Saturday Review: EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge

I regularly use a Clarisonic to wash my face and love it; my skin looks great! It does present one particular problem for me though – I am messy. I don’t like using the Clarisonic when I’m not taking a shower and washing my hair. I just end up with water everywhere and soap in my hair.

I’ve been on the lookout for a gentle exfoliating product to use the other times I was my face. I have plenty of scrubs and exfoliating wash products, but I was really looking for something gentler. Something that I felt okay using everyday.

Enter the EcoTools Pure Complexion Facial Sponge [that lava rock looking thing on the right]. I bought this after hearing great reviews from people who got it for free in an Influenster box.

From the EcoTools website: The new unique Pure Complexion Facial Sponge is handmade with 100 percent natural ingredients, including Konjac vegetable fiber, for a better clean that reveals smooth, refreshed skin. It is dermatologist tested for use both morning and night to wash away dirt, oil and makeup, leaving skin glowing without over-drying or causing redness.

Pro: Love it! It does an excellent job washing my face, feels gentle, and restores my smooth skin. I don’t have any worries about using it daily. Plus, $5.99!

Neutral: It is a little hard to hold. When you first open the package, the sponge is hard like a piece of packing material, but a little trip into the water and it goes completely soft. It fits right into your hand, but can be a little difficult to grip.

Con: After using the sponge, you are supposed to rinse it out and leave it to air dry. After a week of use, my sponge has never dried completely between morning and evening uses. I’m concerned about issues this might cause as I continue to use it. So I’m keeping an eye on it.

Verdict: Recommended

Things You Should Know About [US] Copyright

What is it and when does it apply?
Copyright is complicated and the nuances are still argued in court. I’ll give you some basics here, but I am by no means a copyright lawyer. You should not use my informational post as a basis for a copyright claim.

Let’s start with the official U.S. Copyright Office definition (from “A form of protection provided by the laws of the United States for “original works of authorship”, including literary, dramatic, musical, architectural, cartographic, choreographic, pantomimic, pictorial, graphic, sculptural, and audiovisual creations. “Copyright” literally means the right to copy but has come to mean that body of exclusive rights granted by law to copyright owners for protection of their work.” Copyright protection does not extend to any idea, procedure, process, system, title, principle, or discovery. Similarly, names, titles, short phrases, slogans, familiar symbols, mere variations of typographic ornamentation, lettering, coloring, and listings of contents or ingredients are not subject to copyright.”

Copyright kicks in the moment you created a protected work. Automatically, no registration required. The little © isn’t even required. Officially registering your work however, creates an accepted public record of your copyright and is necessary if you need to pursue legal action in the future. This blog, for example, is automatically protected under copyright law, but is not officially registered with the copyright office.

FYI: There is no worldwide copyright law. Accepted practice varies. Have a couple of weeks and want to read the entire U.S. law, you can get it here.

FYI #2: Copyright, patent, and trademark are all different things. You cannot copyright a name for example, but could protect it through trademark. Visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Department for a simple explanation of the differences.

What is public domain?
A work is in the public domain if the copyright has expired or if the author has explicitly placed it in the public domain. You can use works in the public domain freely without obtaining permission. Generally, this applies to works published before 1923.

But it gets even more complicated: Works published between 1923 and 1977 are all over the place; use  this nifty slider chart to help you determine its status. For works published after 1977, the copyright expires 70 years after the author’s death (after the last surviving author’s death if multiple). Works from corporate authors are protected 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation (whichever is shorter). There are many exceptions however, as changing laws over the years have allowed for copyright extensions. As of right now, no new copyrights will expire and place works into the public domain until 2019 (see the copyright term extension act, also known as the Sonny Bono Act, or Mickey Mouse Protection Act).

FYI: Generally, documents created by the federal government are public domain.

What is fair use?
Let’s start with the U.S. Copyright Office definition again: “Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. . . . The distinction between what is fair use and what is infringement in a particular case will not always be clear or easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.”

Key points here – just because you cite your source doesn’t mean what you are using falls under fair use. Just because your purpose is education, doesn’t mean it is fair use (I can’t copy an entire book for my research purposes, for example). Another example, a high school student can freely quote from a source for use in a research paper, but cannot quote large sections in place of their own thoughts.

FYI: Your “fair use” of a work should not impact the originally author financially.

