Spring 2017 Skincare Routine 

Ahhhh skincare…it’s become a small obsession of mine ever since I discovered Caroline Hirons on YouTube.  She gives amazing tips and reviews and you can find so much valuable information on her blog, a personal favorite of mine is her post on toners.  After watching hours of her witty vlogs, I started to gather info to create my own skincare regimen, or at least make some changes since my old routine wasn’t really doing much for me…

So, here’s the set up: two cleansers (One to remove sweat and make-up, one to clean the skin), a toner (or two if you want to spritz a more concentrated acid, which can be too much for some skin types), then serums (layer a couple if you like going from clear to opaque and liquid to cream) and finally your moisturizer and SPF.  Everyone is different and everyone can afford different products, I’ve taken turns “splurging” on some items though my level of “splurging” is not that ludicrous because I’m an entry level worker/college grad with too many loans to not feel guilty about spending that money later.

img_8148First up is my first cleanse.  Right now I’m using the Clinique Take the Day Off cleansing balm and I love it, I’ve also used the Pixi cleansing balm which as great but I find that the Clinique one is just silkier and reacts better to my skin.  It pulverizes mascara and eyeliner which I wear 95% of the time.  As per the advise of Caroline, I put this on a dry face and use a warm washcloth to wipe it off (invest in 14 washcloths if you’re like me and do laundry barely once a week).

img_8150Next we have the second cleanse.  This one proves to be the most challenging for me, I’ve tried a couple different products and I’m still not totally in love.  This one from Hlyamide is really nice BUT it’s pretty oily as well, this may be something I end up having to splurge a little more on as it’s the product that should really be nourishing and cleaning your skin once the makeup and sweat are removed.  I’ve just picked up a cream from Aveeno to try but haven’t used it long enough to include in here.  Second cleanse should be used same as first, #washclothlife.

Next up: Toning.  My new favorite step in my routine, why?  Because this is really the img_8151exfoliating stage, you’ve loosened things up with the cleansers and a washcloth and now it’s the acids turn to eat up all those dead cells, the key is getting a toner that won’t dry out your skin (Especially if you have naturally dry skin like me).  My favorite so far are these pads by First Aid Beauty, they have a slightly scrubby sides that helps slough off flaky skin and leave it prepped for serums.

 

img_8152As an extra acidic step I really like this toning spray from Hylamide, it leaves my skin feeling fresh and tingly.  Acids are something you want to build up to though, don’t just start using the heaviest most intense thing out there to get results fast, it does not work that way…

 

 

Now that we’ve cleaned and exfoliated the skin it’s ready for some serums, this is really where you get to customize your routine.  Depending on your skin, there’s a million things to try, hydrating, anti-aging, de-puffing, the list goes on and on…

Two of my favorites right now are from the Ordinary, because they’re not only super effective, they are also cheap as hell.  I’ve recommended this brand a ton because even if you try it and one or two products don’t suite you, you haven’t dropped a ton of money on them and won’t feel too guilty giving them to a friend to try instead.  Their Hyaluronic Acid is super hydrating and i like to top it with the brightening Vitamin C lotion that gives my skin a really great tingling sensation (When I say tingling, I mean slightly burning but it doesn’t irritate my skin.  It can be uncomfortable or irritating to others so proceed at your own risk).  Sometimes I like to trade out the Vitamin C for a Retinol or Lactic Acid  at night and in the mornings I like to use their Caffeine serum under my eyes.  All in all I’ve been happy with everything I’ve tried thus far.

 

img_8155Lastly it’s time to seal everything in with a moisturizer, I like this one from Neutrogena because it’s super rich and has SPF in it.  A lot of people say you should have a moisturizer AND a separate SPF but I haven’t gotten to that level yet, so for now I use this and then if I’m going to be out in the sun all day I’ll use another SPF on top because I have very fine skin and don’t want to turn to leather in my old age.

Leave comments with some of your favorite products if you like, I’m still on the hunt for that perfect second cleanse and would love some suggestions!

