Thursday, July 31, 2014

Currently

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Feeling: like I need about 10-gazillion hours of sleep.

Eating: roasted chickpeas. New addiction.

Drinking: chai lattes. Not-so-new addiction.

Watching: our little kittehs sleep. I'm trying to talk Tyler into Midsomer Murders, but he's pretending he can't hear me. Punk.

Reading: a Dominique Moceanu autobiography. #gymnasticsnerd

Thinking about: planning a quick trip to Portland sometime in the fall. I need to travel. ASAP.

Loving: that I finally have a date scheduled to visit Miss Sarah!

Excited about: going to Poplar Bluff next week. Normally that is not something I'd be thrilled about, but I haven't been home in over a year. I'm ready for some pink lemonade and gravel roads.

Stressing over: our apartment. It's bummin' me out right now.

Listening to: lots of the new Sia album. I mean, I think it's great, but Tyler is borderline obsessed.

Worried about: our little Henry--he's showing some signs of health problems again. :(

Obsessing over: this link that Haley sent to me on Twitter. WORLDS COLLIDE.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Segment of the Rainbow

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“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.” --Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 Favorites: Skincare

Today I'm kicking off a new monthly series called 5 Favorites. Each month I'll feature five of my favorite items in a specific category (betcha didn't see that coming, didja?). It will cover everything from beauty products to television shows to Etsy shops, and will run until........well, until I run out of ideas. :) Let me know if there's something specific you'd like to see! In the meantime, we'll start with my five favorite skincare products:

imageedit_45_3112503994

1//Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser: I worked for a dermatologist a few years ago, and this was the face wash he recommended to everyone. I had really bad acne at the time, so I snagged a few samples and was sold. It's one of the few cleansers I've used that actually leaves me feeling clean--not greasy or dried out.

2//Ponds Dry Skin Cream: Maybe it's boring, but it's holy grail for dry-skinned babes like me. It's thick, rich, and clean-smelling.  It does take awhile to soak in, so I wash my face first thing in the morning and put it on; by the time I get dressed and eat breakfast, I'm good to go with makeup. I've tried a ton of drug store and pricey moisturizers over the years, and this is my favorite by far.

3//Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair: Earlier this year I started to notice some *gasp* wrinkles starting to surface. After the tears had dried and the horror abated (I'm kidding guys. Wrinkles, sminkles.), I did a little research and founds lots of favorable reviews for Rapid Wrinkle Repair. I decided to pick some up, and I'm not kidding when I say that I noticed a difference within a week. This little blue bottle will forever be in my skincare arsenal.


4//Mary Kay Timewise Microderm Abrasion Set:  This makes my skin feel sooooo soft. I always feel like microderm abrasion leaves my skin vulnerable, so I love that it also has replenishing serum. I've had professional microderm abrasions done, and while I wouldn't put this quite at that level, it's darn close.


5//e.l.f. Studio Eye Fresh: This stuff just feels sooooo good. I use it morning and night for a little extra nourishment on that sensitive skin around my eyes. It's hard to beat for $3 a pop!


What are some of your skincare must-haves? I love trying out new stuff!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Project Life: Week 30

It's not often that I can say that the majority of my pages came from a single collection, but that's what happened this week-- the Market Street collection by My Mind's Eye.  I'm okay with it; it is my favorite, after all :)

Left side:
PL30L


Right side:
PL30R

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Project Life: 13 & 14

Just popping in with Project Life weeks 13 & 14. As always, if you have questions about any of the items used here, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email, and I'll get back to you!

Week thirteen, left side:


12L

Week thirteen, right side:

13R

Week fourteen, left side:

14L

Week fourteen, right side:

14R

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Vinyl Love: #1

Starting a new little series here on the ol' blog about the vinyl records I love so dearly. First up is this little gem:

VL2

Bon Iver, Bon Iver by (you guessed it!) Bon Iver.

