• March 8, 2017

    Skin Care Routine

    Feature-Image

    Many people start to see their skin look duller in their 30’s because cells do not regenerate as quickly as in your teens and 20’s.  Fine lines and dark circles, and sun spots also start to make an appearance during this time which makes your late 20’s and 30’s an essential time to start caring for your skin if, like me, you have just kind of ignored skin care in general so far in life.

    Now that I am getting older and 30 is only months away, I decided it was time to start doing some research and find out what I ought to be doing to take better care of the skin I’m in.  I learned that, in addition to my regular sunscreen and moisturizer, I will also want to add a gentle cleanser, vitamin C serum, and eye cream.

    Micellar-Water

    A gentle cleanser is super important to start with when caring for  your skin.  Remember how I said your cells won’t regenerate as quickly as they did when  you were  younger?  Well,  you don’t want to over exfoliate, but you still need to keep your skin clean and those cells moving!  Plain old soap and water is ok, but I chose Pacifica Coconut Micellar Water as my cleanser.  Micellar water works by specifically pulling dirt and oil away from your pores and skin without harsh chemicals (and doing a better job of it than soap), making it the perfect pick me up in the morning and a great way to remove light make up at the end of the day.  I chose Pacifica because it is gluten free, cruelty free, and is made in the US.  It also smells really nice and (I’ll admit I’m a sucker) the packaging is gorgeous.

    Vit-C-Serum

    Vitamin C Serum is my next essential product because it treats the onset of wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging skin.  Vitamin C is the only vitamin proven to actually work in anti-aging studies.  It works by producing collagen in the skin which helps tighten and firm it.  I chose Lumene Bright Now Vitamin C BB Serum because it is gluten free and cruelty free.  It also works as a serum and moisturizer, which I really like.  I apply this daily as part of my night routine.

    Eye-Cream

    The next product I’ve started using is an eye cream by bareMinerals.  Much like the vitamin C serum, eye creams are meant to reduce fine lines and plump the area around your eyes to look healthier and younger.  Eye creams also help fight dark undereye circles and tiredness in your face caused by stress and exposure to the environment.  I chose bareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Eye Cream because it is generally considered gluten free and is cruelty free.  I’m also pretty sure it’s made in the US.  I use this daily as part of my night routine.

    Mask

    The next two products are less essential and more fun in my mind.  First, I got the Pacifica Wake Up Beautiful Mask.  I use this once a week to help keep my skin hydrated, which it really needed during the cold winter months.  The nice thing about this mask is that you don’t have to wash it off, so it really holds the moisture in!  It’s gluten free, cruelty free, and made in the US.

    Hair-Mask

    Next is the Moroccan Oil Hydrating Mask for hair.  I use this once a week as well to keep my hair hydrated and looking good.  It is super easy to use – I just shampoo like normal, rise and squeeze as much water out of my hair as possible.  Then, massage in some of the mask and go about the rest of my shower time stuff, rinsing the mask out after 5-10 minutes.  Easy-peasy, and it smells amazing!  It is gluten free and cruelty free.

    Since starting my skin (and hair) care routine about a month ago, I feel that my skin is looking brighter, cleaner, and healthier.  It is showing fewer fine lines around my eyes and I think the dark circles are going away too.  I’ve been really happy with my choices and am starting to see why so many people are willing to throw down serious cash for these kinds of products.  I’m glad to have started caring for my skin and hair at this time in my life – it is starting to give me more confidence, not only because my skin looks good, but also because I am taking time on a daily basis to do something small but good for myself.  Having this skin care routine is almost meditative and forces me to slow down a bit and really be nice to me – no wonder it’s working!  *grin*

  • December 28, 2016

    December Round Up

    feature-image

    Whelp, looks like I managed to miss most of December, huh?  *sigh*  My goal was to have a homemade Christmas, which we did… but I totally underestimated how much time that would consume!  So, here we are with the monthly round  up and I’ll try to touch on everything we enjoyed this past month!

    dining-room

    nativity

    As soon as Thanksgiving was over (ok, ok, ok… a little, teensy bit before it was really over) I pulled out all of my Christmas decorations and went to town on our house.  And since I felt like we needed a little extra cheer this year, I found a pencil tree to put in our entry way too!  So.  Two trees.  I threatened to put up a third, but lost the oomph to do it.  Ah, well, there’s always next year, eh?

    little-tree

    big-tree

    2015

    Then it was time to get started on my Homemade Christmas goal from my 30 before 30 list!

    ornaments-in-progress

    stitches

    The first craft I started was these beautiful Nordic inspired ornaments.  These became gifts for family and friends and were a lot of fun to make!  We also decorated our own home with them – we tried to stick to a red and white theme this year and they added something really special on the tree.

