Real Girls’ Beauty Must-Haves

Real Girls' Beauty Must-Haves

Real Girls’ Beauty Must-Haves

None of these products know I am writing about them or paid me to write about them.

I have done a little survey of my friends to see what beauty “must-haves” they swear by.  When I say the “must-haves” I really mean those beauty products you will never-ever give-up, and if they became discontinued we curse the world and leave work claiming a “family emergency” to run to the store and stock up on these products.  Yes, I am being totally a drama queen, but in essence what I mean is we love these products.

Note: * indicates I have not yet tried this product, but my friends love it.



Arm & Hammer Whitening

I refuse to by anything else even if it isn’t on sale. It actually whitens your teeth!



Waterpic Water Flosser

I hate to floss and this works and doesn’t feel like you are flossing!

Eye-Brow Pencil


Benefit Instant Brow Pencil

A trick I learned late in life — all women should fill in their eyebrows.



Benefit Boi-ing Concealer

Boi-ing covers great and lasts FOREVER.



L’Oreal Double Extend Beauty Tube Mascara

This uses tube mascara technology that coats your eyelashes and will not run throughout the day. It comes off in clumps with water when you rub your eyes. No eye make-up remover required!

Face Wash and Lotion

Cetaphil Oil Control Foam Wash and the Cetaphil Moisturizing Lotion

Dermatologist recommended. Sarah approved!

Body Lotion


Utterly Smooth Utter Cream

Avoid sweaty places such as under arms, between knees, etc. It makes you smell like a yeast infection!

Hair Serum – Curly Hair


BioSilk Silk Therapy

This stuff calms your frizz and is worth the $15.

Face Mask*


DIY Honey Face Mask by Amil Niazi for XO Vain

I haven’t yet used, but my friend loves it! On the list of DIYs to try.

At Home Hair Dye



They match the perfect color for you — here is a first time 50% off coupon.

Lip Stuff


Rosebud Salve

Just don’t let it melt in your car… what a mess!


Maybelline Baby Lips Lip Balm in Grape Vine.

It is sheer, has a nice sheen, and is only $3! Plus, it hydrates you lips.

I am still looking for the perfect:
Blush and Bronzer
Curly Hair Products – All types!
Nail Polish that isn’t $10  bottle
Eye Cream

Share your beauty must-haves!

love, Sarah

Some News!


Large life update! After almost 7 years together — which has included 3 years long-distance, living in New York, Hawaii, and Arizona, cross-country road trips, graduate school, 2 dogs, a civil union, buying a car and house together — Scott and I are getting married!

I can now add a whole new dimension to the blog due to the unfathomable research that will go into this wedding planning. More fun posts on that to come.

love, Sarah

How to be Your Own Editor with Natural Reader

I was introduced to Natural Reader through my job working with students with disabilities. It is a great tool that reads text aloud.  Why this program is aaamazing is because it is (1) free (2) easy to use (3) can be used in multiple ways aside from just reading text.  This is what I discovered and it LITERALLY changed my writing life and helped me overcome my ADHD.

Here is a long, but educational, tutorial that explains exactly how Natural Reader works.  If you are like me, you wont actually click on this tutorial and will just fumble your way through the program. Let me explain quickly how it works:  It works by copying and pasting text into the reader — this allows it to be read aloud. You can’t open files in Natural Reader, it only works with copying and pasting.  Once you have text, you can control the speed and voice of the robot voice.  It also kindly highlights the words as you read which allows for better concentration and focus.

How I use it as an editor is a bit different than how others use it to read.  I first began using Natural Reader when I was writing my Master’s thesis draft.  My writing was littered with stupid grammar errors like “visual resource are a growing need in libraries” which should have been “visual resources are a growing need in libraries.” This has always been my biggest hurdle to overcome when writing… I make stupid ass mistakes and when I read it in my head I totally read the words as I meant to write it rather than how it is written.  How I use Natural Reader is to edit my own work: I write in Word and then copy it into the Natural Reader program. There I can hear the errors in my writing I was unable to see. This does add hours to my editing process, but it improves my writing and gives me the confidence I needed to continue on.

Click here to download Natural Reader. It will save your educational and professional life! Yes, I love it that much. I have seen it do wonders for students.

love, Sarah

Screw China’s one dog rule … two dogs are the way to go

China has implemented the new law that restricts households to owning one dog.  Well, as a two dog owner and a very happy dog mama, I had to share how we came to the decision to own two dogs and why it was the BEST DECISION EVER.

