Jenn Runs on Dunkin’…

Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy Dunkin’ Donuts blueberry iced coffee, which is pretty much the same thing… :))

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Getting Surgery?!

There’s been something that I’ve really been considering lately, and I’m beginning to become very set on. I was born with pretty severe scoliosis; I have two curves, so my spine makes an “S” shape. At it’s worse, my spine was at about an 80 degree at the bottom and a 70 at the top. I wore a back brace for about ten years, and I received two surgeries to correct it. My first surgery was when I was 13. They put in a temporary rod in my spine, along with some pins. When I was 15 I received my second surgery where they put in two new, permanent rods in my spine, with 26 pins. I also received spinal fusion. After that surgery my curves improved by 10 degrees, so I now have a 70 degree at the bottom and a 60 at the top, and while that’s some  improvement, it’s not really much, and quite frankly, I’d really like it to be better. My body is still uneven, disproportional, and lopsided, and although I don’t suffer from pain, it’s still really not something I’m happy with. I’ve heard of cases where doctors have improved patents’ spines from 60 degree curves to  30 degree curves! That REALLY sparked my interest; if I could improve my spine by 30 degrees, I would be INSANELY happy! I could go from a 60/70 to a 30/40! I know people who have 30 degree curves and you can hardly tell they even have scoliosis! This sounds extremely appealing to me and having only a 30 degree curve is a dream come true for me.

However, because my spine is already fused, I thought the possibility of correcting my spine even more was impossible and that it was just a dream I needed to put to rest. I’ve been actually researching to see if it maybe it is possible…and turns out it is! They would have to do what is called a fusion revision, and it is a little bit more risky than the first two surgeries. My chances of coming out of surgery paralyzed are a bit higher, but if I can straighten out my spine, it’s almost a risk I’m willing to take. That’s how bad I want this. I still don’t know for sure if it’s possible but I want to meet with a few different doctors, get some x-rays and see what they say, and if I’m cleared to get this fusion revision and the doctor thinks he can improve my spine even more, I think I’m definitely going to take the surgery. Of course, it may be a little bitter sweet, as  my scoliosis has always been a part of me, and things like being extremely short due to my curve, and being able to touch my knees without even bending over because of my short torso and long arms, are kind of like my “trademarks” in a way. They’re little things I’ve learned to love about myself, and of course after the surgery, if it’s successful, I’ll gain quite a few inches and my torso would be longer, so my arms will no longer reach my kneecaps. lol. I’ve never been one to feel sorry for myself and always have made light of my imperfections due to scoliosis…and although I do dislike them, part of me does love them because they are a part of me. But still, I’ve always wanted this. I’ve always wanted to feel comfortable in my own body. Now I know this is a bit contradictory, and hypocritical of my last post…but technically this is a medical condition. This should have been fixed years, and years ago. Let’s just say I haven’t had the best luck with doctors. My back should have never even gotten this bad if the correct treatments were given when I was young. I don’t hate my body because of it…am I unsatisfied with it? Yes. But I don’t hate myself because of it. I don’t feel sorry for myself. And I’m not doing this surgery because I’m seeking happiness. I am happy exactly the way I am. I just want to fix my back as much as possible, and maybe make myself a little more proportional. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I wan’t this to work out so badly and the only thing I can really do is hope and pray that it does. If it doesn’t work out, though, and I can’t get the surgery, I’m not going to cry about it…I’ll be a little bummed, but I’ll just accept the fact that it isn’t meant to be and go on with my life. No big deal. I just have to trust that everything will happen the way it’s supposed to. We’ll see where this goes for me, but I’m extremely excited and I cannot wait! :))

–Jenn.

What Does it Mean to be Confident?

You’ve heard it a million times; confidence is key…be confident in yourself…you must have confidence, etc. But just what is this confidence everyone speaks of? What does it even mean to be confident, and why do so many people struggle with it? I, myself, have struggled with confidence for years…but the problem wasn’t that I was lacking the confidence…it was that I simply didn’t understand what it truly meant to be confident. And that’s the problem. That’s why so many people struggle. People seem to mistake confidence, narcissism, and perfection…and fact of the matter is that they’re all completely different  To be confident does not mean that you must think you’re perfect…to be confident does not mean that you must be egocentric…and to be confident does NOT, by any means, mean that you don’t have insecurities. To be confident simply means that you love, respect, and accept yourself for who you truly are, despite your flaws and insecurities.

