Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Musings - December 2019

December kicked off in the jungle! Seriously. Part of our fantastic trip to Belize. (More soon on that.)

Books: While we were on vacation, I read up a couple of books.  One good. One laugh out loud funny. The other super bad. 
- 1000 White Women: The Journals of Mary Dodd by Jim Fergus which was an insultingly poorly written book from a woman's perspective. If you see this book - which is unfortunately soon to be a movie - just burn it.
- Secrets in Death by J.D. Robb which is standard format good and as always Eve Dallas and the delectable Rourke triumph.
- The Housewife Assassin's Handbook by Josie Brown via my now beloved Kindle Unlimited (and that was laugh out loud funny). I need to read the whole series now.

I left the two physical books at different AirBnB's in Belize for the next folks to enjoy. (If you found them and are here from that - Hey! Welcome!)

Gratitude: Kitty snuggles. Exercising with friends. Dryers that work. Quiet time. Yin yoga. Groomed dogs. Scented candles. Thank you notes.

Listening: Holiday music! (Bossa Nova Christmas. Straight No Chaser. Also my Pandora channel, Tru-Holiday.) Podcasts - Million Dollar Bad Ass; Dave Ramsey; Don't Keep Your Day Job. Guided meditations.

Perfume: Killed off a couple of small scents - the Magazine Street and the Lily B scent that has been roaming my bag. The Lily B scent was Royal Peony, Rose, & Mandarin Musk. I've finished out the month using the Willow & Water cream perfume from the Library of Flowers most days while still coveting that Henry Rose....

Random: Mentally comparing Alias and The Blacklist.Big difference in that Sidney usually got her self out of trouble and spoke multiple languages. Elisabeth is much more conventionally "American". Biggest thing in common is that Russian women stay scary. (Both their moms). 

Recipes: We put jam in crescent rolls. AND THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING. It's our new breakfast of choice.

For Christmas Eve breakfast ALL THE THINGS were made:
- Crescent rolls with jams in them
- Casserole bake with tater tots + eggs + cheese
- Corn cake with fresh whipped cream and berries
- Fruit pizza
- Christmas wreaths
- Our famous oatmeal cookies, but with M&Ms

Self-Care Overview: 

It was a soap happy month. Seriously. I think I bought 15 bars. (Some were gifts.) I bought a number of them from my favorite, Cellar Door Bath and also a new local soap company. (More soon on that one.)

"Keeping the Face Young" Skincare...
Day - Mad Hippie's Vitamin C Serum then 100% Pure's Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream and then top my whole face with light application of Pacifica's Super Flower Power Rapid Response Face Oil.  (Which, I should note, is only okay - the ingredients are fine but not life-altering. I am unlikely to buy again.) This combo seems to work well with either quick Bare Minerals powder or with full-on Juice Beauty CC Cream + finishing powder.

Night  - While we were on vacation I brought my standard travel set, DHC Olive Oil Cleanser and Face Wash. While home, I've been using the Sea Change Cleansing Balm from  a recent Boxwalla - until I ran out on 12/28. On non-travel days, at night,  for moisturizer I've been using the African Botanics Le Masque Hydralift Intense (October Boxwalla box) all over plus African Botanics's Fleur d'Afrique Oil. Winter is setting in here and my skin needs the moisture.

Let's take a moment to discuss cleansing balms. I've now tried 4 different cleansing balms. And I have thoughts....
- In a pinch, the drugstore one (not pictured) is fine. I bought Physician's Formula's Matcha 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm. If your budget is tight, decent skin care is still available to you. The ingredients aren't green but aren't bad for you (although, they could lose the dyes to improve the formula, IMO). It's unlikely to make most skin break-out and several of the ingredients (bamboo, matcha, lotus) are high on the ingredient list -denoting higher ingredient quantity.  Overall, it's a budget friendly option but would not be my first pick.
- Heart of Gold's Sea Change Balm is not as budget friendly (I got it as part of my Boxwalla package) but is fantastic. (1st pictured) The ingredient list is lush. It melts into skin and rinses off - you almost don't need a cleansing cloth. (I like one.) Given how high shea butter is on the ingredient list, it was much less greasy than I thought it would be. (Castor oil also makes the ingredient list which is funny because a friend told me it was all her elderly and gorgeous aunt used to cleanse her face.) After using it, my skin was perfectly calm. Not dry. Not oily. Not tight. Ready to get double cleanser with my DHC face wash and get moisturized. I used this in the fall and into winter, so I'm not sure if it might be a bit much for summer. It was perfect for my winter parched skin. This is my 2nd favorite for my current budget and my planned budget upgrade.
- Soko Glam's Beauty of Joseon Cleansing Balm was also fine but not a green beauty buy. (It's the 2nd one pictured.) It's heavy on the beeswax and I felt not so much moisturized as covered. Did fine on the eye make up and washed right out of the cleansing pads. I ordered this because my favorite, the 100% Pure, was out of stock. And after using it, I tried the Physician's Formula because I didn't see the point of spending that much money on this one. 
- 100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm is my favorite. (3rd pictured) Even if my mascara stains on the cleansing cloth don't wash out as well with it as the Soko or Heart of Gold. (Heart of Gold is my new fallback. But it's a bit more $$ for 1/2 the amount.) The 100% Pure is oil rich (avocado, coconut, olive oil) without being heavy - and I know it works well in summer and winter. The beeswax gives it body rather than making your face feel waxy. My only complaint is that it needs to come with a small scooper. (I repurposed the one from the PF and that radically changed how much I used to a standard small amount. Really helped with using the correct amount.) It's a generous amount of product that lasts well.

Remember - double cleanse is the way to go on any day with make-up. Remove the make up, cleanse the face. (Non-make up days, you can just cleanse the face.) 

Take good care of your skin - it's the only one you've got!

Stress: Work is better. Mostly because I've made a choice. Choices are good.

Things 13 Said: 
Did. We got facials as part of her holiday gift and she now says this is the best thing she's ever done and all her gifts forever can be spa certificates.

Said. We were making sugar cookies and I told her I had no idea what I was doing while trying to make black frosting (it was supposed to be an accent color but I made too much.) She said," That's okay. Sometimes it's fun to experiment." As usual, a fairly brilliant observation. (I often suspect she's going to be a life coach.)

Watching: Bob Hearts AbisholaMom. Bull. I'm trying to finish up Orange is the New Black but I feel like I started it when I was a different person and now I'm just not interested. Maybe it's the issue with Tastee. Caught a new show called Emergence and I adore the sheriff! Binged the whole season - including a 2am wake up to finish the last episode. I also devoured season 4 of The Magicians. (Margo. Queen. Yessssss.) We got the Disney+ as part of a package and well, there has been some Marvel universe happening in the house.

Take- away - Never make decisions from a place of fear. Always know, you are enough, you are valuable and there is always a way.

Original musings posts you may enjoy:

All photos by moi! And you can tell...

*Juice Beauty is a staple in my beauty cabinet. I stray, I try other things - but it's my favorite "foundation" (I used the CC Cream) and great skin care. If you like Juice Beauty too, here is a link. I do get a small commission (at no cost to you) when you use these links which helps support this blog.

Skin Care by Juice Beauty

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