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Dear kitty

Influenster and the VowVoxBox

"Vow Vox Box"? Don't Panic!

You haven't missed any invitations or save the date notices.  There are no wedding plans, secret or otherwise.  However, #Influenster recently had another vox box program of products to sample that would go well with the pending blushing bride or possible potential maybe perhaps one day bride. Anyway, breathe.....

This was a smaller vox box but it was packed with some pretty great items from #SallyHansen, #Ecotools, #Puresilk, #Tide, and a coupon for a wedding website by #Riley&Grey.  So let me give you guys the run down.


The first item to try was of course Sally Hansen's the complete manicure nail polish in Barracuda Blue.  What a fun summer name for a pretty light blue polish.  Initially I tried it on both my fingers and toes.  As I figured, I'm not a color on my fingernails kind of girl.  I'm fairly boring in that department sticking with the tried and true french manicure.  But oh my little toesies!  They loved the blue, especially at the beach.  As you can see above.

It was just light enough to brighten up the toes, but not so dark to make people give your feet funny looks.  Well more funny looks.  Lets face it, feet can be kind of funny looking on their own.  But my little toes felt so pretty in pink.... er blushing in blue with this color.  It's a matte babyish sky blue.  Very pretty and feminine.  And definitely an option for the bride who might need that little "something in blue" on her special day.  Try doing a french manicure with Barracuda Blue colored tips instead of the normal white.  Elegant, colorful, and whimsical all in one.

Pure Silk shaving cream was the next up to try.  I've never been one to use shaving cream, instead opting for body soap, shampoo, conditioner, or lotion... Basically just what ever was handy.  I have latin (Cuban) blood in my so unfortunately I tend to have to shave my legs rather frequently, especially in the summer.  Every other day isn't unheard of for me.  The first thing I noticed with the Pure Silk was I got a much closer shave.  This was honestly somewhat of a surprise for me because I didn't think it would make that much of a difference.  So close in fact that it was 5 days before I had to shave again.  A few shaves latter I started with a fresh razor and that familiar dread as they always leave me with little nicks and cuts the first shave or two.  Much to my surprise I walked away without even the tiniest cut.  I was so surprised by this fact that I spend a full 5 minutes standing in the bathroom in front of the mirror looking at my legs examining them for any tell-tale trickle of blood and just flabbergasted that I couldn't see even one drop.  Yay for Pure Silk.  It has turned my shaving routine from a torture to just routine.

The Tide To Go pen was the object I was least looking forward to testing as I have an allergy to Tide.  After much debate and thought I decided it would be safe to try.  It is after all just a small amount on a small spot on a single item of clothing.  It couldn't possibly cause too bad of an allergic reaction.  Of course, I had just spilled coffee on my favorite white tank top that I sleep in.  Tide to the rescue.  Coffee and mornings.... no I wasn't coherent enough to take pictures.  I wish I had.  The pen took the stain out in just seconds.  When I washed the shirt, I did so with regular laundry and not whites with beach.  When it came out of the dryer it was all pretty white with no coffee spots on it.  The Tide To Go pen found a new home in my purse.

Sadly, I did not use the website offer as I have no wedding to plan.  I did look around at their site a little and their offers.  This seems like it would be a great thing to do, especially if you are a bride planning a large wedding, or have family and/or bridal party members who do not live close to you.  It's just another wonderful way to commemorate your beautiful and special day.

Once again, thank you to Influenster, Sally Hansen, Ecotools, Pure Silk, Tide, and Riley & Grey for the items in the Vow Vox Box and allowing me to sample and test them.  The VoxBox program is always fun, helpful, and every time I learn both about new products and known products with new product line that I might not have otherwise.

~sierra

Clear Skin and Blue Skies Ahead. It's Summertime!

It's summer time.  The weather is warmer.  The sun is out.  And you want to be out in that fresh air enjoying life.  Sunshine and the subsequent Vitamin D from sun exposure has its benefits.  We need a little bit of those UV rays to prevent things like Rickets and Depression.  Not all sun exposure is bad.  Moderation is the key to life.  But this post isn't about the pros and cons of lazy days out on the beach, in the sand and salt water, soaking up copious amounts of natural Vitamin D in the form of refreshing, warming tropical sunshine...... sorry, got a little sidetracked there with my day dream.

Ok, so you want to be out enjoying the summer life.  Lazy days on the beach, or lake, or any other outdoor activity.  But, if you're like me sunshine puts a nice spotlight on any problem areas on your face.  It's embarrassing to admit, but I have always struggled with acne and large pores.  I remember being in the 6th grade and begging my mom to let me wear make up so I could try to hide the large dark pores across my nose.  And as an adult, I still suffer from this less than flattering condition.

Another guilty confession:  I am addicted to Pinterest.