I have plenty of insecurities, I’m only human…but that doesn’t mean I’m not a confident person. EVERY PERSON ON THIS EARTH HAS INSECURITIES. Even the most confident person. There is not one single person on this planet that doesn’t have at least one thing that they don’t like about themselves…that they wish they could change. It’s part of being human. Newsflash, no one is perfect, and thank God for that because how boring would that be?! Despite my many insecurities, I am very confident. I love myself, and I’m proud of the person I am. My insecurities don’t define me. Just because I may not like my something about appearance, doesn’t mean anything. It says nothing about who I am as a person, and I KNOW I’m a good person. No, I don’t love everything about my appearance, but would I change anything about it? Absolutely not! Never! Why result to plastic surgery to change something so irrelevant like appearance? It’s so…well…plastic. It’s fake. There’s no substance. And in the end, it’s really not going to make you any happier. It’s just going to make things worse. You’re not fixing the problem…in order to fix the REAL problem, you have to fix your mindset. The problem isn’t your appearance…it’s your mindset. You have to rewire your brain, and learn to love and accept yourself the way God made you. That’s where you’ll find true happiness. Your appearance has nothing to do with you…it’s really just a shell. Nothing more. Your spirit  your soul, and who you are as a person…that’s what counts. After all, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, right? (cliche, but true!) I love the person I am, and I hold my head high, and with pride because of that. I accept myself despite of everything. Why dwell on what I can’t change, and why worry what someone else thinks? It makes no sense. They aren’t me, so why should the way I look or act effect them in any way, shape, or form? If they can’t accept me for the way I am, why would I want them in my life anyway? Why should I waste my time trying to please someone who doesn’t like the real me, and probably never will like the real me? There’s plenty of people out there who WILL like the real you, and they are what matter…not the people who don’t. Start living for yourself…not to get other people’s approval. There’s ALWAYS going to be someone who doesn’t like you…you can’t please everyone and that’s just how the world works. But once you accept that, it’s so much more freeing and everything gets better…I guarantee it. We’re all made the way we are for a reason, so embrace it!

My insecurities go past my appearance, though. Like the way I over-think everything, and they way I’m SO hard on myself. I never give myself enough credit. Or the way I sometimes feel like I’m not good enough for certain people, which goes back to the over thinking…over thinking RUINS me. Things could be going great, but then I get to thinking that they’re almost too good, so I’ll create problems in my head and start thinking “okay, this can’t be real…something has to be up!”, and then I’ll over think, and freak myself out, and end up driving myself crazy, and that is NOT okay, and  I won’t accept that about myself. But does that mean I’m not confident? Absolutely not! Being confident also means that you recognize your flaws as a person, and taking the initiative, and the power to MAKE those changes that you need to make. It’s not a physical change…you have the power to change yourself for the better, and make yourself the absolute best person you can be. That’s what I plan to do….that’s what I AM doing.

OF COURSE I have insecurities, OF COURSE there’s things I don’t like about myself, and OF COURSE there’s things I need to work on and change…hello, I’m only human. NO ONE is perfect…EVERYONE has flaws, and that’s how it’s always going to be. But that does NOT mean for one second that I’m not confident, or that I don’t love myself. Confidence is about loving and accepting yourself despite those flaws, and that’s exactly what I’m doing. Everyone has insecurities, even the most confident person. I do love myself, and I accept myself despite my insecurities. I recognize what I CAN’T change, and what I CAN change, and I never once let it control my life. THAT’S what confidence is. It’s about love, acceptance, and the will to make yourself the best person you can be!

-Jenn.

OPI Gel Nails Review!

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About three weeks ago I went to the nail salon and got my nails done for the first time in YEARS. I used to go all the time to get them done, but stopped because the acrylics were ruining my nails, and my natural nails are pretty nice, so there was no point in paying to get them done when I could just paint them myself. When I went to the nail salon, I was contemplating what to get. I didn’t want the acrylics, and paying 25 dollars for a basic manicure that was just going to chip off in a few days, seemed like a waste to me. That’s when I discovered gel nails. There’s a bit of a new trend going around in the nail world and that is gel manicures. Basically, gel manicures are a special gel formula of nail polish that is cured to your nail using a UV or LED light to dry, so it is your natural nail. What’s so awesome about gel nail polish, though, is not only does it dry super fast (between 30 seconds and one minute), but it’s said to last up to two weeks without any chipping! At the same price as a regular manicure, I figured I’d give it a go and try it out.

Basically, what happens is the manicurist paints a special gel base coat to your nails and places them under a LED or UV light to dry for 30 seconds. Then she paints on two coats of the gel color, then places them under the light for another 30 seconds to dry. She finishes it with the gel top coat, and places them under the light one last time for 30 seconds. Then that’s it. Your manicure is 100% dry!

So, of course I was a little iffy…would this polish really last up to two weeks with zero chipping? A lot of polishes and top coats I’ve used in the past claimed to do just that, and I still saw chipping within a few days. Needless to say, I was suspicious, and curious to see if this gel manicure was really worth all its recent hype and if it could lead up to its claims.

To my surprise, it most definitely did! Not only did it last two whole weeks, but so far it’s lasted three! The photo on the left was taken the day I got them done, and the photo on the right was taken today, three weeks later. Now, I do have some regrowth from my nails obviously growing, but the manicure itself still looks perfect! There is zero chipping and no wear and tear whatsoever. If it weren’t for the regrowth, I could easily get away with saying it was a fresh manicure (and my nails grow super fast, so for most people, the regrowth would probably be much smaller). I’m still wearing the manicure, and I’m curious to see if I can make it to four weeks! So was it worth the hype? Most definitely YES! This will be the first of many gel manicures for me.

