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COVER REVEAL: Angry Macey

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This is kind of a spontaneous cover reveal. I am headed to Utopia in just over a day and I am feeling very energized. I am very excited about this upcoming project that I have been working on for months. It is the work closest to my heart. (Hey, I see you there, judging me. Stop that!) It should be out this fall. No presale yet, but I am getting very close to that and will be sure to let you know.

Without further ado, here is the cover for Angry Macey:

The forthcoming Angry Macey by Jennifer Friess

Everyone feels like they are guided at some point in their lives. But what if you were guided to do something terrible? What if you were too angry to even care about the carnage you were about to inflict?

Meet Macey.

Mid-life crisis. Mental breakdown. Payback. Revenge.

This book has an edgier cover, which is in part due to the subject matter, but also I used a new cover designer. She is Creative Paramita and her website is www.creativeparamita.com. Check her out for all your cover needs!

Oh, and I have another surprise for you. This is what I spent today working on instead of writing. I think it was well worth it ;-D

NOTE: None of these three colors is natural.

From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
NOW AVAILABLE! Troll Gurl and the Cursed Kingdom

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Appearances

I didn’t give a rat’s ass about my appearance for, oh, let’s say the last 5 years.

In 2009, I was like, “Well, I might get pregnant soon, so I won’t worry if I gain a few pounds.”

In 2010, I was all, “I’m pregnant.  I’m tired.  Why should I bother to gussy myself up.”

In 2011, I was like, “I have an infant.  If I wear jewelry, he may rip it off.  If I wear nice clothes, he may puke on them.”

In 2012, I was all, “I don’t have a job.  When I leave the house, I have a tiny terrorist with me.  Why bother to look good.”

Now I find myself in 2013.  I have a job, albeit a part-time one.  I have a uniform shirt I am required to wear there, and black pants.  But I can still express my personality through my jewelry, shoes, and hair choices.

Problem is, all my clothes and jewelry are about 10-15 years old.  Some is from my “I am in my 20’s and just discovered Goth” phase.  Most of my clothes are from my pre-baby smaller boobs.

Oh, and I’m getting old.  It used to be fun when people guessed my age and they guessed way too low.  Now people are guessing closer to my actual age.  I no likey that so well.

HAIR

I miss my pink streaks.  And I miss the hedgehog.  But I don't miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

I miss my pink streaks. And I miss the hedgehog. But I don’t miss keeping a 10-speed bike behind my couch in a one-bedroom apartment.

When I started my job, I dyed my hair blond again.  I started out blond as a child.  In 6th grade I whined to my mom that I didn’t like how dark my hair had gotten.  She bought me some hair color.  So, from 6th grade through college, my mom dyed my hair blond for me every few months.  It was blond in my wedding pictures.  I experimented with pink and purple and red and black.  Most recently I kept doing blond highlights, because they were not as time-sensitive to keep up.  But I let them go when I got pregnant.  I really like my hair blond again, and so does my husband.  It is a pain to keep up with though.  I even bought special shampoo to try to keep the color more vibrant longer and keep it moisture-filled.

Before and after hair cut & color

And I keep reading in magazines how guys like “beach waves”.  My hair is mostly on the straight side, only showing signs of curl when the humidity gets above 85%.  I bought a weird curling iron contraption to try to give me the beachy look.  I haven’t found time to try it yet, and am afraid it will dry out my colored hair.

Medieval torture device?

Medieval torture device?

SKIN

I have never had a very good skin care regimen.  Dove soap is often my face cleaning product of choice.  For a short time I tried the Cindy Crawford Meaningful Beauty products.  I liked them, but found I was using less and less of them.  Then they changed the moisturizer and added more SPF.  I got a terrible skin rash and discontinued it’s use.  It wasn’t long before I gave up buying the face wash as well.

A few months ago, I had to take my mom to the dermatologist for a skin rash thingy on her hand.  They had lots of free samples in the office, so I grabbed them all.  One I used and liked was CeraVe foaming facial cleaner.  It leaves your face feeling weird after you wash it, but I think that is because it isn’t stripping every single last drop of oil from your skin.  I have tried many moisturizers.  Without wanting to get pricey, the best I have found is Lubriderm body lotion.  It does the trick.

