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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Reasons I Started and Quit Online Dating

After being separated for over a year and now divorced, I've done a lot of thinking about re-entering the dating world. Back in April, I bought a 3-month membership on Groupon and started filling out my profile and reaching out to men I thought sounded interesting. To better understand why I started and subsequently quit online dating, we should start at the beginning.

Young Amber

Although I had a few boyfriends when I was younger and met 2 people online prior to meeting my ex-husband, I never really dated. Most of the boys (and yes they were boys at the time!) I went out with were young, as was I, so relationships were volatile or casual.

Then I met my ex and was married at 23... which is too damn young if you ask me. I know you didn't so we'll move on. I was married for 7 years with no real thought on what it would be like to be single again.

All this puts me a place in my life where I want to meet people, have fun, and maybe have a new relationship. However, I am still recovering from my marriage, separation, and divorce. It's been over a year since we separated so I am doing well, but I'm still angry, sad, and hurt.

I am learning more about my single-self every day and trying to be comfortable with who I am (physically, mentally, and emotionally). I want to be confident in myself when I meet someone else, so I don't lose "me" in a relationship.

When is it OK to start dating again?

To be honest, I googled this! I know, nerdy/weird/crazy... I had wanted to see how long other people were waiting until after they were separated or divorced to get back out there again. And there was no consensus, we are all different after all with different relationships. Some people jumped right into new relationships (not my cup of tea) while another woman recommended waiting for 2 years. Although I can see the benefit in waiting that long so you can truly heal, learn how to be single, and become more clear on who you want to be dating; I also felt that if I waited that long I would become so comfortable with being alone that it would be too hard to fit someone new into my life. 

So for me the answer was to start now at about a year. Although, I wasn't sure I was 100% ready. I wanted to see what was out there, and what it would be like to talk to men as a single lady again.

Let's Do This!

Back in my day (yes I said it, I'm old... ok?) I met people at school or work or through friends. I've found it's much harder to meet people as an adult, at least in the "real world". So I looked into online dating. I had just touched into this before I was married and didn't have the best experiences so I was and am nervous about this whole idea of talking to and possibly meeting someone I don't know.

But I signed up for to dip my toes in.

There are also options like Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid, and many, many more. I went with Match because I was thinking  people who paid may be more serious and not so creepy.

The Online World

Wow, just wow! When I first started I got lots of comments ranging from "How are you today" to "Hey baby, you're gorgeous let's meet!".  Let me just say, "Whoa there Tex, too much!". I was completely overwhelmed, there were so many men to read about then to decide if I wanted to talk to. It was awkward to say the least. And I HATE awkwardness!

Also being in Colorado meant that most of the men were either; outdoorsy (which I am not), pot smokers (no thank you!), too young, or too pushy!

But I kept on chugging and started talking to a guy who seemed nice. Then after a few days he "ghosted" as they say in the online dating world. He disappeared so I reached out to another guy... and so on and so on.

I did talk to a few nice guys who I was interested in, but then the inevitable, they would want to meet. This is when I had a few minor freak outs and ended up cancelling on people. Again it was the sheer awkwardness of it all that scared me.

What would I wear? What would I say? Would they be disappointed? Would I be disappointed? Were my pictures a true representation of me?

The End...

All these thoughts running through my head and it was just too much. I decided if I was this nervous and uncomfortable, maybe I wasn't ready after all.

I felt that if I was constantly looking at my phone and wondering, "Does this guy like me?", "Should I say I'm outdoorsy?", "Do I sound interesting enought?" that I wasn't being true to me. I am a strong woman and want a relationship with someone who embraces that.

And all this waiting on a guy to message me or second-guessing my value wasn't good.

I decided to take a break until I'm truly ready to put myself out there as myself. I changed a lot for my marriage and it didn't end with me feeling great about myself. So now I'm focused on me!


I'm sure I'll try online dating again. But next time I will be myself, the strong-willed, smart, awkward woman I know I am.

