One of my favorite creator topics is monthly favorites, especially when it’s coming from people who don’t share a ton of products often. It can be so fun to hear about the things they’re loving. So while I can’t see myself posting about my favorites every month, I definitely would like to start a series that focuses on the new and noteworthy that has added value to my life. There’s no set number, it could be products, documentaries, concepts, etc. Just anything that I’ve recently been introduced to or experiencing that I feel like sharing. So here are my current recommendations:
I used to be a bit of a beauty product hoarder back in the day. If I saw something new, and I had the money to purchase it (or even when I didn’t), it was immediately in my shopping cart, regardless of if I had 3-4 similar products like it at home. It was rare that I completely finished a bottle of anything before tossing it and/or moving on to try something new. Now that my collection of personal care products is carefully curated, I wait until I have little to nothing left of a particular product before making a replacement purchase. Which often leads to a few days without something and a chance to experiment with a DIY version. In some cases, I stick with my DIY substitute and don’t look back. With two solid years of beauty product alchemy under my belt, I’ve discussed 3 homemade products that can be used separately or together to meet 15 different beauty needs. This is not often heard in the world of minimalism, but…..bring on the multi-tasking!
Lately I’ve been exploring the idea of making my life a bit more luxurious. Wearing clothing that makes me feel fancy. Taking the time to do a “no makeup” makeup look. Adding a few cute accessories to dress up a simple top and bottom. Enjoying a hot coffee while skimming the newspaper. Drinking a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Then I wake up and a remember, I’m a stay-at-home-mom and it’s not possible to do all these things.
I’m going to wear clothing that is comfortable, skip the lipstick and mascara, ditch the accessories that get in the way when I pick up a kid or two, and just hope that today’s the day I get to finish my coffee before it’s cold. And forget enjoying a glass of wine while I cook dinner. Instead I’m just bribing the kids with tortilla chips and Netflix shows in hopes that they to stay out of the kitchen for two seconds so I don’t burn someone when I open the oven or stir a pot. There is definitely nothing luxurious about this situation.
But then I remember…..these are all things I did when I was working full-time. I wore cute clothing, my coffee was never room temperature, and I felt fabulous. How was I doing all of these things less than 20 months ago, and now I struggle to wear a bracelet everyday?!?!
Because I had established a routine. So I’m taking the knowledge from my days as working mom to develop a better routine for myself. When everything is simple, it immediately becomes easier.
In all honestly, I’m not 100% bought in on religion. Try as I did for years, I could not drudge up the passion for God that I felt I should have to identify as Christian. I mostly lean towards Agnostic. But there are times when I feel like someone must be running the show. The way that miracles can just come out of nowhere or you can be thrown into so many situations and your limits are tested, pushing you past what you thought you could originally handle. The day this post was originally scheduled to publish, I had one of those days that just rocked me. August 11th, 2016 marked 731 glorious days that my two little blessings have been on this Earth; it was James and Emma’s 2nd birthday. And I was so prepared to celebrate and dedicate the day to this wonderful beings. I wanted to take in everything they had to offer and just fill myself with appreciation for them.
It’s currently Wednesday afternoon, and I’m just starting to type up the Tuesday scheduled post on self care with kids. Yikes! I am a bad mommy blogger right now. But my reason for being so late to post relates pretty directly to what I want to talk about today – taking care of yourself! After an extended weekend visiting family and spending 5 hours behind the wheel during a torrential downpour, I needed to do something to take care of myself. So with the contents of our vehicle scattered around the kitchen and the living room filled with new toys from family members, I peace’d out and drove my butt over to Pure Barre Madison. If a year ago, you would have told me that the best thing to do when you’re tired, stressed, and overwhelmed is go for a workout, I would have thought you were crazy. But 55 minutes later after a very intensive class with the owner Meredith, my legs were shaking, but my confidence was rock solid. I was motivated and ready for a grocery run, dinner, and lots of cleaning. And now that I’m finally sitting down to write this post, I’m thinking “I probably could have written at least half a post during the time I spent at barre”. But I would have gone into the evening feeling completely frazzled. And there wouldn’t be a lot of truth behind the lessons I want to share with my readers. If I’m telling y’all to step away from the computer screen and go for walk, but I’m glued to my phone, you’d be a lot less likely to listen to me. Or at least that’s what I tell myself as I bang out this Tuesday morning-scheduled post on a Wednesday.