 

***not sponsored by any of these companies.

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Afternoon Tealight

This past weekend proved to be fun, a bit active and ended on an almost too relaxing note (I got nothing done Sunday, instead I binged Netflix and napped… this is what happens if I think I can get through the day without caffeine).

 

The activity of the weekend was most definitely the highlight: Afternoon tea at the Willard Continental Hotel in Washington, D.C.  This is something my Mom has wanted to check off her list for awhile, and we finally got together with some friends and made it happen.  While everyone else was off at breweries and vineyards, we were enjoying some of the finer things in life: tea, scones, sandwiches and miniature desserts all while listening to a live, talented and well humored harpist (At one point she played the Game of Thrones theme song and my sister and I just about died).



As an alcohol appreciator but an absolutely terrible day drinker, it was nice to have a social meal that left me feeling ready for the Saturday night ahead, instead of falling asleep at 7 p.m.  The focus was great friends, in a beautiful setting, enjoying fantastic food and tea (Earl Grey is always the way to go).  In a world where restaurants and bars aim to turn tables and everything can be delivered to your house, it was great to sit and socialize at slower pace.  There was no pressure to wrap it up and get out so they could seat more people and the staff took their time taking us on our tea adventure.  We ended up staying for almost 3 hours and enjoyed it so much we decided to make it a bi-monthly activity.  I’m already looking forward to April and another afternoon of tea-light.

Facebook Freedom

It’s day 2 after deactivating my Facebook account and I won’t lie… it feels good.  In the past I’ve taken breaks from social media, usually because I needed to focus on school or just to see if I could.  This is the first time that I’ve rid myself of it because I felt like it was a burden or something somewhat negative in my life.  Maybe it’s the political climate, maybe it’s all the information I’ve read and listened to online regarding using your time wisely, the benefits of unplugging and the wildly popular idea of creating a hygge inspired home, but Facebook just hasn’t been a great way for me to connect to people as of late.

One of the biggest things I’ve realized is that I’ve posted so many articles, recipes, ideas, blogs, you name it on Facebook and I’d say that I’ve tried or used that information to actually do something or create something 10% of the time.  So I’m circulating all of this great stuff, that I know I could do but don’t have the time or drive to actually accomplish.  So where’s my time going?  Where’s it being wasted?  Where can I cut back?

Facebook.

Now Facebook isn’t my only time eater, Netflix is right up there as well.  It’s not something I want to completely give up though, as my love for film and television is a great pleasure in my life.  What I am trying to limit is the amount of times I re-watch things like Friends: I have the whole series on DVD, I’ve probably seen it 10 times through, I can ace any Friends quiz out there… why am I staying up and throwing away time to watch something I could probably act out single handily?  It’s familiar and I still find it hilarious, but I shouldn’t be wasting my time on it as much as I am. Especially when there’s all sorts of great new content out there.  Right now I’ve been watching Netflix’s original series Abstract if I have the urge to turn on the television.  It’s something new, inspiring and fresh, and it makes me want to DO instead of OBSERVE.

So.

sign-out

Leaving the world of Facebook and binge watching will give me more time and honestly some very welcome boredom in which I hope to fill my time taking more pictures (I’ve decided to stay on Instagram), creating more blog posts, working on video content, reading, cooking and really getting out into the world.  We all are given 24 hours in a day, that’s something that everyone is given equally so we are the only ones who can change the way we use it.  Time is finite and I want to use mine better.

Holiday Party 2017

We finally got our house together enough to have people over for a holiday party and what a time it was.  I was able to release a decent amount of control and let the roomies make some choices/decisions/contributions, which as my roomie A put it: “a pretty big accomplishment“.

We made tons of food, some of which I didn’t even get to try, it got eaten up so fast!  (Which I think can be translated into quite a culinary success.)

There’s not a lot that beats getting together with friends and family at the holidays and as everyone continues to grow, making plans to see everyone gets more and more difficult.  SO glad we decided to plan a get-together, maybe next year I’ll feature a recipe or something but for now I just have a couple photos of the food layouts before it all disappeared.

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Happy Holidays!

