Re: The Terrifyingly Great First Date!

I’m not at all surprised that your date went well. Just hearing the two of you talking on the phone while we were skyping… It was pretty obvious you had great chemistry, even before you met! I am so happy it turned out as great as I suspected it would be.

It’s pretty funny to me how we often go through the same things at the same time, even though there’s a whole ocean separating us. (Is it here that I can squeeze in that we’re also on the same cycle?) While you were on your date, I was hanging out with a guy too, only this one would probably be my parents’ worst nightmare. He looks like he’s done some serious prison time. A lesson in not judging a book by its cover, because he really is very sweet!

I don’t know about you, but when I fall in love, I completely lose my appetite. I remember you told me once that when shitty things happen, your appetite is the first to go. I’m the same when awesome things happen. This summer, with my ups and downs in romance, I’ve had to turn a lot to my fail proof no appetite recipe. Now I’m sharing it with you, just in case it comes in handy seeing that you’re dating again. (Yay!) And it has avocados in it. I know you love avocados.

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Broccoli and avocado salad

This is what I normally use:

  • Half a raw broccoli in pieces
  • One avocado in cubes
  • Two boiled eggs, sliced up (it’s fine if they’re a little soft in the middle)
  • A handful of chopped toasted almonds
  • A handful of raisins (this can be excluded)

Sometimes I also use:

  • Cured ham, or
  • Smoked salmon

For the dressing I use:

  • One tablespoon of dijon mustard
  • One tablespoon of honey
  • Three or four tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Now all that’s left to do is to mix it all together and enjoy! I don’t know why, but no matter how much I struggle to eat, I can always get this down.

– Agathe

 

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The Terrifyingly Great First Date!

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I hate that thing everyone says.  That whole “it’ll happen when you least expect it”.  Because it’s the worst quote ever and someone always tells you that when you’re feeling completely miserable.  And let’s be frank:  that is the LAST thing anyone wants to hear.  I feel much more comforted by the person who just recognizes my need to be sad and wallow a bit, more so than the person who is so quick to give a pep talk.  When we’re disappointed or sad, pep talks usually go in one ear and straight out the other (I also make a mental note that that person is a bossypants).  They’re much better received when the person actually seeks advice from a positive place.  That’s what I like about our friendship.  For the most part, we just let each other be and allow each other to be sad.

Phew, I got all tangent-y pretty quickly.  As you know from our earlier conversation when I was flat ironing my hair while skyping with you (no task is private enough to not talk to Agathe), I went on a date out of the blue today.  Usually when a guy asks me out quickly I’m immediately suspicious.  But we got along so well that it felt right.  I threw caution in the wind and said, “Fine, we can have a late lunch.”   Well a late loooong lunch, a walk around town, a ride into DC, and a few hours of more conversation, I was looking at my watch saying “Oh my goodness, I’ve got to get home!”

Probably the longest first date I’ve ever been on.  But it just felt really nice.  It felt comfortable very quickly.  I could go on about his attributes but I’ll say this:  he’s really kind.  Which counts for a great deal, in my books.   After years of dating failure, I find myself not putting expectations on anything.  Which is why I probably didn’t seem very excited to you as I was applying my make up.  The sad part is, I can’t figure out if this is me, not putting expectations on something or rather me being afraid to feel excited or happy about anything regarding romance.  It’s been rough, readers.

I will tell you this though, this was the year I said “I’m focusing on me.  I’m focusing on MY projects.  MY mental well being.  MY life.  I will NOT under any circumstance allow myself to get worked up over romance.  Because there’s a lot worst things than being alone and frankly I am tired of worrying about it.  I sound like a broken record and I’m sick of listening to myself.”

Now let’s just see if I can stick to my word.

–  Aja

PS-  Still having issues with hyperlinks but if you click on the image it should take you right there to the source!

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Re: My Daily Beauty Routine

All my life I was Little Miss I Hate Make Up.  Always loved fashion but really didn’t want to get into it with make up (secretly terrified of applying it and looking like a clown).

And then I turned 25 and was like “My god, somebody pass me a mascara, I look like a corpse”.  I still keep it pretty light.  I don’t use powders, blush or concealer.  If I had pick one product, I’d pick moisturizer.  Because as you mentioned, taking care of your face is important.  It’s the only one you get this life around.   As for sleeping in your make up, don’t beat yourself up.  I still forget from time to time but then I curse myself when my pillowcase looks like an abstract canvas.

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(Aja’s Note:  Agathe made me add products to my list!  I originally had four and she was like “No, no, no, you’re going to have to do better than that otherwise I’m going to look so vain!”.  But if you compare photos of the two of us side by side, she is waaaaay more glamorous that I am even on her slump day.  Anyway, these six products are a mixture of the semi regular rotation.  I cannot live without eyeliner, mascara, a face mask and moisturizer).

1.  Tony Moly Tamatox Brightening Mask

I love a good face mask because you can do it while sitting in front of the computer and feel all smug and productive about your multi tasking.  I’ve had excellent results with this one.  It leaves my skin moist and dewy but very clean.  It also smells lovely and let’s just comment on the packaging.  When you’re done with the mask, you can keep the container and store little things inside.  Or give it to a kid in your life.  Will definitely be buying this again so my niece will have a proper tomato collection for her play kitchen.

