Thursday, January 26, 2012

My product IT list for 2012! It's finally here!

You asked and I answered! Here are my must have beauty products for 2012!

1. Maybeline great lash

This mascara not only lengthens, but its tiny little brush gets every lash! This mascara out performs the pricey department store brands and costs around $6

2. Alterna Bamboo smooth Kendi dry oil mist

Hate Frizz? This mist is a great and natural moisturizer for your hair and skin! Spray it in your palm and massage through the ends of your hair for instant shine! Its bamboo complex helps improve the texture and health of your hair as well!

3. Clarisonic Mia

Worth every penny! All the hype over this beauty gadget is well deserved! I have seen a 85% improvement in my skin since starting to use my Clarisonic religiously over the summer. My dermatologist even noticed the improvement in my skin texture!

4. Smashbox Photo Finish Primer

Smashbox Primers kick so much ass I would pay double the price! My bestie turned me on to the green tinted primer recently and it helps tone down any redness in my skin and makes my make up go on flawlessly! All their primers are wonderful and help make your make up last, improve the look and feel of your skins texture while minimizing imperfections. I know that you are thinking $26 dollars is crazy, but trust me once you try it you will never go back!

This palette has all the shades you need. PERIOD! It also comes with a liner, and a handy little booklet of how to tips! These shades sell individually for $18 so, this palette is a steal!

6. Olay acne system

Hello life saver! I have spent thousands of dollars and tried so many different systems to get my skin balanced and clear it is ridiculous! This system (along with my Clarisonic) have balanced my skin and improved its texture! I no longer wake up with new zits on a daily basis! The moisturizer is light but gets the job done without making me break out!

7. Sonicare Toothbrush

Because no one wants dentures or yellow teeth!

Anyone who knows me well knows I use my Sonicare toothbrush religiously! I have had one going on 5 years now and haven't had a single cavity or dental problem since I began using it. My teeth are nice and white too!

8. Cover girl tinted moisturizer with SPF

For those days when you just don't feel like doing anything! This tinted moisturizer won't make you break out, break your bank or make you look greasy! It also has SPF and offers sheer coverage. Just smooth is on all over and you are out the door! Use it alone or with concealer and or foundation.

9. Clinique Even Better Make Up

Why not wear make up that improves your skin right? Helps remove dark spots and even tone. It also comes in a wide variety of shades with warm, neutral and cool tone bases to exactly match your skin!

The original and still the best! Moisturizes and improves your hair without weighing it down or making it look greasy like most leave-in conditioners! I apply a generous amount right out of the shower when my hair is still dripping wet before wrapping it up in a towel.

This spray adds volume to flat hair and makes it appear thicker. Really great on any hair type, just spray it in at the roots and comb through towel dried hair and style as usual.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vintage Fashion 101 with Mia Shannonhouse

From the couch of AC1 @ The Barbie Dream House, the headquarters of the Aquatic Cousins:

We present to you the darling and fabulous Mia Shannonhouse! Shop all of her fantastic vintage items on her Etsy site located here:

Friday, April 29, 2011

He just wants your nail care love, guys.

From the kitchen table of AC2, laden with thesis-writing-related items as she slowly and painfully finishes that bitch.

Some people have religion as a way of feeling connected to something bigger than they are, existing as some small part of a much larger and more important journey. I fail to see how comparing oneself with the universe- even as limited as we know and understand it- couldn't bring about the same feelings ("Isn't this enough?") but then again I really like my own fantasy stories.


July 7th.

I guess it's the idea of struggling against something that seems so impossible, knowing you are so insignificant and hoping you get you live out your own little life anyway, with whatever small happiness you're allowed. It may be small in the scheme of things, but damned if it won't light up your whole world, especially after having to look at Ralph Fiennes in that snake nose with those terrifying fingernails.

Voldemort is evil because nobody ever thought to buy him a mani-pedi.

I return to my own insignificant struggles, until 5am when I'll probably don a velvet hat and watch the Royal Wedding so my hat can see all of its hat friends. Sleep deprivation is said to be similar to being drunk (at least while operating motor vehicles) so it'll even be like I'm having themed cocktails instead of drinking my own tears of "why the fuck do I have two jobs right now".



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Carl loves you all.

From the couch of AC2, Sparker.

When I'm feeling a bit lost and unsure of how to go about things*, I like to wade through the archives of The Rumpus, particularly the Sugar columns. Okay pretty much only The Sugar columns. I love her words. I love Tiny Beautiful Things so much that one night during a manic-thesis-writing phase, I sat down and wrote out all the little parts of it I love best in different colored permanent markers and tacked them up around my apartment. The first time someone asks about them should be interesting to explain, but Carl the Taxidermied Longhorn Head usually keeps people pretty distracted.

I decorate him for holidays.

Tonight I was reading The World Lit By Other People and especially loved the last question: What is love? As Sugar said, it takes more than one person to answer that kind of question and thankfully we live in an era of crowd-sourcing technology.


"What is love?

Love is so many things that it’s impossible for one person to answer that question, so instead of answering this one myself I decided to ask my readers. Here are the replies I received when I posed this question on my Facebook page and Twitter feed:

Spike Aroo: Love is the ability to be vulnerable.

Allison Mcg: Love is the opposite of fear.

Jennifer Ad Meliora Reeves: I think love, real love, means acceptance of the whole person—their faults, attributes, shortcomings, gifts, abilities, inabilities, etc. Love shouldn’t be based on hope or potential, which I am learning the hard way. We would never want someone to say to us, “I love you, but…” and then tick off the ways we could be better or different. We want someone to love us just as we are—here, today. And we need to love ourselves, and forgive ourselves, in this same way. Love is a state of grace.

