Blogtober Day 18: Cold Weather Body Care

Blogtober

The seasons have changed, fall might be over already. We had a very crisp high of 32 degrees today & are looking at 4-inches of snow this Tuesday. I know that Halloween is a toss up on whether or not we’re still having mild weather or a foot of snow on the ground but I’m not sure I’m ready! Good thing I work from home on Tuesdays because I cannot with these city slickers driving on bad roads. The air has been dry for awhile now which is torture for my already dry, eczema prone skin & I’ve already switched my body care routine. I’m trying some new things this year that are more luxurious than my usual Cerave & am really pleased with the results so far!

Shea Moisture is an awesome brand and has been for awhile. They were some of the first to offer products specifically for curly, coily, kinky natural hair. All of their ingredients are ethically sourced, fair trade & they are cruelty free. Over the years, they’ve expanded to body & skin care – I have been using their coconut oil line & am obsessed. Here’s my routine for soft, clear skin!

Cleanse & Exfoliate: to start, I’ve been using the Daily Hydration Body Wash that is absolutely delicious. It’s sudsy, smells amazing & cleans my skin without making it feel dry or tight. I haven’t had any issues with breakouts or skin flare ups since switching which is rare for my overly sensitive skin. It leaves my skin sweetly scented & nourished.

Next, as unpleasant as exfoliating dry skin sounds, I find that regularly sloughing off the dead skin really improves the overall appearance of my skin. The Daily Hydration Creme Sugar Scrub is just the right amount of grittiness & since it’s sugar, it just dissolves as you work it in. It’s a very hydrating body scrub, I use it all over & it makes my skin sparkle.

Moisturize: I have severely dry skin, I use an oil on particularly dry areas & then seal it in with an occlusive moisturizer. Shea Moisture offers a few lightweight, nourishing body oils but of course I went for the coconut. I have to mention that the coconut line smells like real coconut, very nutty & not that synthetic coconut that some might expect. Everything smells great but it might be a bit different than what some might be anticipating. Generally, a palm full is plenty for the areas I need extra moisture. I then work the Daily Hydration Body Lotion in all over my body. This stuff is thick, I don’t love the packaging & think it would work better in a tub. I put the bottle on my shower floor so the hot water can soften it up then it’s a bit easier to dispense. It doesn’t take terribly long to work in given the thick consistency & doesn’t feel greasy. This lotion keeps my skin comfortably hydrated all day & then some.

Shea Moisture can be purchased at ULTA, Target & on their website! They’re products are affordable & high quality. I cannot recommend them enough if you’re looking for something new.

Let me know what you’re go-to winter skin picks are. Have you tried anything from Shea Moisture? Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿงก๐Ÿ–ค

At Summer’s End

Life & Style

Last weekend we were in the throes of a sticky, stagnant, intense mid-west heat wave. You could have not convinced me that this week we would be seeing lows in the 50’s. Summer is tricky like that, when you are in the middle of it, there is no end in sight but then all at once, the wind shifts and it’s over. I’ve never been a summer person, not having a great home life meant spending a lot more time in a chaotic atmosphere. Fall was always a fresh new beginning for me, an opportunity to throw myself back into sports and academics and finding peace away from home. As an adult, I find things to appreciate about summer but I am definitely more in my element in the fall and winter – thus my attempt to jump back into blogging. My last post was some time in May, here is what’s been happening since then…

Has been absolutely bananas, and yes I am tremendously thankful that I still have a job. I work in Parks & Recreation, we had a lot of programs cancelled but the parks, trails and lakes have never been busier. I was also assisting another department for the majority of the summer and felt like I never had a breather. Working in the public sector, you get to hear everyone’s opinion on how the government mandates are pissing people off. People are either shocked that there are restrictions or shocked that there aren’t more – you can’t win. Thankfully, we are back in the office fifty percent of the time and it feels more normal. I don’t know what the cooler weather will bring but we are adapting every day.

Cup of tea at the office…

I have been so homesick lately that I could cry & often do. I want to move back to Colorado now more than ever but can’t make that happen without finding a job there first. Since I am stuck in Minnesota for now, I decided to make my place feel a little homier. I live in an apartment so nothing crazy – finally purchased a new couch! It only took me ten years and a sale to do it. It’s pink velvet, long enough to lay stretched out on with room to spare. I also discovered Casaluna bedding from Target which is absolutely to die for and invested in some funky wall art. My apartment feels delightfully eclectic & I’m really into it. I won’t talk in length about all of the factors that are making me want to leave Minnesota but the destruction of Minneapolis is definitely one of them. I used to live right near the 3rd Precinct and seeing the colorful, vibrant, diverse community reduced to rubble is heartbreaking and makes me angry.