2.  Neutrogena Daily Moisturizer with SPF 15

I’ve been using this moisturizer for about eight years.  It’s great.  It’s very light and it smells like a pleasant sunblock, which makes me smile in the dead of winter when I’m dreaming about summer.  Also the price is on point.  Nordstrom Rack regularly carries it.  And Costco too!

3.  Tony Moly Backstage Gel Eyeliner #1

Tony Moly kills it again.  Here I thought all this madness over Korean beauty products was perhaps hype and cool packaging, but this company so far has nailed it every time for me.  This is the perfect, inky black cream eyeliner.  It goes on very thick but the little brush makes it easy to apply.  Agathe is a convert and is ordering one for herself.

4.  Yves Saint Laurent Mascara Volume Effet Faux Cils

Okay, so I know you’re thinking I’m a hoity toity little snot for including $28 mascara in my list of essentials, but I’ll tell you, if you like spider long lashes, this is what you need.  There was a time period where it seemed every person with fabulous lashes would tell me that they were wearing this.  So I gave in.  And it really is just that good.  I’ve had it for over a year and it hasn’t dried out or changed in consistency at all.  Also if you watch eBay carefully, you can find it for 30% cheaper than the retail price.  Just sayin’.

5.   Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm

I buy Burts Bees in bulk on eBay and then I stuff one in every coat and purse in the winter.

6.  Jardin Du Poete by L’Eau d’Italie

Last summer in Venice, Italy my sister and I stumbled across this tiny but beautiful perfume shop.  The woman working there really knew her stuff and they carried a variety of rare perfumes I had never seen before, including this one.  My sister and I spent the bulk of our shopping money for our whole vacation in that one store and left quite happy.  Whenever I spray this I’m taken back to roaming the streets of Italy with my family and my parents being sweet little love birds.  It smells leafy, green and lush like a beautiful summer garden full of citrus trees.

–  Aja

PS –  Sorry for the lack of hyperlinks.  For some reason I’m not being allowed to use them on this post.  I’m going to dig around and see if I can fix this problem.

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My Daily Beauty Routine

You asked about my daily beauty routine. My beauty regimen has changed a lot over the years. Before I’d hardly take care of my skin at all, but I’d wear tons of make-up and rarely remove it before going to sleep. I loved waking up with panda eyes in the morning. Now I wear a lot less make-up and a lot more age defying products. Yeah, it sucks. I’m getting older.

So here are my products…

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1. Thayers, Alcohol Free Toner, Unscented Witch Hazel with Aloe Vera Formula.

I cleanse my face using this every morning and every night. It is supposed to tighten pores and smooth skin. I can’t say about that, but my face has gotten a lot clearer since starting using it regularly.

2. Derma E, Firming Serum with DMAE, Alpha Lipoic and C-Ester.

3. Derma E, Firming DMAE Moisturizer, with Alpha Lipoic and C-Ester.

I apply both the age defying cream and serum every morning and most nights. I can already tell that the beginning lines on my forehead have become smaller. I don’t even care that much about wrinkles, I just don’t my face to change it’s shape, so I’m taking measures against it. Whether or not it works in the long run, it is probably the best creams I’ve ever used.

4. Reviva Labs, Elastin & Collagen Body Firming Lotion.

Oh yes, things start sagging. This one helps. You’re supposed to apply it in the evening, but I usually use it in the morning.

5. MAC Studio Finish Concealer, SPF 35, NW 20 (in winter NW 15).

I need concealer for under my eyes, and MAC’s is the only one which shade I have found that is a perfect match to me.

6. Clarins, Powder Compact, 20 Beige Naturel.

I’ve usually stopped wearing foundation (also then I also swear by Clarins) but I apply a little powder just so my skin will be less shiny.

7. MAC Power Point Eye Pencil, Black.

Although I’ve cut my make-up down to a minimum, using a little bit of eyeliner makes me feel more beautiful. I have small eyes. This brings them out.

8. Maybelline, Great Lash Mascara.

I don’t really care what mascara I use because I never really found one that I truly love. This is okay and it’s cheap.

9. MAC Sheertone Blush, Pink Swoon.

I love this shade. It’s the perfect color for a blush. It looks all natural, just like I’ve had a bit of fresh air.

10. Trucco Hi-Brow Trio.

I usually give my eyebrows a little brush up, and this trio is one I was given probably ten years ago after I did a modeling gig for free. I don’t even know if they make them anymore.

Now give me yours!

– Agathe

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Re: Re: Coffee and Cigarettes

I almost felt bad for giving you the response that I did, because it felt like I was criticizing you, which was far from my intention. I’m just being sentimental these days. And it is exactly because of this, friendships end… Things end.

This tends to happen to me a lot, I connect with someone but it’s only for a short while. With where I live, it’s only to expect that most of my friendships comes with a whole lot of distance. Sometimes it’s people who come to stay here for a little while (they rarely make it long), sometimes it’s people I’ve known in the past before I moved away, and sometimes, it’s people like you, that I’ve never even met. 

