Jul 29, 2008

the most amazing lip gloss ever!!

i just found the most amazing lip gloss ever: o-gloss intuitive lip gloss by smashbox (and no, i'm not being compensated by smashbox for my "expert" opinion...although maybe i should). the reason why o-gloss is so infinitely cool is because the silky clear gloss that comes out of the tube when you squeeze it reacts with your skin's chemistry to turn your pout to that oh-so-delicate shade of pink that you get when you are naturally flushed. think post workout or post...well, you know ;)

smashbox also makes a matching blush called o-gloss intuitive cheek color, which does the same thing for your cheeks. these glosses are particularly fabulous for summer when you want to avoid looking cake-y and overly made up. aside from infusing your looks with the freshness of a dewy-skin siren, these products are also chock-full of antioxidants and nutrients, like goji berry and pomegranate extract - and the best part: smashbox cosmetics are not tested on animals. thumbs way up from me...and from the bunnies!

Jul 16, 2008

paper or plastic?

i recently read an article in my company’s daily newsletter about the eternal dilemma at the grocery store: “paper or plastic”. the answer that the article provided seemed less intuitive than public knowledge would suggest, so i decided to do some googling to find out what other “experts” out there were saying.

so what is the right answer? in the opinion of most experts, including the environmental protection agency (epa), the natural resources defense council, and the environmental literacy council, the best answer is “neither – i brought my own.”

i started using reusable cloth shopping bags about a year ago and always keep a few in the trunk of my car, as well as my husband's. i make a concerted effort to bring them down with me every time i go shopping, but sometimes i forget. however, instead of taking the easy out and ask for "paper or plastic", i ask the cashier to watch my purchases for a few seconds while i get my reusable bags from the car, or if i am shopping with my hubby, i ask him to take care of running the groceries through while i run to the car to get the bags.

when the items being purchased are small enough to hand carry, i do so, and i also refuse the bag when purchasing large or oddly shaped items like pillows, shelving units or tools - those don't need to be bagged! i’ve got a few inquisitive looks from cashiers, but it’s nothing that can’t be dealt with by saying “it’s for the good of the planet”.

using reusable bags takes only a minimum amount of effort and discipline, but it makes a huge difference on the environment. so next time you go to the store, remember to bring your own bags and you will feel great with yourself afterwards – a definite win-win situation.

Jul 9, 2008

information overload

did you know that the modern human being has more information available in one single edition of the new york times than a human in the middle ages had available in her entire lifetime? no wonder we are suffering from information overload, which has lead to a detrimental effect on our ability to focus, think and reflect.

so take a few minutes today and and "unload" by limiting the interruptions caused by multiple flows of information: turn off the envelope icon on your outlook taskbar so you are not tempted to check every email as it arrives, check your blackberry at the door before entering a meeting, limit your mobile facebook/myspace/hi5 monitoring to a couple of times a day only, etc. your brain will thank you, and your boss will love the boost in efficiency and renewed attention span that you will achieve...double bonus!

Jul 8, 2008

hold the intolerance, please

it’s only been two weeks, but spain’s crowning as european football champions has been nearly forgotten amidst news of the rescue of the 15 hostages held by farc terrorists in the jungles of colombia (new post in the works), the ongoing controversy over the beijing olympics, and rafael nadal’s astonishing wimbledon victory—another spaniard, coincidentally. even though it is “old news”, i still feel the need to blog about it, primarily because of an incident that happened the day of the final that put a minor damper in the celebrations.

my husband and i got a group of friends together to watch the euro cup final at a bar. this game was so important that we wanted to ensure that the game would be shown wherever we decided to watch it, so we called a couple of places ahead of time, and settled on this one bar located in midtown houston, where we'd watched important soccer matches before, such as the 2006 fifa world cup final and others. we could not have expected what would happen next. juan and i arrived first to save a large table for our 10 or so friends. we ordered food and drinks and settled comfortably into our seats. we noted that most tv’s were set to either baseball or random programming, and only one flat screen was on the channel that was to show the euro final. we asked our waitress, who was very friendly, and she said that they would tune into the euro final about 30 min before kick off. we waited a while longer, but 30 min before kick off still only one tv was showing the euro pre-game and the speakers were tuned to the houston astros baseball game. at this point, we became a bit concerned and approached the bartender, who appeared to be the person in charge, to ask him if he was planning on swiching some of the tv's to the soccer game and put on the volume, as had previously been confirmed, to which he replied “this is america; we watch baseball here” and then walked off. i waited for the punchline, which never came, and a few seconds later, the magnitude of the comment sank in. did he really say what i think he said, i asked juan?!?! what does he mean by “we watch baseball here”?!? what does that say about the millions of tennis, american football, basketball, hockey, racing, and of course soccer, fans in america?? do they not count?? and why does he think he has the right to speak for a whole nation??

we were so taken aback that the only option we saw feasible at that moment was to close our tab and leave stat. we scrambled to look for another place to watch the match while trying to get in touch with our friends, who were already on their way. fortunately, and thanks in part to juan’s skillful maneuvering, we were able to find another bar and most of our friends made it there—except the two that did not have mobile phones :( we ended up having a great time at this other place, and were delighted when spain’s single goal, orchestrated by fernando “el niƱo” torres, gave spain the victory over germany. later we found out through our two friends that the other bar eventually showed the game, as a rowdy pack of about 30 spanish fans showed up and insisted the game be put on.

in hindsight, i guess we could’ve stayed and waited for our friends to show up and then, using the strength in our numbers, we could’ve demanded that the tv’s be switched to the match, but why fight ignorance with brute force? we were so irritated that the mere act of thinking about patronizing this establishment made our skin crawl.

the next day, while all over the world jubilant throngs of spaniards and sympathizers celebrated the victory of their national team, juan was emailing the owner of the bar to tell him our story. in all fairness, we should mention that we did receive a prompt reply from the bar owner, and he followed up with a phone call, where he was extremely apologetic about the incident and even offered to give us some “freebies”. at the end of his conversation with juan, he stated that the bartender who’d made the comment would no longer be employed by his bar. we weren’t necessarily happy to hear about this, but were relieved that he cared to listen to our story and showed concern for the reputation of his business.

ironically, the motto of this euro cup was "respect", referring to the fifa-wide campaign against racism and intolerance in sports, which has been at the center of fifa’s philosophy for the last few years. obviously the sport highest authority’s message was lost somewhere in this man who chose to speak for a nation while the only voice that was heard was that of his own narrow-mindedness.

(photo caption: spain’s national team holding the henri delaunay trophy. fernando “the kid” torres, front and center, was the author of the single goal that gave spain the victory of the xii european football cup on 29th june, 2008. courtesy of getty images)