stephanie morillo | blogging from planet earth

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January 2, 2014 at 2:15pm
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What Do You Desire? by Alan Watts

8:00am
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New Years’ Music for Food Contest

I’ve only been inspired to cook at certain points in my life, most of all when I’ve not been as busy at work. Even then, planning what I would cook was more of a chore than I was willing to work for and I didn’t know where to discover new recipes; too many websites, too many choices.

A coworker introduced me to Blue Apron a few months ago and receiving that package felt like Christmas. The only thing I needed was pots, pans, olive oil, salt and pepper. They provided everything else; down to the ketchup, mayonnaise, sherry wine vinegar, paprika and other herbs and spices used in the various recipes. The 15-pound box included food for three meals (2 servings per meal) and they promised the recipes would take less than an hour to cook. Not to mention the meals ranged between 500-700 calories (some of their salads being less than 500 cal). 

I’ll get my box on a Friday and for an entire weekend, my loved ones and I will make some scrumptious meals. Recipes are included in all of the boxes.

In the spirit of eating better, cooking more, & discovering something totally new, I’m giving away 3 free trials of Blue Apron Meals (a $60 value - an entire order) to anyone who buys just ONE of my songs ($1) from BandCampSupport an indie artist with just ONE DOLLAR, and get a FIFTEEN POUND BOX OF FOOD IN THE MAIL.

This contest is open to US residents only (see here for states Blue Apron delivers to)

I hope you all join me in cooking and posting pics of your favorite Blue Apron dishes. Here are some of the meals I’ve learned to make:

 

December 29, 2013 at 8:34pm
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52 Week Money Challenge; who’s ready to save almost $1,400 next year? How much you deposit into a savings account corresponds to when the week falls in the year: i.e, week 1 you put away $1. Week 2 you put away $2…all the way to the last week of the year, when you put away $52. Add all of the savings up and you get $1,378 in ONE YEAR. Who’s with me on this one??

52 Week Money Challenge; who’s ready to save almost $1,400 next year? How much you deposit into a savings account corresponds to when the week falls in the year: i.e, week 1 you put away $1. Week 2 you put away $2…all the way to the last week of the year, when you put away $52. Add all of the savings up and you get $1,378 in ONE YEAR. Who’s with me on this one??

December 21, 2013 at 1:48pm
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Curly Hair Don’t Care

(first time using a diffuser to help define my curls. The virtual zero humidity in the wintertime coupled by straightening my hair means that it will take a few washes before my curls spring back to their natural state.)

Most of my beauty rituals revolve around my hair. By “most” I mean 90%.

I have multi textured hair and my curl type is 3b (for the most part). The hair near and around my hairline is extremely thin and frizzy, unruly like nothing else in the world. If I were to apply no hair products to my hair, it would look like a lion’s mane in color and texture. While all of the girls in the Bronx were doing all kinds of cool things with their baby hair in the 90s, I was just trying to keep mine from sticking up and out. 

Weekly trips to the Dominican hair salon were the norm from the age of five or six until I was eighteen. My parents and other family members didn’t have hair like mine so I never learned how to take care of my hair in its natural, curly state. As time went on and I stopped perming (read: relaxing) my hair I started to experiment with different hair products to achieve a shiny, tamed, glossy effect. 

The biggest hurdle I’ve faced is keeping my hair moisturized when going natural for weeks at a time. When I was living in Malaysia I wore my hair curly all of the time more out of necessity than anything else; the high humidity and over 90-degree weather meant that my hair would frizz up if I straightened my hair. I used coconut milk and coconut oil to keep it conditioned but my hair was still dry and brittle. 

I give myself blowouts every week for various reasons: easy maintenance and to minimize the amount of washes I need to do in order to not dry out my hair. But blowing out my hair so frequently (once a week) means that the next time I wear it curly, my curls will be very limp. I’ve set out to mitigate this problem by doing a few things:

1. Deep conditioning (with heat) every wash.

2. Using a diffuser on my blower to help with definition and volume (and to avoid the elements drying out my hair).

~*~

For this look, I used a few products: Miss Jessie’s Creme de la Creme conditioner, Miss Jessie’s Rapid Recovery Treatment, Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Keratin Treatment and TreSemme Curl Care Mousse.

1. Before washing, I wet my hair a bit and applied a dollop of Rapid Recovery Treatment and Awapuhi Keratin Treatment. I then used a diffuser on my semi-damp hair for five minutes to help the products get absorbed into my hair. Then I washed my hair thoroughly.

2. I applied Creme de la Creme conditioner and detangled my hair using my fingers. I used a dime-sized amount of keratin treatment and put my hair in a butterfly clip for five minutes, then rinsed. .

3. I applied a bit of AG Hair Fast Food Leave-in Conditioner and then separated my hair into sections. Using my fingers to rake through, I applied mousse in each section from root to tip and at the tip I would shake the hair at the tip before moving on to another section. I did this to my entire head.

4. Using the diffuser and having my head turned down, I dried all of my hair until it was bouncy and not frizzy.

December 19, 2013 at 12:30pm
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To love yourself as you are is the greatest gift of all.

December 18, 2013 at 4:52pm
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Anger to Write

I’m feeling a need to write, a need to share, a need to explore, a need to vent, a need to cry, a need to figure out, a need to manage my stress. I’m looking for words, I want to spew them out, just spew them but I want the thought behind the words to match the words I’m using. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m frustrated. I’m always listening. I’m always listening. I’m the earpiece to lots of venting individuals. I’m having to adapt. I just want to STOP for a minute. 

