23 April 2014

overpriced skincare shopping, stitch fix, holiday candy

Shopping preoccupations continue. I'm going to talk about overpriced things that I like. Judge, don't judge, whatever.

Awhile back I ordered one of those skincare sampler thingies from Sephora (it's no longer available or I would link to it). It was a good deal for large sized things that I knew I wanted to try, so I bought it! The good news/bad news about that is the things I've tried so far? I over-the-moon love. And the things I LOVE love? OMG they are expensive.
I cannot believe how wonderful and magical this Kate Somerville ExfoliKate stuff is (I'm linking to this gift one because it's the same price as just the exfoliant but with a bonus little sized one, so it's a better deal). It's...$85. For face 2.5 oz of face scrub. But I love it! But it's $85...
The 0.5oz one is the one that came in my sampler, which hey for $40 is seeming like a real bargain!
I also love the Black Label Detox BB Cream that came in this set. I got the 0.66oz size. 1.5oz is $36. Not quite in Somerville territory, but pricey.
I haven't really gotten into the other products yet, but even if  just those two are hits, I got my money's worth. I'll report back if there's anything else worth a recommendation.

I also bought the Sephora mascara sampler, currently sold out so I won't bother linking. I love buying these because you get a handful of travel sized mascaras for the price of one (premium brand) full sized one, and I genuinely prefer travel sized mascaras. They don't dry out or get weird before I use them up, which is the problem I have with full sized mascaras, and feels like a real waste when spending $20 - $25 on something. Plus y'all know I love mascara sampling.

I ALSO bought (but have not yet received and can't report on) the Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette. It's expensive, but whatever. It's a hobby! I've wanted one of these powders for awhile, and this seemed like a good way to dip my toe in. I mean, if spending $60 is dipping your toe into anything. Questionable.

If you're on the fence about getting a Clarisonic, this set seems like a screaming deal, since it's the cost of just the Clarisonic Aria, but you also get OTHER THINGS. Same with this one, but for the Mia. I mean, if you were going to get one anyways, I would say get one in one of these sets. Because...you get more things. For the same dollars. Anyhow.
I signed up for Stitch Fix! Even though I only kept one item from my first fix, I really, really LOVED getting the mail and trying on. I think my stylist actually did a very good job on picking things that were on point for me, but the fit was off for a couple things. I recommend, but I also HIGHLY recommend putting together a style pinboard on pinterest to link to in your profile. That's...really the only thing I've ever used pinterest for, but I think it was a genuine help in getting good picks from this service, which was exciting because I got to try on items that I really liked, but that I wouldn't necessarily have chosen myself. If you sign up, I have a referral link. Use my referral link! It gives me a credit. I mean, if you want to. That would be cool.

I can't stop eating Reese's peanut butter eggs. They are my favorite seasonal candy. Yesterday I told myself that IF they still had them at Target, THEN I could buy them. And they had them! So...I bought them. Holiday candy weakness.

10 April 2014

I am poorly equipped for tantrums

Gabriel has been positively rotten for the past couple weeks.
As soon as I type that, I need to clarify. He's been having good days at school, hasn't been torturing my mom or sister (primary after school caregivers), has been generally getting along with the other kids, has been eating.
Those are the typical problems. Getting in trouble for talking out in class, fighting with his cousins (sometimes at school! for bonus double problems!), refusing to eat, fighting with my mom (usually about fighting with cousins! or refusing to eat!).
Anyhow, none of that is going on.
Which is good!
So, so good.
Thank you lord jesus for the thing where my kid doesn't have to be the school behavior problem.
Also, he's been eating! At his 8 year checkup I learned that buttering everything that might touch his lips, and constant hounding about YOU HAVE TO HAVE BREAKFAST EAT ONE MORE BITE has clawed him into the 40th percentile for weight (and 80th for height, if you were wondering). Three years ago? He was in the 80th for height (he's pretty solidly 80th for height) and the SEVENTH for weight. So we're making some real progress with my odd bird bones child. I almost don't fret about him tossing his entire lunch and going for an entire day on hunger strike.
Gabriel has been rotten.
To me.
He's good, good, good, and then I get home, or it's the weekend, and he's just this nasty tantrum monster. Yelling and flinging things about and every night has been ending with him in trouble and me frayed to my very ends.
I don't want to get you in trouble.
Please just don't talk to me that way.
Why are you talking to me that way?
Please, Gabriel, just stop being nasty.
We've had an array of consequences that I don't ESPECIALLY want to enforce because I actually like doing fun things with my child but there you are making the threat and boom, follow through, etc.
I feel like I've been in a permanent state of Enforcing Consequences.
I don't feel like I'm cut out for it. 
Last night was especially bad.
It ended with me locked in my bathroom, locked in my bedroom, Gabriel pounding on my bedroom door alternating between demands to be let in and commands to stay in there and never come out.
Finally I DID come out, to march him to bed and WHY CAN'T YOU JUST STOP I CAN'T DEAL WITH THIS I JUST CAN'T YOU CAN'T TALK THIS WAY TO ME and then weeping and asking in his small voice if he could have a hug with me so keyed up and furious and frustrated that I could barely say yes even though OF COURSE you can have a hug. 