Join the Conversation

Do you have any online dating tips or stories? Any general dating advice? Or any questions about returning to dating? Put them below in the comments.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Time for a Change - New Hair Cut and Color

Sometimes you just want to do something drastic! Do you ever just crave change? Or are you sick of whatever type of hair you have? I know I am!

Right now, is the longest my hair has been in 10-15 years. I've let it grow out and kept it healthy. I've had fun with braids and buns, but now I'm over it.

I am really into the idea of cutting my shorter, probably just above the shoulders. Which, I will actually do I'm sure... I get sick of long hair pretty quickly. But the really drastic part is that I want to dye my hair icy blonde... silver-blonde if you will. I'm not sure if I can pull it off, but man am I tempted. Even if I don't actually do it, it's really fun to fantasize about it.

Here are a few the cuts and colors that are inspiring me for a big haircut and hair color change!

from Refinery29
from Short-Haircut

from People
These first few pictures show the length and style I'd like to cut my hair. Like I said above the shoulder with a little texture at the ends... and of course gorgeous waves! I know, that's nothing to do with the cut, but still necessary I think :)

from In The Frow
from Popsugar
These two pictures show that icy blonde, almost silver hair color I really want to try. I'd like to think I could pull it off as I have a similar coloring to both these ladies. But, maybe I'll ease my way into it with some highlights or ombre. 

Anything daring you've been dying to do with your hair? Or any suggestions on going super blonde! Let me know in the comments below and have a great day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Foundation Try-out at Sephora

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Oh the joys of finding a foundation! There are so many options these days at the drugstore and high-end. You can choose your type, formula, finish, coverage, undertone, color, application, price, animal testing status and brand. That's a whole lot of choices for one face! Not to mention that you usually have to do this more than once... you know 1 for days, 1 for nights out, 1 for humidity, 1 when you want some glow, etc...

I have been on the lookout for a foundation that is cruelty-free, will cover my acne scars and sun spots without looking cakey, will last all day at work, works with my combination to oily skin, and that has a matte or demi-matte finish. I have been hunting for over a year for the perfect foundation... ok, maybe I'm asking for too much. But I want it! So I went to Sephora to talk to an employee about some options for me.

The employee introduced me to the Anastasia Beverly Hills Concealer (in 1.0) - he said that although this is marketed as a concealer, it works great as a foundation as well and can be kept fairly light or built up to full coverage. He also told me the best way to work with this product is with a wet beauty blender. I have to say I tried it once and found it was really hard to blend in around my face. But I'm going to try again, maybe with a little more product this time. I'll report back if it's wonderful!

I also wanted to try the Too Faced Born This Way Foundation (in Porcelain) as I've swatched it on my hand a few times in store. I'm trying this one out today actually, and the coverage is light to medium and does look like skin and not a face of foundation. Jury's still out on whether or not it will last all day.

I will definitely let you all know which one I choose, if any with a full foundation review.

Then, for the concealer I needed a beauty blender, so I bought one. Finally! In nude. I've been wanting to try a beauty blender forever but kept talking myself out of it. I'll test it out fully and get back to you all with a review. I know you want to know if it's really worth the hype and better than the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge that I talk abouthere.

The last part of my little Sephora haul is this mini Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Trooper I got with some of my points. I have been dying to try to liner out and see if it really lasts all day! So I'm going to give this a good run!

So these are my exciting finds and samples from Sephora! Do you have any foundation woes or recs? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Thoughts: Dealing with Hurt & Anger?

I'll admit it, I'm not great with feelings. I have trouble expressing myself and even admitting to myself when I'm dealing with emotions. On a scale of 1-10 for emotional intelligence I would be like a 2 or 3... 4 on a good day. I like to move on, find a way to be happy and get over it. Now that's all good and well, but without really feeling what I'm feeling and addressing the issues I make the problem last so much longer. Usually my body lets me know I've been holding something in too long as I get sick or my skin breaks out like mad.

Over this last year I've gotten separated, then divorced, moved twice, financial issues, and trying to accept and love myself. I'm dealing with a lot of anger, sadness, and hurt. That's a lot of emotions that were/are swirling around in my head. It's like a ball of string... they're all jumbled together and connected. And when you pull out one string/feeling to address it gets stuck so you move on and start with another one. Never really getting rid of the knot.