What is Creative Commons?
The best way to explain creative commons is to take it straight from their website (which I can do thanks to the terms of their CC license): “Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization that enables the sharing and use of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools. Our free, easy-to-use copyright licenses provide a simple, standardized way to give the public permission to share and use your creative work — on conditions of your choice. CC licenses let you easily change your copyright terms from the default of “all rights reserved” to “some rights reserved.” Creative Commons licenses are not an alternative to copyright. They work alongside copyright and enable you to modify your copyright terms to best suit your needs.”

What does this mean? Authors can decide to put a CC license for more flexibility in what they allow users to do with their work. It encourages sharing, because the use terms are clearly spelled out and often much more liberal than “all rights reserved.”

My opintion? Creative Commons is awesome.

Beauty Box. . . Battle?

Well, I guess beauty box battles are pretty much over on I unsubscribed to Ipsy, so I’m only getting Birchbox regularly anymore. I should have a couple of Memeboxes showing up in August though. Maybe I will throw something together next month. Plus, I could start doing some of my Korean beauty product hauls on here occasionally.

Here is the rundown of my July Birchbox:

Cynthia Rowley Beauty Creamy Lip Stain ($9.30)
I have way too many lip products, so I’m never excited to see them in my boxes. It will be good to trade though. Plus, I do love the other Cynthia Rowley products I’ve received.

Real Chemistry Luminous 3-Minute Peel ($4.80)
I haven’t tried this yet, but I will for sure. This is a pretty expensive peel ($48.00 for 1.7oz), so it won’t be making it on my regular to-buy list though.

Juice Beauty® Stem Cellular Repair Moisturizer ($9.94)
The website said I was getting the Booster Serum, but this showed up instead. Juice Beauty is one of my favorite brands (that I only discovered b/c of Birchbox). I’ll gladly add this to my moisturizer stash for future use.

Beauty Protector Protect & Treat Hair Mask ($6.50)
It is awesome they sent two sample bottles of this. I will really be able to give it a good try.

Harvey Prince Hello Body Cream ($0.93)
Smells good. Always nice to have some extra products like this in the stash.

Total cost: $10
Total value: $31.47

($41.47 if you count the magazine subscription that came with it, more on that later)

I’ll start off by telling you I was somewhat disappointed before this box ever arrived in the mail. Birchbox sent an email out a few weeks ago allowing you to select one of three colors of Ruffian nail polish (always awesome polishes!). You also have the option of following a link to select the lip stain instead or just be randomly surprised. I responded immediately and picked a beautiful polish color. There was an error though, so Birchbox sent another email later asking people to choose again. By the time I saw it, the polish color I wanted was long gone.

Other than that, I’m really pleased with this box. The box is a good value and the samples are good sizes. It also came with a card to claim a free one year subscription to Women’s Health or – if you pay attention to the card! – a $9.99 refund. I haven’t decided if I’ll get the subscription or the refund. But I will also get $5 in points for reviewing the products to eventually use in the Birchbox store (once I build my points back up, I recently spent my stash on a product I needed).

As always, if you want to sign up for your own Birchbox please be a dear and use my referral link.

Saturday Review: Dear by Enprani “Dreams Come True” Bounce Cheese Cream

wpid-20140719_084059.jpgI got this in the very first Memebox I purchased and instantly fell in love. This is the third jar I’ve used (and I only have one left in reserve! oh no!) and I would gladly adopt it as my regular daily moisturizer if I could purchase it locally.

Pro: First of all, how can you resist trying something called “bounce cheese cream?” The unique thing about this cream is the texture. It really is bouncy, but instead of trying to explain, I’ll just show you:


How cool is that?! It stretches pretty far, but this was the best I could photograph all by myself. I love that I can quickly scoop a little onto my finger and screw the lid back on the tub without making a mess. It blends into the skin flawlessly and keeps my moisturized all day. I’ve also found that it soaks into the skin pretty quick and I’m not waiting as long to start my makeup routine.

Neutral: None!

Con: It is a Korean beauty product that cannot be purchased locally. On top of that, I’ve only been able to find it for sale on one site that I know to reputable (very important when buying any cosmetics online, but especially foreign cosmetics).

Verdict: Highly recommended! You can buy it from Korea Depart if you want to give it a try. $25 for 75ml. You are also welcome to buy me some, as I will soon run out.

