Saturday, April 12, 2014

My Heart's In Overdrive

There are a lot of things in the world that make me crazy. A lot of things that stress me out. A lot of things that make me feel like if they happen one more time I'm seriously going to explode or freak out or turn into Katie Kaboom or I don't know, just lose it. Whatever 'it' is, it will be lost.

I'm a mom of two kids not yet in school. My house is always a mess. My kitchen is tiny and I rarely get to cook. No matter how much laundry I do, there's always more. My dog sheds so much, I don't know how she still has fur. The only quiet time I get is after 11pm, after starting the day at 6:30am. I almost always have a headache. Something is always happening. Always.

My life is a roller coaster. Sometimes I'm giggling at the adrenaline rush, sometimes I'm screaming at the loops, it twists, it turns, I hold my breath and wait for it to drop again, going a million miles an hour, I just throw my hands up and go with it. It's fun, it's scary, and it's crazy. There are moments that rush you, and moments that take your breath away.

In all of this crazy I have going on constantly, there's one thing that makes my life just stand still for a second. It feels like those pictures where everything is moving except for one thing standing perfectly still... It's the one thing that makes me stop and shhh and wait. It pulls the stress away, it makes me breathe, it makes me calm. Except the thing isn't a "thing," and it isn't an "it." The one is my husband. My best friend. My world.

He is the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

When I met him, he was the 4th person I had been tossed to that day. We were at work, customer service for Arbonne International. It was my first day on the job with actual real-life training, but every person before hadn't been on the right time schedule, so they kept moving me around. I remember seeing him that morning and thinking he was kinda cute, but by the time I got to him, I was annoyed, snarky, and sarcastic. He was still cute, and also shy and sweet. He smelled like cigarettes and cologne, he wore clothes that were too big for him, and he had slicked back hair that sometimes fell in his eyes. He was calm and talked low, and he was so kind to the little old ladies on the phone... I can't tell you how many of them wanted to introduce their granddaughters to him.

I said something once that made him laugh... oh that laugh. That smile. The way he covered his mouth and leaned in to the laugh, holding his stomach... his eyes sparkled. It was the greatest thing I'd ever seen, and it hit me hard. I knew, even if "nothing happened," we'd always be a part of each other's lives.

After a couple days of training, early morning start times, smoke breaks (he would smoke, I just pretended), lunch hours, and overtime, I got my own desk and computer. He was down the aisle one over from me, and I had to look way over my shoulder to see him. I missed him already. I didn't know how he felt, but I'd pretty much fallen for him. I didn't know what to do, so I sent him an email. One line. No subject.

"You know you miss me :)"

I heard his quiet laugh right after I sent it, and I looked over my shoulder to see him looking up at me smiling...

We were married 3 months later, July 8, 2006.

We've struggled together, survived together, had fun together, and have grown up together. We have experienced loss and life. Friends have come and gone. Babies, pets, jobs, cars, and living situations.

For the last 8 years, this man has been making me laugh with his one liners, cry over his sincerity, fight with heart, and love with every ounce of my being. With just one look, one smile, one hug, one kiss, him holding my hand, just being with me... everything that could ever stress me out or make me crazy just melts away.

I sooooooooooo love my husband, you guys. I love him more than Dr. Pepper, Classic Barbies, photography, and coffee ice cream. I love him more than sandwiches and Disneyland and the Wedge. I love him more than red lipstick, classic cars, and tattoos.

I love him...

...k, gonna go cuddle him now.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Product Review: ALMAY Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads

  • Almay Longwear & Waterproof Eye Makeup Remover Pads
Product Description:
  • Almay oil-free gentle eye makeup remover pads are part of Almay, the number 1 eye makeup remover brand in America, which offers a full line of makeup removers to meet the needs of your skin and eyes. Gentler than soap and water, Almay Makeup Removers condition skin while removing makeup without irritation.
  • Removes Waterproof Makeup
  • Removes spray paint from hands
  • Extremely oily
  • Small and thin pads
  • Awkward container
  • Difficult to take out just one pad
  • Leaves oily residue, and oil seeps into eyes
My Experience:
I got this product because I had a coupon to get it for free. I figured, hey, why not, I like trying new products, especially if it has anything to do with makeup! I like Almay's cosmetics, so I thought this would be a win. It was not. :(
Basically, there's nothing I love about the makeup remover pads. They're an oily mess. I understand the necessity for an oil-based makeup remover to get the waterproof type of makeup off... but this is probably the most oily product I have ever used, next to baby oil. At least when I used baby oil, I knew what I should expect.
There was nothing gentle about this wipe. Nothing conditioning. You're supposed to use this on your eyes, to remove waterproof eyeliner and mascara. Due to the natural flow of the sensitive skin in the eye area, everything around the eye goes straight to the eye. Yeah, that means I got eyes full of oil, and it didn't go away 'til I woke up. It's uncomfortable to try and focus your eyes on anything after using the pads.
The only good thing that I discovered was that it removes spray paint from your hands. I'm assuming the oils in it just lift the paint off your skin.
I know they make an oil-free makeup remover pad, but I do use waterproof makeup, so I was hoping this would be awesome. It really wasn't.

