Birthday

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Thank you to everyone that sent me a message on any form of social media today, as well as the many e-mails I received. It was heart-warming to wake up this morning and see that I already had an influx of birthday wishes. It means a lot to me.

To my best friends and close friends: You are all SO amazing to me. I’d take a bullet for every single one of you.

I was gifted with a lovely little friend, who I think is going to be a tiny bestie.

I have been so busy with work that I really haven’t had the time to say much here, but I promise there will be more info and photos soon. Again, thank you everyone! 🙂

Sweet Little Surprises

I haven’t written anything in a while, as I have been plagued with the severe exhaustion and agonizing pain that is Fibromyalgia. Every single day has sounded like a good day to sleep. No amount of sleep has seemed to be enough for my body, and the pain has been excruciating to the point where I’ve been pretty distraught. Unfortunately, I have had an onslaught of appointments during all of this and had no real time to truly rest or focus.

In the midst of all this, I have had great support from a select group of friends. I am going through something seriously awful in my personal life and these friends are trying to help me navigate it, to the best of their ability. It’s one of those things where you cannot say thank you enough because you get to see people’s true colors.

It’s amazing how sometimes, through all the trauma and awfulness in your life, little surprises pop up and you’re in awe of the thoughtfulness of the gestures. I have been on the receiving end of some really sweet, thoughtful surprise packages and here I share “my stash”.

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This sweet little package arrived via UPS and totally made my day. Mally Beauty had been holding a 100,000 Fan Giveaway on their Facebook page. I entered, left a comment as to why I use Mally’s products, and never thought anything of it afterward. Then, out of nowhere, I get this adorable set of eye liners and a nice little note as a gift. I was so touched (I also have to mention that Mally personally responded to me when I sent her a thank you. That is the epitome of class!). The colors are Caribbean Sea (kind of like Emerald Green meets Teal), Milk Chocolate, Royal Purple, Midnight Black, and Silver. If you’ve never used a Mally product before and you love make-up, as I do, I highly recommend starting with Shimmer, Shape, & Glow. You’ll feel like you belong on a Red Carpet in less than a minute. These liners are a fun treat. Also, for all you animal lovers out there, Mally does not test on animals whatsoever. In fact, she’s the owner of two rescue dogs that she adores. You can now find her products nationwide at ULTA.

 

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Prior to New York Fashion Week, Kate Somerville Skin Care had a contest to win this Save Our Skin package. Kate has some seriously amazing products and as a fan of ExfoliKate, I tried entering the contest, to no avail. I sent the company a message to let them know there was a problem with the contest page. They told me they were working on it. After the contest ended, I received a message letting me know that they had saved one of these packages for me and just needed to know where to ship it. They came to the right place, because that is just plain good Public Relations. The package was beautifully wrapped and contained all of this:

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24 Hour Pimple Punisher on the bottom (Yes, I still get the occasional breakout. This stuff is nice and has already cleared up a few breakouts I had before the package arrived!), above that is CytoCell Eye Cream (I’m a religious user of a different brand, but this one is very nice.), to the right in silver is a product called DermalQuench Liquid Lift (I’ve been using this on and off and I see a difference in how sculpted my face looks. Might be the product, might be the weight I just lost, who knows?). In the middle are two of Kate’s self-tanning towelettes, and on the left is my beloved ExfoliKate. For the record, the ExfoliKate usually costs about $350 a year, with the assumption that you’re using it 2-3 times a week, so anytime I can get a small one, I’m thrilled. I returned the last full size tube I bought because $200 (which included tax and shipping) was a hefty price to pay, and I decided to stick with a gentler product for the time being. However, I am thoroughly enjoying this lovely little box from Kate Somerville Skin Care. There’s a reason this stuff is so expensive, the ingredients are high quality.