    cookies

    In addition to ornaments, we gave friends and family Christmas cookies.  I made so. many. cookies.  And I learned how to use a cookie press (I think I need one of my own now…) for Danish vanilla cookies.  Oh, and the bread!  I made eggnog bread  and monkey bread for Christmas morning!  I was in the kitchen a lot this December!  *nods*  So glad my folks took care of us for Christmas dinner!

    crafty-nativity

    Another craft project I worked on was this beautiful nativity.  I’ve always been frustrated that I can’t find a realistic nativity with Middle Eastern people – Jesus was not white, ya’ll!  Anyway, I loved the concept of the silhouettes, so that solved it all for me!  :)  Click here for full instructions and info on where to get the vinyl designs.  The last step is to spray the glass with Frosted Glass spray paint stuff… but it’s been so cold this December, I was afraid the temperatures would ruin the paint.  Next year, it’ll be frosty glass!

    socks

    Another favorite thing I did this month was the Secret Santa at work.  I always get too into it, but it’s really fun to spoil one of the amazing women I work with and let her know how much I appreciate her!  And I’ll admit, I kind of like being spoiled by someone else too!  Anyway, the most hilarious gift I received this year was socks with bandanna wearing corgi’s on them.  So silly – I really love them!  I think Ollie approves too…

    ollie

    I didn’t have a lot of time for things other than all the crazy Christmas shenanigans, so I didn’t really consume much media.  I did make it out to see Fantastic Beasts  and Where to Find Them early in the month and Rogue One the weekend it came out.  I also caught Hairspray Live on NBC and I read one book for book club – Yes Chef, by Marcus Samuelsson.  We stayed home a lot and watched old Christmas movies while I worked on crafts too, so that was fun.

    frosty

    And there you have it!  I’m pretty sure that’s all I’ve got for this month!  Sure felt busier than it looks like it was… but I learned my lesson!  I will start Christmas crafts way earlier next year!  I hope you enjoyed your holidays this year and felt the love of friends and family.  Best wishes for a safe and happy new year – see you in 2017!

  • October 5, 2016

    Boots and Sweaters: An Ode to Fall

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    The air is chill, leaves start to turn,

    Greetings, Autumn, my dearest friend.

    Summer was long and relentless,

    I’m so glad you’ve come ’round again!

    Red, yellow, and orange,

    The colors of warmth are ample,

    But you bring with you a bite and a frost,

    Of winter to come – a tiny sample.

    Oh, glorious Autumn,

    All around, the leaves are beginning to fall,

    Out come countless sweaters and boots,

    Basic girls make videos to show this seasons haul.

    Pumpkin everything, we cry!

    Out come the PSL marked Starbucks cups,

    Salted caramel, slouchy socks, and flannel,

    Even scarves and booties for their pups!

    A basic white girl who loves you, Autumn,

    That, I may be.

    But it’s okay – I really don’t mind,

    I celebrate you proudly!

     

    loved

  • September 7, 2016

    Hair Cut for a Cause

    Pony-Tail

    This may  not seem like a very big deal, and really it’s not, but I got my hair cut over the weekend.  What makes this worth writing about is what happened afterwards!

    You see, I’ve been growing my hair out for about 4 years and finally decided it was time to say goodbye to the heavy curtain that pulled me down and made me look a little bit depressed and far too young.  It’s strange, but it took all summer for me to finally feel ready to part with it even though it really didn’t do anything for me.

    Back

    Anyway, the important part is the after part!  Now that I have a ponytail that’s not attached to my noggin, I’ll be mailing it to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths program to be made into a wig for a woman who has lost her own hair from cancer treatments.  I haven’t known anyone while they were going through chemo, but cancer has touched my grandmother, dad, friends, and co-workers in various ways and to various degrees.  I can only imagine what it’s like to involuntarily surrender ones hair to the treatment and how alienating that must feel sometimes.  I think about the people in my life and the stories I read online or in magazines of courage and strength and I think about how hard it must be to have to be strong.  To have to put one foot in front of the other, no matter how uncertain the path.  And then I think, if something so small to me could make life a little more “normal” or a tiny bit more bearable for someone, then I should give it freely and openly.

    Side-View

    And so I do.  I chopped it all off with the hope that my heavy burden might help another feel lighter and free to be herself again.  I share this, not for recognition or praise, but to encourage you to do the same if you are able.  Give what you can to make this world a little happier, a little less dark, and little more free.  Sow seeds of love and peace – our world needs all the good we have to give.

