My Totally Unendorsed Rocksbox Review (aka: Taylor Likes Sparkly Things and Has a Referral Code For You)

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Was there ever a child with a stronger commitment to a tasteful (ahem) accessory? What can I say—I like being memorable. No, that’s a lie. I don’t think that’s it at all. I just like things that are shiny. And why shouldn’t I? I come from a long line of women who like shiny things: cars, diamonds, fancy fountains  (I’m looking at you Grandma.)

So, the fact that I’ve spent so much time, money and energy picking out jewelry over the years shouldn’t shock anyone. And after my last blog, it also shouldn’t shock anyone that no matter what I buy, I tend to wear the same handful of things (creature of habit, remember?). It usually goes like this: two rings, hoop earrings, a watch and one of… about 3 necklaces.

Every once in a while I switch it up: there are a couple pair of Kendra Scott earrings I adore, one white and another, slightly bigger turquoise pair. I’m also an impassioned proponent of BaubleBar, both because I think it’s an incredibly fun site with some really gorgeous jewelry but also because I like their women-centric, innovativebusiness  model. (Read about their start-up and growth here. It’s really fascinating seeing them transition from online only to a more “traditional” business model.)

So why all this talk about jewelry? Well, I decided to try this thing called Rocksbox, a jewelry subscription service, much like Netflix, where you pay a flat fee every month to have jewelry sent to you that you can then test out, wear and send back when you’re ready for something new. In the event you want to keep something, you get a $10 credit each month to whatever needs to stay with you. 

My first month (for which I used someone’s referral code to get a free month) I got two pieces of Gorjana jewelry: a bracelet, and a necklace. (see below.)  

There were also a pair of little stud earrings: 



I haven’t managed to wear those yet. But I did work the bracelet and the necklace into rotation a few times already.      

  
I’m not entirely sure what I think—on one hand $19 a month seems like a crazy amount to spend. But if it stopped me from buying jewelry I wish I were cool enough to wear (but am not) then maybe it’s not the worst thing? And then I can turn around and send it back when I get bored, for a new set of fun things, to wear with the changing seasons/outfits/Taylor’s boredom. It definitely makes more sense to me than something like Jewelmint which would be shipping me new stuff every month (a la whatever that shoe service thing is? Just Fab? ShoeDazzle? I dunno.) that appears to be pretty crappy quality and, I’d feel like I was maxing out on the room or need for, pretty quickly.
Whatever. Here’s my code I get to share with people to have them try it too for the first time: taylorbff77 (I clearly didn’t make that up) Enter it when you sign up here and let me know if you like it or think I’m a crazy person. I’ll believe either answer. 

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I will try….

I am a creature of habit. Whether it is my morning coffee or my “one-ring-on-each-hand” ritual or how I scroll through my tv guide app every night before I make the leap from my couch to my bed, to determine what show I will fall asleep to (even though it is inevitably some Modern-Friends-Parks sitcom, syndicated on USA-TBS-At Night).

God my life sounds sad.

Anyway, I’ve been in this weird rut lately, with kind of everything. I feel like I’m running on two speeds: 1000 mph or flat out crashing and burning. And when I’m running at 1000, I just want a second to breathe and when I’ve finally crashed… I’m feeling… tired and bored.

What does this Dear Diary-esque confession have to do with annnnnnything you would care about?

Well, as someone pointed out to me last week, I like finding new things and I like telling people about new things. So… Why aren’t I doing my sharing in a more… Organized fashion? 

Its an interesting point. It would be an excuse to try new things, and it might focus my restless energy a little better.
So I will try, once again, to not be the world’s worst blogger. Bear with me.

New Year’s Resolutions. Pop Culture. And Twin Peaks.

Ok.

So I suck at keeping up here. That’s fine. That’s not what we’re talking about tonight.

Instead, we’re carrying on the tradition of my New Years Resolution posturing and I am asking for your help. Because of course I am.