 

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My other surprises included this awesome little package from Dove Dark Chocolate. I received this with no knowledge whatsoever that I had won anything. Inside is a coupon for a free bar of their chocolate (free chocolate is never a bad thing!) and two special Nicole by OPI Nail Polishes in two different shades called Better After Dark (lighter shade on the left) and Promises In The Dark (darker shade on the right). I am really into dark polish right now, so I am going to enjoy wearing these. 🙂

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The biggest shocker was one I received earlier in the year and absentmindedly forgot to share. It’s from Tria Beauty and is a Laser Hair Removal device. Not only did I win this in a fan giveaway, one of three they offered, but I also got to choose which of their lasers I wanted, they even sent me an additional message to ask if I wanted it in a special color. For me, this was a HUGE gift to receive.

This laser happens to be their top of the line device, and I can attest to the fact that it is much faster than the one I already owned. I’ve been a fan of their products for a few years now, and I do still use the previous laser even though it’s much slower. The results are amazing, so long as you are fair to medium complected and are removing light brown to black hair. This laser is not yet FDA approved for redheads or blondes, but I am sure they’ve got one on the way. This company has amazing advancements not only involving hair removal, but also involving skin care, so keep your eye on them, and don’t be afraid to follow them on whatever social media platform is your favorite.

Life has truly felt like absolute torturous HELL at times, but every once in a while, I get a really sweet surprise and it helps me see that my hard work and sacrifice is noticed by a much Higher Power than anything here on this plane of existence. These are the little things that make me smile, apart from my tiny little minx, my Goddaughter, my best friends, my friends on a whole, and the fact that I am forever reaching towards the light at the end of the dark, long tunnel.

I hope you have sweetness in your life too, in whatever form it may come in. Let us all count our treats and blessings. 🙂

*I am not a paid advertiser of any of these products, merely a customer.*

The Blogiversary

The Blogiversary

*Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam Webster, here’s a new word for you!*

Yesterday I quietly celebrated the day I had some kind of mental breakdown and created this blog. I’m kidding about the mental breakdown, but I honestly have NO idea what possessed me.

I know the list on my publishing mandate was getting to me, I’ve talked about this many times over the course of this year. Never give a Scorpio woman a lists of Dos, and really, don’t EVER tell HER what to do. She’ll be incredibly liable to tell you what to do, with a slew of choice words mixed into her phraseology.

I’m a writer, I write what I want, when I want, and I say exactly what I’m thinking. I’ve had people refuse to edit my work because they didn’t feel qualified to touch it. GOOD, you’re NOT. Thanks ever so much for clearing that up!

I remember signing up for this blog, publishing my first post, and then saying “Now what?!” I continued to post, really not expecting anything. Quickly, I started acquiring likes, followers, and in this past year I have made friends that I hope I will have for a very long time, if not a lifetime.

I named my blog, “…..And The Moon Sees All” because it is a very personal, private kind of statement for me. It also helps that it is unique. I only recently discovered how unique the name actually is when it was the first site to appear on a Google search. You can Google my name and you will find everyone else named Lisa Marino. Literally, everyone, but me. However, when you type in the name of this blog, you just get me. I have to say, I like that a lot.

Unique blog name aside, I generally don’t start a lot of sentences with “And”, mainly because I’m a Word Nazi. That’s why the blog looks like it’s the end of a sentence. It is, to some extent. A typo, a misspelled or missed word, and you will see me physically and, on occasion, visibly cringe, as if a snake just went up the back of my shirt. When I see it on someone else’s blog, I want to fix it. It drives me insane. I am definitely obsessive compulsive in this sense, and I always have been. When I find a mistake in something I wrote ten years ago, it drives me up the wall. It could be something as simple as a missing word or a missing comma, but it will drive me to fix it immediately. Hey, I never claimed to be normal, don’t expect it.

A year (and a day) into this blog has me thinking about how it all began for me as a writer, and why. I think about all the spelling tests I aced without fail. I think of the absolute BEST English teacher I ever had, Mrs. Hughes, who not only thought I was a top student, possibly the top student of all the English classes she taught, but also the fact that she believed in my ability to carry the written word further. I remember showing her midrange stages of my writing accomplishments and being able to nail scores of recommendation letters when I graduated because word got out, and everyone was so blown away by just the midrange stage of what I could do. They had yet to see me truly shine, but they all knew I would.