In 3 words: poetic, emotional, monumental

Favorite tracks: Holocene, Wash., Towers

I hesitate to call any record my "all-time favorite"--it's just such a huge label to live up to--but especially a record as recent as this one. Every time anyone asks what my favorite album is, though, this is the one that pops in my head immediately. So I think it has claimed that label for itself, and I'm okay with it. I can honestly say that no other record has ever emotionally moved me as much as this one--"Holocene" made me cry the first time I heard it. It wasn't a sad cry; it was like seeing the mountains for the first time, or coming back home after a long bout of homesickness--when you just cry because everything seems so beautiful and so much bigger than yourself.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

On Selfies

I'm just going to lay it out there: I'm pro-selfie. My husband (and undoubtedly other people) think I'm ridiculous, but I'll get over it. I think selfies are misunderstood as vanity, when the vast majority of the time, they aren't. They're an all-too-rare statement of confidence and contentment from women (and men) whose self-esteem and body image is assaulted constantly by impossible societal standards of beauty and constructs of perfection.

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This is a candid photo of me in high school. I was a pretty average looking girl who made above-average grades and had never been in serious trouble. I didn't smoke, didn't drink, and didn't do drugs. I was a shy kid--an introverted bookworm who tried to act extroverted--who was non-confrontational to a fault.

When I was younger, I tried to figure out what part of that led people--family, friends, acquaintances, complete strangers--to assume it was acceptable to comment on my appearance or my body. I blamed myself for awhile, thinking I needed to be more assertive. I thought maybe people were trying to take me down a peg, and that I needed to stop trying so hard to be perfect. As I grew up a little, though, I realized that even well-meaning people can be a-holes and make comments or "jokes" that are immature and hurtful--and that none of that was my fault.

Here's a brief list of my attributes that had been commented on by the time I had reached the age in the picture:
  • My "big lips" (this was pre-"Angelina-Jolie-is-a-hottie" so definitely not a compliment)
  • My "childbearing hips"
  • My "ghetto butt"
  • My "old-lady hands"
  • My turned up nose
  • My flat chest
  • My "thunder thighs"
  • My "ugly feet"
I look at that girl in the picture--the shy, sensitive, non-confrontational, sixteenish-year-old girl--and I honestly can't see how the majority of those comments were even true, let alone necessary to make. Even though I just laughed them off publicly, though, I internalized every single one. I remember sitting down with my senior picture proofs and picking myself apart picture by picture.

Here's the thing: if you asked me my biggest body insecurities right now, five of them still make the cut.

I hate admitting that. Hate it. I hate acknowledging that those (I'm just going to say it) bullshit messages got the better of me then, and still do. I hate that I buy in--even just the smallest bit--to societal standards of beauty, and that I judge myself by those standards. 95% of the time, I'm critical of my appearance. That's weak and ridiculous, and I know that, but it's true. So I absolutely will not apologize for the 5% of the time I feel good enough about the way I look to take a picture and put it on the internet. And neither should you.

Nearly all women have stories like this, and worse--even if they've managed to overcome them, the experience of having your body commented on is almost universal. Like I said, I consider myself to have been a pretty average looking kid, so I can't even imagine how dark and painful these things can become for people extremely far outside the societal standard.  That's why I love selfies. I love seeing pictures of my friends pop up on instagram or facebook and knowing that they held up the middle finger to the judgements of others about the way they look and dress. I love knowing that they felt confident and pretty in that moment--because I know how rare, beautiful, and elusive those moments can be.

So. To sum it up:
Society:  "You aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......but LOVE YOURSELF! EMBRACE YOU!.......but not enough to take selfies, because that's too much; its conceit/vanity/self-absorption...........and besides, you don't really deserve it, because you aren't good/pretty/thin/lovely enough because you don't meet our constructs of perfection......." (It's a bloody freaking vortex, you guys.)

Me (and hopefully you): Eff that BS. Let's take a selfie.