Don’t Worry, This Isn’t 800 Words About My Hair or Something

It has taken me 7+ years of blogging to recognize that one of the causes of writer’s* block – for me – is having lots of little mini-posts created in the shower or during my commute home just sort of…sitting in my brain.  So while I think my bulleted lists are sort of a cop out, they also seem to serve a larger purpose of clearing the way for something more entertaining (hopefully) so let’s give this a whirl, shall we?  (GOD, CHRISTEN STOP WRITING ABOUT WRITING AND JUST WRITE ALREADY.)

  • Like everyone else in your mom’s book club, I recently finished The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I have to say that unlike a lot of organizational books, it’s a pretty easy and practical way to approach paring down your belongings.  Instead of demanding you toss anything you haven’t touched in a certain arbitrary time period, she asks that you simply assess whether the item in question “sparks joy.”  If yes, it stays.  If not, it goes.  No shaming around the quality or price or obligation surrounding the item.  I do think part of the success is due to the fact that I’m constantly shrieking, “DOES THIS SPARK JOY?” at Ed, who is bound to grow tired of these shenanigans soon, leave me, and take all of his stuff with him.  Hey look!  Now my place is half-empty.  MAGIC, INDEED!  #KonMari
  • My mom is on assignment in Omaha, Nebraska for the next six-ish months and as someone who hates humidity, being cold, and steak she’s not doing too hot right now.  Her company will pay to fly me out to see her so we’re looking at dates for me to hang out and hopefully I can help ease some of her homesickness.  If anyone out there has any ideas of fun stuff to do in Omaha (more like OmaHA! amirite?) please tell me because so far our plans include watching movies and wandering around her local Target.
  • Over the weekend we were driving through our neighborhood and Ed spotted a guy trying to get in front of us in traffic.  “Don’t you dare pull out,” he said.  Me, without skipping a beat: “That’s not what your mom said last night.”  He remained silent and continued driving.  I think this exchange sums up our marriage perfectly.
  • I’m wearing white pants today and ate lunch that included a red sauce without spilling on myself and seriously I might actually be invincible.
  • Despite all evidence to the contrary in terms of my actual behavior, I am apparently at an age where anyone younger than I am assumes that I know what I’m doing and asks my advice.  Sometimes this is career-related but usually it’s of a more personal nature.  This has got to be highly amusing to anyone who knew me from 1992 until, oh, today because I’m hardly the poster child for some sort of “If you do ABC then you’re guaranteed success” type of formula.  But maybe that’s the genius here: if I came out the other side happy, healthy, and relatively unscathed despite the stupid decisions I made, you can too?  Maybe I’ll write a book about this: Dare to Wear White Pants While Eating Red Foods. Best-seller list, here I come!

OK, I feel better now.  I’m sure you do, too.

*I am by no means putting myself in the category of a “writer” but “blogger’s block” sounds dumb.


Over 700 Words About My Skin

Hey, you know what we haven’t had around here in awhile?  A good, old-fashioned rundown of what I’m putting on my face only to wash said things down the drain 12 hours later!  Who’s with me?

*Usual Disclaimer: I am not being compensated in any way and everything has been purchased with my own money. I am not an expert but merely a woman with an opinion and an Internet connection. Use anything here at your own risk, don’t sue me, etc.

A little background: my skin/complexion has always been My Thing.  A combination of good genes and near-obsessive application of sunscreen and anti-aging creams since I was in high school meant that for all of my dorky awkwardness I at least had “good skin” going for me.  Fast-forward to my 30’s. Thanks to months of popping Clomid like Skittles with a chaser of progesterone (natural AND synthetic because variety keeps life interesting, you know?) my skin lost its fucking mind.  Chin acne, rashes, dry patches, and – at the all-time high point of sexiness – my skin actually started splitting apart.  Admit it: you’re turned on right now.  Luckily it started to slowly sort itself out again once I stopped pumping myself full of hormones, and the situation downgraded slightly from “I’m Not Leaving the House” to “This…Isn’t Great, but I Need to Go to Work.”  During the peak of Skinaggedon, I had started slathering my face and neck with anything and everything I could get my hands on.  Not the smartest move, but desperation rarely leads to good choices in my life.

Once everything had somewhat normalized I had a realization: if I wanted to look like I did when I was 16 (minus the oversized flannel and look of disdain for anyone over the age of 25) I should start using what worked way back then and simplify instead of piling on everything that came in that month’s Birchbox and hoping for the best.

So now my morning routine is as follows:

  • Cetaphil: An old favorite since I was 12, probably?  Gentle and cleans well and I can get a huge bottle at Target for $9 and it lasts foreverrrrrr.
  • Purpose Moisturizer, SPF 15: Another product OG that can be purchased at any drugstore. Yes, please!
  • 100% Pure Eye Cream: A fairly recent addition to my all-star line up and I’m digging it.  Seems like anything that smells like coffee would have to be great, right?  Yes.

I was feeling much better and had my makeup done for a friend’s wedding.  The 25 year-old who was matching my foundation told me that I had “skin like butter” so I guess my plan worked.

In an exciting twist I’ve added some new items to my evening routine and my skin has actually gotten better.  Oh, you want to hear more?  WELL OK THEN.

  • Ole Henriksen Pure Truth Melting Cleanser: I was skeptical of the claims that this melts your makeup off so thoroughly but this shit is no joke.  It also includes Vitamin C so I can skip serum and my skin doesn’t feel stripped and dry.  Sold!
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Face Cream: Somehow a sample of this made its way to me (I honestly cannot remember from where – Sephora? Birchbox? My mom just randomly gave me something?) and I was hooked immediately.  Downside: no sunscreen.  But!  That makes it perfect for nighttime and it smells so nice but without an actual scent, if that makes any sense?  Sort of like how I imagine a rich person’s bedroom would smell.
  • Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant: So here’s a youthful habit I have thankfully ditched: scrubbing the ever-loving hell out of my face with the harshest thing I can find. I think we can all agree I’m lucky that ranks among my dumber moments, right?  Anyway, you mix this powdery scrub with water and rub it all over your face and rinse and oh hey your face isn’t bright red.  Apparently your face shouldn’t look like you took a belt sander to it after exfoliating.  Live and learn.

I know “low maintenance” is probably not what you think after reading that list but this is pared way, way down from what was going on at the height of my (totally not a) crisis.  Which, in retrospect, was probably not helping anything but throwing money at problems is my jam, apparently.  Next time I’ll try throwing common sense at them, but don’t hold your breath.

*ETA: I somehow forgot a product: Dermalogica’s Ultra Calming Mist.  I apply it before moisturizing morning and night.  It adds another layer of moisture and sometimes when my skin is a little irritated I spritz it throughout the day and it seems to keep itchiness at bay.