I had professors fail me when I was a journalism major because apparently my creative writing was “too honest.” I cannot imagine saying that to someone, but I can imagine recommending them for a different class to help push them in the right direction. I didn’t choose that particular class, it was a prerequisite. I had one professor make it sound like I was going to destroy his entire writing class, simply because I would not adhere to HIS style of how the written word should be. Hey, it’s your style buddy, not mine. I honestly don’t think anyone else in that class WAS writing, but I’m not dwelling on it because he also told me that I had no talent and would NEVER write. He was oh so wrong.

When I decided that I was no longer going to focus on journalism, it was mainly due to some health setbacks. I knew I would continue to accomplish other things, as I always have, and I knew I would continue to write, but I didn’t have a clear view of the path. I did, however, have faith that whatever I was meant to do, I’d be put on the right path and do the work. I have never asked for the work to be done for me.

Health wise, Fibromyalgia is a demon you never quite conquer. It is parasitic in its nature to take hold and feed off of your life force. It makes me angry, knowing how much it has slowed me down and exactly how much it has stripped me of. I battle it every single day. There will forever be good and bad days. I no longer self-abuse (I said abuse, not self-harm. Self-abuse, for me, is more mental than anything else.) when I cannot do something. I no longer berate myself when I cannot get out of bed. I no longer force myself to do things that will leave me laying in bed for weeks at a time in pain. I’ve had to let go and realize that I may physically be limited a lot of the time, but my voice and the core of who I am have remained the same. If anything, I’ve probably just gained a fresher perspective.

What has changed for me since this blog went live? I’ve changed, in some wonderful ways. Instead of writing without an awful lot of feedback, I get feedback on an almost daily basis, and quickly. When I write something great, people leave me comments or send me e-mails, and as a writer, I feel supported. No one is sitting in judgement of me here. I thank all of you for that, because I’m not judging any of you either.

Yes, I’ve come across a handful of people who shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near humans, computers, social media, animals, humans, and did I mention humans? They should have their hands removed and their mouths sutured shut, and they should be locked away from civilization because they’re making anyone with a truly serious mental illness look 1 million percent sane. Spewing hatred is incredibly unattractive, I don’t allow that here, and I don’t allow that in any aspect of my life. Spewing hatred toward women and a religious group differing from your own is fucking disgusting. I’ve had a few comments come my way that were incredibly uncalled for and completely unprovoked. However, I’ve had support from various people in many instances and the uncivilized have been cast out. I have had exactly ONE person take offense to something I said, and my hand to God, I was not anywhere in the vicinity of offensive. I was downright nice and friendly, which for me is HUGE. I answered a question with detailed, informative honesty. I was insulted and berated for it, simply because this person disagreed with me. If you don’t have anything nice to say to a person, don’t say anything at all. A simple “Thank you for reading my blog/post.” is sufficient. Don’t ask a person to elaborate on something you yourself are not knowledgeable about and then act like they’ve committed some kind of crime by answering you. If I want to offend you, believe me, I possess all the necessary tools to do so. I can go from zero to bitch in less than half a second, but I choose not to be a vicious tart here. I choose to keep this space as positive as humanly possible, and supportive. I’m not competing with anyone here for niceness, or “best blog”, or ANYTHING. I compete with myself as a writer, but there will always be better writers than I, of writers who simply have a different perspective, and that is 100% what life is all about.

We all have our personal space on the blogosphere, and if you come into mine, be respectful. If I leave a comment on your blog, you can bet it’s not going to be a hate-filled, mean rant. I will either agree, disagree, laugh with you, cry with you, or relate to you. I might even have some advice, if that’s what you happen to be seeking. I have a lot on my “life plate”, and I don’t suffer fools, assholes, or the ignorant.