Was a complete and total failure! No sooner had I arranged everything on my patio, we found out that numerous improvements to the outside of the building were being made this summer. We had a new roof put on, new siding, the patios were all power washed, reslatted and repainted. I moved my garden inside but since I only have windows on the one side of my apartment, most everything died within a couple of weeks & everything smelled like manure. The building looks great and now that everything is done, the patio will be used a lot this fall but what a bummer! Good thing I can still visit the farmers markets for my fresh veggie fix.

Pluto enjoying the new bedding…

After almost 6 months of not being on my MS medication due to COVID, some of my every day activities like driving and walking have gotten a bit tricky. My MS has the most impact to balance and fine motor skills & it’s certainly been disappointing to see things deteriorate. I will be resuming my treatment in the next few weeks because at this point, COVID is the lesser threat. I’m excited to get back into it since I was seeing such good results this past winter with the more severe symptoms. I hope that everyone has been able to stay healthy! If there’s been any silver lining to being at home more, I finally feel like I caught up on sleep ๐Ÿ˜› Did anyone else find it hard to sleep at the start of all of this? I don’t think I got to bed before 2 AM since early June so am glad to have found a normal sleep pattern.

I hope that you are happy & healthy & just doing the best that you can wherever you are. I am excited to get back into blogging and posting lots of fall content. This year being almost at an end is hard to believe but I am hopeful for the future. Let me know what you’ve been up to and how this summer has been treating you ๐Ÿ–ค

Trash Talk & Some Products I’m Getting Rid Of

Clean Beauty, Random

Another beautiful spring day, we’ve really been treated to fantastic weather lately. I’ve been enjoying the deck a lot, getting my urban garden off the ground – update to come. I don’t know if nature is just thriving with humans being in lockdown but has anyone else noticed some monster bees where they are? I appreciate the bees but I’m also allergic to them & they just seem massive this year. I’m excited that they are interested in my plants though, I hope this means that my garden will be a success. I’m still cleaning, organizing & reorganizing because what else is there to do?! I’ve got just a handful of empties & a few things I’m tossing because I don’t like them.

Sol de Janeiro Bum Bum Cream – There’s still a good blob to use up but almost there. I hate that I love this stuff but there are few creams this rich that don’t feel greasy. It smells like summer but in a refined, sultry way. I’m not repurchasing as it does seem overpriced & I have a LUSH body cream that I need to use up.

Pyunkang Yul Acne Patches – these were pretty good, I like how thin they were. Not terribly expensive & very effective at helping treat red spots.

CeraVe Eye Repair Cream – I like this stuff a lot & almost always have some on hand. It’s a simple cream that just hydrates but I think that ensuring the undereye area is properly hydrated can help with the appearance of fine lines and dark circles. It’s not very expensive but is decently effective.

Tula Eye Renewal Serum – I wasn’t crazy about this product. I like the consistency but I didn’t notice any change to the puffiness of my undereyes. I also think that it irritated my skin a bit. It’s overpriced at $52 for .5 ounces, especially as it did nothing for me.

Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum – I felt like there was a good reason that I never bought into the hype around this product. This is a deluxe sample & there’s nothing special about this serum. I’m about halfway done with it, I haven’t noticed any changes in my skin texture. It feels nice but so does plain hyaluronic acid.

Charlotte Tilbury Magic Foundation – I’ve fallen out of love with this brand almost completely. I’ve used a lot of her products & while they’re good, I just don’t think that they’re magic or worth the price tag. I think you need to have really good skin & attractive features already to use her products successfully. Which makes sense as she is a celebrity makeup artist. This foundation is just a caky, clumpy, pore accentuating mess. I do enjoy the Magic Cream but the makeup just isn’t for me.

Good Molecules Priming Moisturizer – Actually a nice, lightweight moisturizer that does prep the skin for makeup but it broke me out! It’s almost 3/4 full & I’d love to pass it on but think those days are over in light of Corona.

Some keepers, some duds but they all can’t be winners. I hope you’re having a beautiful day & just doing the best you can ๐Ÿ’›

 

How About a Ghost Story…

Random

I’ve had the most difficult time trying to stick to a sleep schedule. I’m going to be wrecked when we go back to work. Living alone & staying up well into the twilight hours gives me the creeps, I don’t know why I keep doing it. It’s especially creepy when you think you’re being haunted. I’ve mentioned my elderly neighbor who passed away before but things have still been weird & since I can’t sleep, I’ll creep you out too ๐Ÿ˜‰

