In This Very Moment

Saturday May 28, 2016 comments   

collage of trend items

Since I’ve been gone for so long I thought I’d just share some things I’m currently obsessed.

A few weeks ago I finally got all my potted plants outside. While they continued to grow we ended up getting 16 days straight of rain. So staring out the window at my rainy little garden has been one of my favorite things. Why fight it.

In between the rain showers I’ve been lighting incense outside and letting it come in through the windows. With being on such a 90’s trip (for the past year honestly) I rediscovered my love for incense. Well… the cones. But those aren’t popular or easy to find anymore. Instead I found these wood bricks to be a great alternative especially since they smell like a campfire and I can’t go camping until the rain quits.

incense in a reused catbird candle case with matches

I bought a sample pack from Amazon. Great price great scents! Maybe if I’m still feeling something more “incense and less campfire” I’ll order some from Blackbird. They have some really intriguing fragrances like BLOOD COUNTESS.

Beauty-wise my makeup routine has simplified since experiencing a bad drying out spell. I discovered I’m sensitive to talc products. I never realized. I stopped wearing almost all makeup for a period of time. I attempted to purge my skin with a gentle daily peel. It helped remove some of the larger stubborn acne spots but really made my skin’s texture worse. My skin is finicky especially when it’s damaged. Focusing on moisturizing with a thicker formula from Vanicream right now. It’s the only thing that would sink in for a while. And since using it I don’t feel the need for a primer. I also want to avoid silicones and excessive powders right now.

Currently I maybe wear a bb cushion once a week. Half the time I just wear a tiny bit of concealer or just dab and blend some Mario Badescu nude drying cream over the spots. My eye makeup has been nothing but glitter for the past 2 months. I’m so re-obsessed with glitter. If I want to do more I add colored eyeliner. Pretty much everything I’m using on the eyes lately is from NYX. They’re cruelty free, affordable, and easy to find.

NYX eyemake

I’m also highlighting daily. I highlight a bit beyond the generic youtube tutorial suggestions. I like to highlight my inner cheeks, around my lip and up the cupid’s bow, on the lids of my eyes, center of lip, and around the brows. I avoid my forehead, nose, and chin. Those spots get slick looking enough. Really my skin temporarily over-producing oil in the t-zone forced my hand with getting back into all-over highlight. It seemed futile to counter-balance the shine. But when I add shine to the rest of the face it comes together as more of a “glow.”

bite beauty lip mask and pat mcgrath highlight pigment

To match this “glow” I’ve gone glossy on the lips. I purchased Bite Beauty’s plain agave lip mask after trying multiple samples. At first I thought it was glorified vaseline but then I just started missing it when my samples ran out. I love it. Add a little of Pat Mcgrath’s nude pigment on top and it gives a really nice pout look.






Thoughts on Home Improvements

Thursday May 26, 2016 comments   

I think this has been the longest break from blogging ever for me. And after making a post about how long my blog has been active!

I didn’t mindfully take a break; it just happened. I spent March painting, installing appliances, and just overall spending every moment working on the house. Then in April relatives came to visit and family occupied a lot of my time. May has been dealing with my health. A flare-up had me feeling mostly miserable lately and trying to get into the headspace of dealing with chronic illness.

So that brings me to here. I wanted to talk about my home improvements and also the Minimalism documentary I caught earlier this month.

A few months ago I got into listening to The Minimalists podcasts. It was good timing as I was beginning my home improvements. I ended up getting tickets to a screening of their documentary which was very good as well as the Q&A afterwards.

A lot of it built off my whole Marie Kondo experience from before. Only taking it a step further. Discussing relationships. Discussing the societal influences of capitalism. And within that finding my own way for a life less complicated. I put more time into my relationships. Some of it paid off. Some of it was a disappointment (but nevertheless a lesson.) But I learned and moved on.

The home improvements were another great lesson. Doing the whole house clean-out back in September made it easier to pinpoint things I wanted changed. At first I did the usual thing of going online and comparing my home to that of specifically-designed-aesthetic-spaces… mistake. HUGE mistake.

“Comparison is the thief of joy!” I remind myself often. I thought I’d need to make big pricey changes. New cabinets, paint every room!? … but did I really need those things to be happy? And then I realized I was doing everything in my power to work against the space rather than with it. When I started appreciating the existing elements things became much easier.

I looked at inspiration that came to mind right away (magazines, sites.) I read in Marie Kondo’s Spark Joy that looking through inspiration should be done all at once en masse and across styles so you can swiftly see what you like, why you like it, and move forward. It worked really well in focusing my decisions. I found 1 major reference I referred to throughout the process.

magazine clipping
magazine clipping

This came from the first issue of Lee I ever picked up. I remember seeing these pictures and something just clicking for me. I realized the kitchen was dark like mine. My kitchen isn’t near any windows so there are shadows and what I liked about this kitchen was how the lighting worked with that fact. I liked the clean utilitarian surfaces. The magnetic knife strip especially. And just overall how simple, useful, and easy it seemed. It wasn’t trying too hard. It didn’t seem preoccupied with perfection. I didn’t need all new kitchen cabinets. I needed better lighting, more space over the stove, and my favorites at an arm’s length.

magazine clipping
magazine clipping
magazine clipping

After all was said and done I ended up removing the above stove range and replacing it with a more powerful, quieter, ventilated hood that had two super bright LED lights. I ditched the wood block for a magnetic knife strip which made space for my 2 most used cooking pots. I added a few large counter-wide chopping boards that tied in the cabinets natural wood texture. I also put up a backsplash using adhesive glass tiles. No grout necessary! And they don’t budge trust me. We replaced the leaky faucet with one that’s also a spray hose. Beyond the kitchen we upgraded our TV, repainted the home office, hung new light fixtures and art work all over the house, took the guitars off their stands and hung them up, built a new TV cabinet, and took a lot of things to the recycling center. A LOT. And when I was done I came in way under budget.

I wouldn’t have been able to do any of this without the whole Konmari part earlier in the year. If I had clutter everywhere I wouldn’t have even considered new light fixtures. I would have felt “what’s the point, the place is still a mess.” Now I can do these upgrades and really feel they were worth the time and effort.