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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Goodebox #2

When I decided to get the limited edition Goodeboxes being released for the A Night for Green Beauty event this year, there were a few brands I really wanted to own!  The second Goodebox had one of them.  I tried May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon a few months ago and really liked it, so I was happy to see it was going to be in box #2.  It really does just melt into your skin and a little goes a long way (which is good, because it's not cheap)!  I think it will be even nicer in the colder months when my skin gets really dry.  I also was eager to try the Alima Pure mascara in this box since I've been on the hunt for a natural mascara.  I'm currently using Pacifica's Stellar Gaze and I like it well enough (I've never had a mascara I couldn't live without, natural or otherwise), but it's very wet and sometimes ends up on my glasses if I don't let it dry long enough.  The Alima Pure is definitely a dry mascara.  I've only worn it once so far, but I can see myself wearing it everyday once my Pacifica runs out. 
Awhile ago, I got a travel kit of some of the One Love Organics products and Skin Savior was in it.  I use this mostly in the winter for dry patches on my face and also on dry lips.  It's really a very versatile product and lasts a long time!  I still have a good bit of the travel tub so now with this full size tub, I'll be using it for years!

sorry for the dark photo!
 
 
Inside the box:
 
 
 
I've been using the Gressa mist and the Blue Cocoon a bit, but still not as a routine.  I haven't tried the Zoe Organics cream (again I feel like 3 of the products in this box serve similar purposes and don't want to use them all at once), the Sheswai nail polish (I'm currently wearing a color I really like and I'm not ready to change it) or the Josh Rosebrook hairspray.  I don't really use hairspray ever, so I'm not totally sure how much use I'll get out of this, but I heard it smells great and if I ever get around to buying a curling wand, I'll be sure to try it!
I may not have used all the products yet, but even if I only used the May Lindstrom Blue Cocoon it would be worth it!  That product alone is $160 and this box was only $110 and you get 6 other full size products.  Such a good deal!  This box sold out in 15 minutes, so I am lucky to have gotten one!  I just ordered box #3 and I'll write about that once it comes.  I'm excited to get my hands on A Night for Green Beauty presenter La Bella Figura's Modern Radiance Concentrate!  I'm hoping it really helps my old acne scars.  Most of these products are things I couldn't afford normally (or really feel comfortable splurging on) so these Goodeboxes are definitely a way to try some luxurious products at a discount.  And I haven't mentioned that the proceeds are going to the Baby2Baby charity, a great cause to support!


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Monumentour!

Keeping up with the Year of Fun in 2014, I went to the Monumentour the other night with my husband and siblings.  I got the tickets back in February and have been looking forward to it since.  Well, sort of.  I was looking forward to the concert, not so much looking forward to the Pit tickets I foolishly purchased.  I must have temporarily forgotten that I am old now and even when I wasn't old, I wasn't into standing in the Pit at a concert.  I don't like standing (seriously, ever) and I also have crap balance so I like to avoid occasions where there are large masses of people and potential for me to get knocked over and trampled!  So, while I was looking forward to the concert, I was dreading the getting tampled part.  Luckily, I managed to find a spot at the back of the Pit, by the rail, with a little step/bench that I could rest on if I needed to.

First, New Politics played.  I don't really know this band, except maybe one song they play on the radio and I can't say I'm going to run out and buy their cd now, but I have to say, they were really fun to watch!  They just seemed to really love being there and performing.  The lead singer even did a bunch of breakdancing/yoga moves and at one point, stood up in the crowd, trusting people to hold him up.  It was a nuts.

Then came Paramore.  This was the second time I saw Paramore, the first being only a few months ago at the same venue (seats were really far back then), and I would totally see them again!  They also seemed to be really happy to be there and performing.  Hayley Williams runs all over the stage, jumping around and singing.  They were great and the confetti they shoot at the crowd was fun.  I was bummed I didn't get a balloon though.