Going on two years ago, my elderly neighbor passed away in her apartment & wasn’t found for awhile. Our kitchen & living rooms are on the same wall, I never heard her much anyway so sadly, I didn’t notice that she had died. I did run into her often, she was always pushing this metal cart filled with coloring books, children’s books & other goodies that any grandma would have on hand for her grandkids. She would always say that she was off to see her grandkids or that they were coming over – she was a genuinely sweet old lady. I did notice her absence but figured that she was on an extended visit with the grandkids. Then one day, my kitchen just started to feel off. I’ve shared photos of my kitchen before, it’s bright & cheery, filled with colorful decor but it started to get this dank feeling I couldn’t shake. It was late fall, I chalked it up to rain and started burning candles and baking to make it feel cozy again but nothing worked. Now, I had an acupuncturist tell me years ago that I was an empath. How he knew this, I have no idea. Do I believe it, no idea but a few days into my kitchen feeling weird, I got sick. I never sleep in my bed when I’m sick & prefer to lay on the couch. Typically, my cats sleep wherever I am but I noticed that they were sticking to the back rooms of my apartment which started to give me the willies. I was home sick for five days over a weekend, on two nights I woke to my stove’s overhead light being on. My couch faces my stove, it’s incredibly unlikely that I would have left it on then laid down but figured I was just out of it from being sick. This entire time, my neighbor was the last thing on my mind but had I been paying attention, I would have realized that her apartment had been dead silent for nearly two weeks.

Fast forward a few days later, I’m finally back at work feeling fatigued but otherwise well enough. I’m pulling into my apartment complex & the coroner is parked outside. I felt like everything was suddenly slow motion, my breath caught & I knew immediately my neighbor had died. I stopped by the office to check in with the building manager. She had been sitting in her rocker, in her living room for just under three weeks. I was sleeping in my living, basically right next to her for at least four nights. He said that he started to worry when she hadn’t been to the office to chat with him & was the one to discover her. It was all around just really tragic.

Eventually he started to clean & renovate her apartment as she had lived there for going on ten years. However, I noticed that the unit sat vacant for quite some time. When I asked the building manager if he was struggling to find a tenant, he said that he wasn’t able to locate any relatives so her stuff was still in the apartment. I was shocked, when I mentioned her grandkids he said that she didn’t have any family that he knew of. I’ve never figured out if she was lying or if she was struggling with dementia. I used to work in memory care & didn’t notice any signs that she wasn’t completely lucid. Maybe she just didn’t want people to feel sorry for her, I dunno. At any rate, weird things kept happening while the unit sat empty. My stove light would be on when I’d get home, the cats still wouldn’t hang out in the living room & had taken to staring at my front door at 3 am. I’d inexplicably be awake & find them all crowded near the front door night after night. Sometimes I stay in bed, refusing to look at the time because I know what time it is & where the cats are . The kitchen still feels off & I almost never sit out in the living room.

Finally, my building manager let me know that the unit was being rented but only as of this February. He said most of her stuff had been donated, no family ever responded to the public notices he had published. I was relieved, it would be nice to hear some movement in there, I thought it would help the atmosphere of my apartment as well. Sadly, it hasn’t & my kitchen still feels gloomy, the living room a bit sad & so completely silent. If it weren’t for running into the new gal a few times, I’d assume that there’s nobody over there.

I don’t think she’s malicious but maybe a bit bitter that nobody noticed her absence. I get a tingly sensation when I turn my back to the living room wall & scoot down the hall to my bedroom. I wholeheartedly believe that she’s still here, pushing her cart of children’s goodies up & down the hallway.

๐Ÿ–ค

Weekend Whirlwind

Blogoween

Let’s start with Friday because that is where the madness began. If you didn’t know Tati released a palette, I was going back and forth on whether or not I wanted the palette. If you haven’t seen the palette, it’s all neutrals in different finishes which I think is a very cool idea because I primarily wear neutrals and love a monochromatic look. They are easy, I’m usually just doing my makeup for work and I don’t often wear color. So, 12 PM rolls around and I was still on the fence. I ate my lunch, listened to some of my book and then took to Twitter to see how the launch was going. I figured that if it sold out immediately, then I didn’t need it. Well, it did sell out but not right away and I ended up ordering one when I got home that night. I’m really interested to see what the formula is like and if I enjoy it well-enough, I think it will be time to throw out my Violet Voss Holy Grail Palette which is several years old. Expiration date, who? I did not need another palette, after getting rid of 3/4 of my makeup collection, I still have about a dozen or so but I’m happy that my purchase contributed to her sell out!