DC During the Holidays

There’s nothing like DC after it’s been completely transformed in preparation for the holidays, although I think everything looks better with Christmas lights and evergreens.  Living so close to DC you’d think I’d be taking advantage of all the things it has to offer every weekend… Anyone who’s had to battle DC traffic will tell you that for natives, it’s just not appealing most of the time.  However, for the holidays it’s definitely worth the hassle.

This past weekend I spent the day in the city visiting art museums, seeing the National Christmas Trees and seeing Camerata (a men’s chorus) sing some fantastic and goose-bump inspiring holiday music.  All in all it was the perfect, festive Saturday.

Probably the best part of the day was a piece of art I saw, it was a video installation by Ragnar Kjartansson at the Hirshhorn.  There were multiple screens showing life sized musicians, playing instruments and singing in unison in separate rooms of an old mansion.  It’s hard to describe the comfort and peace you felt while watching them in a dark room with a bunch of strangers.  I could’ve laid on the floor and watched it all day and appreciate the connection I felt with the art and those who were also captivated by the melancholy tune.  Here’s a clip that definitely doesn’t do it justice.

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Although it’s a pain in the ass to get into DC and find parking (I used spothub and found all day parking for $10 which made all the difference), it’s nice to appreciate the city I’ve grown to under appreciate.  It was a great way to kick of this holiday season instead of sitting in bed watching Christmas movies on Netflix… which will probably end up happening anyway.

 

Food blogging… maybe.

So, I’ve started eating healthier and think that might be a new form of content I can put up on here. I love to cook and a few weeks before my 25th birthday, I decided to do the Whole 30 diet. I’d tried it with my Mom for awhile last year and we both really liked it, but we didn’t fully commit, still eating some grains and having a couple glasses of wine here and there. So this time I REALLY committed… and it made me feel awesome.

Of course the weekend of my birthday I celebrated with all my favorite foods and drinks, afterward I decided to try and make it a lifestyle change. So now in my bullet journal (yes, I’ve made one… and love it.) I am keeping track of the days that I eat according to the Whole 30 perimeters.

fullsizerenderMy lovely roommate gave me a fantastically healthy cookbook for my birthday, it’s called “Thug Kitchen” and it’s not only full of amazing recipes, it’s written with humor and lots of cursing, it’s awesome. This week I’ve been trying some recipes from the book, most of them are vegan which is close to Whole 30 but allows for grains. Below is my little video process of making their Roasted Red Pepper Pasta, which was delish! There was no dairy whatsoever, it was my first time using nutritional yeast (hunted all of Whole Foods for it, and of course it was overpriced) but the sauce truly had a creamy texture and taste. (And it had directions for fire roasting your own peppers, I didn’t come up with that on my own.)

Anyway, the video was easy and fun to make, so I figured I’d make a small post about it as well. Once I move (my life is currently in boxes, I can’t wait!), I’m hoping to make more consistent posts, maybe some how-to videos. Our new kitchen will be a much nicer place to cook, our current one is super small and barely has enough space on the counter for me to fit a cutting board.

p.s. I was going to insert the video here, buuuuut my account doesn’t support that unless I pay more (did I mention I’m moving aka broke)… so click hereto watch it via my IG.

 

 

 

 

September is coming…

And I’m even more excited about that than Game of Thrones.  I made this site months ago and have had a serious lack of motivation to write, maybe it’s the fact that my apartment is at a humid 90 degrees everyday when I get home from work.  Maybe it’s that my computer is as slow as the breaths I have to take to survive said hot apartment, either way, September is coming and that has always proved to be the most productive time of year for me.

I’ve always felt that the real New Year starts in September.  There’s a tangible change in season, school starts (for those that are still enjoying the non-adult life), fashion changes, menus change.  It’s a time of metamorphosis and preparation for the festivities to come.  Once we get into fall it’s one holiday right after another, it’s getting together with friends, it’s seeing family and taking vacation time.  It’s all the things that I love, and that I love to plan for.

So as the air starts to cool in my apartment, I’m hoping that will leave space for my inspiration and creative juices to start heating up.  I just purchased some fall issues and will have most likely have a lot of opinions on the content, so I already have a running start.  September is coming… and hopefully so are some more posts…