was closed. I went back to bed. Hubby was off, too, because his boss said it was too bad to come into work.

That day I watched the snow turn into freezing rain. And we got freezing rain for almost twelve hours. And then it switched back to snow. We were stuck in this storm that stretched from Maine all the way to Texas. I had never seen anything quite like it.

I knew Tuesday night that I didn't have school on Wednesday. I also knew Wednesday night that I didn't have school on Thursday. This was becoming a pattern.

I know what you all are thinking: must be nice to get random days off. I can't lie. It is nice...when you have one or two. But, ladies and gentlemen, I have been off all week. That makes it difficult when you have students who have projects due, papers due and tests to take. I have answered a ton of student emails in the last few days. I am actually surprised that they took the time to worry about it, but it seems the week to be surprised.

I can't remember if we have ever had a straight week of snow days before. I'm sure that if it wasn't snow and ice we would have been back by Thursday, but we got the ice. And it was nasty.

I am hoping we'll go back on Monday because as much as my job drives me crazy from day to day, it is also nice to have a routine and a purpose. Being stuck inside for three days was enough to push me to the edge...luckily, I got out of the house for a while last night and I plan to venture out today. I think seeing people...real, live people will do me good.

What about you guys...anyone else get hit with this massive storm? If so, how long were you stuck?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Non-Clumping Mascara is so Hard to Find...

Face it ladies...there are a few things that we always look for. The perfect foundation color, the perfect shampoo and a mascara that really does what the package says it does...and we all know that those searches can be close to endless. I can't say I have found the perfect shampoo or even foundation (although I am close), but I think I may have found a near perfect mascara.

I always trust Neutrogena for face care (I tried Clinique's "oh-so popular" Three Step System and I ended up breaking out like I was a teenager on the verge of puberty) so I figured that I would give their new Healthy Volume Mascara a whirl. As you all may remember, I was very faithful to Maybelline's Full and Soft Mascara, so this switch was a leap of faith (and honestly a result of an ad I saw in a magazine...I was seduced by good advertising!)

First thing you need to know is that the brush is HUGE...for real, I have never seen a mascara wand like this. I can almost do all my lashes at one time in one sweep...and that is something. I bought the black brown color and tried it out. Surprisingly, it goes on quite smooth with very little (as in almost no) clumping. I am not going to say that it is 100% clump free because I would be lying. But, I can say with confidence that it takes quite a few uses for the clumping to begin to appear. It seems that the closer you get to the end of the tube, the more likely it is to clump. Maybe that is Neutrogena's "you need more mascara" alarm or something.

This stuff has olive oil in it, so it plumps your lashes from the inside out. If you have tiny lashes (like me) you know that is a good thing. Neutrogena claims that it makes your lashes 400% thicker. Considering I can't measure my minuscule lashes, I can't say for certain how accurate that is, but I can tell you that your lashes will look fuller and they stay soft...another plus for me. I HATE stiff feeling lashes. This stuff gives you volume and doesn't make your lashes look like little spider legs. Yippy!

The negatives are these: it is a little pricey for a common cosmetic brand (runs about $6.50 here) and it is a little hard to get used to the huge wand. It also takes a little more to get it off your eyes than other mascaras. I use Neutrogena's Eye Make-Up Remover and I still have mascara residue after washing my face. I may need a stronger make-up remover, but I hesitate to switch. I just think it could be because this mascara is so potent that I need more remover.

Overall: I don't feel that the negatives outweigh the positives on this product. I am pleased with the volume it gives my lashes and the length (I know that isn't one of the features this product pushes, but my lashes do look longer to me). I love the fact it is virtually clump free and my lashes stay soft. I have tried numerous other mascaras to achieve the no clump look (including Cover Girl's Lash Exact Mascara and Maybelline's Lash Discovery Mascara) and they all failed miserably (in fact, the Lash Discovery is one of the worst I have ever tried...that tiny brush does not work for me at all.) This one, however, rose to the challenge.

So, ladies, if you are looking for a new mascara, I highly recommend at least trying this one. You may be pleasantly surprised by this product. I am happy to see that Neutrogena puts as much into their cosmetics as they do their face are products.

If you have tried this product, what did you think? I would like to know if you had the same success as I did or if you found it less than stellar.

Now, if you'll excuse me...I have mascara to put on ;-)

Friday, January 9, 2009

A Change is Coming...

Lately I noticed that I only posted when I had negative things to say or when something in the world provoked a negative reaction. I never posted about anything happy. So, starting soon, I will be using this blog to give my insights, opinions and commentary on products I have used, movies I have seen, books I have read, music I have heard...and some of it should be positive! For those of you who swing by only to get a dose of my wit, sarcasm and opinionated personality, don't will be there. It's genetic. :-)

Looks like Rambling Shan is about to become "Reviewing Shan..."

I figure I'll put my opinions to good use. See you all soon!