Quarantine Skincare Routine

Hi hi hello! Happy hunkering to you all.

Among the millions of quarantine activity ideas out there, I have seldom seen skincare mentioned. The horror!  You see to me, skincare is a legitimate activity. It takes a good bit of time, can be quite therapeutic and makes us humans better-looking. You see? It’s perfect.

As promised, I am here to present my current skin care routine. I am very excited about sharing this information because unlike so many other times in my life – I am actually being consistent with my skincare. And you guys…I can actually see the difference! I feel like my skin has improved since I bought and have started using products from The Ordinary and Erno Laszlo over a month ago. Click here to read more about that.

Without further ado, here is my current skincare route from start to finish!

Step One – Cleanse

The first step in this routine is probably where things vary the most. Most nights I am too tired to wash my face so I use a makeup wipe. I would love to tell you that I buy really high quality ones but the reality is that I usually get these Up & Up ones at Target:

When I have the energy to stand at the sink to wash my face, I use the Cetaphil Daily Facial Cleanser. It is a great, affordable cleanser that does the job! I am also weirdly obsessed with the way it smells.

Step Two – Tone

Man I love a good toner! As per my recent haul from The Ordinary, I have been using the Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution. I only use this stuff at night, as the directions state.

This toner is not for the weak. It definitely would not work for anyone with sensitive skin because it does cause a very mild irritation on the skin. It also leaves a bit of a film behind. Not necessarily tacky, just a little something left behind. It definitely is not comfortable or soothing but I actually kind of like the sensation because I feel like it is WORKING. I dunno. I’m weird.

For daytime…

As a daytime toner, I love using the Erno Laszlo Hydraphel Skin Supplement. I was lucky enough to receive a bunch of Erno Laszlo products from our Aunt Sandi and so far I have LOVED everything I have tried. This toner is like the polar opposite of the glycolic acid toner. Super soothing, feels great and leaves the skin feeling hydrated.

Step three – treat

I am currently using two face treatments from The Ordinary . First, I apply the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA and then the Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%. I use about a 1/4 of a dropper for both sides of my face and pat it in lightly. I try and let the Alpha Arbutin dry as much as possible before applying the Niacinamide. Both feel slightly tacky when applied, but do not cause irritation. I will say however, that neither feel particularly “soothing” on the skin.

After that, I apply a small amount of The Ordinary Caffeine Solution 5% + EGCG under my eyes.

For daytime…

For daytime, I start with the Alpha Arbutin and follow with the Erno Laszlo Transphuse Day Serum.  This serum has a green tint and really wakes up the skin. I really love this combination and it feels like the perfect base for primer + foundation.

Step four – moisturize

At night, I apply all of my moisturizing products in bed. I love looking at them all lined up on my bedside shelf like a little cavalry. First, I take a small amount of the Erno Laszlo Hydra-Therapy Memory Sleep Mask and apply that to my entire face and neck. A little of this stuff goes a long way and it is SO luxurious. I compare the hydration level to that of La Mer. I seriously wake up in the morning and can still feel this stuff working!

Under my eyes, I apply the Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado. This is just a simple, hydrating under eye cream and similar to the Laszlo moisturizer – it is SO soothing.

On nights where I have time and need a little extra somethin’ under my eyes – I have been using the Everydaze Gold Charcoal Hydrogel Eye Patches. These babies are seriously hydrating and they feel ahhmazing on my face. How I lived this long without doing eye patches is totally beyond me because I feel they make such a difference. These ones are on sale for $28 for 60 patches right now which is a steal!

If David is staying up later than me, I will also throw on this adorable sleep mask from Everydaze. I mean….HELLO! So cute.

For my lips, I have been working through the ever popular Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask. It feels great on the lips and is very hydrating. This product claims to leave lips so moisturized they are soft to the touch the next day. I do not notice hydration the next morning, but I also feel like that is an impossible feat, especially if you are a tummy sleeper!

For daytime….

For my daytime moisturizer – I have been loving The Organic Skin Co. Daily Rituals Moisturizer. It smells amazing, is the perfect thickness and feels refreshing on my skin.