  • August 24, 2016

    Top 5 Bath & Beauty Products

    Life seems to be getting away from me lately.  Between summer activities, house projects, washer/dryer threatening to go out on me, and some really tough cases at work… I haven’t had much time for self care, let alone any writing or picture taking!  It’s been so sad for me too, because I’ve really been wanting to share this one with you!  *grin*

    Here are my top 5 favorite bath and beauty products:

    Natures Gate Shampoo/Conditioner

    Natures-Gate

    I really love the way the herbal ones smell!  Ugh, it’s SO good!  And it leaves my hair shiny and healthy without the use of gluten, animal product, parabens, GMOs, Soy, etc!  They are cruelty free and eco-friendly too!  It’s amazing to have a product that is ethical, safe, and works really well too!

    Physician’s Formula Mascara

     

    Physicians-Formula

    I have always struggled with mascara – it usually makes my eyes teary and crusty and yucky if I wear it too long.  Recently, a friend of mine mentioned that there might be gluten in the one I was using – who would have thought?!  Turns out, it’s really common and it’s actually really hard to find on that is gluten free!  No wonder I had issues before!  This Physician’s Formula mascara is easy to apply and doesn’t hurt my eyes even if I wear it every day!  Not all of their mascara’s are gluten free, but they label them very clearly on the packaging so it’s easy to find safe ones.  This particular one is not waterproof and I have found it smudges if you aren’t careful, but it’s a trade-off I am willing to make!

    The Body Shop Hand Creams

    The-Body-Shop

    A work friend gave me the strawberry hand cream for Christmas last year and I fell in love!  It is so smooth and absorbs very quickly which is a must for me in a hand cream.  They come in great little travel size tubes so I always have one in my bag and use it constantly!  The price may seem a little bit much for a tiny tube, but you really don’t need much when you apply it so it lasts a long time.  Also, The Body Shop has pretty frequent sales, so if you watch the website and buy a bunch when they are on sale, you can get a really great deal!  I think the last time I bought these, they were 3 for $10 (and when one tube usually costs $8… that’s pretty amazing!).

    Lush Bath Bomb

    Lush

    A beauty love list wouldn’t be complete without Lush Bath Bombs!  I don’t do baths too often, but when I really want to spoil myself, I love these products!  My favorite so far is Butterball.  The natural and safe ingredients leave my skin so soft and lightly scented.  It’s truly relaxing and peaceful while also being really good for my skin and they are ethically sourced too!  Ahhhhh-mazing!

    Lancome Juicy Shaker

    Lancome

    And for my grand finale, and truly indulgent beauty product: Lancome’s Juicy Shaker!  I struggle with lip colors and never feel like they last or look right and they always leave me feeling sticky and icky, but not so with this!  It is a little bit sticky at first, but leaves lips soft and comfortable after a bit.  The color is so nice too – I got the red colored vanilla pop and was a little afraid of it being too dark on my pale Irish skin, but it’s totally not!  Plus, it smells so good!  *grin*  The only downside (and why I only have one) is that they cost a whopping $21!  Ouch!  But, it’s good to spoil yourself once in a while, right?

    I hope you’ve enjoyed this little journey into my bath and beauty loves!  I’d love if you would share with me in the comments what products you love and what makes them so wonderful!

  • May 18, 2016

    Top 5 Things to Love About Spring

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    Spring is such a wonderful time of year, don’t you think?  There is always so much to do, but there is also so much to love!   I’ve managed to narrowe it down to my 5 favorite things about springtime!  I hope you enjoy my photos and feel inspired to get out and see some of your favorite spring things.  *grin*

    1. Everything is new!

    Duckies

     

    Lavender

     

    2. It’s nice enough to go outside!

    Geese

     

    Walking-Ollie

     

    3. Iced coffee!

    Iced-Chai

     

    4. Garden planning!

    Pots

     

    Herbs

     

    5. Breaking out the spring and summer wardrobe!

    Dresses

     

    Scarves

  • August 26, 2015

    Nerd Girls Guide to the Gym: What’s in my Gym Bag?

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    A couple months ago I did something I never thought I would do.  Ever.  In a million, billion years.  Brace yourselves, y’all… I joined a gym.

    That’s right, laugh it up.  But joining a gym was actually pretty traumatic for me.  You see, I was never athletic or even a little bit interested in sports or exercise or anything in that vein of existence.  My big thing was always that there should be a point to exercise and it should be fun, so things like hiking and camping, and household chores generally fit the bill (note: chores are not fun, but necessary… so I always looked at it like exercise).  But then, I discovered that I was struggling with some of those things.  I also discovered that my shorts from last summer didn’t fit anymore and my jeans took way too long to pull up over my butt.

    After mentioning it to a co-worker with similar problems, I realized my mistake!  She started asking what I was doing to make it better.  She started talking about her own active lifestyle.  And then she told me the gym near my soon-to-be-new-neighborhood was doing a summer sale and pushed just enough to get me to join.  Damn her.