Last night while waiting out my frequent visitor, insomnia, I was scrolling through Pinterest when I spied something that really caught my attention.  A natural skin treatment to help reduce large pores (blackheads) on the nose and smooth skin.  I couldn't wait to try it.  In my haste I failed to take a picture for before and after results.  My apologies.

What was this remedy?  Something most of us have in our kitchens.  Lemon juice and baking soda!



After doing a little research on the subject and finding many variables to this "recipe" I decided to go with the simplest method.  Hey, simple is better!  I used a small ramekin,

These are Ramekins!


squeezed in about a Tablespoon of lemon juice (the recipe said to squeeze a lemon for fresh juice.  I didn't have one on hand but I had a bottle of lemon juice *not from concentrate*)



then started adding baking soda a little at a time, stirring to make a paste.  Don't be alarmed, it will fizz and foam.  It is a chemical reaction between the two ingredients and shows that your baking soda hasn't gone stale.  Just keep adding a little at a time and stirring until the foaming goes down enough to add some more.

Baking Soda foaming when mixed with Lemon Juice


The goal is to create a thick, creamy paste.  Then using my fingers I smeared the paste all over my nose, cheeks, chin, and center of my forehead (typical T-zone areas).  Basically anywhere I suffer most from acne and large pores.  I spent a few minutes scrubbing it in (for exfoliation) and then I let it sit on my face for 20 minutes.  Like most face masks the paste dries and pulls at your skin.

*If you have sensitive skin, 20 minutes might be too long.  Start with 5 minutes and work your way up to what you can tolerate.  It will burn a little but shouldn't be terribly uncomfortable.

After 20 minutes I simply rinsed my face with cool water and patted dry.  I could immediately feel the change.  My skin felt noticeably smoother.  Grabbing a mirror and standing in the sunlight to examine my nose I was happily surprised to see a very noticeable shrinkage in the diameter of the pores across my nose.  Not gone, but yes smaller.

I let my face breathe for an hour or so and then applied a little bit of coconut oil, which is fantastic for skin care, especially for oily skin.  The coconut oil absorbs into your skin completely after about 5 minutes leaving it soft and supple, not greasy.  And it has antibacterial properties to help fight against breakouts.



I am thinking the lemon juice/baking soda scrub/mask is a bit too harsh to use every day, but perhaps once or twice a week.  Also of note, both lemon juice and baking soda have whitening/lightening properties.  It may take some time, but over time with continued use these ingredients may lighten skin blemishes and spots.

Of course, there are many other uses and benefits, as well as side effects.  If you have skin sensitivity test in a small area for a short amount of time first.  If you are allergic to either ingredient don't use at all.  It probably wouldn't be the best idea to use this skin scrub/mask immediately before heading out into the sunshine either.  Be good to your skin.  Be kind.  Be gentle.  Take care of it and it will take care of you.

I've also read where people have splashed their face with a mixture of 1 cup water and 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar as a toner.  ACV is another one of those handy kitchen items that has so many practical uses and is great for the body, skin, and hair.

Perhaps I'll cover uses for ACV and other kitchen items another day.  In the meantime you can do your own research and tests.  Here are a list of some great natural products to keep in the house for use on your skin, in your body, or around the house.

Baking Soda
Apple Cider Vinegar
Coconut Oil
Honey
Sugar
Turmeric
Lemons/Lemon Juice
White Vinegar
Sea Salt
Essential Oils

I am sure there are many others I am forgetting to list.  Know of some or have your own experiences and tips?  Leave a comment.  I would love to hear your stories.

~sierra sugar

"New Science" Versus KNOWN Astrology: ie your astrological sign really isn't changing!

This information comes from someone whom I've known for some time now, whom I trust, and who works for a major Astrology Website (The Astrologer, Inc.) What it boils down to is that "new science" has discovered what astrologers have always known and have taken into account for. Your birth sign isn't really changing! Please read:

Astrologers have known about this for millennia. Seriously, millennia. Aristarchus of Samos noticed it back in 280 BCE. What happens is that due to a wobble in the Earth’s orbit our relationship to the ...zodiacal constellations is in a constant shift. Our main point of reference here is what we call the Equinoctal Point, that is the point on the zodiac where the Sun is at the second of the spring equinox, typically on March 21, but with leap years and depending on what time zone you’re in it could be the 20th. That particular point has been sliding backwards at such a slow rate that it makes a full cycle every 26,000 years.