On my lips, I have been loving several products from Eco Lips, namely the Nourish Lip Balm and the Mongo Kiss Lip Balm in Vanilla Honey. If you have not tried products from this brand, definitely check them out next time you’re at Whole Foods. An added bonus to purchasing these lip balms is that they are fair trade, gluten-free and use cruelty-free ingredients!

extras

I cannot talk about skincare without mentioning masks! I love a good mask. I really feel like they make a visible difference and usually make my skin feel amazing. Recently I tried a sample of the Erno Laszlo Pore Cleansing Clay Mask and oh brother was it nice! Totally recommend this one.

This one is the Erno Laszlo Firm & Lift mask. It was such a luxurious experience! Like I was at the spa.

I cannot sing the praises of Grande Lash – MD enough. If you want to see before and after photos click here! I use this serum once every other day or so and yes, it works wonders. It also costs about 1/3 of the Rodan and Fields version :).

Also worth mentioning are two new body care products I have been loving! David got me this Bath & Body Works Into the Night Body Cream and I looooove the scent. It is definitely a rich, more evening appropriate smell with hints of jasmine. So good.

David also gave me one of the new Lush reusable bubble bars! This is the Candy Bubble Brush which smells like my all-time favorite thing – cotton candy. The bubbles from Lush products are seriously unparalleled. And the scent lingers FOREVER too!

So there you have it everyone! My current routine extensive but like, what else am I supposed to do during these trying times? Leave a comment below and tell me your favorite skin care item at the moment!

*The products from Everydaze, The Organic Skin Co. and Eco Lips were sent to me complimentary for testing. All opinions are my own.

My Non-Beauty Favorites

Hear ye! Hear ye!

I see SO many “Amazon Favorites” lists flying around the internet I thought it was high time I make my own. But it should be noted that I do not buy everything on Amazon. I get things at other fine establishments like Target, Goodwill, TJ  Maxx, Ross and as much as it pains me to say…Walmart.

These are things that make my life better. That make my days run smoother and my nights more wine-filled.

Black & Decker Handheld Vacuum 

Because what mom doesn’t need a good old fashioned dust buster in her life? I use this baby about 723094 times a day. Giant hat tip to my sister Megan for recommending this baby. Here are my favorite applications:

  • Cleaning up the food remnants beneath Clara
  • Removing the copious amounts of hair from the bathroom floors, counters and inside drawers
  • Getting allll the pine needles off the ground in the entry way
  • Sucking up all the loose setting powder I spill on my vanity err day

Liberty Creek Pinot Gris

Can’t say I am super proud of this one guys. But I am nothing if I am not honest. And this white wine…is gooood. Is it great? Probably not. Would it satisfy an individual with a sophisticated palette? Nope. Am I going to buy it forever because it costs $7 for 1.5 liters? Yep. I have got my whole family drinking Lib Creek and WE AINT MAD AT IT.

Walmart Rain Jacket

Calling all the amazons! My sister Megan gave me this coat for Christmas and it has easily become my new favorite. It has the perfect amount of lining, is the perfect length, comes in like 5 cute colors and best of all – ACTUALLY FITS ME. Well, actually – It has those little sleeve extenders with the thumb  holes which makes the sleeves extra long. On a normal person, they would extend beyond the knuckles and allow the person to utilize the aforementioned thumb holes. On me, it reaches my wrists, which means I cannot utilize the thumb holes. But I don’t like thumb holes anyway so it’s a win win! I just ordered a second one in black :).

Warby Parker Glasses

Warby Parker Eugene Women’s Frames in Tea Rose Fade

Warby Parker Durand Women’s Frames in Rose Water

Totally not spons’d by Warby. I just love me a good purr of $95 glasses! My insurance covers the standard $150 frame allowance and if you have shopped at your local optometrist’s office you know – the frames start at like $300! The frames at Warby Parker are cute, the selection is great, and best of all – it is SO EASY. Portland has a Warby Parker location (lucky us!) and there are no appointments. Just walk in, try on frames to your heart’s delight and when you’re ready just let them know. Hand over your prescription, they take some quick measurements and you get the glasses like 7-10 days later in the mail. I LOVE THEM.

“Clara” Nameplate Necklace

It is no state secret that I am obsessed with my kid. I am one of THOSE people. And when I am not with her, I am a little sad. For my birthday, my husband had this necklace made for me from my FAVORITE local establishment, Roger and Ives (seriously if you’re in the Portland area you MUST check this place out).  I probably wear this necklace everyday. I love it so much. I love that David got it for me. It makes me feel like Clara is always with me. I am now tearing up.

