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Monday, September 19, 2016

Music Monday #26

Happy Music Monday! Here's what I've been listening to this past week. I said on Twitter that I was unsure if I liked Lady Gaga's new single, but upon a second listen, it's my jam.  Don't forget, you can browse all my playlists here on the blog or follow me on Spotify.

What's your favorite track? What have you been listening to lately? 
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Celebrating Women's Friendship Day

The third Sunday of September (hey, that's today!) is Women's Friendship day so today I wanted acknowledge my friendship with a wonderful human named Sarah.

I first met Sarah in 2008 when we both attended the local visual & performing arts high school. We were in the same studio arts class and had a friendly acquaintance-type relationship for a while mostly because she intimidated me to pieces. She was so funny, friendly, pretty, played guitar in the school's jazz band, did ballet, and was an amazing artist. Back then I was also automatically intimidated by anyone older than I was. I was a junior and I thought Sarah was a senior. As the school year went on, we talked more, I found out she was only a wee freshman, and I finally got over being intimidated by her and we quickly became great friends.

Sarah is truly one of the most wonderful people I have never known and I value her friendship more than I can express. She is such a thoughtful, deep thinker and gives practical advice that I can actually apply to whatever situation I need help with.

As I mentioned, she is an amazing artist, especially when it comes to portraits. I am always in awe of her drawings and paintings, even the silly doodles she has drawn for me over the years.

She is an extremely determined person. She moved to Chicago to improve as a dancer and she is doing just that. When she isn't in dance classes, she works at a ballet academy.

She is easily the funniest person I know. Everything she says makes me giggle, or rather, die of laughter. Nothing is ever dull with Sarah.

It is hard being so far away from my best friend, I'm in Maine and she's in Illinois, but thankfully technology allows us to remain as close as ever.

I wrote this post a while in advance but as it would happen, Sarah is in Maine right now visiting for the first time, which I will post about soon! 😉
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Review: Eden's Semilla Jojoba Oil

jojoba oil for hair and skin

I have recently started to listen to all the people who have told me I needed to use different oils in my beauty routine. I finally jumped on the coconut oil bandwagon and now have decided to try using jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is in many products that I have used, but I never thought to try just jojoba oil. I even make cold-process soap as a hobby, you would think I would have tried it by now, but nope.

Jojoba oil isn't actually an oil, but a liquid wax extracted from the seed of the Simmondsia chinensis shrub. It closely resembles sebum, a substance created by our skin. It has been known to help with acne, psoriasis, eczema, oily skin, and is a great moisturizer. For hair, it can help with hair loss and dry hair.

After reading a little, I decided to jump right in.

jojoba oil for hair and skin

I cleansed and applied toner to my face, then I applied a few little drops of Eden's Semilla jojoba oil to a pimple on my forehead and one of those horrible under-the-skin pimples. I rarely get those, but when I do they bug the bejeezus out of me. The under-the-skin pimple looked like it wasn't close to going away, but perhaps about to erupt into a big whitehead. When I woke up the next morning I noticed it and the forehead pimple were slightly smaller and less inflamed. They were still there, but much less noticeable. By the end of the day they were hardly noticeable and seemed to be going away.

I thought, "Okay, that could just be a coincidence" and decided to try it out in my hair. Although I do know better, I heat style my hair like nobody's business. I have a few cowlicks that can only be managed if I blow dry my hair immediately after a shower and honestly, when I let my hair air-dry it just looks weird. Really weird. And then I love curling it with a wand or hot rollers, but when I'm short on time I straighten it. I would try pin-curls but I don't have the skill, patience, or ability to keep track of that many bobby pins.

Back to my dry, frizzy, damaged hair-- after a shower I got as much moisture out as I could with a towel, put perhaps 3 drops of jojoba oil in my hand, and evenly distributed it throughout my hair but also focused on the ends. I blow dried my hair, brushed it, then ran my fingers through it. My hair was so silky. So, so silky. I stood in front of the mirror for a few moments and played with my hair, staring at it in amazement. You know when you get an inch or two of your split ends trimmed off and your hair feels incredible? That's exactly how my hair felt, and my last trim was in July. I also think it's worth mentioning that I didn't put any other products in my hair and I had used my usual shampoo and conditioner.