I’m actually looking into investing in an at home gel manicure lamp so that I can save money and give myself gel manicures at home, instead of paying 25 dollars every time I want to change my polish. If anyone has an at home gel manicure system or any tips/recommendations, please let me know in the comment section!

The only con? The color selection for gel polishes isn’t s that big…yet. They still are a new trend, so I’m sure as they rise in popularity, and more people start getting gel manicures, the color selection will grow tremendously, and more brands will start jumping on the bandwagon. So far, quite a few brands have come out with gel polishes, one of them being OPI, which has always been my favorite nail polish brand. In the photos I am wearing OPI’s Bogota Blackberry, with a random glitter color who’s name I cannot remember on my ring fingers.

When I finally do get my at home gel manicure kit, I will be sure to write an depth review on it! As far as recommending gel manicures? I most definitely do, and if you enjoy having your nails painted and done, I STRONGLY suggest trying out a gel manicure! It’s all your natural nail, so your nails are not being hurt in anyway, but they look and feel perfect for weeks! Best of both worlds!

Until next time,

-Jenn. :))

Hello Everyone!

Starting a blog is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long while now, but I’ve never really had the drive to actually make one. I have the tendency to be quite meticulous when it comes to the way I prefer things to look…I don’t mean that in a bad way, but I pay great attention to detail, and the planning process of designing my blog overwhelmed me a bit. In case you’re wondering, I designed everything on my blog from scratch…the background, the color schemes, and the banner…all with Photoshop. Let me tell you…making things look just right took hours, and to be honest, I’m still not quite sure if I’m completely happy with the outcome. The content of what I would post on my blog also overwhelmed me…if I did start a blog, what would I write about? There’s so many aspects to myself, and things that I’m interested in, that choosing one specific topic to center my blog around seemed nearly impossible for an indecisive person like myself. But this semester, I enrolled in a Mass Communications class, and lo and behold, one of our assignments is to make a blog and post weekly. Alas, now I finally have a reason to start posting! It’s like the blog Gods have finally spoken…okay, so maybe that was a bit dramatic, but you catch my drift. Haha.

So, after a ton of brainstorming of just what I would post about in my blog, I finally decided why not just post about a little bit of everything? I don’t need to stick to one specific category…topics will differ every day depending on my mood, but at the same time, they’ll all have one thing in common…they’ll all reflect me, as a person, and my life…and hopefully even you all reading this! I hope in someway that there will be at least a little bit of something that everyone can relate to. We’ll call this my “lifestyle blog.”

So, just who am I, anyway? Who is “That Girl Jenn”…the girl behind the blog? Well, as you may have already assumed by the title of my blog, my name is Jenn Wray…technically, my real name is Jennifer, but please call me Jenn. I can’t think of one person who actually calls me by my full name…it just sounds weird to me. Haha. Anyway, I’m a 21 year old college student at Hillsborough Community College residing in the Tampa Bay area. I’m currently in my last semester of completing my Associates of  Arts degree in Liberal Arts. In the fall of 2013, I plan to transfer to a university and pursue my degree in Mass Communications. I’m not sure where I’ll end up after that, but I do know, I want to get out of Florida as soon as possible. I don’t belong here…and there’s so much more out there waiting for me in a different state, as far as which state that is, I’m not really sure yet. I’ve leaned that in life, I really want to challenge myself…I want to push myself, and I want to learn new things. Writing is something that’s always been something I’ve loved…I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I’d like to think of myself as a very creative person…I enjoy anything that allows me creative freedom. That being said, I do everything from web/graphic design (yes, I’m a closet techie…don’t judge. haha.), makeup artistry, and of course, writing. I’m one of those people who wants to try everything, and has a bucket list ten miles long. Some of you probably know me from class, and you may have seen me around campus…I’m that short (very short…I’m four foot, eight. Seriously.) brunette girl, usually seen running around campus in five inch heels…and walking into walls because I have about just as much grace as an infant learning to walk for the first time. Yeah, it’s a special gift. lol. You’ve probably mistook me as someone’s twelve year old sister, but contrary to popular belief, I’m actually a full-grown adult (again, I use the term “full-grown” loosely…very loosely). I would say that I’m a very outgoing person…I talk way too much and I love being around people. I would also like to think I’m pretty funny…but you may think otherwise. I’m extremely happy with the person I’ve grown to be…while this wasn’t always the case, I’ve learned to become comfortable with myself, and it’s an amazing feeling. But enough of talking about myself, I have a whole entire blog to fill up with posts about myself, and as you read my entrees, I’m sure you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about me. hah.

I definitely plan on continuing this blog even after this class ends, and I hope at least some of you enjoy my posts and continue to stick with me along my blogging journey. I look forward to hearing from you all and reading your blogs, too! Thanks so much for reading!

Until next time,

-Jenn Wray. :))