body brushing

so in the comments on one of my other skin care posts, my sister made some wise crack about making sure to take out time to buff puff my butt.  when she said it, i don't think she knew i am an avid butt buffer.  have been for years.  and now you get to hear all about it.  (except since this is a family blog, and butt buff puff sounds kind of unladylike, let's call it "body brushing" from now on ok?)

i first read about body brushing in a weight loss book by marilu henner.  at the time i had a canadian tire or two to lose, but was more interested in reading about losing weight than actually losing weight.  more to the point, i wanted to find ways to look thinner without giving up my 8 twizzleators and family size onion rings a day habit.

anyway marilu (and i didn't even know who she was or why she was famous) takes a whole chapter of the book to blab about how dry body brushing has all these benefits including minimizing cellulite and reducing bloating.  i read that and i was on body brushing like white on rice.

its pretty simple.  start with dry skin (ie pre bath/shower). take a brush start at your feet and brush up towards your heart.   i use this brush i picked up at riteaid or ulta or something. after i finish brushing, i like to slather myself in argan oil or coconut oil.  i can't promise that it will get rid of your cellulite but it will make you feel fantastic. fant-ASS-tic.  sorry mom.  i couldn't help myself.


vitamin c isn't just for colds

you can put it on your face too. and with great results, especially if you happen to be among those cursed with the lines and zits (and i am). some girls have all the luck. i won't bore you with the details on vitamin c, like how it is an anti-oxidant and breaks up free radicals because that is what wikipedia is for and besides i don't really know what those things mean anyway.

instead, how about i share a few brands that make great vitamin c serums; one for the cheapskates, one for people who like "organic" stuff, and one for the product junkies.

cheapskates: most of the time this is me. except recently i've started splurging on skincare to make myself feel better about the fact that i am 30 and i look like i am 30. when i am poor i use avalon organics vitamin c vitality facial serum with great results. it isn't sticky and absorbs into the skin quickly.

"organic" stuff: kiehls powerful line reducing concentrate (10% vitamin c) isn't actually organic....but the company really tries hard not to use parabans (wikipedia it) or fragrances, which i love. this is what i am currently using. i like it. a lot.  it kind of warms up when you put it on your face and has a really nice essential oily kinda smell. my skin is clear (!) and smooth (!) and looks pretty radiant (!).  kiehls is amazing about letting people try stuff...so next time you are in nordies/holts ask them for a sample. 

product junkies: ever since my friend told me the other day about obagi i've been obsessed with trying their 20% vitamin c serum. only problem it is in the neighbourhood of 120 bones. currently my paranoia about my pocketbook supersedes my paranoia about aging (although the gap is rapidly closing to don't be surprised if in a week or two i'm raving about this.)

anything i missed?



scrabble+j.crew shopping trip+pictures+discussion about intelligence+dinner+documentary+peanut butter+ this guy
a good day (even if i did turn 30)


skin care don'ts from courtney love

I've been a big fan of the band hole ever since rax and i took a trip to utah circa 2000 and listened to celebrity skin for 16 hours straight (well that and teenage dirtbag). if you aren't familiar with the song take a listen:

my favorite line of the song is in the chorus when she sings, "when i wake up, in my makeup its too early for that dress." man can i relate. i wake up with raccoon eyes on a regular basis because if i stay up late (and i often do) i'm terrible about washing my face (ie it doesn't happen).

i read in people magazine (while at the hair salon the other day) that kim k keeps makeup wipes by her bed so that she can lay in her bed and still take her makeup off. hmmm if kim k is doing ot maybe it is something to try?

but now i'm not so sure.

if i put a stack of wipes beside my bed i'd end up with black wipes all over the bedroom floor (gross) because if i am too lazy to to wash my face i am i am definitely too lazy to get up to throw the wipe out.

plus i worry about residue from those things.

has anyone tried makeup wipes? how do they work for you? what are your favs?


the skin whisperer of calgary

dr. remington is famous in calgary. he is the genius behind many a well preserved housewife and gay man. you have skin problems? he's THE guy you go see. he's the kind of doctor you trust right away too. it might have something to do with the fact that his face is about as smooth as a baby's bottom, not to mention that in the 20 or so years i have known him, he hasn't aged a day. 5/6 white family members agree: doctor remington is a facesaver. and the 6th doesn't know anything since he's never had skin problems. lucky so and so.

you want lasers, peels, nips, injections? dr remington is a whiz. but one thing i like about him is that he doesn't just push the expensive cosmetic stuff, he is an advocate of good old fashioned things like washing your face and putting on sunscreen.

one of the things that doctor remington teaches his patients to do is wash their faces with buff puffs. he told me (and my mom) that most people don't exfoliate their skin enough and washing with a buff puff is one way to ensure that the dead dull skin on your face gets sloughed off. i started doing it again after noticing i was a dullster from all the summer sun i got.

using a buff puff makes a HUGE difference and is simple and affordable (daddy like). just wet your face, apply your favorite cleaner (dr r. says use cetephil), wet your buff pad and scrub scrub scrub. i use my buff puff for a week or two before switching it out for a new one. you can buy puffs at most drugstores. i'm currently using the riteaid brand.

seriously friends try this. it is one of the cheapest good things you can do for you skin. and you will notice the difference right away. (oy i sound like a cover girl commercial).


