Monday, April 14, 2014

Face Products

A few weeks ago, on Instagram, I asked for anti-aging recommendations. I got some great tips and many of these products are on my Amazon wishlist. I had been seeing a dermatologist and he recommended Cerave. It's supposed to restore your skin's protective barrier with ceramides...whatever that means. What it lacks is exfoliation and after 2 years of using Cerave I have decided that it's not cutting it. For my current budget and imminent need I went to Target. 

I read once that many of the acne products marketed to teens are too harsh for young skin. Since I'm 30 I bore that in mind in my quest. With some stress acne poorly concealed, I walked down the overwhelming aisles of skin care products. I found a Blackhead Facial Scrub with Salicylic Acid, an Eye Lifting Serum (both by Target's up & up brand) and, since I'm using Pond's BB+ Cream I opted for Pond's Rejuveness Anti-Wrinkle Cream.

Photo of me by Blair McLeod.

THE RESULTS: My skin is soft to the touch and I think the fine lines are smoothing out quite a bit. I may not stick with the particular brands that I'm using now but I think I've found a combination of products that will work for me and tackle my "issues." Cheers to smoother skin!

[A quick side note for those of you who are scared of the generic or off-brands: According to my dad, whose company packages things, most of the generic stuff isn't generic. Target doesn't have a factory to make their own aspirin or whatever. They're just borrowing from whomever makes Asprin. At least I think that's what's going on. Ask my dad. Anyway, generic brands are fine when it comes to stuff like this. This rule does not apply to shoes and purses.]

What do you use on your face?

This post was inspired by Dollar Shave Club. The members-only Club that ships amazing razors and other cool bathroom stuff for a few bucks a month.  

Sunday, April 13, 2014

On "Giving Up" on my "Dreams"

Last night was my first night at my new job. It was a simple, easy wedding. The bride was laid back. Her parents were awesome. They just wanted to dance and drink. 

But there's an ugly little voice that's telling me I gave up on my dreams. It's like a little dark cloud on my party, telling me that I've failed. The truth is, Dan and I talked for hours discussing what our life in Nashville would be like. What I really wanted was a flexible job in which I could work really hard 1 or 2 days a week and have plenty of free time with Liam. I also didn't want to have to work on these few, precious days that Dan is home since he'll be touring so much. I wanted to plan events but didn't know where to start or how to get the clientele. I have the camera gear, I have the website, I have the experience, I had the drive. Thus, the dream of being a wedding photographer was born. It just seemed like a good fit.

I went for it as best as I could but this place is a "who you know" type of town and with a toddler at home there isn't a lot of opportunity to get out and rub elbows with... anyone, really. So, I signed a contract for a job that I think I'm going to love. And they're supportive of my photography, too! I've found something I'm good at, that fits my criteria of flexibility. So, my only regret is that I didn't wear heels on my first day. I believe it's an unwritten requirement. I think I need to buy new shoes and buying shoes is one of my favorite things to do so I guess... technically... I have no regrets! I loved it and I can't wait for the next event.

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Peace and Chaos

My life seems to be an ebb and flow of peace and chaos. There is truly little of the in-between. While I dream of lackadaisical mornings I know that our family thrives in extremes. We love a quiet night in just as much we love, for example, running errands/getting coffee/having meetings/going out for lunch in a span of 2 hours. It's a wonder how I'm not having a constant panic attack. (To this day, the only panic attack I've had was from stupid Gibson. Who, as a result, failed his 30 day challenge and has a new home - and I am 100% at peace about it!) 

Dan is still very busy and doesn't have a break until next week.  In the 6 or 7 weeks since we moved into our new home he's been here about 8 or 9 days. So, we cram as much into those days as possible. It's a strange life, cramming a weeks worth of family-time into 24 hours. But, we do. Just as we are getting our rhythm, it all goes out the window. I'm starting my job as an event coordinator on Saturday and it's going to be a big change. The biggest change will be my wardrobe. I am to wear conservative cocktail to events and client meetings. Oh man, my closet full of PNW-WAHM style (jeans and sweaters) is not gonna fly! Expect more dresses and heels, blazers and skirts and lots more hairspray! 

This skirt stood out to me at Forever 21. I am drawn to anything in that color. My cell phone case, winter jacket and my eyes are this color so let's just say it's my favorite. Although it's spring, the mornings can be chilly here so I put on a lightweight sweater in a bold color and popped on some gold jewelry. Later in the day I swapped the sweater for a tank-top and took off the boots and tights for simple flats but this particular outfit suited the 55° morning in downtown Nashville. I met up with Blair and had a blast shooting photos of her and drinking some of Nashville's best coffee at Crema! She's a native Tennesseean so I hope to get some Southern Style tips from her - especially in the summer. 