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser

JEWELRY

I bought myself 2 new watches the other day.  This can be tricky, due to my intense nickel allergy.  I also bought a new pair of earrings I haven’t had time to try yet.  The saleswoman claimed they were nickel-free, but she may just get paid to say that.  All my cool nickel-free jewelry I bought from Avon a few years ago is already tarnishing/losing color.  Makes me kind of sad.  I didn’t even hardly get to wear it much.

CLOTHES

Other than a few new T-shirts and a few new pair of non-jean pants, I haven’t bought much.  I have a desire to have a few clothes that aren’t jeans or T-shirts.  But all that stuff just looks terrible on me.  It just looks like I am playing dress up or wearing the clothes of someone’s grandma.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something--or not.

A new shirt I am proud of, with my non-jean pants, sucking in my stomach, wearing a leftover goth bracelet on a very humid day where my hair might do something–or not.

I have managed to score some new footwear, courtesy of thrift stores and garage sales.  Unfortunately, most are not comfy enough to wear for a full day of work.

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

My sweet boots I scored at Goodwill

So, ya.  My husband probably thinks I am a crazy, spendy mess.  And I am.  But I also may be going through a mid-life crisis.  (I have low expectations about my own life expectancy.)  When I was younger, I used to try to picture getting old.  I could never picture myself older than 26.  Ugh.  I am 11 years past that now, quickly approaching 12.

Hopefully some of these things will make me look younger/feel more confident/not frighten small children.  Time will tell.

APPEARANCE-mix-a-lot

WHERE ARE MY TWISTERS!

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I AM FRUSTRATED!

Photo showing "Traditional" and "New" style ponytail holders

Photo showing “Traditional” and “New” style ponytail holders

I have used the same type of Goody hair twisters (that is what we always called them at my house), A.K.A. ponytail holders, since I had enough hair to put into ponytails. The good old, tried and true design. It was a cloth covered elastic (usually the cloth was some sort of primary color), then had a gold accent wrapped around the cloth. Finally, a little metal crimped piece held it all together. Sure, after repeated uses, eventually they would get too stretched and need to be thrown away. But that could take years! They lasted forever!

Now Goody makes crappy new ones that they call “Elastics”. Funny, because isn’t elastic supposed to return to its original shape? These elastics just get bigger every time I use them. I had to wrap the traditional ones around my hair 3-4 times. The new ones are 4-5-or-6 times. I have fine hair. Even using all of my hair, it makes a rather small ponytail. If I make two (yes, I know I am too old, but I still sometimes do), then they are even smaller. Now there seems to be some trend to make twisters that can double as a bracelet. SAY WHAT?!? They have a metal accent on them that is an inch or two wide. MY PONYTAILS ARE NOT THAT WIDE! And either wear it in your hair or on your wrist. Don’t be so damn indecisive.  And I have a nickel allergy, so I would never wear them anyway.

Maybe this is the company’s goal: To make a product that does not last as long to promote repeat business.

I realize I have probably missed the acceptable window of time to bitch about this. I am down to three of the “traditional” twister designs left in my house. And I am sure my mom probably gave them to me (Probably when she had cancer and was losing her hair and thought she was dying….see here and here) and she probably had them in a bathroom cabinet for a good 10 years before that. So, I am too late to even hoard the last of the supply (as I did with Hostess Little Chocolate Donettes–still have some in the freezer).

Goody calls themselves “America’s #1 Elastic”. That is because they are the only elastics on the shelves of every major department store that I visit! I would buy a competing brand if it was made in the old style. I even checked at the dollar store, hoping they might have a more “traditional” twister. No luck. Maybe I should try Kmart. They are usually the place to look if you want to find something that hasn’t been in stores in 10 years. (Sorry Kmart, but it is totally true).

The new twisters also tend to slide out of my hair after several hours. There is no texture to them to provide grip as the traditional ones had. There is no metal to provide traction, as the traditional ones had. Why do they not sell them anymore? Is it a “broken hair” issue, because I really couldn’t care less if my hair breaks off. I grew up in the 80’s, when every chick bleached, permed, curling ironed, and hair sprayed their coif daily. What is a little piece of metal going to do compared to that! I did manage to find these today and purchased them. I hope they will stay in my hair. I would have bought smaller diameter ones, if they had been available.

Found these at the store today.  I will give them a try, but do not have high hopes.

Found these at the store today. I will give them a try, but do not have high hopes.

