Makeup makes me more Trustworthy?

While doing my daily mindless 10 minutes of internet surfing, I came across an article about women who wear makeup appearing more trustworthy… say what? It seems a little absurd to me, but researches at Procter and Gamble, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston University and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found women who apply and little something to their face daily not only look more attractive (duh, who doesn’t look better with a little mascara and gloss?) but people also think these dolled up women appear more trustworthy and competent. For me, I wear makeup daily because it makes me feel better about myself and let’s not forget I am also single in the city and you never know when I might bump into Mr. Right. But I’d hate to think my competence level was being decided on a day I got a little crazy  wearing a bright blue eyeshadow or some sort of glitter. I would hope someone would at least engage me in polite conversation before judging a book by its cover! However, this study begs to defer. Researches asked study participants to look at various pictures of women with all different looks for 250 milliseconds and rate them. The ratings went up depending on the amount of makeup. Wow!! This doesn’t mean I’m going to change my makeup habits, but  it is food for thought.
Now the question to you is… do you judge a book by its cover?

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September 11th, 2011

 

9/11

 

Every year on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, the usual jubilant New York City takes a more understated tone. New Yorkers are more cordial to each other… the usually mad rushing commuter now slows down their pace. A smile or friendly nod you would not normally see happens to greet you today. The citizens of New York all seem to be friends on this day and unite to pay respect to the unimaginable horrors that still play fresh in a lot of people’s minds. I did not live in New York on 9/11 but I have been here for seven anniversaries and was at Ground Zero on the six month anniversary. I was working as a freelance Field Producer for my old television station. Dust and debris still littered the streets of Battery Park and the gaping hole in the New York skyline was still shocking to see. I think if you asked anyone about September 11th, they will have a story for you. Ask a New Yorker, you will hear stories of getting home after the attack with the fuel smell haunting the air or how the next several days after didn’t feel real. For me, I have a friend who stays home every 9/11 to mourn her lost fiancé. The man who she calls her one true love. Or a coworker who tells the story of repeatedly calling not only a colleague but friend on that fateful day because it looked like his floor had been hit. Even the stories of the firemen who went to too many funerals to count. New York is a different city now. You are constantly warned about being vigilant of a terrorist attack. If you see something, say something. Employers have escape routes, emergency bags and off-site locations for employees to go. Life in Manhattan is moving cautiously forward. Ground Zero will soon no longer be a construction zone but home to a memorial and the Freedom Tower. From Starbucks employees to the Wall Street big wig, New Yorkers pitched in to help pickup the pieces and not forget September 11th but survive it. On this day it doesn’t matter what our job is or how much money you make, we are all proud to say we live in New York City and for me, God Bless America.

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When a Loved One Suffers from Dementia

grandma in nursing home

 

It goes without saying I have an immense amount of guilt for living so far away from my family. I’m in New York.  Most of them are in Arizona.  I miss a lot. I obviously can’t make all the birthday parties, family BBQs and most of all I am missing spending quality time with my Grandma. I grew up spending a lot of time at Grandma’s house. Unlike most kids who dreaded going to Grandma’s … I looked forward to it. I was my Grandma’s only grandchild,  meaning… I was spoiled. Not just spoiled with toys, my own room at her house,  but lots and lots of love. I would spend hours playing with my paper dolls, watching classic movies like White Christmas or Easter Parade or just snuggling on the couch with my Grandma. She always made me a special omelet in the morning. Bottom line, I had it made with Grandma.

As I grew up, there was less spending the weekend with Grandma but we had dinner at least once a week together. While at college, I would drop my laundry off and she would do it for me. When I moved out of Arizona, I would still talk to her on the phone almost daily. Even if it was a short conversation, it was always nice to hear her voice. Unfortunately, in the last couple of years, Grandma has gotten older and she was diagnosed with dementia. She is now living in a nursing home and my phone calls now consist of my Mom putting the phone to her ear and pretty much telling my Grandma what to say. I know when my Mom tells my Grandma to tell me she loves me, my Grandma means it. But it is hard not to be able to carry on a conversation with her. While at home at Christmas, I tried to spend as much time visiting her as possible. One day, I wheeled her wheelchair out by the Christmas tree and we were sitting and chatting. It wasn’t until my Grandma started talking about Katrina that I realized she didn’t know who I was. I tried telling her I was Katrina to only have her tell me… No, you aren’t. Or that I didn’t look like Katrina. But still the sassy spitfire who is my Grandma wasn’t holding back on the kisses! For being a stranger to her, she was pretty affectionate! I told my Mom later that I believed Grandma was giving kisses to strangers! Grandma has days when she doesn’t know who my Mom is or days when she is flat out mean to people, it comes with the disease. But we know deep down, my lovable Grandma is in there. Not a day goes by I don’t think about her or wish I could see her. My Grandma is lucky to have excellent care, a wonderful daughter (my Mom) who visits her daily, sometimes twice a day and lots of love all around. Not many people get to have such a great relationship with their Grandma like I do… I just hope my future kids will have the same thing with my Mom. But the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree…

