Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Witch Nose

Oh, hey guys! Happy Halloween! You know, I actually woke up this morning and completely forgot it was Halloween. Times are different now. There was a time long ago when I thought a lot about Halloween and what my costume would be.

When I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a witch for Halloween. Just like all the previous years I could remember. We had this costume box that had various items of clothing from Halloweens past and plays that my siblings had been in. Naturally, my costume came from that box.

The two best parts of the costume were the witch hat (obviously) and the witch's nose. This nose was rubber and green with a string that went around my head to hold it on. It was hollow and smelled really funny.

I had a great time traipsing around in my costume that kindergarten Halloween. The only problem was that I probably had a cold because my nose kept running. All throughout the day, I kept dumping the snot out of my witch nose and rubbing my real nose on my witch sleeve. I was a total sugar-high mess. Later I found out that I wasn't the only one who had snotted in the nasty family heirloom.

Year after year the cold air would make my nose run and year after year I wore the witch nose without washing it. (Well who knows, maybe my mom did.) However, despite the nastiness of the nose, I always had a great time wearing it. I'm sure I thought I was really terrifying. In a way I probably was, what with the snot dripping out of the witch nostrils.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

DIY: Rainbow Candle

When I was a small child, probably three or four years old, my oldest sister Jane still lived at home. She had a nice big vanilla candle and one day she melted some crayon wax onto it. About a year ago, I did the same thing, but Jane didn't remember that it was her original idea! That's probably because she has a crafty heart or something and since she has so many ideas and crafts that she's done over the years, she couldn't possibly remember them all.

Guys, I'm not very crafty. Sometimes I'll get the notion to whip something out, but it's not something I do regularly. So consider yourself blessed to have witnessed this miracle.

You will need the following:
  • crayons (use your old crayons if you have them)
  • wax paper
  • lighter or matches
  • candle (mine is white and unscented)
  • tea lights

Gather up your crayons and peel the paper off. Put your crayons and candles on a piece of wax paper to keep from getting wax on your work surface.

Then light one of your tea lights. I ended up using several tea lights. This way if one keeps burning out, you can just start a new one. 

Now take one of your candles and melt the tip in the flame of the tealight until it's about to drip and let it drip onto your candle. Try not to let the candle drip into the melted wax in your tealight because this will eventually make the flame go out. To help get the candle to drip where I wanted it to, I held the tealight close to the desired area. 

All you need to do now is keep dripping candle wax on your candle until it's covered as much as you want it to be. I think it looks best with lots of colors and lots of surface area covered.

Friday, October 25, 2013

To all the Coldplay skeptics

Anyone who knows my music taste knows that Coldplay is my favorite band of all time. There are some bands whose full magic is definitely not portrayed adequately on the radio. I feel that Coldplay is one of those bands. So you've heard "Viva la Vida" and "Clocks." But have you heard "I Ran Away" or "Careful Where You Stand" or "For You?"

Some people have said that Coldplay has a case of "same-songitis," but I'm here to say that if you've only heard what the radio plays of Coldplay, it's time to take a look at what else they've got. I and many other Coldplay fans will tell you that they have a lot to offer musically, lyrically and artistically. In my opinion, Coldplay most certainly is not a one trick pony.

This song never made it to an album for reasons unkown to me. Haunting and slow, "For You" really has an ethereal feeling. 

"Strawberry Swing" lets go of the more mellow sound Coldplay has in their first three albums and breaks into a cheery, cute love song. Also, this music video is wonderful. My favorite part is when the song changes moods at 2:35.

"X & Y." I love the chorus of this song. It plays for the first time at 1:28. "You and me are floating on a tidal wave, together. You and me are drifting into outer space." That imagery definitely fits the sound of the song.

"Up With the Birds" is a really optimistic song. At 1:50 it really changes the feel of the song and goes into a really cheery chorus. "I know one thing, good things are coming my way."

"I Ran Away" is a really sad song, but it may be their most beautiful song of all time. It also didn't make it onto an album. Coldplay's B-sides tracks are their best kept secrets, in my opinion. I love the way Chris Martin sings at 2:15. 

"Moses." This is a LIVE RECORDING. No big deal. They just rock everyone's socks. This is a big part of why I love Coldplay. They sound amazing live. Just so you know, this song was written for Gwyneth Paltrow (Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay, is married to her).

"Shiver" is a beautiful love song with an awesome chorus. I also love that this is them recording the song that is on the album. Again, they are just that good!

"God Put a Smile upon Your Face." This one isn't my favorite, but it's still good. I included it mostly to show you some more variety.

