endless interviews and mostly success and praying to my great whatever

So I’ve had three job interviews in three days. While I feel very grateful for the job opportunities, it has been stressful to be in Best Martha 2.0 Mode for the past 72 hours. One option is a kennel job, and the other two are horse jobs. (I grew up with horses. Yes, I am from the boonies, the sticks, whatever you call it, although I live in a major city now.)

One went very well, one went extremely well, and one went okay. The one that did okay some would say went badly. I was informed at the end of that one that I was too nervous around the horses (it had been 5 or 6 years since I had handled one), so the job wouldn’t be a good fit for me. But in my opinion, I did my best, and it seemed like a very tense barn, so the best outcome was for me to not work there anyway. It is also the furthest and most stressful drive of the three (80 mph for 50 minutes in heavy traffic). So I call it a success, even though it was a “fail.”

The one that went extremely well is the one I really think I’ll get. I’m hoping and praying on it, anyway. I loved the location, the drive, the people, the animals, the labor, the hours, the pay. Everything about it is right. The drive is the perfect length of time to listen to an average-length symphony.

I don’t write any about spiritual things on here. I am a very spiritual person. I pray. I meditate. I believe. Being so stressed and having so many options in the air has made my bonds with “the great whatever” stronger. So has being outside in the sun. My “religion” greatly involves nature and all holy texts. I can’t choose. Some people don’t agree with that, and that’s okay. It only leads to good conversation.

Anyway. So all of this is why I have been absent from here and not commenting up a storm like I usually do. But hopefully one of the other interviews ends in a job, and I’ll get out of this unemployed funk. I look forward to catching up with all of you. 🙂

Also: shout out to my lover, who has been so supportive of me. At times I have gotten downright mean from stress, and most of it lands on him. And what does he do in response? He deep cleans and organizes my apartment while I’m at my second interview, and then I came home to spotless everything. Because he is an angel. God, I love him so much. He takes all of my insecurities and warms them in his big strong hands until they don’t sting so badly. Ladies (and gents), don’t settle. Find your lover.

Wax Funtimes + New Great Cheap Moisturizer!

Despite the horrible weather on the east coast, I made it to my long overdue brow and lip wax. I was three weeks behind due to a migraine, my surgery, and then painkillers. Yesterday’s post is a before and here is my after. 🙂





(the second one is filtered because I was in horrible lighting)

(the first one is pink because it was literally a minute after getting waxed)

But ladies, how about that mascara?! This one is from the drugstore and is really impressing me. It is Maybelline Full and Soft. On me it feels very light and fluttery but it separates and lengthens gorgeously. I didn’t even curl my lashes today and I still got a very flirty, lifted look. I haven’t had any smudging with this one, but for some reason mascaras don’t ever smudge on me (knock on wood).

On to the moisturizer —



I got mine for about $12 at Ulta. I am not a huge fan of the scent (or any scent in any moisturizer) BUT…

it is knocking my beloved Cerave out of the park right now. My skin has been so extremely dry and flaky lately that it has needed something thicker. This derma e moisturizer is heavy (which I love), 75% of it sinks right in and the other 25% remains a little dewy (not shiny or oily) and makeup goes on fine over it. I’m sure it would all sink in if one applied less, but I really need a barrier between my poor skin and my apartment’s heating system.

It doesn’t have SPF, but I’ve read that it mixes well with other products. I will try mixing my Cerave with SPF in with it. Today for my wax, I went with just this moisturizer and a floppy hat for sun protection.



(me being a total selfie goober in my new hat and marc jacobs lippie)

I hope you have a wonderful snow/ice day if you’re with me on the east coast! Drive safe. 🙂 And treat yourself to a long bath and a sheet mask for a pampered evening.

that awkward moment (tw ed)

when you find your perfect contour shade and you also accidentally lost 8 pounds that you really needed to keep



lol I look like a grasshopper who needs a wax and to pick a damn lip color for the evening why is wearing maroon so hard

(don’t worry wax is happening tomorrow at noon, lip & brows)

for my mental health readers I’m manic as a motherfuhhhh

I miss my tits and ass, lord bring them back to me I’m just a little white girl who once had cred

Date Night for 180 Days of Sober

My lover took me to a lovely fancy restaurant for my big day. I got all dressed up in a black and white dress, opaque black tights, and dark red pointy low heels. With an hour of makeup and a spritz of Chanel Coco Mademoiselle, I was ready to go. 🙂



I kept my eye makeup neutral but my lashes long, and I used a more springy orange blush by NYX. On the lips, I used a recent favorite of mine: Marc Jacobs lip creme in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. I even got a compliment on my lips when we went to a bookstore after our date!





My sober face. 🙂

I did not feel comfortable taking my phone out at the restaurant to snap pictures of our plates. They were beautiful, though! I had the grilled swordfish in a green tea honey glaze with bok choy and butternut squash orzo, and for dessert I had a green tea honey creme brûlée. Everything was amazing. The swordfish, which I had never had before, was so sweet and perfectly cooked. Lover had a steak and sorbet and the bill. 😉

I felt positively glowing the whole time. I’m so proud of myself for my six months, the clarity I have found, the stability I have created. And I have such amazing support.