Does your parent or grandparent have dementia?  How has that changed the family dynamic or your experiences with them?

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Boob Wrangler

Best BraIf you are like me, you constantly struggle with your undergarments. My bra straps are always falling down or I tighten them and then I lose feeling in my arm. I personally would love to go commando upstairs but unfortunately or fortunately,  depending on who you ask,  I inherited my Grandma’s cleavage. Thankfully my lady parts are still above my knees (I love you Grandma!) but I also haven’t had children yet… so I could be doomed!!  I finally decided it was time to do something about this horrible bra situation. I went to get a bra makeover. I did a little online research and found a place in NYC which claimed to “change women’s lives forever.”  Big statement,  but I was willing to give it a shot.

I knew this lady would be invading my personal space,  so I put on my fanciest matching bra and panty set (kind of felt like cleaning before the cleaning lady comes, but I needed to make an impression!) since I was heading to meet the person who was going to change my life forever. She barely finished shaking my hand before the boob wrangler was handling my boobs. Hello!! While groping me, she told me about the rigorous training she had to go through and how schooled she was on bra selection. At this point I had no choice but to trust her;  her only downfall, in my opinion, was she wasn’t enjoying my inappropriate jokes. Come on, her  hand was cupping my breast, you’d think she’d cut me some slack!!   But alas,  after a little poking, pinching and pulling I was, in fact,  given the perfect bra.  At least that was what I was told. I paid my bill and I was on my way,  $125.00 later.

Let me tell you, this bra is a miracle. I would wear it everyday if I could,  but that’s kind of gross. Ladies, take the time to find a boob wrangler in your area and go.  It’s worth the time, invasion of personal space and money. You can all thank me later!

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My Two Dads!

My two dadsWith Father’s Day fast approaching, I am taking some time to reflect on how lucky I am to have two dads… my real dad and my step-dad. Two awesome men to look after me. Two energetic minds to talk sports with. One team we can always agree upon… The Arizona Wildcats. Bear Down! Two fellas I can whine about my mom to. Sorry Mama Bear, you know it is true but I still love you! These guys are probably the only men I can truly count on in my life (well, besides my awesome brother!) I know,  no matter what,  they will always be there for me. Have we had our differences? Absolutely. Do they embarrass me still at the ripe age of 31? Without a doubt.My two dads

One insists on wearing his shades inside, while the other one talks to everyone. I mean,  he will know the checkout lady’s life story by the time all the groceries are packed. One thinks wearing shorts during the winter is acceptable., while the other puts on his finest socks with sandals in the summer.

No matter how silly or outrageous these two are….they will always be,  to me,  the best DADS in the world.

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The Dark Side of New York

 

New York City Buildings

When I tell people I am a 6 year tourist of New York… I usually get this… “Oh, I love New York!” Yes, New York is grand. We’ve got the Yankees, Broadway, great restaurants, culture, cool people and Central Park. NYC is the Financial and Fashion Capital of the world (now I don’t know if that is official but we’ll go with the flow!) The Big Apple has taken center stage in many songs thanks to Ol’ blue eyes Frank Sinatra and Jay Z just to name a few. So, most people think pretty highly of Manhattan.New York City Rage

Now it is time for me to share with you some dirt. As a New Yorker,  it isn’t all roses. Let’s chat first about learning to walk. I am not talking about our first steps as a babe but as a working New Yorker. We know where we are going and we need to get there 5 minutes ago. Insert tourists. We love them. They bring our city lots and lots of money. However, they don’t know how to walk! It may seem like the middle of the sidewalk is the perfect place to snap a picture or look at your awesome city map. It’s Not! You will get mowed down by some angry dude who will most likely yell an obscenity at you. When it rains, forget about it. Total and complete sidewalk rage… How you liking us now?