Dirty Thirties

whew. things were getting very grade 12 social studies there for a while. thank your lucky stars i haven't put up my posts on abortion, gay rights and euthanasia.

for the last few weeks i've been freaking out about the fact that i'm staring 30 down the barrel. i'm not sure what set me off. could be the three long hairs that appeared on my neck the other day. or maybe it was that i've been informed by medical professionals that i need to wear support hose every day if i don't my legs to turn into a rope vein mess (and i'm not even with child). or maybe it was my mom describing my grandma's saggy skin (from the sound of it genetics aren't on our side).

in any event i'm all in a huff about anti-aging. my mother's advice: start saving for boxtox. probably wise. so i will. but i have also been looking into taking better care of my skin (ie maybe washing my face every once in a while) in an effort to turn back time. over the next few days i am going to share what i've learned and how it worked or me. if you have anything that really works for you--tell me! i love hearing about people's skin care rituals.

also it doesn't really matter how cray-cray it is because i'm not above trying anything. once i read online that if you bathe in coffee it will help you feel less bloated. i filed that little piece of info away until one day, when i was feeling especially water logged, and decided to try it. i went to the store bought instant coffee granules, drew a nice hot bath and dumped the jar of coffee in. it was pretty lovely (nice smelling too). i'd call it a successful home remedy except as i watched my two hour bath water drain (admittedly kinda gross) i realized i'd dyed the bath tub brown. dentists aren't kidding around when they talk about coffee stains. the good news: it only took about 4 liters of bleach to remove.

some asians enjoying a coffee bath. they have to coolest skin care remedies like coffee baths and gold fish that eat dead skin off your body.


Why you shouldn't vote for Rick Perry: Part Three

he doesn't have a conscience.

i've been thinking a lot about the death penalty ever since the CNN debate where rick perry said that he doesn't lose sleep over the possibility that some of the 234 execution orders he signed as governor of texas could have been for innocent people. the audience cheered. perry went off on some junk about how he had faith in the justice system.

justice experts say that while perry has been governor at least one innocent person, cameron todd willingham, was executed. in that case perry actively interfered with state investigations and rejected the scientific evidence presented by over 20 scientists saying that the fire which killed willingham's children was not man-made. in other cases he has denied inmates rights guaranteed by the vienna convention and ignored the rights of foreign nationals in criminal proceedings.

the whole death penalty issue makes me sick. in fact it is one of the things that makes me want to move back to canada. (please mike? but then i might have to live without target--which would also be a colossal tragedy so the jury is still out on where we'll end up) (and yes i realize like what a jerk i look like for making that comment).

it isn't that i don't have faith in the justice system--but mistakes do happen--and it just seems like the risk of the harm caused by executing an innocent person isn't worth it. take for instance the execution of troy davis which occurred today. he was convicted primarily on the basis of eye witness accounts. 7 of the 9 eye witnesses have since recanted, saying they were coached by detectives working on the case. there is no physical (DNA) evidence linking davis to the crime. while he may still have committed the crime--the doubt--the possibility that he didn't seems to be to be reason enough to at a minimum stay the execution. but that is a moral argument and i can understand how not everyone is going to agree with me.

so how about we get really pragmatic? with the economic downturn, most states are facing budgetary deficits. It costs a state $2.2 million to execute someone. Most of these costs are legal fees. On the other hand it costs $400,000 to keep an inmate in prison for life. When states are faced with hard choices about where to cut spending--why not just commute the sentences of all death row inmates to life in prison?

in texas rick perry could have saved his state $20 million dollars. money that perhaps could be spent on education, health care, hell even using the money to pay for HPV vaccines would be better than this crap.

ok i promise not to post anything more about rick perry. unless he does something really stupid, in which case i won't be able to help myself.


a long post about islam

yesterday i went with my brother to his class on islam and mormonism at the byu. at the beginning of the class they took a quiz on the assigned reading. the questions were pretty basic but one caught my eye:

the "oppression" of women in muslim majority countries is primarily the result of:
a) religion
b) culture
c) some dumb throw away answer that i can't even remember

the "right" answer to the question (as far as any introductory class on islam is concerned) is culture. all the intro text books say that islam is gender inclusive and mohammad was basically feminist since he stopped female infanticide. they say that it is the misogynistic arab culture which is to blame for keeping the muslim women down. and this is basically the explanation my brother's prof (who was wearing tom and jerry tie which should have tipped me off to the fact that he probably wasn't going to be the kind of guy to give a mind blowing explanation of anything) gave the students when they went over the quiz.