February Favorites

Wow, I’ve been blogging for three months! So WordPress is a favorite. But here are my makeup/skincare/fashion favs of last month:

Smashbox Photo Filter Powder Foundation



This has gotten me so many skin compliments, even though life had my skin acting crazy in February. It worked perfectly over my usually heavy moisturizer with SPF and mix of primers. The shade 01 was perfect for me and left me looking glowy without a highlighter. Blush and bronzer blended perfectly over it, and whatever I put on my face lasted all day (even if I wore a winter hat!). Awesome coverage, not at all drying, and super quick to work with. Looks like skin. I’ll repurchase it when I run out for sure.

Milani Baked Blush in Luminoso



I used this almost every day in February. It adds the perfect amount of dimension back to your face after a fuller coverage foundation, and it has a soft sheen, so you can skip a highlight. It fades well with bronzer or looks fine without it. It has awesome staying power, especially with the drugstore price tag! In March, I have a feeling I’ll be reaching for more pinks and corals, but Luminoso will always be my standby.

Nude Lipstick



I was tired of bold winter shades by the middle of February. I wanted a pale as pale can be nude, and I bought several (oops) at the drugstore. I don’t have a single favorite, but I love the Maybelline mattes and Wet n Wild lippies. I also enjoyed pairing pale nudes with NARS Orgasm lip gloss. When I wasn’t wearing that, I was combining…

Buxom White Russian & Rimmel Eastend Snob





This is a my lips but pinker and not-too-glossier but oh-so-plumper combo. It just looks so… fertile. Something sexual about how lush my lips look right after I draw them on with these two. They are both new to me, but I think they will definitely be year-round repurchases.

Tightlining



These days, I don’t leave the house without tightlining. It was torture the first few times, but I’ve found a much easier and peaceful way to do it that I’ll soon share on here. Tightlining, whether you are only wearing a shimmery nude shade and mascara or a full blown smokey eye, makes the eyes and lashes stand out that much more. It makes one look so much more awake and doe-eyed. Now that it’s easier, I actually look forward to it!

Aquaphor and Lanolin



I actually layer these if my skin is flaking no matter how much exfoliating and moisturizing I do. I use the mix like a spot treatment overnight and in the morning before I wash my face. When I take it off, what was rough is all of a sudden baby soft and supple. I have been using it on my lips, around my nostrils, and between my eyebrows all of the time with fantastic results. 

My New Handbag





(mine is the blue one)

This was a great deal, it goes with everything, it’s perfect for spring, and it has tons of pockets! I adore it. It is made out of a very soft but durable feeling vegan faux leather.

Pukka Three Ginger Tea







Isn’t the box so pretty? I bought it to help the pains from my advanced acid reflux, but it is surprisingly sweet and delicious! It really warms you up from the inside. Ginger and licorice are good for digestion while turmeric is an anti-inflamitory. So it does me loads of good with every sip, and it looks great on my countertop. I found mine at Vitamin Shoppe.

There are my month’s favorites. My least favorites would be mascara drying up and this nasty cold damp weather in Virginia. But spring is coming, and opportunities abound.

What are some of your transitional favorites?

6 Months of Uphill Sobriety

Personal Rock Bottom and Lurking There a While

Six months ago today, I was drunk at a gig. I was playing at a wedding in the middle of nowhere. It was hot, I was wearing a red floppy hat, and I was drinking to avoid conversation. I was sneaking cigarettes behind the Pinterest-wedding-barn. They had the nicest free gin I had ever tasted at their open bar. Free gin and tonic after free gin and tonic and the music got blurrier and blurrier. My playing got sloppier but I thought “Hey, it’s a sloppy big band and it has got to be 100 degrees in the sun and everyone’s toasting anyway.” I had grown jaded and disrespectful in my profession. At the time I was gigging several times per week — weddings, bars/clubs, for the elderly (where I was sober and played my best).

I was getting drunk every day. Usually this would happen at my local dive bar. Or at home on my balcony. Or at a party. Or in the morning. I drank too much before, but from May-August, I was trashed. I was alone. I left the lover I write of so often in May. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder around my birthday in June. When I wasn’t drinking, I was fucking guys who did cocaine and got off on hitting me — way too hard for kinky.

I was used to the way I woke up near every morning: in a cold sweat, with a headache, fatigued, with a stranger, naked.

My meds weren’t working for me, because I was flooding my small body with alcohol. I drove under the influence of alcohol far too many times and I am ashamed of it. I once sobered up at a bar until closing and then fell asleep at the wheel afterward. My parents assumed I was drunk because, by then, they knew me. My car was in the shop for near a month, and I ran out of my antipsychotic. Rather than ask a friend to pick it up for me, I drank to make the chatter in my head stand still. Drinking is not a good substitute for Abilify. After threatening to jump off of my balcony or take all of my meds with all of my alcohol, a good friend drove me to a shitty psych ward.