For the many year...s before that astrologers had been noticing planetary motion and developed the system of signs. As with any developing body of knowledge they would slowly revise their descriptions of the signs as changes became evident. And the nature of the signs would change over the years to match the shift in stellar positions. Actually some astrologers still do that. They are called “sidereal astrologers” and siderealism is practiced rather little in the West, but it’s very big in India where the system is called Jyotish, or Vedic Astrology. In the west we generally prefer the “Tropical Zodiac”

Behind the “Tropical Zodiac” is the idea that the Zodiac of Signs is different from the Zodiac of Constellations. Building on Aristarchus’ discovery of the Precession, Hellenic astrologers figured that we are dealing with a system of interacting planets, the Moon and Sun. The stars are markers that drift, but our main points of reference are not directly the stars. They are the equinoxes (both spring and vernal) and the solstices which altogether make the four cardinal points of the zodiac which in turn determine the signs. The stars help us locate those points which define the SIGNS of the Zodiac which remain constant in relation to the equinox point. The CONSTELLATIONS do move about and we take that into consideration when locating planets.

This may be a bitter disappointment to people who don’t like their signs and thought they had a chance to change them. No sign is better or worse than any other. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses. A better approach would be to find a good astrologer who can tell you what your sun sign and the rest of your chart really are good for.

Astrologers have answered this one so many times we can only suspect that the astronomers who repeat this canard are being intellectually dishonest. At the very least, if Professor Kunkle were really just discovering the precession of the equinox he should have the integrity to ask an astrologer, hey, do you know about this and how do you deal with it? Acting like you have all the answers without doing even that much research is just really bad science.

(Thank you Sean Kelley, Kelli Fox, and The Astrologer Inc website)!

~sierra

and now for something completely different...


she waits..., originally uploaded by snowtigress.

"He's making me happy, but i'm conflicted too because i feel so incredibly strong for Him."

This was a comment received to me from a friend of mine, someone relatively new and exploring her place in the lifestyle. What lifestyle? Well those of you that have known me for any length of time know that i am submissive. Those of you that don't know me please realize this, it is a lifestyle choice and one lived and experienced outside of the confines of Second Life. It is not a game. It is not a place to act out fantasies of bondage and abuse. But in fact the lifestyle to those that choose to live it, it's something so much more and at the very core of it has little to do with sex, bondage, pain, games, or anything you may have heard or witness in your time in SL. What you see there for the most part tends to be perpetuation of stereo types. There *are* many who live it outside of SL and use the realm of VR to enhance their experiences. *Those* are the people you need to watch for a hint at any truth in the lifestyle.

So we return to the quote from my friend who is experiencing perhaps her first real submissive feelings and relationship ever. She's seen the stereotypes. She's seen the velcro collars, where one is "bound" to one "Master" today and another tomorrow. That is not real. That is not even remotely close to real. There is no flippancy or frivolousness in a real Ds relationship. When one is truly submissive to one who is truly Dominant the bond between the two is nothing short of extraordinary. You can equate the bond to that of wedding vows, but even deeper. The level of trust, respect, and love go far beyond conventional relationships. It simply must for one to give up all of themselves to another. It simply must for one to benevolently accept the total protection and care of another. There simply must be unrestrained and uninhibited communication at all times between a Master and submissive. There *is* no other option.

So why is she feeling conflicted? Because everything she's seen tells her she's not supposed to care. Because everything she's seen in this amazing VR world in which we choose to spend our lives shows her that she isn't allowed to be loved. And because everything she's seen is in direct opposition to everything she is feeling. What she is feeling is real. It has no expectations. It has no boundaries other than what her and her new Dominant set for themselves. Each and every Ds relationship is unique and individual. The terms are set by the two hearts involved. Two hearts. Two minds. Two souls. That's right, BOTH get to equally contribute to what their relationship is going to be. Its not a dictatorship where the submissive gives up everything with no say and nothing in return. One does not command submission of another simply because one deems Him or Herself a Dominant. Submission is given as a gift of love and trust, just as Dominance is a gift of love and protection. Both are bound by respect of one to the other, total and complete honesty.

She is conflicted because her heart is involved yet everything she's seen tells her it shouldn't be. Everything she's seen tells her she should be detached, that she is property, owned and easily discarded. And everything she's seen is completely and totally wrong! Her heart SHOULD be involved. Her heart, her head, her soul, her body, and every single part of her. Just as every single part of Him should be involved. And by all outward signs and conversations both seem to be fully engaged on every level of this commitment and well on their way to a flourishing, fulfilling, and quite loving, healthy Ds relationship.

So my friend, do *not* be conflicted because your heart dictates what you feel. Do not be conflicted because He makes you happy. Do *not* be conflicted because He shows you tenderness, kindness, love, and compassion. These are all signs of a real, honest, caring, and tender Dominant. Cherish it! Revel in it! Enjoy it! Live it like no other around you. This is YOUR relationship. Make it what the two of you want for it to be and don't let others tell you it should be different. Don't let stereotypes around you convince you that this is "not the way its done". Only the two of you can determine the "way it is done" that is best for the two of you. Talk, share, communicate, love, feel, and most of all enjoy.