Oster Cordless Electric Wine Opener

I hate to add yet another kitchen gadget to the ol’ counter top. And believe me, counter space at our house is highly coveted due to the lack of it. This little gent however, will always claim a spot. It is hands down, the wisest purchase I have ever made. It opens a bottle of wine in less than 10 seconds and takes ZERO effort. Both my sister and my mom now have one and it also comes with a very handy foil cutter. Do yourself a favor and spend the $17 on this.

Bath and Body Works Candles, Soaps and Wallflowers

My home may not be perfect. There are crumbs, floors that need sweeping and surfaces that need cleaning – but one thing I know for sure my home is NOT… smelly. I am big on smells. It is the first thing I notice when I walk into a space. And when I walk into mine, I want it to smell like there are cookies baking, or tulips blooming or tiny fairies that smell like Gain are prancing across the furniture. BBW is a pioneer in the home-fragrance department and if you don’t burn a Marshmallow Fireside candle during the holidays, is it even Christmas? FIGHT ME.

Some of my favorite scents from Bath and Body Works include OF COURSE Marshmallow Fireside, Tiki Beach, Summer Boardwalk, In the Stars and Pink Petal Teacake.

Those are the non-beauty favorites for now! It really was hard to think of items I love that are not somehow loosely beauty-related…because really, are those NOT the most life-changing?

 

Baby Faves – 1 Year Edition

The more you know, right?

Today I am here to report on our favorite things after one year in the books. But before I do that, please note that the first rule with babies is that there are no rules!  What works for some will not work for others. This includes but is not limited to sleeping, eating, drinking, nursing, not nursing, oksobasically – everything. Every human being has different needs and the human we are attempting to raise is no exception.

But here are the things that stick out in my mind that have made this journey, well, better.

  1. SwaddleDesigns Cozy zzZipMe Sack

These have (hands down) been our favorite sleep sacks. The Cozy zzZipMe Sack is perfect for winter, or if you like to crank the AC in the summer. SwaddleDesigns swaddles, sleep sacks and blankets come in ALL different kinds of fabrics from cotton to fleece. We have made these sleepsacks part of our “routine” for both naps and bedtime and I feel like when we slip her into it, she knows it’s time to go to sleep. I basically want one for myself.

2. Bek and Jet Vegan Leather Bib

These bibs are wipeable and waterproof, yet surprisingly soft for being made of pleather! I am no Vegan but I can appreciate that they are. I mean, does a baby need real leather? I think not. I love that this thing stays looks nice no matter how much we spill. I have brought it out to dinner a few times because it is our “classy” bib.

Clara gives it a thumb’s up too.

3. Skip Hop Playpen

We got this Skip Hop playpen second hand when we realized we needed a way to keep Clara away from the Christmas tree. Since then, it has stuck around and been an immense help with keeping her little paws away from stuff. As you can see below in the super high quality photo I took of Clara sitting in her toy box, it goes across the fireplace and bookshelf so she cant get up on the hearth. What I love about this baby gate in particular is that it is pretty transparent (you can see through it) and it isn’t completely unsightly. It actually goes fairly well with the colors in our living room! I also love that it can be a playpen or just a babygate, as the wall sections bend either way and can be removed so it can fit any space.

I should also shout out this PINK baby piano she got for her birthday (thanks Grandma and Grandpa!), She absolutely adores it.

The photo below is how we wrapped it around the Christmas tree. And also…

4. THIS TRIKE! (Little Tikes 4-in-1 Trike)

We won this at a silent auction and have taken her out for a spin a few times with GREAT success. The kid absolutely loves it. I cannot image the fun we are going to have when it isn’t drizzling 24-7. Here we are on a couple more adventures.

Hat tip to Auntie Megan for the matching hats.

5. MUSIC!

Trying to open the piano.

I realized early on, that this child LOVES and reacts very strongly to music. She loves something with a beat, but also sways her arms back and forth to slower stuff too. If you have been following this blog for the ALMOST DECADE that I have been writing (holy t*ts) you know that music is in my veins. I sincerely hope that love gets passed on to Clara. Here is a list of our favorite songs at the mome:

  • Mozart – Rondo alla Turca
  • Vivaldi – The Ring of Mystery (on Spotify)
  • Fitz and the Tantrums – Hand Clap
  • The Office Theme Song

And that’s the list!