Turning Point

That psych ward is where I first attended an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. I went because there was nothing to do. But at the speaker meeting, I started to question whether or not I was an alcoholic. I related to the speaker’s dependence, his pain, his lies, his lows and his thirst that went beyond social norms. I had already lied about my daily alcohol intake to the psychiatrist who seemed to want to pry further into my drinking. I insisted it was just me being 22 and having fun. I denied that the worsening tremor was from detox (it was).

I thought about sobriety, but when I got out of the hospital, I kept drinking. I only knew I was an alcoholic at this point. I tried to drink less at times. Sometimes I’d have rules: no liquor. Never drink alone. But I always found a way to break every rule, and I was always drinking a beer or a mint julep by noon soon after my release. Near the end of August, I finished reading Marya Hornbacher’s Madness. I read another less stellar bipolar memoir. I researched being bipolar after I accepted it with less tears. Everything said that alcohol makes your meds not work, getting drunk spins you too high or low, just skip it. I was hospitalized in July, and I decided that the last day of August would be my last day drinking.

On the way back from my gin drinking gig, I thought about what a bore it all was. How I became such an introspective, existential, quiet wallflower when I was drunk at a social event. (At a bar, it’s another story.) New months inspire me, and September was a successful one. I quit drinking and, at the end of that month, quit smoking. I knew I had to quit both, because they fed each other. They made me feel pleasure in killing myself.

At first, I was so thirsty for a beer. Advertisements still get to me, and I have to look away or turn the radio station still. I find them offensive. I wanted to go back to my bar where every bartender knew my usual — or the bar across the street where I played trombone often. I wanted to go in one person and come out a little bit gone. Because I did not accept my reality and my lack of control. I still struggle to accept what reigns are in my hands and what factors guide my life (I’m looking at you, bipolar disorder). For the first two or three months, I was quite bitter about my sobriety. I was always making self-deprecating jokes about the monster I used to be and my lack of self-control. Now, I rejoice in it and the clarity I have found. Triggers are easier to blink my eyes and forget about. I must, however, remember that I am never invincible to them.

Now?

But 6 months later, I no longer wake up and think of opening a beer. I don’t dream of whiskey for dessert.

I often have nightmares that I get drunk and everyone becomes disappointed in me, or I drink and ruin everything. I always wake up and look through my texts to see if it happened. My sobriety still feels so, so painfully fragile, and that is why I have started to attend AA meetings recently. I want my sobriety to feel like a brick foundation, not something that I will wash away anytime.

My sobriety is my proudest possesion, but it constantly humbles me. I know that I can’t forget about my lows, because with one sip, I’d be lower still.

This journey has inspired me to take better care of my mind, body, and spirit. I now recognize other addictive behaviors before they become poisonous and swallow me. I could not have done it without the help of my psychiatrist, my father, my sister, my mother, my lover, and my closest friends.

Reward? I think so.

When I come into a bit of money, I intend to splurge on a fine piece of jewelry. I did that for the first three months to keep myself focused, and six months is a very worthy milestone.

My lover, with whom I reunited upon the start of my sobriety journey, is taking me out somewhere nice tonight to celebrate.

I also snatched up some Mario Badescu deals on Hautelook as a little treat to myself. Reviews on the rose+herbal facial mist and glycolic acid toner coming soon. 🙂

Thank you for reading something that is very close to my heart.

xoxo,

Martha

Snow Day Face + Things I’m Loving This Month

Today I had lots of time to get ready, so I went full-face today. 🙂 I went shopping, bought a new great purse and hat, some pet necessities, and a baby knitting book for some friends of mine who are expecting.



(my new vegan faux leather purse/backpack with lots of pockets!)

For the look I used the new-to-me technique, tight lining, with light bronze and taupe eye makeup, and several of this month’s makeup favorites.









FACE- smashbox powder foundation, nars laguna bronzer, milani luminoso blush

BROWS- anastasia beverly hills dipbrow in dark brown, sonia kashuk clear brow gel



EYES- tarte golden days and sultry days amazonian clay palette, nyx black liner in bottom and upper lashline, tarte gifted mascara, clinique bottom lash mascara

LIPS- rimmel east end snob lip liner, buxom white russian lip gloss

Things I’m Loving This Month

-smashbox powder foundation. It works great over my moisturizer and primers, and it isn’t drying at all. The coverage is great, and it is super quick to apply with my real techniques powder and buffing face brushes. I’ve been getting compliments ever since I started using this this month.

-rimmel lip liner in east end snob. It is the perfect pinky nude, and I hear it is a dupe for Charlotte Tilbury’s liner in pillow talk, which is a splurge. It works very well for my fair skin tone and lasts a while, even though it is creamy to apply.

-milani baked blush in luminoso. This will travel with me into spring. It seems perfect for all seasons, and it brings such dimension and glow to the face! I haven’t touched another blush in weeks.

-tight lining. This new trick is a little uncomfortable, but it is so brightening and makes my lashes seem to go on for days! A new favorite, for sure.

Well, I hope you enjoy your snow day if you have one!

xoxo,

Martha