"Careful Where You Stand." The guitar in this song practically gives me chills every time I listen to it. I love the lyrics. "I feel safe, when I am with you. And I feel warm when you want me to. I am cured when you are around. I'm alright...It's true, we're always looking out for one another."

So there you have a nice sample of what they can do. I didn't add their main hits (which are great) because you have probably heard them already. I wanted you to get a taste for what else Coldplay has to offer.

What do you think of these songs? Are there some in here that you haven't heard before? Do you have a favorite?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I Love Autumn

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

Since the leaves started turning colors, I've been trying to find a good time to take pictures of the beautiful autumn foliage.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

Traditionally, I'm a summertime person. But you know, I am realizing now that I love autumn! I have loved it all along, I just didn't know that.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

I love all of the different colors.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

I love the temperature and the smells.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn
  I have depression which is heightened by the days getting shorter and colder, so my goal this autumn and winter is to find things that I find beautiful about these seasons.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

One of my very favorite things is seeing sunlight shine through leaves and make them glow.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

Autumn here in Meridian is gorgeous! There are lots of red trees around!

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

I think I focused my lense on the grass instead of the leaf I'm holding...don't worry about it.

The Keyhole: I Love Autumn

I love this yellow! It's so pretty! So there you go, guys. If I get around to taking more picture of the leaves, I may make another post with more photos. If you pin any of these photos, please mention that they're from The Keyhole since I didn't have the patience to watermark them all. Thanks!

Also, I just wanted to say that one thing that improves my mood and outlook on life is finding things that are beautiful and expressing gratitude for them. They don't have to be extraordinary, either. But I find that when I find joy in the everyday things, they become extraordinary to me--like the fall leaves.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beauty Disasters

Lest anyone should ever think that I know a lot about beauty (not that I think anyone actually thinks that), I think I should tell you that historically and currently, I do not.

I've always admired those girls and women who seem to radiate with natural perfection every day. They show up to all these early-morning events (school, work) with their perfectly styled hair, their flawless skin, bagless eyes, and perfectly trimmed/waxed eyebrows.

How do they do it?! This is a history of me trying to figure out this whole make-up and hair thing:

Baby to toddler: Cute little self with precious, soft hair.

Kindergarten: Started "painting" nails (really this was just me globbing a bunch of fingernail polish onto my fingertips and nails). This is also the time when my bangs started way at the top of my head and were cut in a blunt line at my eyebrows. Sometimes this look is cute on girls and women, but it looked really awkward and strange on me.

First & second grade: Still had the power bangs which my mom sometimes curled for church. I occasionally tried growing out my bangs which resulted in lots of pictures with my overgrown bangs covering my eyes.

Third grade: Decided to stick with the bangs, rather than growing them out.

Fourth grade: Grew out the bangs, but kept them that way. I liked to part my hair right down the middle. I'm guessing that people with really pointy, oval faces like mine shouldn't part their hair right down the middle. This wasn't a good look for me.

Fifth grade: I learned how to put my hair in a ponytail. So I did. Every day. First it started out parted right down the middle and drawn in a tight ponytail with a scrunchy at the base of my head. Then about halfway through fifth grade, I started pulling my hair into a slicked straight back ponytail or half ponytail. The tighter the better!

Sixth grade: I started noticing that my legs were really hairy and my eyebrows were really bushy. This was a source of self-consciousness for me so one day I asked my mom if I could shave my legs. She said, "sure," so I marched right into the bathroom to take a shower. I had no idea what to do, but I figured that it was simple enough: just take the razor and slide it up your leg! I grabbed the old, plastic, two-bladed, semi-rusty, man-razor from off the shower shelf. I placed it firmly in the middle of my shin and with great force, pulled the razor upward. Shocked, I saw a stream of blood oozing from the inch-long wound I had just inflicted. Luckily I realized after that that I needed to go a lot softer on my legs. When people asked what happened to my leg I would say, "the razor fell on my leg while I was taking a shower."

Then, apparrently not learning from my shaving mishap, and wanted to not have "caterpillars" above my eyes, I asked my mom if I could pluck my eyebrows. Again, she said, "sure," so I marched into the bathroom once again and grabbed the (also rusty) tweezers. Carefully I plucked out hair after hair in a pain-filled haze. Eventually I was satisfied and stopped. I suppose I liked the way my brows were shaped because I kept doing them like that. They were bad. They were so bad. My idea of a good brow job was to pull half of my eyebrows out from the unibrow inward. I looked real weird. And even with half of my eyebrows yanked out, I wasn't very good about keeping them plucked (I'm still not...).