PSA: The Scar

I have a big scar on my chest. It is still red and expands into a silver dollar-sized circle at the top. I would have to wear turtle necks every single day to hide it, so you are probably going to notice it. That is fine.

Here is what you should do when you notice it:

1. Stop looking.
Okay, you saw it. Not stop being creepy. At this point you are just staring at my breasts.

2. Don’t ask questions.
There are a few exceptions to this one. It is okay to ask about my scar if you are:

  1. a child
  2. mentally disabled
  3. sporting a similar scar
  4. facing surgery that will result in the same scar
  5. an acquaintance I haven’t seen since before surgery (although at this point, that is unlikely)
  6. a new friend

3. Smile and move along.
The smile is optional, but I’m a southerner so let’s assume you will smile.

And done! Now, wasn’t that easy?

Look, it is great that you grandma had open heart surgery, came through it all okay, and has a similar scar . . . but I just don’t care. You are a stranger. Plus, I just told you it wasn’t heart surgery when you so rudely inquired into my medical health. The fact that your memaw* had clogged arteries doesn’t make us bosom buddies.

*It is almost always a memaw when I end up in these situations. Wonder if that is significant?

I tried to take a good photo of my scar to share with you all, but it ended up being mostly boobs and I just don’t want to share that here. I’ll leave you with Tina Fey instead.


Things You Should Know About Introverts



1) We need to recharge alone.
This right here is the cusp of the entire introvert v. extrovert debate (if there is one, anyway) – Introverts need to be alone to recharge. We tend to get completely worn out by socializing. This is basically what it means to be an introvert.

2) We don’t hate being around people, but we probably hate crowds.
I love being with people, but if you drop me into a large crowd I instantly feel like I’m alone and invisible. I try to avoid situations where I feel that way, so I may decline your open invitation to some random event. It doesn’t mean I don’t like to be around you, it just means I like to have more control over my surroundings.

3) We don’t mind silence.
I can sit beside you in silence and not think we are having a bad time. This is especially true on road trips and can be a little confounding to true extroverts. For this reason, I especially like going to the movies where it is already considered rude to chat. Rule #1 for dealing with introverts – Don’t tell me I’m “too quiet.” I hate that. Sorry I’m making you uncomfortable, but you really don’t get to decide how much I have to talk.

4) Just because we are introverted doesn’t mean we are shy.
Introvert and shy are actually two different things. Google it! In my case, I’m a shy introvert (the double whammy!).

5) We can turn on an extroverted personality when necessary, but it is especially draining.
See #1 and #2. I have no problem getting up in front of a group of people and giving a talk. I don’t even get nervous by a question and answer period. But – here is the thing – I will need major recharge time afterwards and I won’t be able to keep up this extroverted illusion all day. I can turn it on to dazzle a crowd, but if you take me out for lunch afterwards, I’ll probably just listen to you talk. I am an excellent listener.

6) We aren’t judging you.
See #3. Did I get quiet? Do I have a mean look on my face? I’m not judging you; I’m just wrapped up in my thoughts with my bitchy-resting-face on. I might have even forgotten you were there. Sorry, just poke me. I didn’t do it on purpose.

7) We secretly love it when you cancel plans.
I like being with you, but finding out I suddenly don’t need to be “on” and it wasn’t actually me that backed out? – priceless! Don’t worry if you have to cancel, I’m probably thrilled to be able to stay in my pajamas.

8) We can get very wrapped up in our own thoughts.
My inner monologue is epic. When you have a strong monologue constantly running in the background, it is pretty easy to settle-in and listen for a while. I have to work through things in my head before I proceed, so I usually need a few minutes. When I’m ready to move forward though, I am 100% on top of it!

9) We can be pretty bad at connecting.
You know when you have had a really bad day and you just want to call up a friend and chat? Yeah, I’m bad at that. I tend to wait for extroverts to reach out and include me, so when the time comes that I need support, I can be a bit lost.

10) We don’t like to hang around.
That time after an event or meeting ends and stragglers hang around to talk – yeah, I know this is the perfect time to make more plans, connect with new people, and get involved with future projects, but I really really really hate this. I’m probably already checking my phone in my car before you have even picked up your purse. Small talk with strangers is my kryptonite.