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Last fall, after hearing Twin Peaks was coming back, and seeing so many of my favorite pop culture writers celebrate the return, I began working my way through the 2 seasons on Netflix. I loved the idea of getting to be in on the fun,  and I really hate when people have a firm pop culture bedrock, that I’ve just missed.

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So…. With that explanation, give me what you’ve got. What things might I have missed, either by virtue of being born in the laaaaate 80’s, (pre-89 fun is acceptable. So is something like Sports Night, that I was alive for, just too young to be watching.) OR, maybe it’s just something I blew off the first time around because people’s chattering about it, annoyed me (Breaking Bad. The Wire. Don’t lecture me.) What are the movies, albums, books, podcasts, blogs, whatever, I just need to experience? What will I love, or what can’t I miss?

And, I know, I know. I tackle a lot, how are you supposed to know what my blind spots are? Well… You don’t. But don’t let that stop you from sharing. If I’ve already seen it/read it/heard it we can chat about how great our mutual taste is and, that’s always fun, right?

Now: on your mark, get set, GO!

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Spoiler: Taylor can stick her foot in her mouth with the best of them. Also, Miss America.

I have a confession. I have really been trying to avoid sticking my foot in my mouth lately. I hate feeling like the type of person that others go, “Oh… That thing you said? You’re just so funny,” to her face and then say, “Wow. Crazy bitch,” behind her back. So I’ve just been a little… quieter, I guess.

And then this weekend happened.

You know how I hold in really high esteem my live-tweeting skills? And how my genuine love/snarky love for pageants is pretty legendary? (infamous?) And really, it’s all in good fun and totally amusing if you know me?

Alright. Whatever. I live tweeted Miss America, only to have a tweet pulled and be told to lay off the organization. By Time Magazine. Oh yeah, then, I was scolded by friends and family and told I was being mean to the girls.

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Damn it. 

Let me clarify. I know my views on the Miss America Organization are sometimes hard to follow. It’s a hard thing for me to explain. I’m a raving feminist that doesn’t necessarily condemn a good pageant. I struggle with the way the organization perpetuates stereotypes of what beauty means, while also helping a friend prep for her first MAO local. Look, a beauty pageant, like anything else, isn’t all bad or all good. And my oh-so-short stint in a crown and sash prepared me for life past nude pumps and snappy casual outfits, and I’m happy about that. For me, that was a cool thing. It was a choice I got to make—and I enjoyed it a lot.

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But you guys: and this is what I was saying: it is ultimately a beauty pageant. It was started as a way to extend the tourism season for Atlantic City, by parading pretty girls around in swimsuits in a beauty pageant or “bathers review.” And while there have been some wonderful, visionary, feminist women who have fought to have the organization provide scholarship money and stronger opportunities… well, Sunday night we spent an hour before “kick-off” cutting to girls preening in front of a mirror. You can’t tell me they were fixing their hair and giggling about butt glue and rhinestones because they were being judged on their academic excellence or strategies for establishing global security.

To me, it is an organization with some of the smartest, most talented women, I’ve ever had the chance to know (The new Miss America has a triple major in political science, global studies and geography – and is heading to law school at Fordham? Holy shit.) But it also has moments of freaking ridiculous. And I can’t help but feel expecting someone to parade herself across the stage in a bikini and have picture perfect hair, while sharing her strategy for complex global issues in a 30 second sound bite after juggling flaming batons falls more in the latter category, than the former.

The end.

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Guys, Get Some Impulse Control—Cause I Got Some Shit To Do.

 

I know I’ve said it before but, GOD I love Jessica Williams

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Since Chris Pratt is having a moment…

Hands down best Parks and Rec outtake ever. 

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Why Wouldn’t This Be Workplace Of The Week?

I love a good take down of sexist crap. This one by John Oliver last night? Fantastic.

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What Should I Give Up For Lent?