I mean, we have a million other things that make life easier for us. But when I find myself getting caught up in making sure she has alllll the “right” things (age-appropriate mind-stimulating toys, cute all-natural cotton clothes, grass-fed antibiotic-free milk, etc. etc.) I try to take a sec to realize she already has everything she needs. Because she has US. *cue the violins*

Clara is ONE

WELL. It happened.

And I tried so hard you guys. I did everything in my power. And it still happened. I am not okay with this for the following reasons:

  1. The older she gets, the bigger she gets. And the bigger she gets, the less she will let me hold her. And ALL I want to do is be able to hold her forever. Luckily, I am a pretty big lady so fingers crossed she will let me.
  2. Also, the older she gets, the less it is acceptable for me to bite her thighs, kiss the bottoms of her feet and nuzzle my entire face into her neck to the point where she is upset at me.
  3. Basically there is nothing good about her getting older.

On the day of her actual birth, we had a low-key family day.

I started it off with a rather dramatic cry. It just came out of me. Probably didn’t help that I listened to “Goodnight my Angel” by Billy Joel while I gave her a bottle.

Then I took her 1-year pictures in the chair and she was being so cute and funny.

Then, we got ready for her birthday outing! An afternoon at the Wiggle Room (a softplay center for babies).

Thanks to Auntie Meg for the matching hats!

And the next day, we threw her a birthday party. We did a Nutcracker/Land of Sweets theme and boy did Nancy go to town on the decorations! Clara is pretty lucky to have a Nana like her.

So adorable, yes?

I made her smash cake, which never got smashed.

I even bought an organic cake mix and used this bougie canned frosting that was like $6.99.

I am such a good mom, I know.

Clara Jane was just the sweetest she could be.

It was the best time ever.

We love this human so much. She has completely changed our lives and spreads the love where ever she goes. Happy birthday to our CJ!

Family Photos

WARNING! These were taken approximately 390834 months ago (or in early June) and therefore warrant the following disclaimers.

Disclaimer 1: I did not get my hair done prior to these photos.  I did have a haircut, but the color is REAL ROUGH. I know it’s bad and I’m sorry.

Disclaimer 2: The state of my hair is due to childbirth. If you are unaware, having a baby can cause hair loss. If you would like to know more or see additional unsightly photos, read this post.

I realize the first two disclaimers are about my hair. Believe me, there’s a reason.

Disclaimer 3: I did not look at this dress in a full, body-length mirror before these photos were taken. If I had, I would NOT have opted to wear an ill-fitting, unflattering garment simply because it was a nice brand in a nice color from the Rack for $14. Also, you cannot tell in the photos but it was stained AF. I made a poor, poor choice.

Disclaimer 4: I did not come prepared for these pictures. I did not bring a blanket, or any props or really anything at all.

Disclaimer 5: C and E’s outfits are just mehhhh. I chalk this up to my rampant indecisiveness that is a horrid symptom of my PPA. It came down to the wire on what they would wear and I just could not make up my mind for the LIFE OF ME.

OK, now that those are outta the way…feast your eyes!

Also, major hat tip to Liz Wade our photographer who was amazing, SO easy to work with, patient and talented.

After having lived through this experience (it was touch and go), I can now feel justified in offering up the following advice:

  1. Bring a GD blanket. Esp if you are taking outdoor photos.
  2. Before the photos, take care ‘ya business. Hair most notably.
  3. Dress up. This ones a personal pref, but I think photos look 823873 times better in more dressy clothing.
  4. Floppy sun hats are a YES for the littles.
  5. If your baby is still too young to sit up on her own, you best bring something to prop her up with! Or get yerself a GREAT photog like we did that can Photoshop out your hand that was holding the baby up (see pic of Clara sitting up as evidence, baby girl was being held up by David’s hand in this pic!)

Ghouls, Girls Trips and Great Times

Oh yes I did!

How about that title eh? Prrretty good.

If I did not use this kind of  title, I would have been forced to go with the truth, which is…I Work Full Time and Have a Baby! Or, I’d Rather Lay in Bed and Watch YouTube Videos than Write a Blog Post!