I still loved the ponytail in sixth grade. I had learned that I should take a shower every day, so I did. My hair would go right from sopping wet, to ponytail every single day. Eventually some of the girls in my class informed me (in what was probably an intervention of sorts) that I would grow mold on my head if I kept doing that every day. That terrified me, so I started leaving it down to dry before putting it into a ponytail.

Seventh-eighth grade: I got better at shaving for the most part and I even started applying mascara. Occassionally I would toy around with my mom's blush and pressed powder. I really didn't learn how to apply makeup properly until rather recently...oh well! No one ever said it looked bad, so maybe it wasn't. As far as hair goes during this time, I had two styles, air-dryed left down, and up in a ponytail. I never did my nails. I just kept them short so that I could play the violin.

Freshman year: Not much changed. My eyebrows somehow got worse, though. Bigger and badder. But I don't remember doing anything different, they just morphed that way.

Also, I thought I was making a super cute face. Hahahaha!

Sophomore year: This was a pretty good year beauty-wise! I used eyeliner respectfully and mascara. I didn't do much else, but it was okay because my skin was pretty good. My hair fell exactly how I wanted it to without doing much to it!

Junior year: Something possessed me to tweeze the heck out of my eyebrows until they were super skinny lines. I learned how to use real liquid foundation and eye shadow! I got some really bad, thick bangs. They were nasty. My face shape does not allow blunt bangs to look good on me. As much as I envisioned myself looking like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, I looked more like the "perfect human" from the more recent Miike Snow music videos.

Senior year: One time during the winter I grew my eyebrows out super thick. That was kind of gross. Otherwise, it wasn't too bad.

Freshman year of college: Most of the time my hair and makeup was okay. I painted my nails quite a bit. But I did go through a phase where I thought I might look good if I parted my hair right down the middle and styled it stick straight, but with curls at the end. Maybe I forgot that this didn't work for me before. My face comes to a point right at my nose so having the part down the middle makes me really pointy!

Last year to now: I apply makeup about half of the time. I rarely do my hair. I'm still rocking the air-dryed look simply because I just don't like to spend all the time it takes to really do something with my hair. Most of the time I get my makeup right!

So that's the history of my beauty disasters and occassional triumphs (if you want to see pictures of examples of me with bad eyebrows and hair, I'll put them up. But only if you want me to. They're bad). Now I have to tell you a particularly unfortunate story that just happened to me last week.

I bought dry shampoo! I've never had dry shampoo, so naturally I didn't know how to use it. So the first morning I tried it, I didn't really put enough on, so my hair was still greasy-nasty. The next morning I wouldn't be fooled. I sprayed that stuff on like a Pinterest crafter gone crazy with gold spray paint. Finally feeling that I had sprayed enough on to tame the grease, I brushed out my hair like the can told me. I looked in the mirror expectantly and found that I looked like an old lady! My hair was white! Frantically, I tried to brush it out and coax it into my tresses, but it wouldn't be contained. I had to go to a dentist appointment and unfortunately I still looked pretty old. But now I know, guys. Now I know.

Dear girls and women everywhere who know how to do these things correctly,

Were you just born with this knowledge? Did you have a bunch of sisters? Or maybe your mom knew a lot about it and imparted the knowledge of cosmetics and hair to you? Maybe I spent so much time trying to fit in with my brothers that I guess I just never noticed that much about beauty and therefore was blissfully unaware that I was breaking so many beauty no-no's (nos? nose?). Perhaps your skin is just nice and your hair is just beautiful and you didn't really do anything. Maybe one day I'll learn your trade. But honestly, probably not because even though I can see that I need some help, I just really don't care quite enough to do anything about it. Besides, my husband thinks I'm pretty, so there! :P Eat it, you beauties!

Still clueless

Friday, October 4, 2013

Mormon General Conference!

In case you didn't know already, I am a Mormon, or member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tomorrow and Sunday we have the wonderful chance to hear from a living prophet of God and his apostles! We call this meeting General Conference. It takes place every six months in Salt Lake City, Utah, but it is broadcast live worldwide on television, radio, and internet. After it is broadcast, it becomes available in print and is always available for viewing online.

At 10:00 A.M. MDT, the first session begins and lasts for two hours. There are five total sessions.

I love General Conference. I look forward to hearing the inspired talks given. The people who speak spend a very long time preparing for General Conference. A lot of thought and prayer goes into it.

When I listen to General Conference, I can feel the Holy Ghost touch my heart, telling me that what I'm hearing is true. I invite each of you to join me in watching this wonderful broadcast so that you can feel what I feel.

You can watch General Conference by clicking here.