This morning was going more or less okay. He sassed briefly because I refused to go on a hunt for the SPECIFIC pair of socks he wanted to wear, because no. Then I handed him breakfast (warm buttered tortilla, per his request), and in his nastiest, most rotten voice, "I WANTED CRISPIX MOM."
It's like having a human viper hissing at you in your dining room.

I burst into tears.

I wasn't exactly expecting to cry. I'm not a crier.
Gabriel obviously wasn't expecting me to cry. He ate his breakfast without another peep.

I'm hoping this phase passes soon.

I am not equipped.

08 April 2014

Things I saw in the locker room at the gym today

- Lady taking up an entire bench, fully clothed, reading one of those Jehovah's Witness-type pamphlets with hunky Jesus on the cover.

- Lady who went into the shower with only a towel and one of those plastic bears full of honey.

- Super ancient lady doing tricep dips on the locker room bench. Because...this isn't a gym, with equipment for that. Also? There are only three benches in the locker room. Two were occupied, as outlined.

- Lady in the sauna wearing a garbage bag.

- And, my favorite: the lady who accused me of locking her out of her locker. She left her lock on her locker, unlocked. And someone locked it. And that was definitely me. Because I was somewhat adjacent, trying to hastily pull on my underwear while avoiding the tricep dipper and the Jesus pamphlet reader.  In case you were wondering, I did not lock her things into her locker. With her lock. But somebody did! Although I'm guessing it was her.

07 April 2014

Specialized exercise shoes, boring children's movies, weekends, hair dye projects

Project BUY ALL THE THINGS continues. I really do TRY to curb my consumerism, but I also really just...I enjoy shopping, y'know?
I Zappoed a couple pairs of shoes last week. One I'm going to return because even though I'm obsessed with the foresty greenness of them, they just aren't quite the right shape for my foot. I have very narrow feet, and they're wide, plus also leather so I feel that they'll most likely stretch. If you are not one of the very narrow footed, these are nice shoes, and the delightful green color is on sale, and green. Do you know how much I love green?
A lot.
I love it a lot.
I also bought these sneakers. I just bought new sneakers, which look almost exactly the same (same brand and same color scheme/concept), but are more of a running shoe, while these are super lightweight and more of a zumba shoe, if there is such a thing. I've gotten somewhat gym-obsessive this year, and I feel like specializing my shoes. I don't like dancing around and hopping up and down in shoes that feel clunky at all. I don't like running in clunky shoes either, but these are even better. I don't know why two pairs of gym shoes feels so excessive to me, but it does. That's why I'm spending all this time trying to explain to you (myself) why it's okay for me to have TWO WHOLE PAIRS.
It's a normal and acceptable thing to own two pairs of exercising shoes if one does two different exercising things.
Although. I don't actually run. I walk. And occasionally I break from my walk into a jog, and then my chest starts to itch and all the bouncing makes my boobs hurt and then I go back to walking until the various chest discomforts subside. Cycle, repeat, etc.
I've spent the past several years watching what seems like the entire internet convert to running, and I really WANT to be a part of that club, but I just can't. Maybe if I keep trying here and there eventually I will get to a place where I hate running LESS, but I have a hard time picturing myself in a world where I love it. Even though loving to run seems like a healthy, pleasant thing.
I'm not sure why dancy-type aerobic exercise classes don't make me itchy or hurt my boobs, because there's an awful lot of jumping and prancing and what have you, but they don't, which is (I think) why I like them so much.
I went and saw that Mr. Peabody movie on Friday. I rarely take Gabriel to the movies, but I was feeling indulgent. It....was really boring. I like kid movies, but the plot was just excruciatingly uninteresting. There were one or two laugh-out-loud lines/moments, but overall I was just itching to go running up and down the theater aisles and maybe do a somersault and OH MY GOODNESS not sit still. Rocky and Bullwinkle was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid, so I really WANTED to like it, but...it wasn't a good movie. The kids all loved it though, so the night was an overall success.
My weekend was very pleasant. Movie Friday night, then Gabriel's baseball game was canceled because the fields were too wet from storms earlier in the week, but the weather was sunny and nice. On Saturday we went to breakfast and to the park, and then over to my sister's for the evening. I stayed in bed until I was starving to death, which was a bit of a problem because by the time I was sitting in a restaurant and ordering food I felt rather murderous, but other than that it was my favorite kind of lazy day. Sunday I took Gabriel roller skating and then to the park and then also the skate park and then we did some shopping/errand running. I went to bed early last night but today I'm exhausted. I don't usually do that many THINGS in a weekend (things on every single day!).
I'm starting to need a haircut pretty desperately. It's also been awhile since I dyed my hair. The last time I dyed it, I went with a pretty extreme/obnoxious Ariel-red. I loved it, because mermaid hair, but it was very...intense. I felt like it was Pay Attention To Me hair, and sometimes (usually) I just really don't want to be noticed at all. I never use permanent dye because I'm really terrible at hair color upkeep, and red fades a lot regardless, so it was very TEMPORARY Pay Attention To Me hair, so I'm not sure I got quite enough time with it. The nice thing about dying your hair reddish is that (on me) it fades out in a way where I don't have roots or weird looking hair. The bummer thing about dying your hair reddish is that it fades out and then it looks like you never dyed your hair in the first place. So I'm thinking about a redo. Historically speaking, this is the sort of decision that I make after two too many glasses of wine, after midnight, on a Wednesday. So. We shall see.