11) We have strong opinions.
Just because I have difficultly sharing them sometimes doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions. Give me an extra minute to compose my thoughts and I will continue to push myself to speak up sooner. It is a give and take here.


You didn’t think I was going to let this show up on the internet without posting it here, did you? Weird Al Yankovic’s “Tacky” – a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy.”

I’m not sure why I wasn’t invited to be in the video. I’ll have to have my agent check on that.

I can’t get the video to embed, so you will have to click here to see it. It is worth it. Promise.

Also, where can I get a pair of those neon yellow houndstooth pants?

My [imaginary] office

When we moved into this house seven years ago, I had an office – a cozy office with a great big desk. When the little man joined the family, I had to [willingly] vacate my office and set back up in a small odd corner of the kitchen/dining area. Oh, how I miss that office.

I like to think that one-day we will be able to move into a larger house and I will once again have my office. In keeping with that fantasy, I’d like to take you on a little decorating journey. Here are the components of my future, fantasy office:

-A big desk, with just a little storage. I prefer to store things outside of the desk.

-A comfortable office chair for writing and working.

-A large storage unit with hide-holes everywhere.

-A large comfortable chair to curl up in for reading and thinking.

-A large lamp giving off a soft light just in one corner.

-Unique art that speaks to my personality.

Here is how that plays out in reality:

Playfullytacky's Office Re-do

Saturday Review: Method Laundry Detergent

laundry_8loadI got a small bottle of Method laundry detergent in the regular fresh air scent for free from Method is a concentrated detergent, so it takes less liquid per load. It comes in a pump bottle that you can pump directly into the washing machine.

Pro: It cleans great and smells nice. Pumping the detergent right into the washer means no rinsing out a wet cup or drips on my shelf.

Con: I had problems with the pump. I’m unsure if these are problems just with the small bottle, just with my bottle, or overall. . so I’m just going to share them here. When I first used the bottle, I followed the instructions on the back that said how many pumps to use for what size load. Then a few days later, I noticed a lot more detergent coming out with each pump. Then it went back to less, then mixed, etc.

Then I began to question how much was supposed to come out with each pump. Was I using too much? Too little? Was it supposed to be variable like that? I don’t like to question my laundry detergent.

Verdict: I liked the detergent, but I’m unsure if I would buy more due to my pump questions. I’ll put this one in the maybe category.

Taking Time to Think

I made a decision [insert cheers here]: the rest of 2014 is going to be my time to think. Most of my life I spend just going, going, going – not feeling like I’m accomplishing anything if I’m not moving at top speed. Finish something and move right on to the next one in my list. Nothing to do? Well, time to add an obligation or a project or a commitment. Always striving for the next thing.

I’m tired.

If you remember my post from a couple of weeks ago, you know that I’m kind of in a weird head space right now. I’m in-between (something that doesn’t fit in with the first paragraph of this post). After a couple of months floundering and grasping at straws for my “next big thing,” I had a lovely conversation with a former professor, now a friend and mentor. I came away from the conversation with quite a few things to consider for my future and – perhaps the most important thing – the impression that maybe I just needed to chill for a while. I’m in the perfect position to take my time and really find my best option.

So that is what I’m going to do.

My current plan is not to plan, but to think. I am going to follow-up with some research opportunities and write a couple of articles on my to-do list, but overall I’m going to spend my free time exploring the things I enjoy. I have a few questions I hope to answer:

1) A PhD isn’t required for my field. Is my desire to get more education really the best move? Could I handle not taking that next step or would I regret it? Playfullytacky, MA, CA, [PhD?]

2) What do I want to learn more about and where do my skills need improvement? Are there individual courses I could take that would fulfill that need?

3) What steps are the most important to reach my long-term career goals?

4) What steps best fit with our long-term family plans?

5) Do I want to write another book? People always ask me when I plan to write another and I think it is probably time to figure out some sort of answer.

6) Do we want to have more kids? Whoa, yeah. Kind of surprised you with that one! Mr. Tacky and I have been discussing more kids for a while. We are pretty wibbly-wobbly on it. The little man is enough to handle right now, but he will be starting school fall 2015 freeing up some time. My hormones say yes, but my brain says “hey now, let’s talk about this.” So, I’ll think on it.

Yes, big surprise. This introvert decided to be alone with her thoughts for a while.


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