    So, there I was with a gym membership and absolutely no idea what to do with it!  Being the nerd girl that I am, I did the most logical thing I could think of… Google it!

    Google quickly made it apparent that my first step would be to hit the stores because I didn’t have anything a person needs to go to the gym.  The following is a list of what I decided was necessary at first and have since discovered a need for after having, you know, actually been to the gym:

    Gym-Bag

    Gym bag

     

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

    Gym clothes & cross trainers (pants, top, bra, socks, shoes)

     

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands,  face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

    Beauty & grooming supplies (brush, hair ties, headbands, face wipes, deodorant, towel, etc.)

     

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

    Water bottle & Snacks (trail mix, KIND bar)

     

    Lock

    Lock

    I know a lot of people also bring their ipod/phone and headphones, but I find that too cumbersome.  I hate headphones anyway and the gym plays music so loud that I’d probably hurt my eardrums if I turned it up enough to block out the outside noise.  I know a lot of people also shower at the gym and would therefore need shower shoes, a big towel, and shower supplies.  I will never be so comfortable that I could get nekkid and shower in a public space… but to each her own.  Fortunately, the face wipes also work great on armpits and other sweaty areas, so it wouldn’t be an issue for me to go from the gym to the movies, or shopping, or whatever.

    Anyway, I hope this helps my fellow non-athletes who are ready to move towards a more active lifestyle.  Looking the part and being prepared really helped me adjust to the atmosphere and actually go to the gym.  I’m planning to follow up this first step with another installment about what to actually do once you have your gear and are ready to work, so keep an eye out for more!  

  • July 15, 2015

    Top 5 Things on Etsy

    As you may or may not remember, my birthday is coming up at the end of this month and I am super excited!  I generally try not to get too overly excited about these things, but I’ve gotta say, my grown up birthdays have been way better than most of my childhood birthdays.  So, let’s just say I’m making up for lost time!

    Anyway, if you’re looking for something awesome to get me for the big 2-8, here is a list of my five favorite things on etsy right now.  ;)

    First up is this amazing corgi t-shirt by yayforfidgetart:

    Corgi TShirt

    yayforfidgetart

    It looks so soft and comfy, plus there is a very classy looking corgi which I find amazing and hilarious.

    Next up is this print with one of my many favorite quotes from the I.T. Crowd (if you haven’t seen this series, drop everything right now and go watch it!):

    Damn Good

    The Geekerie

     

    And now, some more prints!  *grin*  I couldn’t choose just one to represent Ben Byrd’s artwork, so here are three of my favorites:

    Hagrid

    Hagrid and his new dragon

     

    Cutepunk

    Cutepunk Octoship

     

    Walsh

    Wash flies Serenity. He is a leaf on the wind

     

     

    I am becoming a big fan of this style of jewelry.  I love the raw edges and bright colored stones!  It’s a perfect balance between polished and natural that makes me really happy.  *grin*

    KmichaelStyle

    KmichaelStyle

     

    And last but not least is this beautiful papercraft of Totoro from Will Pigg:

    Totoro

    WillPigg

    I love the perfect detail he puts into his pieces – every cut creates texture and movement that you wouldn’t ever dream could come from paper!  He must be the most patient man in the world to create what he does!

     

    So, there you have it!  My top five favorite things on Etsy!  Now, get shopping!  ;)

  • March 18, 2015

    Top 5: Things for Spring

    In the last couple of months, I have become completely obsessed with bright colors.  I don’t know if it’s just the dreary winter getting to me or if I’m turning into someone who just loves color, but whatever the reason, I am having a lot of fun with it!  *grin*  For this Top Five, I have chosen a few beauties that I am in love with this spring.  I don’t actually own any of these things, so I can’t give a review or tell you about fit or function.  Think of it more like a wish list.  *wink*wink*

     

    Fossil-Bag

    Fossil

    ModCloth-Dress

    Modcloth

     

    Boma-Lotus-Necklace

    Boma Jewelry

    Shoes

    DSW

    Dr-Horrible-Print

    adriantoddzilla

  • July 9, 2014

    Old Picture of Me

    Ahhhh… Oh my gosh, you guys.  I’ve been dreading this one.  I went through so many pictures this week trying to find one that didn’t totally betray my weirdo inner self.  And that also didn’t make it look like I grew up on the set of little house on the prairie.  And that wasn’t a baby in the bathtub picture.

    *sigh*

    So, here you go:Just-Say-No

    This is me at about 6 years old.  I think I pull off the 80’s colors and style pretty well, don’t you?  I totally rocked that almost-mullet.  And those white, fringy cowboy boots are awesome.

    Yup.

    To counteract the total goofball picture, here’s one where I appear to be normal:

    Fishing

    Fishing is normal, right?  And I was good at it too!  Always out-fished my dad… every single time.

    *grin*