27 March 2014

Things I Bought

I've been buying stuff lately, because I like to buy stuff.

Here is some of the stuff.

I bought a new tent. For full disclosure please note that I got a work-related discount on this tent. I paid about $160 for it. It's a VERY nice tent though. I think it's probably worth $225, if you have $225 in your tent budget, if you have a tent budget. I'm taking Gabriel camping in June, and I'm starting to gather things. Like this tent. Which I bought.

I've also bought assorted emergency supplies, to make my Emergency Car Kit a little more robust. It previously contained items to address all of my day-to-day mini-emergencies (deodorant, tampons, t-shirt, etc). I've added ACTUAL emergency supplies, such as waterproof matches, knife, water treatment tablets, first aid. I googled various emergency kits and bought things on Amazon.

I have been buying things for my impending niece visit. I bought her a baby doll, and some board books, and a pair of pajamas, and a pair of boots. The baby doll was most difficult to find, because I have lots of trouble finding baby dolls that tread the right line between too cartoonish and too much like a real baby laying dead in the corner. I settled on this one, which seems to strike the right balance, for the proper price ($18 at the time of this posting, but, Amazon, so I'm sure that fluctuates wildly).

Gabriel has been voraciously consuming books. He's obsessed with Magic Tree House right now. He got a couple for $1 each at his school book sale, has read 8 from his school library, traded his cousin for two more, I ordered a 4-pack from Amazon, and just agreed to order 4 more from a book order. I'm skeptical about owning versus library-ing these, as he runs through them in about a day and doesn't seem too hot to re-read, but he DEEPLY loves owning them. He's a natural collector of THINGS and loves having his things and organizing them. I don't anticipate getting him all of them, but I don't mind buying him a few. Do you have other book recommendations? He also loves poetry, if by poetry you mean Shel Silverstein, which I do, in this case. So. Children's poetry or chapter books. Otherwise he doesn't much care for picture books these days. I read aloud to him as well.
Oh! We just read The Trumpet of the Swan and it is MAGNIFICENT. I missed it as a child somehow but I just LOVE IT. Even if you don't have kids you should read it. Read it right now. OH IT'S SO GOOD I JUST LOVE IT.
My mom has been reading him the Harry Potter series. I read him through the original AA Milne books, and The Warriors, which...is a series about...feral warrior cats? And their tribes? I don't know. Gabriel really, deeply loves it, but I sort of can't stand it because they all have confusing, stupid names, and unnecessary THESE ARE CATS reminders, and it's not really that well written. At no point was I pleased to be reading it. But Gabriel is OBSESSED. Oh and he read Black Beauty. I came to the conclusion that Black Beauty is the book that most appropriately captures horse ESSENCE. Like actual horse PERSONALITY and feelings towards people. I have Just So Stories to read him, which I think he'll like, and Danny, Champion of the World. But I'm really looking for more books that he can read on his own.