I continued using the jojoba oil in my hair for a few days and kept getting the same results. I continued to use the jojoba oil as a spot treatment for acne as well as a facial moisturizer. I noticed my acne was going away quicker than usual and my face felt so soft and smooth, and not at all greasy.

Of course, you should be careful not to use too many drops or you could end up looking greasy. It's a fine line and remember that a little goes a long way! I also have to be mindful when applying it to my hair, because if the jojoba oil gets in my bangs, where my worst cowlick is, it accentuates it. But really, my only complaint is that when I have it on, my dog is very determined to lick all of it off of me. It's very gross and annoying, but I guess it gets a thumbs-up from him, too.

*This post was sponsored by Eden's Semilla. I received this product complimentary from Eden's Semilla for testing purposes. All opinions stated here are mine!* 
Monday, September 12, 2016

Music Monday #25

Happy Music Monday! Here's what I've been listening to since I last posted a playlist. Don't forget, you can browse all my playlists here on the blog or follow me on Spotify.

What's your favorite track? 
Friday, September 9, 2016

Kai's 5th adoptiversary

5 years ago today I adopted my first cat. Well, technically I had a cat named Kitty when I was a toddler, but I don't remember her. After she passed away my mom said, "no more cats, I'm too allergic", so I grew up with only dogs in my house.

Anyway, I was living in my first apartment, away from my beloved dogs, and so bored and lonely. I wanted to adopt a dog of my own so badly, but my apartment was tiny and the "pet rent" was ridiculous-- $200 up front and $50 each month. So I decided to get a cat instead. Why? Because they're furry, adorable, and unlike dogs, easy to hide from landlords. (I do not recommend hiding pets from landlords. Not one of my best decisions.)
Kai's Petfinder photo...he was so little!
I went to a local feral cat rescue (they trap/neuter/return feral cats and find homes for feral kittens), to see what they had and instantly fell in love with Kai, who was named Grayson at that point. Before he was picked up by the rescue he was living in a feral cat colony under a mobile home in a neighboring town. Thankfully, the rescue got him 1 day before a bad hurricane hit. Honestly, I had no clue what the difference between stray and feral was when I adopted 4 month old Kai. I was so upset because he wouldn't cuddle with me, or even sit on my lap. I was freaking out, afraid that he hated me and would be distant his whole life.
Fast forward to present day. Kai sleeps on my feet every single night and follows me everywhere. Since adopting Kai, when I lived in Virginia, I have moved 6 times with him-- a total of about 2,657 miles. Before I moved to Maine from Florida, peopled suggested that I give Kai away to a new home instead of driving all the way to Maine with him. Not only was Kai a perfect angel during the move, but I could never abandon him like that. When I adopted Kai, I promised the rescue and Kai that he would always have a home with me. As cheesy as it may sound to some, Kai is my baby. He is my family and he is not disposable. I am so happy to have reached this milestone with Kai and I'm looking forward to many more.

Oh, and you know how my mom said she was "too allergic" for us to have cats? Since I moved out of her house 5 years ago, she has adopted 6 cats. Pffft.

If you are considering adding a new furry friend to your family, I implore you to adopt and never shop (meaning: adopt from shelters & rescues, don't buy from breeders & pet stores) and always spay and neuter your animals. Check out Alley Cat Allies to find out more about feral cats and what you can do to help them.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016

A Year in Maine

via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine
A year ago today Spencer, Kai, Theo, and I moved to Maine. Before we moved here we were living in Vero Beach, Florida, which I have a serious love-hate relationship with. Spencer and I talked about getting married in Maine and moving there eventually, but we decided "not anytime soon." The next thing I knew, we were booking a trip to Maine to tour some rentals. Apparently "not anytime soon" meant "let's stay in Florida till our lease ends."

Spencer grew up in Camden and went to college in Castine, so he obviously has strong ties to Maine. I, however, simply started looking at photos of Maine on Flickr and Instagram before Spencer and I even started dating and decided this was the place for me.

I was discussing (well, complaining about) living in a house with no air conditioning with someone a while back, then they asked me a question that caught me off guard:

"What's the draw of Maine?"

I didn't really know how to answer. I always forget that not everyone views Maine as the dreamy escape from reality that I do. I mean, Maine isn't perfect, but it's Maine, right?! The person who asked me has also heard me complain about the mud in the spring, the inconvenience of having to get my driveway snow plowed, my back pain after lugging in loads of firewood, and the lack of Target and IKEA stores. I responded with, "because it's pretty and awesome," and moved on to the next subject. But I should give Maine the defense it deserves.