By the time Fall Out Boy came on, I was ready for bed.  Yeah, I'm that old.  It got really crowded and I was no longer very comfortable, I was ready to go home.  But, we stayed until the end.  Maybe it was me being tired or maybe it was them, but FOB didn't seem to be as into it as the other two bands.  It was a little surprising since they kept saying how they were so happy to have gotten this tour together (and this tour just started), but they have been doing this a long time, maybe they're over it.  Maybe it's just a job now.  They weren't bad, they just didn't seem that excited.  Ha.  But, I guess anything can start to get old if you do it often enough and they have been doing it for awhile.

All in all, we had a great time!  My brother and sister had fun, my brother even slapped Pete Wentz's hand because he got so close to the stage.  It would have been nice to get that close, but I saw all the "enter at your own risk" signs, I wasn't moving!  Afterwards, my husband and I went to Wawa to get food.  I felt like I was back in high school with our late night runs for a Wawa hoagie!  When we got home, we ate our hoagies and watched the new Girl Meets World and officially knew we were old.


me and my baby

me and my brother

me and my sister

Goodebox #1

I've talked about trying to change my skincare and makeup to more natural products and so when I heard that Goodebox would be releasing 4 limited edition boxes to go with the A Night for Green Beauty event in August, I knew it would be a great way to start!  The boxes have at least 5 full size products from leading green beauty brands and cost $110 each.  There are only 50 of each box, so when they go on sale you have to move fast!
Here is the first box:
 
 
Inside:
 
 
I think the box ends up being worth close to, if not over, $300.  So far, I've used the Neroli oil a couple times, the Odacite (the first time I didn't mix it with a lotion like they instruct, and it really didn't go far, so now I mix it with the Pollen & Wax Velvet lotion I bought a while ago, much better), and I've used the exfoliator twice, once mixed with water and once with Manuka honey (I swear it smells like foccacia, but my friend thinks I'm nuts since it's made with nothing that resembles foccacia).  I haven't tried the Kahina serum yet and forget to use the perfume or the lipgloss.  To be honest, I'm not sure about mixing all those different oils.  I kind of wish each box had one of each type of product, otherwise I just get confused about which to use.
I haven't noticed any crazy difference in my skin.  Well, actually, my skin is awful right now, but that totally has to do with my crap eating for sure.  I haven't used any of the products religiously enough to notice a difference.  I'm not one of those girls with a regimen.  I'm working on it.  The problem is, I like to sleep.  I'm lucky if I manage makeup.  I read about people with their morning routines of yoga and mediation, or even just coffee and some quiet time to reflect on the day, one woman even said she takes BATHS in the morning!  Who has time for that?!  This morning, I managed to inhale some freezer burnt gluten free waffles, and take my black coffee to go!  I threw on some CC cream and concealer at my desk and hoped for the best!  But, maybe one day I'll have time for a skincare regimen after my leisurely coffee and meditation session.  Maybe all these new products will push me into it!  #agirlcandream

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Current State

I feel like I need an intervention. I spent the end of 2013 on the Candida Cleanse; no sugar, dairy, grains and pork, among other things and by some crazy miracle, managed to become pregnant naturally after 6 failed rounds of IVF. Unfortunately, this didn't last and I had my second miscarriage at the end of April. Now it's July and I feel like I'm in a downward spiral. I didn't really react too much to my second miscarriage, except to assure myself and everybody around me that I was not giving up, that this miscarriage was not going to break me, if anything I was even more ready to fight for a baby of my own! This worked for a few weeks, I did research, I got back on a bunch of supplements to raise my progesterone naturally since that seemed to be my issue with both miscarriages and then I just kind of flopped. I stopped taking the supplements, I stopped going to the gym (again) and I started to eat anything and everything in sight. I've gained back a lot of the weight I lost on the cleanse, my stomach problems are back full force and my skin is broken out worse than it has been in a very long time. Yay me!
 
I'm struggling with this idea that I should be able to balance the good and bad foods, the working out and the couch sitting but it seems to be a whole lot of all or nothing with me. Am I destined to either be on a strict diet for the rest of my life or have stomach problems, no baby and acne? The thing that gets me the most I think is the resentment I have for all of it. Why do I have to do this when other people who are clearly not healthy have babies all the time? And even better, why when I did all that I was supposed to and finally got pregnant on my own, was that baby taken from me too?
 