I've been trying very hard not to buy myself any more clothing, with some degree of success. I'll allow that I'm probably just diverting the funds into books and tents, and still not saving quite what I should.

21 March 2014

Key observations, makeup zest, camp anxiety

As part of actually blogging again, I've been trolling my own archives.
Key observations:
1. Everything has changed.
2. Nothing has changed.
I'm feeling new zest about makeup and skincare experimentation. I always feel at least some zest on these topics, but there's quite a range up there at the top between regular zest and lots of zest. I'm in high zest mode, just now.

This past fall I went on a drugstore mascara rampage. I basically bought all of the kinds that they make and sell, and tried them all, and posted a bunch of strange pictures of my eyes on Instagram by way of review. If you're wondering, and if you like the same TYPE of mascara as I do, the hands down very best DRUG STORE VARIETAL is the L'Oreal Voluminous Million Lashes Excess (red bottle). It's a bit wet, in case you find mascara wetness to be offputting. Also, I have expensive mascaras I perhaps like better (Benefit They're Real is probably my true favorite) but this L'Oreal one is MUCH cheaper and only a tiny sliver of a shade not as good. Recommend! If you are into mascaras. You might not be! I don't know your life!

One of my favorite 'drugstore hunt' products are the Revlon ColorBurst Balm Stain crayon things. They are OFTEN either out of stock or tampered with, so I have a policy of buying them as a I see them, even when the colors are not my usual. If you're wondering, Honey is the color that universally looks like magic on all lips, the matte colors are super fun (and matte), and the lacquer ones are sparkled, and fun. I enjoy collecting them.
I'm still trying to fill the following cosmetics holes in my heart: general skincare SYSTEM, 'full face' foundation and blush, summer shade of foundation that doesn't look too masky (I freckle pretty heavily in the summer).
I'm taking Gabriel camping this summer for the first time...ever. I mean, he has been camping before, and I have been camping before, but we haven't together been camping.
For one thing, I haven't been camping since my very early 20s. For another, camping with kids just sounds like a complete pain in the ass.
Counterbalance, I have super fond memories of childhood camping, even if I was a complete pain in the ass.
So I'm taking him, but not until like, June, but despite that I'm already FRETTING because camping just involves so much GETTING READY to ultimately...sleep outside. Anyways. Camp anxiety!

18 March 2014

Thoughts on the news

I think people who don't vaccinate are irresponsible dickbags.
No, no. Please don't tell me why you don't. Unless it is a medically supported reason (immunocompromised child), I am not even slightly interested. I live in a community where lots of people want to tell me about why they don't vaccinate their special snowflakes.  I've already heard it all.
With most parenting choices, I am of the "Do you what you feel, bruh" camp, even if it's something that I don't personally agree with.
With vaccination, I feel like you are directly ruining my society.
Get out.
If you choose not to vaccinate your child, and then your child infects another child who cannot be vaccinated due to age or health, well you just gave that kid whooping cough (or whatever).
And those kids who cannot be vaccinated?
They don't tend to be the ones with the vim and vigor to withstand potentially fatal childhood diseases.
In sum, consider the following: You don't vaccinate. Your unvaccinated kid gets measles (or whatever). My infant child is not yet able to be vaccinated and gets those measles. DIES.
Hello, you are personally responsible for the death of my child.
I would like you to be penalized accordingly. The penalties for killing children ought to be quite severe.
The problem with this parenting decision is that it affects MANY other people, and negatively.
Don't just get off my lawn.
You're ruining my herd immunity.
Get out of my village.
Right now.
I am obsessed and riveted and obsessively riveted by this story.
It is so upsetting.
Ukraine is....also upsetting.
Are we just gonna....Russia is going to redraw European borders for the first time since WWII?
Don't we think that....we're just gonna....really?
Oh because trade partners?
Okay then.
Still don't care about March Madness.
Brackets hold a certain amount of appeal though.