Monday, December 24, 2012

Talkin' 'bout framily

Happy holidays, bloggies! I hope Santa is good to each of you this year - from the display of (still wrapped!) gifts under my tree, he's been pretty good to me too. And yes I did follow all the rules and have not opened one gift - even though James told me I could open his, I told him no, I will wait until tomorrow when it's ACTUALLY Christmas. (Who am I? What is this? Is this a preview of patience? So foreign to me.)

I am spending tonight and tomorrow in my sweatpants with Bailey, and I'm actually pretty excited about it. Would I rather be at home in Maine with my crazy family? Of course, but it's pretty expensive to fly home for the holidays (plus having to board B breaks my heart) - and this way, I can save up a bunch of PTO time at work and take a longer vacation in the summer. Hermit Island is my Christmas, my absolute favorite time of year. I've been working 50-60 hours a week since Thanksgiving, and I am tired.

My Mama's sticky buns showed up on Saturday (yeah, we send breakfast foods via USPS. No big deal.) which means it is officially Christmas for the Foster/Traver families. Speaking of Foster family - this is the whole point of this post - I absolutely love the fact that my family extends far past just the 4 of us. Friends and boyfriends over the years have been "adopted" (as adults) into our family, and regardless of current relationship status, they kind of just... stay. Most people don't get it. If I wasn't a part of this giant heap o' crazy, I wouldn't get it either. We use the word "framily" to describe it.

For example:

Me + HS boyfriend + his wife + his former work wife (my BFF) + her boyfriend + teenage cousin Jess = Hermit Island 2012


That's just how it works around here folks! And I wouldn't ask for it any other way. So when Gabby sent me pictures of these ornaments that she got for my parents, my heart was so happy. (God that is the gushiest thing I think I've ever said.)

So damn cute, AMIRITE?!

Basically the gist of this is that I love my actual-related-family and my framily, and wish I was home with them right now, but there will be a countdown soon enough for when I see them again!

hand-me-down tree, hand-me-down star. HOLLA.


Wall hanging. HomeGoods. $8. EIGHT. DOLLHAIRS. Bought it.

I'm not sure if I've blogged about this company before but if I have, I'm gonna do it again. A few years ago my sister found this soap company at a craft fair, and we've been obsessed ever since. Botanical Soaps makes something called Leg Shaving Soap. This stuff will change yo' life. I despise using shaving cream on my legs because then the shower water gets all over it, the shaving cream rinses away and its just a big ol' pain in the ass. This leg shaving soap leaves your legs so smooth and moisturized - I stock up like once a year and it lasts for-ev-er. I just got my annual shipment so I figured I'd tell you guys about it - she makes a bunch of other soaps and lotions (I love the peppermint foot scrub soap) and it's all really great stuff. That website doesn't list her products, but all you really need to know is that the leg shaving soap is amazing and you should order some. Yesterday.


NC sunrise. what. the sky looks like this EVERY DAY.

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I've never been a skinny girl. Ever. I've always been bigger than my friends, and I used to be pretty insecure about it (let's be real, middle schoolers are probably the meanest species on the planet) but then I got to high school and just didn't give a shit what anyone else thought. Went through a breakup, lost 30-40 pounds, and I've pretty much stayed right around that weight ever since.

Sassy outfit for work Christmas party last night.
Please pardon the orange hue of my skin in that second picture - I swear I'm not that tan.

I don't own a scale, because I don't like obsessing about a number. I know around what I weigh, but that number doesn't define me or dictate how I feel about myself, and it never has - if my clothes are fitting, and I feel good, that's all I care about. I'm a hot-ass bitch, I have fantastic friends and lots of people who love me. Now, that's not to say that some days I don't think, "yep, probably could've gone without those mojitos last night" or "not loving my arms today", but in general, I'm very confident in myself. (Side note: please refer to my post here - wearing a bra that fits you will make a TON of difference in how you feel about yourself.)

With the end of the year approaching, New Year's Resolutions are bound to be made. And we all have some variance of "get to the gym, lose x-amount of weight, get in better shape" on our resolution list. Since 2013 is going to be all about me, I am going to get my ass back in the gym. Nothing drastic, just a bit of toning here and there, but I want to know - what motivates you to get there? What motivates you to STAY there? I get bored easily, so I'm going to start taking classes again - I prefer to be told what I need to be doing, rather than trying to make shit up and act like I have any clue. I go through stages - I'll go to the gym 4 days a week for a while, and then... meh. Boredom sets in, I get busy, and I just end up convincing myself that ANYTHING is more fun than going (even laundry and grocery shopping).