I miss manicures and pedicures. I’ve splurged on hair care products because doing my hair is one thing I can control. I want to write. I see the book. I see the piece. I see what I want to say. I want to share. I want to grow.

I’m traveling next year; just one trip planned so far. I want to love my body. I want to be kinder in thoughts and actions. Towards myself. I want to sleep. Get a lot of sleep. I want I want.

I want.

December 9, 2013 at 11:53am
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Slither Lyrics:

Didn’t know
Late at night
You dreamt of her
I was by your side

Have her know
You were mine first
She is only
There to quench your thirst

Chorus:

As you slither through the night
Plagued by fears of morning light
I lie awake filled with your love
I was never, ever gonna be enough

You told lies
Places you’ve been
But your arms were
Coated in sin

She is faceless
You were faithless
I have thrown
Your heart into the dark abyss

As you slither through the night
Plagued by fears of morning light
I lie awake filled with your love
I was never, ever gonna be enough

As you slither through the night
Plagued by fears of morning light
I lie awake filled with your love
I was never, ever gonna be enough

December 4, 2013 at 9:43am
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My jam: “Chucucha” by Ilegales

November 6, 2013 at 3:41pm
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Sometimes I have to remind myself

…that I have everything I need. No, really. I do. 

That puts me in a privileged position and one that demands that I RELAX and recognize that:

"Everything will truly, truly be OK."

That is all.

October 26, 2013 at 11:39am
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Talmbout: Women’s Health & Why Medical Professionals Suck When They Don’t Have To

A yearly exam at my local gynecologist is enough to get me to consider seeing a therapist *before* I even step my feet into those stirrups.

Women, you know what I’m talking about. The questions about your sex life (or lack thereof), or the change that you WebMD’d before you went into the office, or the “hmm your cervix looks a little red” during the exam and you’re like WAIT DOC IS THAT NORMAL, or that super crazy indifferent, almost bored look your doctor has pre-, during and post-exam. The whole birth control question and my favorite: “We’ll call you if anything comes back abnormal” last sentence before you are herded out of the office.

As a woman, my relationship with my gyno & my reproductive organs is more intense than with anybody else, and certainly any other healthcare professional. I will cancel trips or life changing events to see my gyno but my dentist, eye doctor, my boyfriend can wait.

I won’t go into my history but every woman, at some point, has been worried sick about something going on. How often do we have an open chat with our fellow women about some deep shit relating issues about lady bits and what we’ve been told or what we believe to be normal? How many conversations have we had with our girls about this?

This collective ignorance about our own bodies, along with the medical professions lack of treating women like human beings and more like pathological events has meant their is a huge, HUGE hole in our knowledge, our agency, the investment of the medical community to making sure we are educated properly about what is going on with us, caring for us as people and giving us real, real options. I don’t want to be written a prescription for this or that or asked to come in for more testing until I fucking KNOW I’m not some test subject but that I was fully in control of how to proceed, pros and cons of each.

Statistics, frankly, may help the medical professional in terms of how to proceed with anything but they do NOT help me as a woman understand what is going on with ME and how I should relate to MYSELF in a given situation. Has the healthcare community forgotten that there is a sense of shame or hush-hush around women discussing their own bodies?!? I mean, in some cultures women are viewed as UNCLEAN or simply as vehicles for pleasure and birthing babies and elements of these beliefs are continuously prevalent in how women interact with their bodies. I mean, bacterial vaginosis for example. Or a yeast infection. Or heaven forbid an STD. Think about all of the judgments that you have about these conditions, or what you will think of yourself, or what you think others will think of YOU. I’ve gone online and have found myself WebMD’ing conditions because I had no idea whether or not they were natural and have come across HUNDREDS of forums, online communities and medical websites where women ask each other “This is happening…is this normal?!” because hopefully some other empathetic person will give you not just an answer, but support. SUPPORT. Even in a regular checkup, I don’t always see my gyno as a supportive person. I don’t always know if they really care, if I’m just a “case”. Or if I’m just an economic opportunity. I went to one gyno who, upon discussing birth control, didn’t give me options but told me to try a specific kind. I went back a few weeks later to report physical and psychological symptoms that were distressing and the doctor just switched me to another version of the birth control.

That’s when I realized something: when a doctor doesn’t want to switch you or tries to convince you to stay on a certain medication, leave. Their relationship with their salesperson from XYZ pharmaceutical company is MORE important than you. That’s something else people don’t know: pharma companies have a sales force that go to doctor’s offices to pitch their products. If doctors elect to use these products, it means they push just those products on many patients even though EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. This also happened at two dermatologists I went to. Healthcare is NOT NOT NOT one size fits all. Ladies, beware.

I realized I don’t always know what’s normal and having someone who cares and who listens makes all the difference. I don’t want to be treated like a test subject, poked and prodded, or like a diagnosis and given treatment options without fully understanding, or even worse being told about follow-up. I don’t want to be attended to by a physician who is more concerned about pathology than the person, who doesn’t think educating women about their bodies is worthwhile or who thinks giving a woman brochures to read up on is enough. I don’t want a doctor who won’t give me options. I look forward to the day when healthcare professionals who are holistic in their approach to care are widespread and for whom giving a legitimate fuck is a requirement and a nice to have. I look forward to the day when more research is done to benefit women. I look forward to the day when I can feel confident about calling my medical professional.