Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Beauty Favorites / February

I cannot lie. Winter 2015 has been no friend of mine (other than that crazy, dreamlike week abroad that seems like it happened ten years ago already.) I was all set to write a long post detailing all the things that have made January and February miserable, but then decided last minute to write a post about a few of the things that have made these months more bearable - because negativity won't make spring come any faster, can I get an amen? 

I have spent the majority of the last two months in pajamas, stuck in the house wiping my babies' noses and bottoms. I think I have been out of my house maybe three times since getting back from our trip? So there isn't too much to write about this month in this department...

When I have considered the vain topic of beauty-related-things this month (and it has not been often enough, sorry to anyone unfortunate enough to have seen me out and about at Meijer in my unshowered, zombie like state,) it has been mostly to think about keeping my skin feeling hydrated and healthy. 

Coconut oil - organic, EV coconut oil is my by-all, save-all, fixes all, magic potion product. (All the hype is legit guys - don't knock it until you've tried it! It's really not as scary and greasy as it may sound!) I have started washing my face at night with coconut oil instead of my usual Cetaphil/moisturizer combo. I was scared to death I was going to be in for a bout of acne, but so far so great! The coconut oil is so good for taking off makeup, and after rinsed with warm water it leaves my face feeling so soft. When I wake up in the morning it still looks hydrated. I may never use soap again!
I've also started using the coconut oil in the shower on my legs, knees, elbows and shoulders as a moisturizer (this is my normal summer routine, but I'm starting early this year because...why not?) Not only does it leave my skin feeling baby soft, but the oil smells like summer and it's just a nice way to remember that winter won't last forever.

Rose Water - In the mornings, I'm using 100% Moroccan rose water as a toner. It smells SO GOOD! It's like splashing perfume on your face, except it makes your skin feel clean and refreshed and just really great. Speaking of perfume...

Perfume! - Sometimes, even if you look and feel like crap, a little perfume can remind you that you are actually still a 28 year old woman. This will be something I shall write in my future "20 Life Lessons I Learned in My 20s" post. (Kidding!) I picked up this tiny bottle from Anthropologie months ago and the love affair is still going strong. (Royal Apothecary's "Noble Carnation.")

Maybelline Brow Drama Brow Mascara in Soft Brown - My obsessive concern over eyebrows continues, and I've moved into the scary world of eyebrow mascaras (seriously, who ever heard of such a thing?) It's actually not as scary as I hoped thought, and this is a much easier can't-mess-up ways of defining and taming eyebrows than the pencil route in my opinion.

Honorable mentions: I decided to give up alllll the sugar for 40 days, and I'm proud to say it's been a week now and I'm still alive. This is my fifth time I think going on an extended sugar fast, and while it's definitely never easy, there seems to be less drama around it each time I do it, which is nice to realize. Don't believe for a second that there haven't been a looot of feelings this month that I would have loved to drown in Ben and Jerry's and Reeses Pieces. The struggle has been real. The loss of bloating and headaches have (kiiind of) made it worth while so far, though.

Also, I've been trying the lemon-water-every-morning thing that seems so popular right now, and while I haven't noticed anything life changing as of yet, I have wondered if it's helped with the sugar cravings that are usually so bad the first week of giving up sugar. And it's a rather pleasant way to start the day, so I'll keep it up.

Anybody reading this have any winter-redeeming, life-changing health/beauty products that they've discovered recently? Is so, let me know!

Friday, February 20, 2015

To London!

Oh hi!

I've been pushing blogging to the back burner of my brain and letting the good intentions just boil over. Blah. Jet lag is real, and is made worse by adorable children who simply refuse to sleep longer than 5:30am. But! I think we are finally getting back into a normal-ish rhythm since getting home from the UK/Europe so I'm going to try to make journaling here a more regular part of my weekly agenda again. So many things I want to share and jot down for my own memory's sake. Where to start? Perhaps the flight?

I thought I would be nervous flying across the ocean for the first time, but it was so much fun. (Though, I should note - after a month of being stuck in the house in the middle of Michigan's winter, tending to sick, miserable children who had every bug and flu around during the month of January, solitary confinement would have been fun to me - just saying!) I had never been on such a big plane before. The novelty of in flight meals and tv/movie choices kept me too entertained to sleep much. It was so exciting watching the GPS chart the plane's location as we flew by Iceland and Ireland. 

I felt the need to selfie-document my first moments in the UK - complete with UK toilet!
(Oops. I always forget to shut the stall door when selfie-ing in a restroom, because I'm that cool.)

This is super corny, but I had a real "moment" as soon as I stepped into Heathrow airport. I literally closed my eyes and let it sink in "I'm out the U.S. - I'm standing in London!" Traveling outside the U.S. was a dream come true for me, one I never thought would happen during this time of life. It felt really, really surreal. 

Ok, then I opened my eyes and tried to pretend I was cool and knew what I was doing. 

Excited to ride the Tube and mind those gaps!

Crossing the Millennial Bridge to St. Paul's Cathedral for church.

It was about 9a.m. once we actually got to our hotel. Too early to check in, they let us leave our bags there and we headed out to explore. We ended up walking across the Thames to St. Paul's cathedral and randomly decided to pop in for Sunday services! We weren't allowed to take pictures inside the cathedral (which was awe inspiring - so beautiful,) but I'll keep those memories for the rest of my life. It was a cheerful, sunny service complete with a very talented boys choir (some of them were so little!) 

The rest of the day was a bit of a blur. Matt and I went out with one of his co-workers for a really good Indian lunch, and then we took the Tube up to Trafalgar Square and popped into the National Gallery. (I'm so glad we did this the first day, because a couple of days later when I went back the museum workers were on strike and most of the galleries were closed.)


...Van Gogh!

Trafalagar Square was bustling and colorful and majestic. If it wasn't so cold, I would have loved to sit on a step and just people watch all evening.

But it was really cold, and I was tired and ended up going to bed pretty early while Matt went out with his co workers for dinner and drinks. 

Going to sleep in London! With funky pink lights in our hotel room! 

More soon!