I’m not Catholic or Orthodox or one of those other penance heavy religions, but growing up, my mom and I would usually give something up for Lent. We usually opted for the clichéd stuff—soda, candy, sweets, frozen cokes (ahem, Tammy.) One year, Mom decided her sailor’s mouth was out of control so she gave up swearing. This went over very well, until she hit her knee on something, said a choice 4-letter word, then, realizing she’d broken her lenten promise, exclaimed the 4-letter word all over again. Vicious Cycle. Hilarious Vicious Cycle.

Anyway, this year I had thought about it a lot, but couldn’t quite land on something. What should I give up for Lent? Well, my biggest vices are really Diet Coke, wine and coffee but I think my mental well-being prevents those as viable options for giving up. Plus, I won’t lie. I don’t really want to, and can’t think of a single positive I gain from giving them up. And, since we’ve already covered the “not Catholic” thing, that was always my Lent goal—to do something positive, or better myself.

But this morning, I came across a post by a Facebook friend, from a guy who goes by “The Fat Pastor” (I didn’t name him, don’t start). He suggested writing letters for Lent and I kind of love the idea. I had just been thinking in the last few weeks, how many people I haven’t touched base with in a while or how many people deserved “Thank You’s” from me, that hadn’t gotten them lately.

So, I’ve ordered some nice (Wonder Woman) stationary, stepped up my Postable game, and am ready to roll. I can’t promise I will stick to Fat Pastor’s prompts (see below) because… well, I’m not quite as spiritual as him and some of his prompts are stupid. (I’m sorry.)

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Anyway… consider yourself my accountability police. We’ll see how it goes. (Hopefully not as poorly as my New Year’s Resolution attempts… I”M JUST SO BAD AT THOSE.)

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Why Taylor, How Do You Write?

When I get an idea one of the following usually occurs:

  1. It seems like a great idea, so I begin writing. Entry finished. DONE!
  2. It seems like a great idea, I begin writing, and 1876 words later, I come up for air thinking, “Jesus, this thing needs to be edited. Why did I just word vomit a whole paragraph about bunnies? “
  3. It seems like a great idea so I open up WordPress, write one sentence and think, “Oh no. This is awful,” but I save it as a draft thinking, maybe one day, I will salvage it.
  4. It seems like a great idea so I open up WordPress, write maybe a full paragraph before thinking, “No. No, no, no. The person writing this is awful, you’re awful, never put this in the universe where someone might accidentally read it.” I immediately delete it. 
  5. It seems like a great idea, but I never actually bother to type anything, probably because I’ve gotten distracted by something else. Oops.

So, you ask yourself, “Why are you telling me this, Schaffer?”***

Well, I really wanted to write a blog post about people—about liking people on some sort of sliding scale and the difference in context and weird realizations about age and stuff. It basically only sounds insightful and deep in my head and, as much as I try, every single first sentence I’ve started with on this topic is horrible. HORRIBLE. So instead, I began making a list of all the ways my blog usually crashes and burns, although, sometimes, succeeds a little.

You’re welcome.

 

 

 

 

***No one calls me Schaffer. I wish they did.  I like my last name and have always had Philadelphia Story fantasies of a cool, sexy nickname. But, let me be clear, NO one calls me this.

The closest I’ve ever come was an ex that called me by my middle name. Not quite the same, but cute.

 

In conclusion, this aside is pointless, except for serving to further prove, that I am a confusing writer and that my children will be girly as hell with really strange, non-girly first name, first names. And they will hate me for that. 

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Can we please stop with the whole #NoMakeup thing?

The Today Show did this thing yesterday—No Make-Up Monday where their whole on-air crew, men and women, went make-up-less on high def airwaves for all to see.

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It was fine, I guess.

I mean, it’s nice to remind people that the highly-primmed and powdered faces greeting you at 7:00am are not the way anyone in their right mind looks that early. It’s actually not the way most people look, ever, because life isn’t tv and, at least for me, my personal stylist has been AWOL for 24 years. I’ve come to terms with it, mostly, except those rare days, when my wardrobe just won’t produce a viable outfit.