I also have the Songza app on my phone, which helps as far as running motivation goes - playlists such as "Hard Rock, Hard Bod", "Vodka Escapades: Ladies Be Pre-Gaming" and "Morning with Nicki Minaj" (yes, those are all real names and they are AWESOME - you all know my love for terrible pop music).

Completely unrelated to the subject of this post, but speaking of pop music - stop whatever you are doing right now and go get yourself Taylor Swift's "Red" album. You can thank me later.

Essie's Mesmerize (blue) & Room With a View (neutral)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Lift 'em up!

Okay ladies, I bet you think that you know your bra size. But. I can almost guarantee that you are wearing the wrong size. I thought I knew what I was, and Katrina thought I was certifiably insane for thinking I was a C. (In my defense, I used to be a D in high school, lost a bunch of weight and my boobs got way smaller.) So a few months ago I went to Target, went a little nutty and stocked up on all new C cups because that's what I've been wearing the last few years. Katrina (and Mandy, who apparently went through the same denial I did) convinced me to get sized because she went and it was life changing.

Let me tell you. LIFE. CHANGING. Life changing. Katrina and Gabby came down for a whirlwind trip this weekend, and we went to Victoria's Secret to get fitted. (Everyone should do this. It is free, and you don't have to buy their bras, you can take your size and skip on over to Target and stock up on cheapies. I splurged and got the Fabulous, obviously, and it makes my boobs look FABULOUS.) In my head I was a 36C. In reality? 36DD.


Oh my. My life has been changed, and for the better. However, now my long button-up shirt that I wear with leggings (as pants) doesn't button over these gazoombas, so I am going to keep my small, saggy bras just in case this becomes a problem with the rest of my button-up shirts. Legit I feel like I got a boob job. 

So the girls came down this weekend, and Friday night we played Hair Salon and got drunk at my apartment. Lots of laughs, a little crying (good cries!), and not enough water being consumed to counteract the alcohol. Saturday we were moving a little slow, but we did some shopping at Birkdale, lunched at Brixx and then Saturday night Alexis, Missy (HAY GIRLS!) and her hubs joined us at Bad Daddy's Burger Bar for dinner. Can I just tell you how much I love my friends? My second family in Charlotte is amazing, and these Sister Wives of mine kick some serious ass. I got to thinking about it, and my Net of friends reaches all over the US, along with some chickies in Canada, and even over to Finland and Sweden. I have some seriously strong bitches in my life, and I love them. 

All I really wanted to say in this post was - go get fitted. Your girls will thank you. (And you may land a husband, since your boobs won't be down to your bellybutton anymore. I'm hoping this works for me.)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Liar, liar, pants on fire.

So we all know guys like to... exaggerate about the size of some things, because it makes them feel better. (This is surprisingly not leading to something inappropriate - I will only get PG-13 on this blog.) I am not extremely tall, being only 5'5" but I prefer the guys I date to be at least 5'10" to leave room for any sort of heels I may want to wear. And since I don't get too cray and usually stick to under 2" heels, this should not be a problem, right? Right.

Until you schedule a date with a guy who's profile says he's 5'10", so you wear your 2" heels, and when you get to the restaurant it turns out he's ACTUALLY more like 5'6". No. Bueno. I want to put on my profile something like, "Fellas. There are some things you can lie about the size of, but your height is not one of them. Nice try."

In other news, I am officially back working for Gap, Inc again and I am SUPER EXCITED. I decided I needed to get a second job, and the discount there is fantastic. (Okay so really I'm working so I can afford to buy clothes, guilt-free. I see nothing wrong with this.) I am going to be slammed busy, but I think this is a good thing.

One more beauty product recommendation - available at Walmart and Target for like, $3.99. And it will last you for-ev-er! I have the champagne and pink champagne colors, and this eyeshadow is amazing. I literally wear this stuff every single day.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

A few things I love right now

The change of season always wreaks havoc on my skin (actually, to be honest, moving South has taken its own toll on my skin, but that's a whole other issue), so I figured I'd share with you guys what my favorite beauty products are right now.