I'm trying to create a life where I manage my stress effectively, but the questions and resentments swirling in my head are not helping. On top of all this, I sort of hate my body and know I need to lose weight (more weight) but I guess the part of me that relentlessly believes I will be pregnant again soon wonders what the point of losing weight is, if I'm just going to gain it back when I'm pregnant? Let's be clear, I am not obese, I am just a little more plump in certain areas. I'm sure there are some ladies who would be totally fine with my size, but I am not. This is probably because I was underweight most of my life. Not so much anymore.  Of course, even back then I wasn't happy with my body.  Does that ever change?  I sure hope so.
 
I guess ultimately I'd like to be at peace with myself, like on a regular basis and for longer than 2 seconds.  At peace with my current state.  Mind, body and soul?  Yeah, that sounds good.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Miracle Workers

I've spoken recently about wanting to become more at one with my body with yoga and meditation.  Then even more recently, I had another miscarriage.  While the whole thing is very sad, the thing I keep coming back to is that I actually got pregnant NATURALLY for the first time ever!  This is a big deal.  My doctor even called it a miracle.  I'm thinking he's the friggin miracle!  He basically gave me a 3 month timeframe to get me pregnant and then made it happen!  I have been enduring failed fertility treatment after failed fertility treatment for almost four years and this guy comes into my life and puts me on a detox diet, some supplements and does some acupuncture and I get PREGNANT!  I was in disbelief leading up to the test.  Sure, I obviously hoped he could make it happen, but I hoped the same thing with three other fertility specialists who all swore from the beginning that getting me pregnant would be not hard at all and then failed OVER AND OVER.  And this guy was just quietly confident but still never promised anything except to get me healthy.  So, even though it didn't quite work out this time, it's like the fire inside of me has been relit!  I'll admit, I was starting to waver and I was about to take a real break, even started considering the idea of adoption and then I got pregnant!  I firmly believe now, that we have the ability to heal ourselves with diet, exercise, and meditation.  I also now think I know what my problems have been all these years.  Two problems; inflammation and low progesterone.  I was able to fix the inflammation with my diet (even fixed my stomach and skin issues) but since I didn't test very early because I was on vacation and also because I was having a hard time believing that it could be true, I didn't catch the low progesterone early enough.  But, I'm on a mission now!  I have been kind of ordered to relax for a few months by both my midwife and my holistic D.O. (i.e. miracle worker) and in that time I plan to go back on the detox, go back to the gym, de-stress (stress lowers progesterone) and try to raise my progesterone naturally with supplements and herbs (I also plan to resume my year of fun!).  Then, at the end of the summer I will go back to the doctor and get my progesterone checked to see if I am able to raise it naturally and go from there.
So in my new frame of mind I have gotten very interested in people who talk about balancing hormones and overcoming infertility naturally and today I happened upon a website linked in a Goop newsletter (it's been slow at work so I've been catching up on 500 cajillion emails) for Be Hive of Healing (the word "healing" got me to click) and found the video from Fertility Planit with Dr. Habib Sadeghi.  These people are saying exactly what I believe!  I've only had time to watch two videos, but I plan to go through the site more and hope I can learn even more to help align with my current situation.




I didn't really plan to talk about this miscarriage on here but I've never been one to hold things in and I feel like maybe if more people were honest about miscarriages women wouldn't feel so alone when they have them.  I definitely dealt with this one way better than the first one but that doesn't mean that I'm not heartbroken, I'm just not defeated.  Maybe my body just wasn't as healthy as it needs to be yet.  I will make this happen one day and when I do finally hold my healthy baby in my arms, it will be that much more of a gift!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Becoming More at One with my Body

My body has it's problems, but I know for sure it could be worse, so I am thankful for it!  Still, I feel as though I should be treating it better and also pushing it more.  I used to do yoga (jeez like 10 years ago now) and while I was pretty awful at it, I was getting better.  Until I stopped.  I regret it so much that I stopped.  I can only imagine how much better I'd be at it if I had stuck to it and I'm sure my body would better off.  I've been thinking about getting back into it even though I know I'll still be awful and it'll probably be painful.  I have space in a spare bedroom (it's really a craftroom/thirty one storage space) where I can set up a mat and my laptop to have videos guide me.  If I was rich, I'd hire a personal teacher to guide me, but yeah, I'm not rich. 

