Wednesday, February 12, 2014

From Race to Regiment

A total detour from my other posts.


Why? I've joined up with The Little Things link-up {hosted by Jess and Ashley}. The goal of the link-up is to celebrate the little things in life. It's a fun challenge to not be repetitive with the celebrations. And, this week, I've been grateful for growing up a bit in the area of skin care.

I was one of those lucky skin people who never got massive break outs. I had smallish pores, very few problems with oily or dry skin, and a general consistency with my face. Sure, my skin was sensitive and pale, but with a little common sense and self-tanner, even those issues were minor.

Then I had a kid.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but until a few months ago, my basic skin care routine was:
-- wash face
-- dab of some moisturizer {usually whatever I got cheaply}
-- apply makeup
-- wash face at night {sometimes with facial soap}.

Yikes. That probably should have ended with my high school days, but it worked so I saw no need to change it. Pregnancy convinced me otherwise. Suddenly, my skin was a ricochet of dry to oily. I had weird textures pop up. I had breakouts. I had extra-sensitive skin. And, I started noticing the wrinkles popping up, especially on my forehead and eyes.

I knew I needed a change, but none of the bloggers I followed {my #1 source for everyday life news} really had skin issues I related to. Until I was inspired by this post.

I took a few elements from that, a few from other reviews/posts, and a few from things I wanted to try. So here's what I came up with:

Cleanse with facial soap {currently using the remaining supply of Clinique but may switch this up}
Apply toner {Thayers alcohol-free Rose Petal w/ witch hazel & organic aloe}
Moisturize {Boots no7 Protect & Perfect Day Cream with SPF 15}
Try to drink extra water. This is a biggie for me. I'm terrible at it.

Cleanse with organic coconut oil {it removes makeup!!} and facial soap every other time/oily days
Apply toner
Moisturize {Yes to Carrots Intense Hydration Night Cream}
Eye serum {Oil of Olay Regenerist Eye Lifting Serum}

It's been just under a week in my new routine, and I really notice a difference in my skin's color, feel, and moisture. The most surprising {and important} feature is the small amount of time it takes to do all this. I actually can get some of it done while using my Sonicare. If you have at least one kid, you know how valuable every minute of the day is. Which is why I think I hesitated to give up any more time to a "beauty" routine. Until I realized it's more about skin health, and beauty is just a by-product. Also, this is a good way to get some "me" time in, which is pretty hard to come by some days.

Oh, and in case you're curious, here is Hayley's skincare routine:

So, this week I'm recognizing these little things, the changes in my attitude and regiment, that have made a big impact.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

From 28 to 29

I'm always amazed at how something so routine as a birthday is so powerful as an agent for reflection. I mean, it's just a Wednesday this year. A drizzly, gray sky blanketing half-dead grass and flowerless gardens. It also creates the perfect canvas for introspection.

Perhaps it's because I'm now just under a year from hitting 30, but this birthday feels particularly heavy. If that makes any sense. I am overwhelmed with the need to take inventory and "clean up" the books for the coming year. Which brings me to this post.

Turning 25 was by far my hardest year. No special reason why. Things were great in my life, but I really struggled with it. Like depression struggled. Luckily, my slump somewhat dissipated with a drastic change of scenery during a trip to Sedona with my mom. Moms always know when to sweep you out of the everyday. (I got to go away again this year!) From there, things improved. And, I'm nowhere near that feeling this year (I can't promise that for next year, however). Instead, I feel...grateful.
Sedona circa 2010.
Savannah with my mom 2014

My life still feels so foreign sometimes. I suddenly look around at the tornadic damage in our living room and my grinning toddler and realize it's me on the other side of the picture. The surrealness of everyday life. I'm so blessed to have already had so many experiences in my life, and this is just one more to add to the list. Of course, adding in additional work to this beautiful chaos hasn't been without challenges. But, it is another experience. And another accomplishment, if I do say so myself.

So...gratitude. I'm so blessed to have a support group in my life. Though we may not always see eye-to-eye, I know they're standing with me.

I am lucky to share this chapter of life with a semi-crazy toddler. Even at 3 am, on my birthday. While she's sick. The blessing here is spending the rest of the night sleeping not sleeping and cuddling with someone whose only need for comfort is my presence.

She's even cute sick.

I am glad chocolate exists. Even if it means I made my own birthday cake (cue smallest violin), and I forgot to add the eggs (thanks Mommy Brain), I frosted it with Nutella buttercream and enjoyed a slice with my hubby.

A fudgey, delicious cake. Frosted in Nutella buttercream. And I don't know what happened to the frosting edge...

Speaking of, I am glad to have a partner to go through life with. He may drive me crazy some a lot of the time, he also keeps me sane. And, he keeps food, good food, on our table. Oh, and he made me French toast this morning.
Different kind of cake, but one of my fave pics. From all the way back in 2008.
A final note: while jamming away at the keyboard, pounding out work ahead of a looming deadline, my computer keeps beeping, letting me know someone else has left some love on Facebook for my day. And then my phone chimes in. I'm loved, lucky, and pretty happy with life. Sure, there's a lot looming in the not-to-far future, but if I can stare down the face of 30 and boldly claim to be happy, I know I can tackle the upcoming obstacles this year.

Thanks for indulging me and helping me to celebrate all of life's little moments. Love to you all!

Visit the It's The Little Things link-up hosted by Ashley and Jess!