I've used Proactiv for a long time, back when I didn't have to worry about paying for it (thanks Mom!) but now that I have realized how f**cking expensive it is, I'm glad to have found this:

Target's Up&Up brand's 3 Step Acne System. It's like $15.99 (and usually there's a $2 off coupon for the next time in the box), and it's exactly the same as Proactiv that you'd spend close to $60 on. I find that it works just as well, though with my skin I have to change up my routine every couple months or so, so I'll use it, take a break, and then go back to it. 

However, the only thing I don't like about this system is that it doesn't come with a moisturizer and it tends to try my skin out a little bit. So thanks to Katrina who left a sample of this last time she was here, I fell in love with this lotion. I'm almost out of the regular, but I bought the dark-spot corrector this time. And it's CHEAP! Like $1.99 or something, and it will last you for-ev-er.

I'm not sure when bacne came into style, but apparently Charlotte, NC is all about it. I have had minor problems with it before, but here? Holy mother. This was recommended to me, so I keep a bar of it in the shower along with my exfoliating gloves (if you don't have any of these, you can get two pairs for $3.99 at Marshall's/TJ Maxx). Good luck to you finding this though - both times I bought it, it was the last one on the shelf and I've heard it's kind of hard to come by. So buy in bulk if you can.

I didn't use this stuff when my hair was longer, but now that it's short I feel like I need a little "oomph" - plus it helps keep the tease in on day one after washing. Although it will make your hair dirtier faster, fair warning. Which sucks, because we all know how much I hate washing my hair.

all images from Google

So there ya have it - the goods for fall. Have a great weekend bloggies - I've got a date tomorrow, so I'll attempt to update this weekend!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Terrible blogger. Just terrible.

Y'all, I am so sorry for being so terrible at blogging lately. I keep hearing from all my devoted fans, "we want updates! we want updates!" and I have been disgustingly busy (and exhausted from being busy) that a chance to nap usually wins over a chance to whip up a blog post.

My new job is fantastic, and the people I work with are a lot of fun. We play hard, but damn we work hard - that's part of the reason I've been so exhausted, but my workload is changing tomorrow so that will be a breath of fresh air for me. Plus? Basically no dress code, so I can rock leggings (as pants) every day and nobody cares. So much better than having to be at some spoiled man's beck and call 24/7.

Dating has been pretty "meh" - thought I found a good one, but he turned out to be a doucher extraordinaire. But! He did take me to the shooting range on our second date. I was absolutely terrified, having never shot a gun before. (I know what you're thinking. "Grampie Chicken is your grandfather and you've never shot a gun before?" No. Somehow I got out of that.) IT WAS AWESOME. And damn I'm a good shot! I can't wait to go again.

So you know how its really hard to find a new hairstylist once you find one you love? I've gotten my hair cut by Maria and the girls at Studio 25 for the past... 10 years. TEN. So I went the longest I've ever gone without a haircut and got one while I was home in June, and I decided a few weeks ago that it was time. Time to just "man up" and get one here. I had interviewed for a salon who has a sister salon in Birkdale, so knowing what the interview process was, I figured I was pretty safe getting it cut there. You have to do 3 live models, and then once you get the job you apprentice for 6 months before you're allowed on the floor by yourself. Sounds like these stylists know their shit, right? Wrong. So wrong. The guy who cut my hair absolutely butchered it. Now, I have thin-ish stick straight hair, and he thinned the shit out of it. I ended up just getting all of it cut off, and I have a slightly angled bob now. Operation: Grow Out is now in full swing, because I loved the long hair and the ability to just throw it up into a topknot. Boooo. Crying crying crying.

Darrah came down to visit last weekend for the Clemson/Virginia Tech game. I'm not really into college football (since all we have in Maine really is hockey - college football is not big up there like it is here), but I've been inducted into her Clemson family since I tailgated with them last year. This weekend also proved that I am old, and cannot party like I used to. We went out Friday night (for $12 liquor pitchers - yes you read that correctly), bed at 2, up by 8, started drinking at 9am. Needless to say by the time the game started at noon, I was cooked. Literally, since we sat on the sunny side of the stadium and I wore boots and leggings. Everyone else went out Saturday night and I stayed in the hotel watching Hocus Pocus because I just cannot function on that little sleep - I am not pleasant to be around, haha.

Obv I am the only one wearing pink - if there's a pink option, I'm taking it.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hiatus: Over.

Yeah so I took the summer off from blogging, apparently. Not intentionally, it just got away from me. I feel like I've been slammed busy but also haven't done too terribly much to be able to use "busy" as an excuse for not blogging.