Then recently, I got some really awful news that made me feel betrayed and angry. My heart literally ached from it. No that's not me being dramatic, that's just what I felt, it manifested in my chest. I tried to address the emotions, I let myself feel sad and acknowledged that it was okay to feel the million emotions I felt. I cried (which I almost never do), I yelled, I sat and watched TV for 8 hours, I really tried to understand my feelings, but then I wanted to be done.

I did all this and then I tried to come out of it, I awoke feeling more calm and accepting of my situation, and I moved on... or so I thought.

These feelings, the little bastards that they are, starting randomly popping up on me. First, I felt the need to watch sad movies (any who knows me knows that this is crazy out of character!) so I could cry. Then I would be in a really bad mood one day for no reason, I just couldn't shake the feeling of being down or being upset. Then when I would talk about the situation I would go off.

Finally, and this is the one that really got me, I started snapping at my mom. It was really weird, she would say something jokingly like,"Wow you're crazy!" and I would respond knowing it was a joke with something angry, "Why would you call me crazy? That's so mean and hurtful...." All the while in the back of my head I'm thinking calm down she was joking and you said the same thing 2 minutes ago! Then I would have to apologize for being mean and feel guilty.

All in all, what does this boil down to? I obviously have some unresolved issues.

So now (with some really helpful tips from my aunt) I'm going to do the work and address these so I can move forward in my life. I really am using this time alone to reflect and learn about myself and accept who I am. It's time to step up and really confront this shit head on so it won't haunt me for years to come.

Below are some of the things I'm going to try to address my anger and sadness:
  • Painting - This is my aunt's tip. Pick a color to match your mood/feelings and paint away. Once dry, write which emotion(s) corresponds to the painting.
  • Journaling - A little more challenging for me, but I'm going to try writing out my feelings.
  • Exercise - I've been doing yoga and walking; both of which help me clear my head and focus on myself and my surroundings.
  • Nature - As you can see in the pics, I enjoy walking in nature. It helps me clear my head, recharge, and calm down. I'd like to spend more time in that environment.
Overall I'm focusing on my emotional health and well-being now. I don't want to think of myself as a failure or broken or a robot with no feelings. I just want to be a woman who was hurt once and got through it stronger than ever! Girl power!

Join the conversation

What emotions do you find hard to deal with? What tactics do you use to cope? Any suggestions on ways to get out my emotions and move on?

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

A Wishlist With No T-Shirts

Recently in my life there have been more reasons than ever for me to dress up a little on the weekends for a night out. Whether it's a comedy show, dancing, dinner, or a date; sometimes a girl wants to feel fancy!

For these events I open my closet to find something to wear and inevitably stomp out in frustration after five minutes! What's my issues, you ask... Well about 95% of my wardrobe is t-shirts.

I think a lot of my issues are because I don't know what kind of blouses I like... and am a touch picky. So usually I give up and buy the comfy t-shirt when shopping. I have a large chest, broad shoulders, and a big tummy. Blouses are hard for me as they're often too tight for my shoulders or chest or stomach. Or they show off my not-so-pretty bra. And for going out I want to be cute AND comfortable (come on designers!). As a lady who wears jeans and flats most of the time I depend on the top to dress up my outfit.

So with all of that in mind I searched way too many websites to see what designs, colors, and fits I liked. Below is my wishlist and great start for future shopping to fill in this terrible gap in my wardrobe.

Going Out Wishlist

As you can see I like the longer, flowy tops to cover my ever present stomach even when my arms are above my head. Anyone else dance like that (wave 'em like you just don't care)? 

Also, I tried to include some things I'm not so comfortable with to push my boundaries a bit. I'm not into frills, ruffles, patterns, etc... But I did find some of these tops with just enough pizzazz to excite, not overwhelm me. As you can see I'm into the lace-up shirt trend; so sexy! I like that some of these have longer sleeves to cover my arms without looking dowdy. And of course I'm really loving the touches of lace.

So what do you think of these for going out tops? What do you like to wear on a date or night of dancing?