Somaliland: The Abaarso Story

I know I owe you an update as to what’s been going on around these parts, but I come to you today with a message of a different kind. My brother, Ben, who I mention ummmm basically all the time on here, has been filming an amazing feature-length documentary, which is in its final stages and just launched a Kickstarter to get to the finish line!

The film features 5 students from a school in Somaliland, and their education journey as they attempt to get into US colleges, universities, and prep schools. Their stories are incredibly touching — most of them are the first of their families to go to school at all, let alone to have aspirations to become college graduates, doctors, and the like. Given the current political climate surrounding immigration and the fact that Somalia is on the list of banned countries, it’s more important than ever to make these students’ stories heard.

More than just wanting to support my brother, I have personally met one of the students featured in the movie, Farah. In addition to her being just a great, fun girl to spend time with, I was so moved by her spirit to learn, to work hard, and how much she wants to give back to her community. These are rough, divisive times, but — as my friend Harry says in the video below — it’s important to hear stories like this to remind us of how insignificant our differences really are.

So, with that said, I invite you to please check out the video for the documentary below, and then find out more, share, and offer your support, on their Kickstarter page.

1 Year Ago

A year ago today, a blizzard had descended upon the mid-Atlantic region. Snowfalls of up to (and beyond) 30-inches were forecasted. People were hunkering down in their homes, ready to tough it out for the long haul.

Oh, and also I was getting married.

Reflecting back on that day, a year later, aside from the fact that I’m still amazed that my wedding actually happened at all, what sticks out to me is basically this:

Of course I got married in a blizzard.

I mean, if it was going to be anyone, of course it was going to be me. I just had to be that little bit extra, don’t you know? Besides, with my penchant for overthinking, people-pleasing, and general anxiety, I think that throwing a blizzard at me on one of the already-most-stressful days of my relatively young life was probably a pretty smart choice. It really helped me put things in perspective.

After all, I got married in the midst of the biggest blizzard to hit the DC area in a century, and everything still turned out okay. And here we are, exactly one year later, still standing strong.

Not to brag, but I think Sean and I kind of crushed this whole first year of marriage thing. I’ve heard it said that the first year of marriage is the hardest, which — if true — must mean that he and I are in for a pretty smooth ride! Sure, we’ve had our verbal tussles, great moments and less great ones, and for the life of me I still don’t understand what is so hard about putting your dirty clothes IN the hamper instead of right next to it, but this past year has still, without a doubt, been the best one yet.

I can’t wait to see what this coming year — and then the fifty after that — bring as well. The adventure has still just begun!

All Smiles

I can hardly believe it, but it’s true. After years of toil, trouble, and pretty much constant tooth soreness, I am officially done with my braces!

Some of you may remember that back in February 2014, I got lingual braces behind my top teeth. I got them removed a little over a year later, and then, because I just have to do everything as inefficiently as possible, a couple months later I started Invisalign.

My bottom teeth were still quite crooked, and I decided that I wasn’t actually as satisfied as I thought I’d be with just a straight top set (this happened right around the same time as Sean’s proposal, but I’m sure that’s just coincidence.) I posted an update on my whole braces journey back in June, so I won’t repeat everything again, but as you can probably guess, I have one final update for you:

 
I’m done!

I had my final Invisalign appointment at Smiles at Fairfax Corner last week, after a year of my initial Invisalign treatment, plus an additional 5 (?) months of adjustment trays. Phew! It sounds like a lot of time, of course, but the reality is that time is going to press on anyway, so why not perfect your smile while you’re at it?

It definitely took much longer than I thought it would, considering how I had already gotten lingual braces on top, but that just goes to show that you really should just take care of your top + bottom teeth at the same time. A lot of the reason that my Invisalign treatment took so long was to correct my bite — which may or may not have gotten more out of whack due to my linguals-on-top-only. It’s hard to say.

Regardless, I’m thrilled to be able to finally say I am D-O-N-E. No more switching out aligners. No more attachments on my teeth. And you better believe I will be wearing my retainer every night until the day I die. I’m not letting these puppies backslide the way I did in college! Putting your own money into your smile really makes you value that retainer, I tell you what.

I may end up getting a permanent retainer (a wire glued to the back of my teeth) if it’s deemed necessary in the future, but for right now, I’m just going to relish not having anything permanently attached to my chompers. If you have any questions about either Invisalign OR lingual braces, I’m happy to answer them! Because I can! Because I’M DONEEEEEEE!!

If It’s Pretty, I Will Buy It

I think I may be developing a bad habit.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

Exhibit D: The unphotographed Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance palette that just came in the mail and I literally am chomping at the bit to try it out. Something tells me that testing out a palette at 1 AM (when I’m actually writing this post…) is not the most necessary of moves, though, so I shall wait…

I think we’re going to go ahead and file these under the category of #DONTTELLSEAN and move on… to the usage of these newly acquired beauties. I filmed my second makeup tutorial using my new Anastasia Beverly Hills Moonchild Glowkit, which you can check out on Youtube now!

I did this one as a voiceover tutorial (as opposed to the talk-through style of my first video) and I’d love to know which type of video you prefer! Happy makeupping!