Tuesday Tidbits

March 21, 2017
This post is a bunch of random thoughts with a few favorites thrown in. :)

I'll start with a favorite. 

*Form Shampoo and Conditioner- I was recently given this as a gift and decided to try it out. I have naturally wavy hair that can get frizzy, but when I use this shampoo and conditioner, that all goes away! I got three compliments on my hair in the past two weeks, and I never get compliments on my hair because of the frizz. Just to be sure, I went back to using my regular shampoo and my hair was back to normal. This is a Japanese brand, but I hope I'm able to find it in Shanghai! If not, I'll have to use it very sparingly! Have you heard of this brand before? It also says Pola near the bottom of both bottles. I'm not really sure what that means or if that is also part of the brand name? I searched and couldn't find too much information on it!

Now for a product that is a not-so-favorite. 

*Tangled Hot Oil Treatment- I love Lush. I really do. BUT what on earth is up with this hair mask? One of my British friends brought it back for me as a treat when she went home to the UK. She has good taste, and combine that with the fact that the product is from Lush, and well, I thought it'd be great. The one plus is that it did smell fantastic when I was heating it up. It doesn't come with instructions, so I had to look up how to make it. I was a little annoyed by the prep work since so many hair masks come ready-to-apply, but I figured if my hair was going to benefit from the mask, then fine. I applied the mask. The texture was so weird. It was melted, but as I was lifting the liquid from the container to my hair, it almost completely solidified. I only had enough to apply to the ends of my hair. After taking a shower, I ran a brush through my hair and was horrified to see it was a chunky and ironically very tangled mess. I was pulling out clumps of the residue as well as pieces of my hair, and it didn't thoroughly come out of my hair until a few washes later. I don't know if I did something wrong or not, but I still have another one, and I'm tempted to just throw it in the garbage. I looked up reviews on Sephora, and it seemed like people either gave this product 4-5 stars or 1 star because they had the same type of problem that I did. 

* Last weekend, I spent about 10 hours with my friend Lauren. We had the ultimate girls' day out! We started off by getting coffee and a breakfast pastry. Then we went and got our nails done. Well, I got a pedicure since I'm trying to leave my nails alone for awhile to strengthen them. After that, we both got a 1/2 hour foot massage. Then we went to have lunch at the ever-tasty Chicken and Egg. With lunch, we split a bottle of wine and then decided to go to Marks and Spencers. We're both kind of distraught because all of the Shanghai Marks and Spencers are closing. They'll be closed by the end of the month. I looked forward to taking trips out there because their cafe had the best carrot cake I've found in Shanghai! We'd always start at the cafe, then we'd shop, and then we'd usually go back upstairs and stock up on imported treats like wine and soup. I'm especially sad because I can basically only shop in about three stores here and Marks and Spencer was one of them. We decided to go there one last time and take advantage of the wine being 50% off. Then we went to H & M and I left with a burgundy dress, a long coral t-shirt, and a floral sweatshirt. We didn't want our day to end there, so we stopped for some cider at Tap House. Then we went to our friend Becca's house, ate cheesecake, chatted, and watched reruns of Sex and the City. It was the perfect day!!

* I was browsing one of the travel groups I'm in and someone posted about a restaurant called Conflict Kitchen in Pittsburgh. Conflict Kitchen prepares and serves food from countries that are in conflict with the USA, such as North Korea, Afghanistan, and Cuba, to name a few. I'd be so interested in going there if I ever make it back to Pittsburgh any time soon. The purpose of the restaurant is to use food to spark discussions about countries and cultures that the general public has very little knowledge about. 

* I finally made my decision about where I want to live next year. After going back and forth a million times, I decided to move off-campus. While I will miss the very short commute of walking 5 minutes to school, at times I feel like I'm living in a college dorm and I can't take that feeling! I was finally swayed because my co-worker told me that moving into the off campus apartments was the best move she ever made and that she feels like an adult again. She told me that even though she lives in a building full of our co-workers that she has only ever run into people four or five times in years. I pretty much run into 4-5 people each time I run an errand. It will be nice to have more privacy off campus, not to mention the rooms are bigger. The best part for me is that there will be an elevator, so it will make it much easier to carry groceries to my room. (Not being lazy--I am very restricted in what I'm allowed to carry because of my spinal fusion.) We can also get food delivered right to our doors instead of having to walk to the gate, so that's a plus, too! I'm actually looking forward to moving now. 

* When I signed onto Navient to view my student loans, I had a rude awakening. My payments have all significantly increased, and I'm passed the three year mark of being on IBR. That means my subsidized student loans will start to accrue interest instead of just my unsubsidized ones. Ugh. I am going to have to change my budgeting plan because of this.  

* There are these juice cleanses that a lot of people at my school do. I haven't done one yet, but I'm thinking of trying it out. They have a pollution detox one, a slimming one, and and energy detox one that I'm looking at. What if I need all three? Ha ha.

* My current obsession is Argan oil and Argan oil products! In Morocco, we went to a women's co-op where we got to buy pure Argan oil. I brought back a bottle and have been using it as a facial moisturizer as well as in my hair since the hair mask from Lush was a bust, ha ha. I also bought an Argan white clay mask that smells amazing and really helps my combination skin to be more balanced. I'm using a body wash made with Argan oil, too! It's from the brand Melvita, a French brand. In the winter, I can get very dry skin, but ever since I started to use this body wash it hasn't been as dry. All hail the powers of Argan oil. 

* I got my first pair of Tieks. I wanted to LOVE them, but I kind of have a love-hate with them. I chose them because I loved the color and style of the shoe and read that they were a comfy flat. I wore them for one full day at work and my feet were sore and bleeding on top. I decided to not wear them again for awhile and break them in by only wearing them for half-days. I wore them three more times and only for 1/2 days, and then I noticed that they were peeling! At $175 a pair, they aren't cheap, so I was pretty upset that they were peeling in 3 different places after such a short period of time. I was really surprised by this because when searching for reviews, I couldn't seem to find any negative ones! I contacted the company explaining that I had only worn them 4 times and they were not looking too great. Here's the response I got:

I felt really bothered by that response because the representative who wrote me basically acted like it's totally normal for them to look like that after 4 times wearing them, didn't offer me any kind of alternative, and then she changed the focus of the e-mail about how she is concerned that my feet hurt. Do you trust that e-mail? I definitely didn't do anything crazy in them and don't remember a time where anything out of the ordinary happened to cause that scuffing. I monitor my walking carefully and STARE at the ground obsessively because I don't want to fall and mess up my spinal fusion. Since I'm stuck with these shoes, I decided to wear them to work again and the good news is that they didn't hurt nearly as bad as they did the first time. They are feeling a lot better now, but I don't think I can ever buy another pair if it is normal for them to look like that--I've had better luck with $20 shoes from Target. 

Since I won't be doing a lot of traveling this summer and just want to go home, I'm thinking of where I should go for the October holiday we have next year. Unfortunately, I don't think I have a travel buddy this time around, and because of my back, I'd feel way more comfortable booking a tour instead of traveling alone. I'm thinking of either going to Myanmar or Bhutan for a week. For Bhutan, you have to go on a tour anyway, but it's really pricey. I'm leaning more toward Myanmar, but I'll have to do more research. I definitely want to stay within Asia since it's only a week and anything else will be out of my price range.  

Am I being too harsh with my opinion on Tieks? What are some comfortable high-quality shoes that you swear by? Have you been to Myanmar? Do you love Argan oil, too? 
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