Moving on to the subways… As an angry New Yorker, we don’t think weNew York City Subway should have to wait for the next subway. We will shove our way in. That means your hands are usually smashed into someone’s rear end. Now there is a law against unwanted sexual touching while riding the subways. I am seriously afraid my accidental groping will get me in trouble one day. Seriously, half of the arses I am grazing… I would never in a million years want to touch! Manhattanites also feel they are entitled to a seat on the subway. Wrong! Not all bottoms can fit on the size 6 seat,  just sayin’. Half a cheek on my lap is not cool. On a final subway note,  the pole in the center of the cars is for your safety…please hold it and do NOT dance on it. Your fellow passengers thank you!
Now, this final tidbit of information is not for the viewing eyes of children. You have been w arned. New York City living is a lot of people stacked in apartments with sometimes very thin walls. Do you get where I am going with this. Sex! Come on now!! My bedroom faces a courtyard which I share with a lot of other apartments. Sometimes people sleep with the windows open and sometimes those people have adult relations. However, I have one lady (I don’t know who she is nor do I want to know) and she is ridiculously loud. I mean unnecessarily loud. I have come thisclose to yelling out my window, ” he’s not that good!” It is beyond ridiculous over there. To make matters worse,  I can hear my upstairs neighbors bed rocking late a night. I should own stock in ear plugs.
So while I love my city and all the excitement,  I have wanted, at times, to–like Frank– start spreading the news  about some of the things that don’t always make it in the movies. If I can make it here, then I can make it anywhere… New York, New York!

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Miracle Grow for Hair?

Who doesn’t want thicker, fuller hair?! Well, of course those who already have it but for gals like me who barely have three strands of hair… It was something I always dreamed about. In college, I went to my dermatologist and told him something needed to be done about it about my thin hair.  He at first told me horror stories of needle injections in your head that sometimes didn’t work and then sent me on my merry way with a sample of Rogaine. Sure, I tried it, secretly in my bedroom late at night, immediately hiding the bottle right away in case my roommate came in to borrow something. Rogaine did not have the magical touch I was looking for.  It may work for others,  but not for me.

Pantene Full & Thick

Miracle Grow for Hair!

One day,  I discovered Pantene Pro-V Full & Thick Collection. It promises fuller, thicker hair. Come on?! If this was so great, why is this not being touted all over the place? I decided to play along and picked up a bottle. It was only $4. The first week or so. Nothing. Like everything else in my life I wanted things to change overnight… did not happen. But a couple of weeks into it, I started to believe my hair was a little bit thicker. I have been happy enough to continue to use it. I also must point out the thickness could all be in my imagination (I don’t have anyone running their fingers through my hair to agree with me) or during the last couple of weeks… I have ended an unhealthy relationship with my flatiron. As a girl with naturally curly hair who hates it more than words and years and years of flatiron abuse. I switched over to the Conair Drying Brush. So my new found thickness could be from a variety of things. I will take whatever I can get and I am thoroughly enjoying running my fingers through it.

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Stop Giving All my Baby Clothes Away, Mom!

 

Me, as a child, hamming it up for the camera

I have told my Mom time and time again that anything I have left at her house I don’t want. But do I mean it? Not really! I live in a Manhattan apartment which means I have zero space. My mother lives in a home with a garage and lots and lots of closets. You’d think  she would happily hold all my belongings not being used in my everyday life including the adorable clothes I had as a baby! Well, lovely Maria (I have changed her name to protect her identity) continues to give my stuff to my sassy little niece Siena. Yes, Siena is like a real life doll who looks absolutely adorable in everything, but that doesn’t mean she should get all my goods! I find it all too convenient that my sister brings the baby over to Grandma’s house in her jammies or with clothes that don’t fit. Candace (my sister whose identity I refuse to protect) likes to raid Tia Trina’s baby closet!

My adorable niece Siena

Just the other day I received a picture from Maria of Siena wearing my dress. This dress I was kind of happy to pass down to Siena as she looked like one of the von Trapp kids from the Sound of Music or like she should be yodeling in the Swiss Alps. However, to 3 year old Siena, this dress was like the Prada dress every grown up girl wants. I talked on the phone to my niece and in the cutest, happiest voice she said, “Tia Trina! I am wearing your dress! It fits me perfect because I am little!” Repeat that same sentence roughly four times and that was the extent of our conversation. How could I begrudge the kid’s happiness especially if she knew how goofy she really looked? So the moral of this story… I will continue to encourage my Mom to dress my nieces in my little girl gear just as long as they save it for my future daughter. By the way, Siena got away with wearing the dress the very next day as well because according to her…. it fits her perfectly. What a doll!