Some people are harder to let go of than others. And this is why I’m being all sentimental about love and friendships lately. Talking about cutting each other some slack. Yet, that’s the complete opposite of what I’ve been doing myself. I’ve been trying to get out. I’ve talked a lot about my friendship with A. About the epiphany I had the other day, where I (once again) realized I had to end it. It pains me too much.

I know you probably rolled your eyes just a little when I told you what had happened. When I called him up and said, please don’t call me anymore. This is pretty much how it went down:

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Me: “We can’t be friends. Please don’t call me anymore. I have to let you go. Don’t call. Don’t send me messages.”

A: “Okay, I’ll call you once a week. I’ll only call you on Sundays. Every Sunday.”

Me: “No, don’t. Don’t call at all. Why aren’t you listening?”

A: “I like talking to you.”

Me: “Yes, but I have to move on, this is too hard. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

A: “Yes, I do. I have to go now, my lunch break is over. I’ll call you tonight.”

Me: “?!?”

Even though he kept being persistent, I told you Aja, that I didn’t think he was going to call, that he got it in the end. I even bet a pack of dried fish with my friend Nene on it. As I went to bed, still no call, I thought to myself that this time it was really over. This weird friendship that had taught me so much, given me so much joy, but that had also been so painful. Over.

But he did call. No mention of what had gone on earlier. Just some talk about work and kids, like we were catching up. It made me smile.

And I’m thinking to myself, maybe I should stop resisting it? Maybe sometimes a friend is someone who doesn’t let you go, even when you’re struggling to tear yourself away, because truth of the matter is, it’s not that I don’t want to be his friend, it’s just that I don’t want it to hurt so much. Maybe sometimes a friend is someone who’s listening to your feelings and not to your words? I know you’ll probably object to this because you know the whole story, you know why this friendship is a strange one, but I’ll let time tell… And heal.

– Agathe

PS – Nene, a pack of dried fish is coming your way!

PPS – Those images in your reply are just too funny! I love how you’ve captured precious moments like that! 

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Let’s Play A Game!

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I’m so happy you received your care package of forbidden treasures.  Bergur sounds like such a lovely friend to have!  Hi Bergur!  Early in I asked Agathe who was visiting the site from Iceland?  I’ve known you were there all along.  Thank you for being so sweet to my friend!  Everyone needs a good care package every now and then.

So, we’re playing the word association game.  Write the first word that comes to your mind from the list below.  You’re only allowed one word.  You don’t have to copy and paste this on to a new post . . . just edit your answers into this one.  Ready?  Set?  DIVE IN!

(EDIT: I’ll give it a go, but I have a feeling my brain is way more predictable than you’d think! – Agathe)

Winning … Pigs? (Okay, we’re off to a shaky start, I had just gotten out of bed. This was truly the first word that came to mind.)

Home … Træna

Life … Adventure

Boys … Trouble

Music … Atmospheric

Summer … Crushes

Aja … Awesome 

Gold … Digger

Drink … Wine

Whisky … Friends

Face … Smile

Shoes … Red

Eyelashes … Long

Money … Old (I think what the word means to me, is that money as an idea, is old…)

Water … Ocean

Peace … Love

Mellow … Mornings

Winter … Storms

Ocean … Crushing

Joy … Balloons

Excited to read further inside that weird brain of yours’!  xoxo

–  Aja

(Illustration by:  Alice Moloney)

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Re: Coffee and Cigarettes

You’re right about cutting each other a little slack.  You’re right about most things (except snorting tobacco up your nose).  One day we’re all going to get old.  One day we’re all going to need someone.  And yes, we need to give one another a break.  It’s funny that would be your response to that story.  Matt and I lost touch a few years ago.  Got annoyed with each other, probably not communicating as much as we should.  It’s hard sometimes with the distance.  Not for you and I obviously but we are kindreds.  I couldn’t have the friendship I have with you, with too many other people.  We found each other for a reason.  I’m convinced of that.  Anyway, I’ve had a lot of friends from overseas that sometimes you just can’t keep up with and sometimes you just stop.  But if the bond has been strong enough, than they’ll always be a smile for you in my heart.

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Sometimes friendship is as simple as being the one to reach out even though you feel like you’ve reached out again and again.  Sometimes it’s being the bigger person even when your petty heart tells you otherwise.  Occasionally we have to forgive the areas where people fall short and lift up the areas where they’ve exceeded our expectations.  That’s what I’ve learned recently.  We have to stop being so hard on others and stop being so hard on ourselves.  I’ve also learned that if there’s a category for the friend who you can stay up late with and take stupid photos, well Mr. Duck gets a gold medal.

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I reached out to Matt recently and after a week he responded.  Big plans.  He had moved from London to San Francisco!  He got a new job working for a monolithic clothing company and he sounded super content.  I was happy for him!  Not just happy but proud as well.  He had been talking about getting out of London for a while (he grew up there) and he finally did it!  He admitted that he thought perhaps I didn’t want to be friends and that was why he hadn’t let me know we were in the same country (though complete opposite sides) and my response:

“Of course not you silly fucker!”

–  Aja

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