Guess we'll just do this update with a bulleted list? Let's do this.

  • Biggest news of the summer I suppose is that I quit my job (without having one lined up). I do not advocate this type of decision, unless you have a strong support system in place before you just quit. Luckily I have an amazing family & group of friends, who all agreed this was the best move. Basically the company I was working for was asking me to do some unethical and illegal things, and I wasn't being treated with the respect that I deserve. And who likes to be anxiety-ridden at work all day? Not me, for sure. I'm starting work tomorrow at a property management company, and I'm really excited about it!

Favorite buy of the summer. Marshall's, $24.99.

  • I did a lot of this all summer, and read a bunch of books. So if you've got any new reads you suggest, please let me know!

  • I got to go home for 9 days at the end of July! It was FANTASTIC. I flew in to Boston, and then me, Katrina, Gabby & Curtis drove up to Maine. We spent the week at Hermit Island with my parents and about 30 of our closest friends. It was great to be able to see everyone, especially since I didn't get to see most of them when I was home in June, plus we went to the beach every day. I have missed the ocean like crazy.

This mess...

...ended up in these two bags. WHAT. Amazing.
Bailey, pouting that I am leaving for a week. Poor pup.

hey Boston!

BFFs! First vacation stop - New Hampshire Liquor Store.
(or "New Hampsha Liqua Stoah" if you're from New England.)

7 days, 6 people, 4 tents, 1 pickup truck worth of shit.

6 people in one pickup truck, including one who hasn't
worn deodorant ALL WEEK LONG? Jess was dying to get out!

Salem, MA

BFFs at dinner in Salem, MA

  •  Football season has officially started! Well, tomorrow. I AM READY.

  • Song I'm loving right now? Tim McGraw's "Truck Yeah" for obvious reasons.

  • I also had the opportunity to meet the new country band Florida-Georgia Line - hello HOTNESS!

  • I've started running? Alexis somehow convinced me that doing the Color Run  was a good idea, so we signed up. Normally I wouldn't run from an ax murderer, but I've started using the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone, which basically tells you when to run and when to walk so it's pretty mindless. And admittedly, I don't hate it. I also recommend getting the Songza app - the Hard Rock, Hard Body playlist is a favorite of mine for running.
  • Figured I'd throw all of my manicure pictures from the summer all in at once - 
Essie's Jamaica Me Crazy, OPI Divine Swine

Ulta's Snow White, mixture of blue red & silver glitter

Essie's Mesmerize, ring finger Good as Gold

Essie's Jamaica Me Crazy, ring finger OPI Rainbow Connection

Essie's Room with a View, French is Color Club's Edie

Base - Ulta's Snow White. French - Essie Splash of Grenadine,
Bangle Jangle, Sexy Divide, Bobbing for Baubles, and Mesmerize

Essie's Damsel in a Dress, art is Penny Talk

Essie's Mesmerize, ring finger OPI Absolutely Alice

I swear I will try to put more effort into blogging - I do miss it and I've been getting some crap from certain people who have apparently been missing my updates. Hope you all had a great summer!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Summer Beauty Faves

I haven't done a beauty product post in a while (okay really I haven't done any posts in a while - nothing exciting going on here except I've been on a few first dates, zero second dates [yet], it's hot here and I love it.) I've got some recommendations for you girls - some of these may be repeats from a past post, but that just means I really love it.

So y'all are going to be out in the sun this summer right? Temps are pushing 90 all along the east coast right now, so I know you babes will be sitting by the pool at some point, and you've GOT to protect your hair color! 

First up, you need a beach hat. I can hear you now, "But I hate hats!" You only think you hate hats. Anyone can pull off a beach hat. Plus, if you're at the beach/pool... who cares. Just put it on. It will cover your hair, and save your face from getting burned.

Hat, Forever 21
Speaking of getting burned, YOU NEED TO WEAR SUNSCREEN (Alexis). I am horrible at remembering to put sunscreen on every day (my moisturizer is SPF 30, but I only use that on my face) but I am a nazi about putting sunscreen on when I'm at the pool. I reapply often, because I don't enjoy being scorched and itchy/hot/peeling later. And if you're using less than SPF 30, what is the point? I use SPF 50 just about all the time. If you've got tattoos, I recommend getting one of those sunscreen sticks (Coppertone Baby makes them - they're like big chapsticks) and covering all of your tattoos with it. It will keep them from fading in the long run.