What's the draw of Maine? I'll tell ya:

north conway new hampshire

1) The beautiful, diverse landscape
This had to be the first thing I listed. I've already lived in two places in Maine-- the White Mountains of western Maine and now I'm in the Midcoast region, 200 feet from the ocean. These two areas are so different and both so beautiful. I've seen quite a bit of the state, but I still have so much more to see, like the Katahdin Woods & Water National Monument (thanks Obama!) and Acadia National Park. It's no wonder it's called "Vacationland!"

portland head light highthouse
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

2) The weather
I won't deny that I have muttered something like "I hate snow" about a million times, usually while trying to dig my car out, but I love the snow. Florida didn't really have seasons so seeing all the leaves turn red and orange and then that first's great! And it's so cool in the summer here, compared to the places I've lived before. I don't think I could ever go back to living in a place without four seasons.

maine blueberries
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

3) The food
Since I am a vegetarian, obviously I don't indulge in Maine's most famous export: lobster. However, I will gladly eat my weight in some Maine blueberries. Everywhere I go in Maine, I find such amazing food, and most of these places do their very best to source the ingredients as locally as possible. Whether you come to Maine for a lobster festival or to find some creative vegan food, you will be a happy camper.

camden maine
My favorite Mainer.

4) The people
Maine has some of the nicest people I've ever met. Every time I go to the post office to check my PO box, I am greeted with lots of smiles, friendly chit-chat, and someone always offers to help me carry things since 9 out of 10 times I'm leaving with a ginormous box. I just never experienced that sort of friendly community feeling in Florida. And Maine has such cool and talented people. Artists, farmers, chefs, fisherman, small business owners...they're just all so inspiring and interesting! And you gotta love the Maine accent.

camden maine
via my other blog, Ran Away to Maine

5) The Maine-iness 
This is probably the cheesiest thing I have ever said, but every day here is like a postcard. Ugh. But it's true! Everywhere I look I see lobster boats, blueberries, moose paraphernalia, get it. Daily life is like an advertisement for the Maine tourism bureau.

Looking back, moving here when we did may have been a bit of a snap decision but I am so happy that we planted ourselves here. Maine just suits us better.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Something is different

You may have noticed something is a little different about my blog. You would be correct! Under the cover of night, Bulleting transformed into POPPYSEEDER. I am very excited for this new name and new start for my blog.

It may not be a new-new start, but I felt constrained by Bulleting. I started the blog to be nothing but bullet point lists, and although I still make bullet point lists, I also like writing paragraphs! I hadn't been happy with the name Bulleting for a while, so I decided to make the switch.

I hope you'll stick around. I have some great things in the works!
Sunday, September 4, 2016

You are where you go

I'm not in school anymore, I'm in a committed relationship, I work from home, and I just moved to a new area where I don't know a soul-- that's a perfect recipe for "how the heck do I make friends as an adult?" The closest I came to making a new friend recently was when a girl at the local co-op asked me if I had ever tried tempeh "bacon" and if I liked it. After our brief conversation, we went our separate ways and I thought, "I should have asked to add her on Facebook or something so I could send her some tempeh recipes." But nope, she was gone and now I might never get to share tempeh recipes with her and eventually become her friend that she eats awesome food with at the local vegetarian café.

When I got home I checked my Huggle app to see if during the day I had made any new matches, like maybe my tempeh friend. Huggle connects like-minded people by the places they go and is a great way to meet new friends who have similar lifestyles and interests to you. While I didn't happen to come across my tempeh friend on Huggle, I've connected with potential trail buddies for hiking in one of the nearby state parks and someone who seems to enjoy the local Thai restaurant as much as I do!

As with any location-based app, I was a little wary about how safe this app was at first but Huggle uses a one-minute photo verification tool to prove that you're a real person and their technology prevents any phony check-ins. Plus, you have to have at least 1 check-in in common with someone in order to contact them. You can also be a little more selective and change your settings so that people have to have 2 or 3 places in common with you to send you a message. Buh-bye, unwanted creeps!

Overall I'm impressed with this app and I'm excited about the possibilities.

What do you think of Huggle? Have you tried it?