As you have probably learned by now, I am an avid researcher and must research everything before I can fully commit.  This is no exception when it came to the decision to add to our little family in February 2011.  First, let me introduce my fabulous little pups.


A librarian’s dog. Meet Orlando!

This is Orlando.  He was born February 23, 2010 in New York. He is a cock-a-poo — a mix of Poodle and Cocker-Spanial, which mixes to be the best fucking name in the world — and we bought him from a crazy lady who bred her dog for what I assume was meth money.  While I am a big fan of adopting pets, I believe we saved him from an uncertain future! Orlando actually moved from New York to Hawaii with us and has probably seen more of the United States than many people! This is a whole other post on how to do a cross-county road trip and fly with your dog in cargo. Back to the story of why Orlando needed a puppy friend… when we were staying with my parents between the New York – Hawaii move, Orlando played with their dogs and was the happiest little puppy you have ever seen. When we arrived in Hawaii we could tell he missed having other dogs around and he would go hog wild at the dog park. Eventually we began discussing the possibility of getting Orlando a puppy sister.

I read online all about having two dogs. Nothing really seemed to share the true pros/cons of having two dogs and how to decide on the new addition to your family. Here I will share how we (Orlando specifically) decided on our little pup Roxy and the true pros/cons of owning two dogs over one.

Second Dog Selection

We knew Orlando had to like the dog we would pick because this was a make or break of how happy our two dog family would be. We decided against a puppy because we didn’t want to deal with potty training, so we looked for dogs 1 year or older. We began at the Human Society and brought Orlando with us.  I would go and look at the dogs while my boyfriend would stay with Orlando calming him down. How the Human Society is set up is wonderful: you bring your dog into the grassy area where the two can meet and “connect.” Unfortunately, every dog was either way to energetic for Orlando or was completely terrified of him. We were totally heart broken because no dog felt like the right dog for us.

I began searching on Craigslist for dogs in need of a home.  This is where we found Roxy.


Roxy and her wrinkles.

Her family was in the military, had recently adopted her from the Humane Society, and were leaving Hawaii and getting rid of both their dogs.  Judgements aside, we drove 40 minutes to the base to meet Roxy.  Right away Roxy was interested in Orlando and was sniffing him and beginning to play. She is a nervous little dog, but her and Orlando clearly had the same playing style. We paid $60 for her and her harness and took her home the next day. They are the best of friends and play all the time.


Roxy and Orlando relaxing post morning wrestle session.

Pros/Cons of Being A Two Dog Family

A lover of lists, here is a clear list of the pros/cons of owning two dogs.  We are pretty good examples of the issues you can have with dogs: moved both our dogs from Hawaii to Arizona, lived in apartments, bought a house, had many vet appointments, and we are on a tight budget.


  • They are the best of friends and their love provide endless company and companionship to each other.
  • With two dogs, you can pet one with each hand!
  • The financial responsibility of feeding two dogs is not a big difference for feeding one.
  • Twice the love and cuddles.
  • We feel more like a little family with two dogs and two people.
  • Walks are the same but you have both the dogs so grateful and happy afterwards.
  • We don’t feel as bad about leaving for work every day because they can have adventures together.
  • They have their own little personalities and we love treating them as different dogs. For example, Roxy is very needy and loves to sleep under the blankets while Orlando wants to play outside and chase lizards. They can play together or separate.
  • They really are little guard dogs and they are both in tune with when something is off in or around the house. I feel very safe.


  • You don’t know who peed in the house and have to punish both of them.
  • Pack mentality. We can no longer take Orlando to a coffee shop and sit outside like we use to.  With both the dogs they act as though everyone is going to attack us.
  • Twice the shit to pick up. This is a big CON.
  • The vet bills can be astronomically more with two dogs. Along with flea repellant and heart worm.
  • You can’t take one anywhere without the other. When we get Orlando groomed to have the nifty mohawk Roxy has to come with us or she will PANIC.

To sum up this long winded post: we love having two dogs.  It is not much more work and they are very happy together — which in the end makes it more enjoyable to have pets. My final advice is to not go into the dog selection process with too many preconceived notions or the type of dog you must get. My boyfriend didn’t want a dog that had a huge asshole or nipples and we got just that.  Roxy has an abnormal amount of nipples and her ass is always winking at us. Yet, Orlando loved her from the second he met her and so did we; she is the greatest little dog and she makes our home perfect. Yay to two dogs… if you have one you might as well have two.


Our Perfect Family by Meg Zandi at Radical Possibility

love, Sarah