On to the hair products. Start your color protection in the shower with shampoo & conditioner. I use Redken's Color Extend (in the red bottles).


I follow that up with Pureology's Colourmax (I use this year-round, but especially in the summer.) I also keep a travel size bottle of this in my beach bag and reapply at the pool - every time you get your hair wet, spray it on again.

Redken just came out with a new product called Duo Shield 07. It's a cool product - cream in the middle of the nozzle, and a gel on the outside, so you get two products being cocktailed together. This protects your hair from the heat (blowdryer, flatiron etc) and also protects your color.

One more beauty product - this one has nothing to do with hair or color protection, but there is nothing I love more in the summer than a pure white nail. Katrina was raving about her Ulta nail polish the other day, and I desperately needed a white polish, so I picked up Ulta's Snow White. It's very opaque, and while I felt it went on kind of thick, it dried just fine and I have no chips after 2 days of not really taking care of my nails. ("Two days?!" Yeah. I paint my nails twice a week. What of it?)

Ulta's Snow White
(ring finger) OPI Rainbow Connection

This link has been floating around Facebook all day today and I wanted to share - guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 21 Pictures That Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity

Also, iPhoners (and lucky Droid users) - are you on Instagram? Find and follow me! @helenthefabulous
We are also all obsessed with this new music app - Songza. It's like Pandora, but better. It has just about every playlist you could imagine - you can search by activity, mood, location, etc. (They even have a Stripping option in activities. I mean, you never know...) Oh and its FREE!

Hope everyone has a fab week and stays cool - or not cool, but dang, please protect your hair color (and your skin!)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Weekend in Maine

Wow did I need a weekend at home or what. I haven't been home since October, so 4 days in Maine was exactly what the doctor ordered. I flew in and out of Logan (and lucked out on both flights that the middle seat was empty) and took the bus to Portland, which gave me plenty of 50 Shades of Grey reading time. (Where is my brooding billionaire hiding anyway? The first book was awful, but the second was much better and I'm liking the 3rd so far. I'd recommend them. They are raunchy, and strangers will judge you if you are reading them in public. You've been warned.) And this is going to sound so Southern of me, but DANG Maine is cold! 63 degrees when I got off the bus at 5pm. It barely gets to 63 here at night!

View out my bus window

Wedding manicure - OPI Pink Flamenco

Trash can coolers in the hotel room. Classy.

me & the bride!
This weekend was a crazy whirlwind though. I only saw my dad for about 10 minutes Thursday night because every second of the rest of the weekend was booked solid. Visited with my grandparents, did a little bridesmaiding and a lot of drinking and dancing, spent a few hours with my salon girls (while getting beautified and a much needed haircut!), visited with Gina & Tyler and met baby Brody! While I am not a baby person AT ALL I am going to fully admit that that little baby is stinkin' cute.

Saturday night... oh Saturday. We stayed in a haunted mansion in Portland and hit up Foreplay - a much needed girls night out. We let loose and danced our asses off, and I only had to pull The Face once. I'm going to take the same route as Katrina and say that I am so thankful for all of the great women in my life. I had friends drive for hours in the pouring rain to come see me, even if it was just for a little while, and I could not be more grateful. The girls that I have in my life here in NC and the ones who are (too) far away in New England make up the best Net of Support I could ask for. Love you girls!

Went on a date last night. This guy seemed promising. Thirty four, good job, doesn't want kids. Winning, right? So we went out for drinks (and I had the best raspberry martini I've ever had) and the conversation flowed pretty well, he was very complimentary to me, things seemed to be moving in a good direction. I mention something about Bailey. He counters with the fact that he smokes pot daily and that his "last 3 shrinks have all agreed that pot is the only way for me to calm my OCD and anxiety." I'm sorry, what? Sir, that is a gross overshare of information and something you should probably keep to yourself until the 5th or 6th date. We call that "word vomit" around here. He walked me to my car, asked if I wanted to do dinner on Friday. I said I'd have to check if I was free. I woke up this morning to two text messages and a message on OKC. Done. Denied. Creeper.

Looking forward to a weekend of doing absolutely nothing except sitting by the pool this weekend - I am still exhausted from Saturday night's shenanigans (and my voice still has that somewhat husky "I drank too much and screamed/sang too much at the club" sound)!