My mom says to just use rubber bands. This is the woman who for years has told me how when she was growing up her mother used rubber bands in her hair and they pulled it. She has a story about the rubber band breaking on her. SHE is the one all these years that convinced me that I was too good for plain rubber bands. SHE is the one who trained me to buy this product that no longer exists.

I did find a spot randomly on the Internet (I will be darned if I can find it again), where lots of people talked about twisters made out of a pantyhose type substance, but smaller in diameter. They said they could be used again and again without stretch, they don’t break, and are supposed to be better for your hair. Someone said they bought some in that style from Ulta. I checked Ulta.com, and this was all I could find that seemed even close to that description:

Ulta.com

Ulta.com

Am I the only person on the planet who wants the old style of hair twisters back? I can’t be the only one on the planet who hates change, can I?

Bathtime

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I guess every kid has an issue with something. My son (“M” for the sake of the blogosphere) has an issue with the bathtub. As an adult educated in the laws and reasons of science, I do not understand it. But, I am not 18 months old.

Baths for my son started in the usual way—in a baby bathtub, in the kitchen sink. He hated baths at first. But we just figured that was because he was probably cold. He was only 5 lb. 11 oz. when he was born. And at three weeks old, we realized our furnace had been running inefficiently for some time. Especially because it died and we had to buy a new one.

Once the weather warmed up and our baby fattened up, things started to go better. Throughout the summer and into the fall, we moved him into the big tub. It was a fairly smooth transition.

In November of 2011, M had to get a tube put into his left kidney that went out to an external bag that we had to hang on his back. He had the bag through January of 2012. In that time, we gave him sponge baths. In the living room. My mom thought we should have given them to him in the kitchen sink. I stood by the fact that he was too big for that now, and might rip the faucet off or something. And, truth be told, I liked to watch TV while we bathed him. He got to where he hated this, and would cling to one of us (mom or dad) screaming, while the other (dad or mom) did the best they could to wash him as quickly as possible. (As it was winter again, we chalked it up to that he was probably cold.) Sometimes this ritual would be followed by changing the bandage over his tube site. It wasn’t oozy or anything. We changed it to keep it well covered and keep infection out. But it required much screaming (by my son) and anxiety (from the parents). That may not have helped the situation either.

A week after the tube was removed I was very excited to return him to a more standard bathing routine. I plopped him in the normal tub in about an inch of water and…he screamed his head off and stood up and clutched my shirt as if I was trying to drown him. This went on for what seemed like an eternity. In reality, it was probably only a few months.

I asked the pediatrician what she thought. She hypothesized that he was just so traumatized by having the same major surgery twice and being stuck with needles by strangers, etc. that it was bound to manifest itself in some way. A great idea with probably some truth, but not a help in revolving said situation. I asked for advice from family members. Sister-in-Law suggested I let him play in the tub without water in it. I did. He was fine with that. But somehow, that ease of attitude didn’t translate to being naked in the tub with water.

So, he was standing and screaming and clutching. Until, one day, out of the blue, he figured out that he could splash his foot in the water. His right foot, to be exact. Then the screaming seemed to stop. He began to hold on to the side of the tub and, while standing, splash his right foot in the water. So no more clutching my shirt. And he would splash his left foot sometimes now too. I can wash pretty much any part of him, and he doesn’t mind, as long as he can splash his feet.

You are right, this is a big improvement, except HE IS STILL STANDING UP! He holds on to the bathtub edge for support, and it gets all slippery with water and soap. He is leaning down the whole time to watch his foot splashes. With his head hanging over the edge of the tub. One time, early on, as he was doing this, I was sitting in front of him. All of a sudden he had fallen head first out of the tub and done a sort of somersault into my lap. Suddenly I had a wet, slippery baby in my lap. I put him right back in the tub and he was unphased. He went back to stomping his foot and splashing the water.

If I try to sit him down in the tub, he screams. I have bath toys floating around. He might try to step on one with his foot if it floats by, but otherwise he ignores them. Have you ever tried to wash a child’s hair when their head isn’t even inside the tub, but hanging over the edge? I try to rinse it out and I end up with wet knees and a wet bathmat.

I fell like, if we can get over this hump of him sitting down in the bath, we will be caught up to where we should have been by now. If we hadn’t of lost three months to the nephro tube and sponge baths. It does seem as though persistence pays off eventually with him. I know it did with him falling asleep at bedtime. Hmmm…Maybe I could avoid all this by just giving him a shower instead?

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