Skirt and Boots: Forever 21. Sweater: hand-me-down from Grandma Marge. Tights: Assets / Nordstrom. Necklace: Enya. Watch: Marc Jacobs/ Nordstrom. Ring: Fred Meyer Jewelers. Earrings: World Market. Sunglasses: borrowed. Polish: OPI You Dont Know Jacques!

Friday, April 04, 2014

A Blank Canvas

I'm not just navigating Nashville. I'm navigating a whole new culture, new parenting dynamic, new financial status, new friendships. I could go on. Everything in my life is new and while I love a blank canvas I dont necessarily want my life to be one. 

I've always had a problem with the big decision-making in my life. Most of the time the decisions were made for me after I procrastinated long enough. For example, my second year of college I lamented over what to major in and I looked at my transcript to see that most of my credits already were English credits. Done. English Lit major. When it comes to small stuff, I tend to take the reigns with no problem. I know that I want to paint a wall green or I know that I want Mexican food for dinner. But the big stuff is daunting. 

I feel constantly pulled by my two sides: the go-for-dreams-and-work-your-butt-off side and the relax-everything-is-going-to-be-okay-whatever-will-be-will-be side. It feels like a tug of war but what ends up happening is that I try really hard at something, get frustrated and impatient when it doesn't produce the way I want it to, change my focus and it's back to square one. Everything does end up working out.

When Dan and I were figuring out what life would be like in Nashville, and what I'd do after the move, we settled on wedding photography because I could work very few hours (all day, one day a week) and edit during Liam's naps. The schedule seemed like a great fit.

Well, I've only been here 6 weeks but it's SO.HARD. to start a new business in a new city while taking care of a child. So, I started to look for part-time work and stumbled upon a great opportunity which combines my creativity with my administrative side. I will still be working limited hours throughout the week and long shifts on weekends. I am so excited for this opportunity - for myself and for our family. When I told Dan about it he said, jokingly, "So we're super rich again?!"... Yes, dear. Rich in love, rich in hope.

Looking forward to painting our blank canvas with beautiful colors.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Poop Sandwiches

Do you ever post something on Facebook and wish that you could go back and edit it? Oh, wait, you can do that. But, I dont always like to. Sometimes I just let the comments roll in and read them when I can. 

I posted this photo of Liam on the potty and a slew of advice and opinions came in. It was ... weeeeiiird. 

I saw my parents raise 3 children and I can remember when the youngest two, just 19 months apart, were teething and learning to walk and potty training. Here I am, over 20 years later, with one single, spirited, powerhouse toddler and it's clear that parenting is very, very, very hard. 

Here's what you may not know about this picture:
1) My son is intense. Like, very very very intense. 2) He's not scared of the potty. 3) He was SCREAMING because he wanted his "treat" when he hadn't even gone peepee yet. 4) I thought it was entertaining so I took a picture instead of LOSING MY MIND. 5) It's funny. 6) I am not taking potty training too seriously yet but what you may not know is that we are reallllly poor right now and not buying diapers would be really nice. 7) Obviously Liam isn't ready to potty train so I went out and bought more diapers. 8) Parenting is hard. Parenting alone is harder. Miss you, Dan.

Sometimes I get real angry; I am just as intense as Liam is but I am a thirty year old woman who can control her temper. When Liam was a baby I had this vision of him as a toddler, laughing with his friends. Since the move and staying home with him full-time, things were getting intense on the regular. I was invited to have some quiet time at a church I visited and I saw this visions again of Liam laughing. I had an epiphany: Make him laugh. Divine intervention! It works! If it gets too intense I try to make him laugh by making silly faces or telling him I'm going to make him eat a poop sandwich. Not conventional parenting advice, but this works for us. He's a happier boy because of it and I need it just as much as he does.

In conclusion: We're going to be okay. I'm going to potty train him when he's ready. And, regarding how poor we are, a bunch of checks got lost in the mail so we'll be back on our feet soon enough. We dont use credit cards so things were pretty scary for a minute. Thus, my previous post about not worrying.
  • How do you treat parenting advice? Do you crave it or hate it?
  • When did your child potty train and what method did you use?
  • What do you do when your toddler is losing his/her mind? (Tell them you're going to feed them a poop sandwich, right?! No? Just me....?)

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