To anyone out there who works, has a family AND manages to do even a sub-par job at a hobby – GOOD FOR YOU. This sh*t is hard. Now I know why people  who used to have blogs or YouTube channels, or hobbies no longer keep them up…they had a kid haha.

I refuse to let this happen to me because –

  1. It is really important to me. I love writing and this is my self-care time. My therapist along with many Pinterest boards tell me this is okay.
  2. My family and I can look back at this stuff years from now. And that will be cool.
  3. When people tell me they read my blog, it makes me feel good. HONESTY!

So let’s start with Halloweenis. I had real high hopes of being one of those people who has her act together and organizes a cute family costume. Noooope. Didn’t happen.  I did manage to nab Clara something for $3 at Goodwill (which is the amount everyone with a baby should have to spend on a Halloween costume they will wear for approx .342 seconds). And since E stans hard for the Descendants, she was Uma. I don’t really understand the Descendants thing. I am hoping she discovers the glory that is High School Musical.

David and I did manage to make it out of the house for this annual Halloween party we are lucky enough to attend at our friend’s house. It is literally the highlight of our YEAR, this party. In years past, we always dress up as something funny or weird and I never look cute.

EXHIBIT A

So this year, David had one request…”Can you NOT look ugly for Halloween?” HAAhaaaaa.

So we decided to go as Hef and a Playboy bunny due to a long-standing obsession I have with the show The Girls Next Door.

I have to admit that I really loved getting all gussied up in this costume. I had on fake lashes, fake tan and fake hair meaning I felt wonderful about myself. David got a genuwine Playboy robe from Hollywood Vintage and I LOVE IT.

In early November, David, Clara and I ventured north to Seattle for a much needed girls weekend with my BFFs. I did a terrible job of capturing the memz, but I did manage a few.

The whole month of November was just wonderful. The leaves turned colors and we did lots of fun things, such as:

A fancy dinner out at Higgins with our trusty sidekick.

Getting some winter boots.

Visits from Nana.

Trips to Red Robin.

Christmas shopping (in shorts).

And putting up our tree in our new sugarplum fairy jammies.

We also had a lovely weekend visit with Auntie Amy!! We went to the zoo and had theee best time ever despite the fact it was frigid.

We were both not feelin’ a selfie so I snapped this photo for proof of life and also a perfect shot of my snaggle.

Clara was feelin the elephant exhibit.

An amazing couple of months we had! Now it’s time to await the 15 things I bought on Cyber Monday that were in fact, not good deals.

Laneige Kiss Me at Midnight Set Review

Good day sugar cookies!

And happy November. I feel that every person falls into one of two different camps this time of year. Those that scoff at the idea of Christmas decorations going up days after Halloween, and those who relish it. I consider myself more a relisher but also a realist. I am not dragging the holiday totes down just yet but gimme a week or two and don’t you worry I’LL BE THERE.

But no matter which camp you fall in, there is no doubting that the holidays are quickly approaching and I find it only apropos to blog about a sweet lil holiday set I have been digging.

This would be the Laneige Kiss Me at Midnight set from Sephora.

I knew I needed to try the Sleeping Mask after my sister and so many others have raved about it. You see, this time of year my lips just take a beating. My husband buys Carmex (in the tub not the tube) in bulk and swears by it, but I am not a fan.

So when I saw this little set come out for the holidays I knew I wanted to get it. It contains:

  • A full size Lip Sleeping Mask in Berry
  • Two smaller (.10 oz) Lip Sleeping Masks in Mint Choco and Sweet Candy

The set retails for $28 which I thought was a good deal, as the full size retails for $20 on it’s own. I realize paying an additional $8 for the two smaller sizes might feel unnecessary but when I saw the flaves I knew I had to try. Even so, $28 for chapstick?  Yeah, it’s a little extra. Esp considering the fact that I do not exactly have voluptuous lips.

So what’s the verdict?

It is a great lip product. Is it earth-shattering and awe-inspiring? No. It hydrates and feels very nice on the lips. I like the Sweet Candy scent the best (go fig) and kinda wish I would have just bought the full size of that scent for $20 but whatevs. It will be nice to have the extras to keep at work and in a purse. Overall,  if you have super dry lips and an extra $20 bucks lying around, go get you some!