Friday night, I had a Halloween party, it’s the only bash that I attend as my friend has been hosting it since college and it’s basically a lifetime commitment. I’m not feeling super Halloween’y this year, I just tossed on some green eyeshadow and an old witch costume. I usually get put to work anyway so it’s not like anyone cares what I’m wearing. The bash was fun, I don’t drink socially so when people started getting real blitzed, I snuck out. I also had to work early Saturday morning at ULTA, we unpacked so much product for the holiday – it was nuts! I cannot believe all of the sets and holiday kits that are coming out. I don’t know if I will be purchasing anything, you just never know what you’re gonna get with holiday releases. We had to be in full Halloween makeup since the store was open for a couple of hours while we were still working. I had to work that night for my day job’s Halloween event so went home, scrubbed my face and tried to sneak in a nap. The nap did not happen because my neighbors who are being evicted this week after they had a huge domestic incident (really tragic) are deciding to be assholes to all of the neighbors who spoke with the police by blasting music, banging, slamming doors, etc. Friday is their last day, we only have to make it to Friday. It’s wearing on everyone, most of the neighbors are on really good terms and we’re just burnt out on these people’s bullshit. Anyway, so I watched a movie and did some laundry then got in full makeup for the night. I had to sneak out since the asshole neighbors have also taken to accosting people in the hallway. You’d think that I live in a trap house, I don’t.

Saturday night was non-stop, it started with me picking up two 15-gallon bags of popcorn. You wouldn’t think popcorn would weigh very much but you’d be surprised. Also, if you drive a small car like myself, it isn’t going to fit in your trunk. After a moment’s panic thinking that I would have to secure the bags to the roof, I pushed my front seats forward as far as I could and peeled out. The event was fun but long and there were lots of sticky kids. Being Minnesota, it was pretty brisk but at least we didn’t get rained on. Then it was home for the evening, removing my face yet again and trying to sleep before my 7 AM shift at ULTA on Sunday. I have to say that my face was unhappy after three makeup changes in less than 24 hours, it was red and dry from the windy evening too.

Sunday was fun, we got to put out most of the holiday goodies that had been unpacked the day before. ULTA is almost totally decked out for the holidays, it does seem a bit early but the sheer volume of product that comes in kind of forces retailers to start phasing it out. I’m not ready for Christmas carols or snow but it is fun to see all of the sparkly packages and winter-themed displays. I then treated myself to some Taco John’s potato oles, my favorite cheat food and took a 10-hour nap. Today I overslept but still got work on time and think I’m sick which makes a lot of sense after a weekend of junk food and no sleep. I’m over Halloween *gasp* and will probably put out the Christmas stuff this weekend ๐Ÿ˜ Did you go to any Halloween events this year? I am looking forward to trick or treaters but I’m tapped out otherwise.

๐Ÿ–ค

It’s the Little Things

Life

Ahhhh, I feel like I am becoming one of those pathetic people who just moan about everything. When really, I don’t have a lot to complain about in life, I’m a generally a content person honestly. I think this will be one of very few for instances that I mention this, I don’t want sympathy – I feel sorry enough for myself already (kidding) but I did want to share where I’ve been.

I mentioned in a few blogs back before my absence that I was being screened for MS, again because I’ve been having some issues. I had an MRI and full screening 10’ish years ago but MS was ruled out, this time around, I wasn’t so lucky. I’m disappointed but not surprised, there’s been too many little things adding up over time and I just had this sinking feeling. 10 years ago, I thought my doctor was nuts but this time I knew. MS is a disease that is seemingly different for everyone who has it or so I can tell. It’s a disease that impacts the central nervous system and disrupts the communication between your brain and muscles. For me it’s cloudy vision when I get tired, always being tired, holding a cup of coffee one minute and then dumping it all over myself the next, not being able to grip my steering wheel, crying when my tire pressure warning comes on because I know I can’t get those stupid little valve covers off by myself. It’s anger and resentment and what the fuck is karma because I feel like I am a pretty good person who just got served the biggest shit sandwich of her lifetime. It’s a lot of unknowns at this point, will it get worse or could this be the worst that my symptoms get? It’s knowing that I could do everything exactly right to treat it and still get fucked. For now, I am trying some acupuncture and am on a beta interferon which is supposed to reduce symptoms. I’m lucky in that I don’t have any pain, I experience numbness and weakness more than anything.

At this point, I am just going to keep on living my life and try not to cry over spilt milk (literally since I’m spilling everything at this point). I’m not going to start joining advocacy groups or running 5k’s to raise awareness, because I am selfish and a little vain and don’t really want people in my life to perceive me as being different. I’m not going to share much about it, I don’t think that would be helpful because for the last month I have been reading everything I can on the disease and not getting any answers. Like I said, it’s so different for each person, there’s just no way of knowing what to expect.

Two sad, whiny blogs to get back into blogging ๐Ÿ˜› I plan to get back to some regularly scheduled content sooner than later.

๐Ÿ–ค