I also would like to get back into meditation.  I tried going to a meditation center a couple times, but it wasn't guided and I usually ended up falling asleep or crying.  Yeah.  I have it all together.  I stopped going 1. because it's near my old job and 2. it wasn't really helping anyway.  I'm sure some of you saw Unplug Meditation on Goop last week.  That's the type of place I need!  I wish there was one around here.  I'm sorta kinda planning to visit L.A. in August, maybe I'll add this to my list of places to go!



Found this on Pinterest
A girl can dream!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Cherry Blossoms in Washington, DC

My mom has been asking to go see the cherry blossoms in Washington, DC for like 3 years now.  And this year being the year I decided to DO stuff because the last few years have been about unsuccessfully trying to have a baby, I made the plans to go!  Me, my mom, my little brother and luckily even my husband drove down to DC last Saturday to spend the night and see some cherry blossoms!  The goal of the weekend was pretty loose, see some cherry blossoms and maybe some other stuff.  Ha.  We planned to try to go to a few museums and eat some good food.  My mom wanted to go to the Holocaust museum and I wanted to go to the Fireworks Festival by the water (the food truck rally sold me) and Union Market (more food and also a pop-up at Thread).  Union Market is a lot like Chelsea Market in NYC (I was jut there 2 weeks ago for the first time and it was awesome!).  On the ride down, my brother said he wanted to go to the zoo.  We attempted this once we arrived, but it was just too crowded and the parking lot was full.  It was probably the first nice day of the year and also cherry blossom season, so the city was pretty packed!  We almost didn't get into the Holocaust museum either, but turns out military can get tickets even when civilians are being turned away due to the place being full.  My brother is the National Guard, so he got tickets for us.  After that sad experience we walked down to the water to the Fireworks Festival.  I bought some cupcakes and chocolate chip cookie bark and my family marveled at how much money I spend on such things.  I like to support the small business, especially the small food business.  The lines for the food trucks were very long and my family wasn't into the options, so we decided to check out Philips seafood, which was next to the Festival and advertised a seafood buffet.  We waited IN LINE for 45 minutes and the food pretty much sucked!  I thought that place was known for its seafood.  Not a fan.  I also wasn't a fan of the very long walk back to our hotel.  Have I mentioned my feet hate me?  They hate walking too.
Sunday we went to brunch at Kramerbooks & Afterwords.  This place is basically my perfect hangout. My husband and I used to (before it shutdown) spend are Friday nights at Borders drinking coffee and reading magazines (we are probably the reason it closed) and Kramerbooks is a bookstore, cafe and bar!  And it's open 24hrs. on the weekends!!  I'd be there all the time if I lived nearby.  It's right at Dupont Circle and there's a Farmer's market across the street on Sundays.  Ideal.  After brunch we checked out of the hotel and made our way to the National Museum of Women in the Arts where I was lucky enough to see a Kiki Smith sculpture.  We ran out of there pretty quick because our parking situation was questionable.  Luckily, Union Market had a lot, so parking was no issue.  I loved this place, but I'd like to visit on a Tuesday morning, not a beautiful Sunday afternoon when everybody is there!  We only managed to get a coffee, everything else was really packed (and also expensive) and my family wasn't really into it.  I should maybe explain that my family is perfectly happy at a chain restaurant when I'd rather seek out the small, local places.  Food is important to me.  Very important to me.  I take it very seriously and quite frankly, I'm willing to pay more for it.  I don't like to pay a lot for clothes, I'm a lover of the clearance rack, but $9 for a handmade candy bar from Brooklyn?  I'll take it!  My family thinks I'm nuts (but they eat the things I buy for them, no problem) and my husband tries to tolerate me (and he also has no problem eating what I buy).  Just refer to my trip to NYC last weekend.  
We also checked out the popup at Thread.  Very fun, but most of the items were out of my price range. Like I said, I'm more of a clearance rack girl!
All in all, it was a super fun weekend and I plan to go back for at least a day trip this summer!  And now for a few photos...


Pretty walk to the White House



The White House



Treasury


Me and my brother (maybe not my best look)


Capitol Building


Washington Monument