Bottom Line:
  • I'll keep the product for those cleaning emergencies, post-craft-time. Other than that, I will NEVER use this product on my face ever again.

Hated it!

Disclaimer: No one paid me for my review, and no one gave me the product. I received it for free with a coupon.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Update on the Open Letter to Heavenly Couture

If you were around yesterday, you probably saw my Open Letter to Heavenly Couture. I had a terrible experience in one of their stores, was discriminated against because of my size, and was left feeling humiliated, ashamed, and hurt.

Quite a few people shared and tweeted the blog post and it caught the attention of Heavenly Couture owner and founder, Justin Ha.

I was contacted via Twitter, and a phone call between myself and Mr. Ha occurred just moments ago.

Let me just say this was by far the BEST experience I have had, counteracting the terrible one a few days ago. Mr. Ha was appalled at the behavior of his employees, and profusely apologized. He was empathetic to the discrimination I received, and made leaps and bounds to remedy the situation I experienced.

On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, I was ready to chalk this situation up to "Life Experience," forget Heavenly Couture ever existed, and move on with my life.

Today, I am glad I wrote the letter, I am glad I had the courage to say something, I am glad it caught the attention of the company, and I'm glad people like Justin Ha exist. He truly has restored my faith, and I think  I will visit Heavenly Couture in the future!

Justin Ha, THANK YOU. Sincerely. Thank you.
You are what an owner should be. You had the courage to contact me. You were not only sympathetic, but empathetic. You wanted to make it right. You wanted to make sure I understood this is not how you want your stores to be run or your customers treated. I am proud of you and I commend you.

Monday, April 7, 2014

An Open Letter to Heavenly Couture

To Whom It May Concern:

I was in the Balboa Island Heavenly Couture store over the weekend. It was the first time I'd heard of or seen your store, and I saw a dress in the window that I really liked and wanted to get for my sister.

Unfortunately, this isn't a letter of praise.

I had a terrible time in the store, and it was due to the sales associate's apparent issue with my appearance.

I am not a typical "Heavenly Couture" girl. I'm 28, I am happily married to a wonderful man, we have two beautiful children, and we own our home. I typically wear jeans and T shirts (in 2X) with sandals almost every day, and I am far from having a couture style.

Your associates made it clear I wasn't supposed to be there.

I walked in to an empty store, meaning there were no other customers shopping in there. I got a very bland, "welcome to heavenly couture." from one of the girls; they were both in the back of the store talking, and it looked like I inconvenienced them when I walked in.

After the welcome, I asked about the dress in the window. They both actually, visibly, looked me up and down, looked at each other, and then said they were out of it; someone bought the last one that day. I said alright, and looked around the store a little bit because I thought there were some cute accessories in there!

Not once did I receive any help, no one asked me what I was looking for, no one checked to see if I was finding everything okay, it was probably the worst service I've ever had.

The best part? I saw a few of the dresses I was looking for in the back area by the associates.

Anyone who lives in Orange County knows how truly diverse this place is, despite what television and movies have made it out to be. We know there are different people, different women, all shapes, sizes, colors, races, orientations, professions, perfections and imperfections. This place is amazing, and yet, there are still so many close-minded people, women, ready to shoot down anyone that doesn't fit their idea of what a person or woman should be.

I didn't come in to the store for myself. I was certain there wouldn't be anything in there for me to wear. I went in to find something for someone else, and, regardless of why I was shopping there, I left feeling two inches tall, discriminated against, and incredibly self-conscious of my appearance.

I have a younger sister, a daughter, and a niece. I have cousins and friends. I am a role model for quite a few females in my life, and, after leaving your Balboa Island store location, I felt like a wilted flower, incapable of inspiring anyone to be the best person they can be. Incapable of telling others how beautiful they are in their own skin. Incapable of loving myself for who I am.

It's a sad situation, and it gave me an emotional cocktail I haven't had in a while. I was humiliated, sad, angry, hurt, unhappy, betrayed, mad at myself for looking the way I do, and just so self-conscious. No person should ever feel like that. No girl should ever be influenced by another person to feel that way about herself.

It took me a little while, even with the help and encouragement of my husband and friends, to remember that I am beautiful, I am proud of myself, and my body is wonderful for all it has done. But a lot of girls don't have the support system I have. They don't have a loving significant other, they don't have really close friends, they don't have supportive parents or family members... and those girls won't recover as quickly as I did.

Basically, there's one HUGE point I'm trying to make right now with this letter:
It's not fair to treat people the way I was treated, and you don't have to do that.

It's not difficult to be kind, there's no stress in being a nice person, and it's actually better for you, as an individual, to be kind to others.

I really hope you take the time to educate your employees on what it takes to work in a clothing store. You never know who your customer is going to be, and you should treat people with respect.

I truly hope this never happens again to any person ever, especially a potential customer thinking about shopping in your store.

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

― Maya Angelou


Melody Calvert

P.S. to anyone reading this Open Letter, don't forget how wonderful you are. You are beautiful, strong, talented, and amazing, and I wish you nothing but the best for you in your life. Don't forget that everything amazing starts with loving yourself. Love yourself first, and everything will fall into place!