Anyway, like most trendy things the Today Show insists on doing, it is not new. The whole “no make-up” call to action has lived on blogs and sites and social media for a while now, telling women to ditch make-up and reclaim their natural beauty because we get “tricked into thinking that we, as girls and women, have to wear it,” and ditching the make-up “can help women who are self conscious without makeup gain some of their confidence back.”

Ugh. Seriously?

Look. I like make-up. I like liquid eyeliner and red lipstick and mascara. I like fake eyelashes and, in a pinch, I can do a presentable smoky eye in a moving car, that I, myself, am driving. I wear make-up to go to work, I wear make-up to go out, sometimes I smack make-up on to go run errands. And, I hate to break it to you all, but there is nothing particularly wrong with my self-esteem or my self-image—at least nothing that make-up gets the rap for. I just like it.

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Lipstick? Check. Prominent liner? Check. Obvious desire to appear alluring? Duh.

For me, while I’ve never been particularly good at doing my hair or styling my wardrobe… my make-up routine is… mine. I drink coffee, watch the news (or the Today Show, which we will classify as news-adjacent), and go through my routine. Some days it’s minimal—this morning I was still so pooped from a weekend filled with Disney Magic, 13.1 miles and much too early wake-up calls, to do much. Other days… I’ll admit it, it’s full on drag-y. We’ve already covered my love of a smoky eye-right?

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The Schaffer Three: A Long Line of Made-Up Ladies.

And before I act like there have been no outside influences on this—I come from a long line of women who believe make-up is a must on the ladylike check list. I grew up sitting at my mom’s make-up table, watching her get ready and wanting to use all the fancy brushes and colors and pots. I’ve often heard the phrase “no make-up” used to describe someone, in a way that implied (or explicitly pointed out) that they “didn’t bother to put themselves together” and—yeah, I grew up with the type of Grandma who, 36 hours after my wreck last spring, pointed out that I “must not feel like getting ready,” upon seeing my make-up free face.

But what I see when I look in the mirror, what I see when I go to work and experience life and whatever else, what I see is mine. And somedays, that is make-up free. Some days that looks like a Sephora experiment. More often than not, it is something in the middle. And part of being a woman, part of my experience, part of what I want, is an acceptance of whatever version of that I choose.

Yet, when I read people’s comments about going make-up free, railing against the institution, talking about how we must be doing it for others, for men, for attention, I cringe. Aren’t we selling ourselves short to imply that we are so easily manipulated, that our standard for ourselves must be to please someone else? And that if we want to reject make-up, we must do it publicly, with a day and a hashtag, in order to separate ourselves from those who aren’t as evolved? Aren’t we just coming up with yet another standard to measure women by?

Plus—to what end are we pushing this on people? Do advocates for the no make-up phenomenon believe that if we all just post enough pictures of our bare faces, we are… proving something? That those who do it, are somehow better adjusted, or more secure than those choosing make-up? And taking to social media, is the way to fix it?

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Oh. And one more, while we’re at it. Let’s talk about a key component of the #NoMakeupMonday phenomenon—the selfie.  Look at the pictures I pulled from social media, searching the hashtag #NoMakeupMonday… Doesn’t it just feel like a plea for a compliment? That’s not empowering. That’s desperate. And sometimes just icky.

So here’s my proposal:

Go be interesting.

Live an interesting life. Do what you love, do what makes you happy and stop feeling like your make-up, or lack of make-up, is the story you have to tell or the badge you have won.

Should you decide to rail against some injustice to women, for the love of God, spend more time on pay inequity or legislative maneuvers making women’s access to health care more difficult. Go fight for educational opportunities for women around the world or an end to sexual assault. Speak up for better representation—in government, in media, in business, everywhere. Respect all the distinct and varied ways women want to be seen and heard. Celebrate that. Celebrate the progress that has been made, and fight for the progress to come, so that the choices your daughter will have, are even more plentiful.

Read. Learn. Discuss.

Do all those things, and then maybe just one more—the next time you want to celebrate your beauty and your power… put down the damn iPhone and try… well, almost anything else. 

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