To the friends I’ve made here, who make my days so much brighter with comments, e-mails, private messages, phone calls, and texts: THANK YOU. You’re all seeing me exactly as I am and that makes me feel so good inside. There is a great sense of community here and for that, I am supremely grateful.

Taking into account that this particular gesture still leaves me speechless, I have to say, it’s been a good year here. I look forward to many more.

http://fairytaleepidemic.wordpress.com/2013/12/10/22-and-the-moon-sees-all/

Thank you for all being here and supporting me as an artist. Yes, even writers are artists. 🙂

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving is days away and I’m going to do my shopping tomorrow (I have been in far too much pain today to actually psych myself into it. I was also far too drained to focus on anything other than staying in my PJ’s and not going out in 22 degree temperatures. I’ve wanted a nap since a little after 9:00 this morning. I’m seriously eating dinner and going to bed as soon as humanly possible.), which is unusually late for me, but I have a list and I’m sticking to it, even though it’ll be crazy in the store no matter what.

I honestly don’t think I’ve made a Thanksgiving meal in about 6 or 7 years. It’s been long enough that I simply don’t remember the last time I did it (though I do know that my father was in the hospital at the time), but this year I decided that, despite only cooking for a few people, I’m not making ten plus pounds of turkey for anyone. It’s a lot of food, food that will absolutely go to waste because no one around here eats dark meat (Based on personal preference, nothing more. ), so I am going to re-vamp the menu slightly, but I’m still going to make stuffing because I’m craving it and it’s one of the most awesome things about Thanksgiving in terms of food.

Everyone makes stuffing differently, providing they make it at all, as everyone likes different side dishes this time of year. I don’t know anyone that makes stuffing the way I do, but I inherited the recipe from my mother and it’s good enough that I will pass it down the generational line because there is no way in the world this chick is genetically producing children that can’t cook.

I’m keeping things healthy by including a salad, even if I’m the only person that eats it. Truth be told, I like to tear up my turkey or chicken and throw it right into a salad, even on Thanksgiving. I do not feel guilty about food EVER, but I especially don’t like bringing food issues of any kind to the table during the holidays.

So, I’ve got a nice meal planned, there will be plenty of leftovers, but I’m completely sidelined and baffled by dessert. For the last couple of years I’ve ordered pies and cheesecake for the holidays from a local Italian bakery. I’m not a pie maker, I know my baking strengths and I don’t have the patience for pies, so when it comes to things of that nature, I turn to those who do it for a living. I made the mistake last year of ordering a Pumpkin Pie that was so bad, I refused to eat it. From the crust to the filling, it was one of the worst things you could ever possibly taste.

Pumpkin Pie is hard to screw up, it’s a pie I know how to make without a lot of effort, but I was exhausted last year and there would not have been pie at all if it were left up to me. I think I ordered four or five different pies between Thanksgiving and the end of last year, and the only ones worth eating were Caramel Apple Walnut & an amazing Chocolate Cream that was downright sinful (it took me two weeks to finish it, it must have weighed ten pounds!). All the others stunk, but the Caramel Apple Walnut is consistently good.

I eat fruit year round like it’s a sport, and I have an immense sweet tooth, so even though I had not previously thought about it, I am going to try to snag a Caramel Apple Walnut to cap off this year’s meal. Personally though, at least for myself, I’m thinking of making my awesome brownies. It will take me the next month and a half to eat them because they’re truly divine, and full of dark chocolately goodness and other healthy things that help reduce any issues one might have at eating a small chunk or two, but a lot will depend on how long it takes me to get the main course and the stuffing in the oven.

Fibromyalgia makes it virtually impossible for me to prepare a huge meal in a few hours like I used to, so I’m thinking I will prep the stuffing Wednesday since it’s not a long amount of prep work, and then do the main course and the salad on Thursday. Each takes less than 20 minutes, the oven does all the real work. If I have energy after that, brownies will be made. If not, I’ll settle for a tiny wedge of pie. However, I guarantee that pie will not see the light of day. It’ll come into the house tomorrow afternoon and by Thursday evening, the box will be in the trash. I have serious pie eaters here, they don’t mess around.

