Monday, April 4, 2011

Time for Some Rest and Relaxation!

I'm happy to report that I've finished my graduate thesis, a collection of short stories entitled Taking Root, here it is, all 153 plus pages of it.
The last three years of my life in two binder clips.
Part of me feels relieved, but as with any creative project, I also have the sense that I'm never truly done. I feel a true sense of accomplishment though thinking about how my writing improved while earning my M.F.A. at McNeese, and I feel like I'm leaving with a better understanding of myself, my writing, and how to make my writing work and those skills are invaluable. I see the thesis as a milestone in my life, but it really marks a beginning more than an end. It seems like almost as soon as you figure out what your writing is trying to accomplish, it's time to graduate...the truth is, I'll always be asking myself that question and revising the answer. For now, I'm looking forward to what my committee has to say about my work and trying to take in every moment in these last hectic weeks of the semester. It's too early to get sappy yet, but there is going to be a lot I'll miss.

 By the way? Are you a Post It person like me? These listing Post Its came in a thesis care package from Brendan's mom, and they are one of my many obsessions. 

Home Goods Happy
I like to make a list of all the things I need to pack for school in the morning and leave it on my purse, so I remember to grab everything before heading out the door. My days of forgetting to bring a lunch and buying an eight dollar yucky lunch on campus are over! By the way, this is a cute gift idea...I love the cherry blossom box which makes for stylish desk organization and the pens, pencils, Note cards, and Post Its galore.

Now that I am done with the thesis, it's time for a little rest and relaxation tonight. I'm making two all natural beauty products to use in my bath tonight (red wine, bubbles, and chick Lit by Bridget Asher to be included). I've been making this face mask and body scrub since I was in middle school. I have vivid memories of visiting my cousin Amanda in New Orleans and making all kinds of messes with our "beauty regimens." Luckily, some of our creations actually proved to become staples of my grown-up beauty routine. The best part? The mask and scrub include only 3 inexpensive ingredients a piece, are proven to be effective, natural, good for your skin recipes, plus they happen to taste great if you accidentally end up sampling your facial. Here are my recipes for simple beauty at home.

Simple Sugar Scrub 

In a bowl, combine 1/2 a cup white sugar, 1/4 a cup olive oil, and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

In the bath, rub gently all over to exfoliate your skin. Wash with warm water. The result? Your skin will be clean and rejuvenated and the olive oil adds a natural moisturizer to leave skin feeling silky and soft. I love the subtle citrus smell as well.

Sweet Strawberry Facial 

One of my favorite summer fruits? Strawberries! I know it's still Spring, but I love making this mask year round.

In a bowl, mash 5-8 strawberries with a fork and combine with 1 tablespoon brown sugar and 3 teaspoons honey. Leave on for 5-10 minutes and then rinse with warm water. Be careful not to apply mask too close to the eyes. The mask will be sticky, but your skin feels nice and fresh after, and the brown sugar is great for helping exfoliate. This mask is great for dry or combination skin types. Oily skin? Try adding 2 egg whites and a teaspoon of lemon juice, but eliminate the brown sugar.

I hope you love these blissfully relaxing beauty recipes as much as I do!

So delicious looking, Brendan thought they were dessert toppings.
Here's a picture from our reading at The Porch on Friday. Brendan and I had a wonderful experience reading and even received some press in the Lake Charles local paper. We'd like to thank the Southwest Louisiana Arts and Humanities Council for having us and everyone who came out to join us.

Reading at The Porch as part of the First Friday Reading Series
If you missed us, catch us at the upcoming McNeese M.F.A. graduate reading on May 21st where we will read with the other two fiction writers and three poets in our graduating class. For event info, including directions, see the left bar of the blog.

Here's to celebrating your milestones, and giving yourself a much needed break now and then!
<3 Stacy, Lola & Zoe

The Pretend Wife: A Novel

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