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How I Became a Celebrity Stalker… I Mean Connoisseur!

I am a big, huge and sometimes crazy fan of movies, TV shows, reality television and magazines. You name it,  I have probably seen it once. I subscribe to US Weekly and People and occasionally pickup some of the tackier celebrity rags. What can I say, I enjoy them. I read them with pride on the subway or at the gym. I will not be embarrassed to tell you some of my fave shows are True Blood, Friday Night Lights, any Real Housewives season, Modern Family… the list goes on. Each television season, I have to breakup with a least one series… I mean I have to have a social life too!

I guess it will not come as a shocker to you, I am very knowledgeable about A to Z list celebrities. So I am not sure if  living in New York has helped or worsened my addiction. The most outrageous part is I feel so comfortable with the famous folk, I actually said hello to Jennifer Lopez like we were life-long friends. She looked at me like I was a lunatic.

Russell Brand

To date I have seen the following: Alec Baldwin (I love him… but I know how he feels about the paps) Adrien Brody, Mel Gibson, Jack Nicholson, Daisy Fuentes, Andrew McCarthy (he still looks as good as he did in Pretty in Pink) Fergie the Duchess of York, Donald Faison (the dude from Scrubs and Clueless) Matt Damon, Dustin Hoffman, Eva Mendes, Russell Brand (he was signing autographs for fans, good guy) The crew of The Today Show, Regis and Kelly, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey (we will be BFFs one day) Liev Schreiber, Angelina Jolie sans Brad Pitt, Paul Simon, the cast of  The Big, Bang Theory, Joey McIntrye (dream come true for the 10 year old me) Kimora Lee, P Diddy, Russell Simmons, Denis Leary, I got a pedicure next to SJP (that’s Sarah Jessica Parker!!) And that’s not all…

So, while I know these people are like you and me, with more money and notoriety,  I still get excited when I see someone famous. I do what every fan would do… try to snap a pic, then post to Facebook so I can have bragging rights and then I  call or text my Mom. You never know if  being recognized by me may make them feel cool or if  they will come at me with an umbrella like Britney Spears! Just to be clear,  I also get excited when seeing sports stars, politicians or any sort of newsmaker. A famous person is a famous person. A polite warning to my newbie celeb watchers… Keep your distance!

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A Mother’s Love

Mom and me...back in the day

Sometimes I really believe my mom thinks I am still her little girl. I know it breaks her heart that I have chosen to live across the United States from her.  She will tell me, “you have to live your life!”  But I know she would prefer my life to be in Arizona not New York. My mother was a young pup when she had me, just barely 23 years old. So we have somewhat grown up together through the years. But she never let me forget who is boss. Nowadays, the disciplinarian is somewhat gone… but don’t think she doesn’t scold me when she doesn’t approve of something I have done (let’s be honest… she doesn’t need to know everything!)

Now when I call her in tears, her hug isn’t there to mend my broken heart or soothe the pain. Instead, she offers advice that usually makes me even more annoyed because all I need is to hear her voice to make me feel better. Except when her voice is telling me… “You can’t always get what you want,” which sometimes comes out in a song.  That’s when I get even more annoyed.

My favorite is when I tell her I went out last night and I can just see her shaking her head as she tells me “Katrina Ann, you should know better!” She has given up on asking me about my dating life. Smart move!! And while, unlike my friends who talk to their mothers once maybe twice a week, I talk, text or email mine at least a dozen times a day.

What can I tell you, I love the woman! She may drive me crazy, nag  me, scold me and sometimes forget that my umbilical cord was cut 31 years ago but she is my mom and in my opinion one of the best around. So on this Mother’s Day weekend… let me leave you with some of Melody’s favorite sentences to her daughter.

*I love you
*Did you make your bed?
*You can’t always get what you want
*Katrina Ann, you should know better!
*I love you
*Did you call your Grandma?
*Are you dressing warm enough?
*When are you coming home?
*I love you
*You need to take better care of yourself
*How’s (insert name of one of my friends!)
*I love you
*Don’t give up
*I miss you
*****You are the BEST daughter EVER!!****

Ok, maybe not the last one… but I know she thinks it!

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