My only other real “plan” for Thanksgiving is to watch movies and read. I just want a nice meal and a relatively quiet day. Black Friday will be spent chasing newly acquired black kitten who is SO at home right now, it’s not even funny. Every day she learns something new and shows me a new trick. Yesterday it was the fact that, small as she is, she can open closed doors. I have to admit, I was impressed. Today she ran up and down the stairs like a mad woman, and every time I’d go to check on her, she’d go flying back up the stairs like she’d just committed a crime. If you saw the behavior on video, you’d crack up. It’s entertaining as hell. She doesn’t make a lot of noise, so when she meows, which she finally did Saturday, it is the cutest thing ever. She’s pretty possessive of me, but I don’t mind, except when she speeds after me, nearly knocking me down. She’s a little beast when it comes to following me when she wants to. She’s sound asleep, the next minute she’s right under my feet or bumping her head into my legs. She is the gift that keeps on giving, and I’m thankful that I decided to come from a place of yes and bring her home. She’s already helping me feel a lot better about certain things. I’ve had less headaches/migraines since she’s come home, which cannot be a coincidence. I’m calmer and more centered, and I am not yelling nearly as much as I normally do.

I am not gifting anyone anything this year, other than my love, loyalty, and friendship, and for some people, all three. I might treat myself to something small, but I really just want to survive the remainder of this year with my head above water, and move into a New Year where I can prosper.

I feel bad that I won’t technically be doing anything for Chanukah this year, which begins Thanksgiving night, and is my favorite of all the Jewish holidays. I have such great memories of the happiness of Chanukah that it makes me sad, but it’s also not about gifts. Right now, for me, it’s about remaining focused. I’m doing my best.

This year has taken huge chunks of my soul, but others things have been given back to me, like unconditional love, loyalty, confidence, respect, new friendships that I treasure, old friendships that are the untarnished Platinum in my life, and the knowledge that the more I grow, the more content I am with who I am and where I’m going. Nothing is set in stone, and I’m learning that every time someone tries to break me, I come back stronger from the trial.

I hope everyone has a wonderful, peaceful, happy, healthy, and safe holiday.

Every Time I See This, It Reminds Me Of Who I Am

My sister-in-crime and best friend in Israel sent me the most awesome message for my birthday. Yes, it was last month, but I just have to share it now because it’s one of the only things that makes me feel SO good inside at the moment, and I’m going through some pretty rough shit, so certain things right now are my guideposts.
Birthdays are extremely difficult for me, and she knows how I feel about them, and why. So, at the end of the day when I came home feeling like death, unable to walk, really hurting physically, I put aside the gifts I had received (four bottles of nail polish, four CD’s I wanted {Alter Bridge, Cassadee Pope, OneRepublic, & Gavin DeGraw}, some candles that I am LOVING, the Divergent Trilogy, and season 1 of Sons of Anarchy on DVD, and this was the message waiting in my e-mail box: “Happy Birthday to the one and only! G-d blessed you with one of many gifts, and that is the ability to use words, mold them into sentences, and make the world a beautiful place. My wish to you is that people will come to know you beyond the words. See you for who you really are, a powerful woman, a kind soul, a true friend with a huge heart. Don’t be afraid to dream big because you deserve it! Love ya!”
That message means more to me than anything else on the planet right now. For those who’ve been trying to steal my voice and the core of who I am this past year, and those who’ve hurt and abused me in unspeakable ways, please know that my true friends in this world KNOW who I am, and they certainly aren’t afraid to tell me that you’re all WRONG.

Protected: Happy Birthday Hillary Clinton…and ME!!

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A Blessing…

A Blessing

“For Equilibrium, a Blessing:

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity by lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough
to hear in the depths the laughter of god.”  ―John O’Donohue