a kid in the class immediately shot up his hand (he seemed like the delightfully nerdy type) and asked the teacher if that wasn't kind of a cop out explanation. the prof got a bit flustered and basically just repeated his earlier explanation topping it off with the patronizing "it will all make sense as we go through the course."

man i wish i was teaching that class because nerdy boy's question is really interesting and worth exploring (for the entire semester as far as i am concerned).

the explanation is kind of a cop out. muslim feminists can say that the opression of women in their religion is because of the sexist culture islam emerged from until the cows come home...and they might right except for one little problem.

a cornerstone of the religion is that the qur'an is the literal word of god which means the things in it can't just be interpreted (or contextualized) away. at the end of the day muslims have to account for the fact that in their holy religious text is says beat your women if they disoby (among other nasty things). if your religious text says something, doesn't that make a pretty strong case for the notion that the religion at least has some impact on the oppression of member women?

but i actually think the question is problematic because it assumes that we can clearly deliniate "religion" from "culture." can we? i'm not sure i can draw those lines in my own faith tradition.
though i probably don't like to admit this--i think i have a tendency to just call anything within the tradition i don't like "culture," whereas things i like are "religion." the reality is that the line between those two things seems really fuzzy when we actually try to define terms. culture is religion and religion is culture. focusing on one at the expense of the other will lead to incomplete explanations for the cause of the oppression of women, not to mention any other question a person could think of.

thinking about the reasons women in islam seem to have fewer rights than women in the west is a really interesting question however. it becomes particularly curious question when we examine the position of women in the golden age of islam who unlike their european counterparts could: own land, were entitled family inheritances, and could divorce a spouse who did not keep their marriage contract.

several explanations are worth considering.

being able to travel via boat to the far east instead of overland meant that fewer people traveled through the middle east. this meant that the people living in middle east were cut off from their source of news, and ideas. isolated from developments in the rest of the world they simply did no have the information they needed to keep up. crusades to the holy land also probably caused muslims to become protective and isolationist--which didn't improve their access to information problem.

another way of explaining the situation is that the cultures where muslims live are traditional and conservative in the sense that they resist change. the reforms that muslim women enjoyed during the golden age where things mohammad had advocated for and at the time they were radical. but overtime radical becomes the status quo becomes conservative. however because many religions are resistant to change, now the position of women in islam seems completely unacceptable.

do you have any ideas? how do you define religion and culture? why do you think women are oppressed in religious communities? how do you define oppression?

whoa. this is getting really far off where i intended to start from which was basically to say i think my brother's prof is a goof.


Why You Shouldn't Vote for Rick Perry: Part Two

He doesn't have a clue about how to create jobs.

perry holds up the fact that texas has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country as evidence of his skill at managing the affairs of a state and why americans should choose him to be their president in 2012. since creating jobs and renewing the stalled economy are at the top of so many people's priority list, perry's record is worth considering. if he kept the economy in texas afloat, could he do the same for the rest of the country?

the short answer is, probably not.

perry's success as governor has more to do with the fact that his tenure coincided with skyrocketing oil prices than any job creating prowess on his part. because oil accounts for over 25 % of the texas economy, growing profits and tax revenues in this sector have helped offset losses in other industries.

and the losses in other areas of the economy haven't been as bad as they have in other areas of the country either. that is because the benefits of a strong oil and gas industry trickle down. in texas, just like in alberta, high oil prices mean that the lawyers and accountants and home builders and restaurants are also have work. the price of oil drives those economies and unfortunately for rick perry, the price of oil is something he can't take credit for.

so don't count on a perry government to create jobs, unless that is, he finds a way to make oil out of thin air.

Why You Shouldn't Vote for Rick Perry: Part One

He is a Creep.

conventional wisdom says if you want to make a buck, don't go into politics. so it is curious how rick perry, republican candidate for president, went from being a farmer who made $45,000 a year to a governor worth 7 digits.

he didn't inherit any money. the salary of the governor of texas is set at $150,000 a year and it seems unlikely that he saved every penny he made during the last ten years. in fact the source of perry's new found wealth has been the subject of several journalistic inquiries. perry made most of his money buying and selling land, however, according to several journalists, the details of those transactions seem suspicious on closer inspection.

here is how a typical perry real estate transaction went down. a lobbyist in state house would buy a piece of land he/she knew someone else had commercial interests in. they would then sell that land to perry at cost. perry would then reap the benefits of the sale of the "in demand" land.

maybe perry didn't know what the lobbysist knew about the land....but the fact that it happened several times has to kind of make you wonder. add this to perry's record of giving sweetheart deals* to people who made large financial contributions to his political action committees and it seems to me we have on our hands a guy who stinks of corruption.

and i for one am of the opinion that the last thing we need is some croney capitalist in charge.

*reportedly perry issued an executive order mandating that all girls in the state of texas receive the hpv vaccine**. at the time the only vaccine available was made by merek drug company which coincidentally had donated generously to the perry election campaigns.

**just for the record, i don't have a problem with the vaccine.