My first foray into the world of intentional purchases began with beauty products quite a few years ago. If the brand advertised themselves to be “green” or “natural” (I’m looking at you, Tarte and OGX) I was immediately interested. I had no idea that the personal care industry is barely regulated, thus these descriptions meant nothing. Fast forward to present day when I have a much better grasp on what it means to purchase safer, cleaner personal care products. It has been over six months since I shared with you my current beauty ritual, so here’s an update:
One of the most important things I have learned on my journey towards clearer skin is that it is more important to follow a specific skin care ritual than it is to use a specific product. While using products with quality, safer ingredients that are beneficial for your skin type and skin concerns are important, there is no one product out there that will transform your skin overnight. It’s all about how you use the product. And thinking of your morning and evening skin regime as a ritual will help you see some changes if you’ve been struggling to maintain clear skin.
This is me (well, this is my hair) six months ago. About two weeks after this photo, I chopped it all off, donating 10 inches to the American Cancer Society during Relay for Life fundraising efforts. I was so happy to support a wonderful cause, and I was really loving my new “lob”. Fast forward to about two months ago when I realized I was really, really missing my long hair. During the summer months, all I want to do is throw it into a fun ponytail or top knot. There is still not enough length for a full bun and there is nothing “fun” about my stubby ponytail. Suffice to say, I’m ready for it all to grow back. I measured it out recently, and I realized I have grown back almost 4 inches in the past 6 months! Hair normally grows only half an inch a month, so I must be doing something right! I’ve also noticed how much thicker my hair is. It used to require 2 twists of my ponytail holder to secure it and now I only need to do one. Frizz is pretty much nonexistant unless I step outside during the sauna that is the Deep South after a summer afternoon storm. Now that I am paying closer to attention to my hair, here’s what I do to help my hair grow stronger and longer.
Just like my obsession with cosmetics, I’ve been captured by cute cosmetic bags for as long as I can remember. Nothing feels more perfect than have a well-edited makeup collection all wrapped up in a cute pouch. Considering this, I thought it was a little crazy when I realized I have never actually purchased a pouch for the purposes of holding my cosmetic essentials. I have had about a million (not even an exagerration) free with purchase bags over the years that I have used. And I did purchase a Vera Bradley travel pouch for toiletries awhile back. But nothing specifically for makeup. When I saw the collaboration between LeSportSac (known for it’s graphic, yet utilitarian, luggage, purses, and accessories) and Rifle Paper Co. (the beautiful stationary and gift brand that just so happens to be headquarted in my birthplace), I knew it was time to invest in some cute cosmetic pouches.
1. Beautycounter Hydrate Body Lotion – First off, the citrus mimosa scent is everything. When I purchased this product, I knew it was scented, but I wasn’t overly concerned with the smell because everything from Beautycounter smells pleasant to me. But this scent is so completely on point. It’s like Sunday Brunch in a bottle minus the dehydration (and eventual headache) that comes with daydrinking. There aren’t many body lotions in my life that I have repurchased. I normally move from brand to brand because nothing sticks out to me. But I was really blown away by how quickly this sinks in. Summer months normally call for lighter moisturizers so I’m not sure yet how well this will do with very dry skin, but I can tell you this soothes irritation really well. I recently used a new bath soak sample that was fragranced with eucalyptus and lavender. After I got out of the tub, my skin felt super dry and itchy. I slathered this from head to toe and my skin immediately felt better. I can imagine this is a great after sun lotion as well. This now has a permanent spot in my shower.