@Miss___B: Love is something infinite and sublime that can only be made wrong or less-than when you try to box it into definitions.

Jan Cooper: Favorite quote: “To love a person is to learn the song that is in their heart, and to sing it to them when they have forgotten” (unknown author).

Sara Habein: I can’t be the only one who, despite seriously considering the subject, had visions of “A Night at the Roxbury” dancing through my head. (Woah-oh-oh-OH-oh-oh *ahem*) All right, I’ll go back to serious contemplation.

@RumpusPoetry: It’s a song that causes severe neck injury and won’t leave your head once it gets in there.

Terry N Teros: Love is the glue that holds the whole program together.

Carolynne Reina Mielke: Love is thinking of others before yourself!

Bill Mazza: Generosity without expectation and trust without judgment.

Joan Rogers: I tend to think of it as the profound knowledge that the equation is more important than either of its component parts.

@ayse: I just read a beautiful evocation of love by @tracyclarkflory. [ETA: My favorite line from this article was "I suppose that's one definition of love: You do something for someone else and it ends up feeling like a gift to yourself."]

Roberta DiBisceglie : For me, love means caring for someone not despite their flaws but because of them. Love transports us to a better place, not always a happier one, but one that helps us to grow and find balance. Love is truth and it will set you free.

@blandroid (Jason Asher): Acceptance, faith, patience, healing, openness, honesty, cherishing, giving, receiving, growing, and being vulnerable.

SonYa Eick: Love is when you’ve found someone who makes you want to be the best version of yourself possible. To fix all your flaws, yet accept them at the same time. It’s when you’ve found the one who inspires you and motivates you especially when you’re weak and unable to do so on your own.

Denise L. Moore: Love is a relationship without apathy, honesty without judgment, laughter without embarrassment, belief without proof, compassion without end on a road traveling both ways.

@saribotton (Sari Botton): Whatever love is, you can’t experience it until you stop confusing validation with satisfaction. Awesome when you do, but so many don’t.

April Cooper: I have always liked this definition: “Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth.” Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled. I also think love is the energy that powers the Universe (all of reality) and that it is our life purpose to lose our fearful perceptions of separation and experience Oneness with All That Is as fully as possible.

Brenda Lehman Gorenc: Love is the act of putting someone else first, even when your heart doesn’t feel like doing it.

Ryan Nance: Love is what we have decided to call the world lit by other people.

Amen to that."


I started thinking about all the other various ways to define love ("I wanna know what love iiissss/I want you to shoooow meeeee")-- my first thought (okay second) going back to Tiny Beautiful Things: "Real love moves freely in both directions. Don't waste your time on anything else." That can take a surprisingly long time to learn in life. For so many people it's easier to wait, to hope, to stay beyond all reason for something that was once true but no longer is. Be brave enough to break your own heart. It's not an easy thing to do. I've watched it. I've lived it.

My own definition is still forming, it would seem; for things such as this I believe the best works are a lifelong revision process. I know it has a lot to do with patience and giving, with being a whole woman who acknowledges I still have much room to learn and grow. That you should spend time with those you can learn and grow from and with. To never compromise the parts of you that are silly or loud or outrageous and never expect anyone else to do the same. To understand that even the most silly, loud and outrageous person also wants to be quiet sometimes and wants you to share in all those parts of them, and they in you.

It is something we all have the deepest longing for and often, the least understanding. That is what makes it so beautiful and frustrating and exciting in all its many forms. Love isn't just romantic; it is food. We must learn to feed ourselves before we can feed others.


*This thesis is a labor of love that is the closest I want to come to children for about the next decade or so.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

So I may have some baggage...

From the keyboard of AC1, Manda.

Recently, but then again not so recently, it has been pointed out to me that (in addition to never posting on this blog here) I have some barriers built up.

So, I asked myself...What is a barrier? By definition a barrier is a noun, an obstacle, something that is built up to bar passage. Alright then, self, what are your "barriers"? I asked (definitely allowed, and maaaybe in a Russian accent). Do I have a hypothetical glacier which I refuse to melt? Or if you prefer it, picture an image of me sitting in a martini glass so large and tall that you just can't reach me way up there.

After a long conversation with self (not good friends Michael and Rebs, but the inner self), she told me it is neither of these things. "Amanda," said self (in a small French accented voice) "you are not an Ice-Princess or an emotional shut it, you are more of a layer cake, or an onion if you will do kind of smell today, you should shower."

During my shower I thought about what I had been told and after the water ran cold it came to me: knowing me takes time and like Lady Gaga said "Loving me is like chewing on pearls". And while I may have my very own matching luggage set that I drag around to every place I go, I don't have barriers; I have layers. These layers I've got just take time to peel back. Most people don't get past them, but the ones who stick around, the ones I love see my core and truly love me for me (even if it is painful and crunchy).


Friday, April 8, 2011


From the couch of AC2.

I found this video this morning on YouTube. God posted it. (No really.) It is completely amazing and you should watch it.

My favorite bit:

"Isn't this enough? Just this. . .world? Just this beautiful, complex, wonderfully unfathomable natural world? How does it so fail to hold our attention that we have to diminish it with the invention of cheap, man-made myths and monsters?"

And for those of you who will disagree with me:

"But here's what gives me a hard-on: I am a tiny, insignificant, ignorant bit of carbon. I have one life and it is short and unimportant. But thanks to recent scientific advances, I get to live twice as long as my great-great-great-great-uncleses and auntses. Twice as long. To live this life of mine. Twice as long to love this wife of mine. Twice as many years of friends and wine, of sharing curries and getting shitty at good-looking hippies with fairies on their spines and butterflies on their titties.

And if, perchance, I have offended think but this and all is mended: may as well be ten minutes back in time for all the chance you'll change your mind."

Brilliant spoken word performance.