Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's All Fun and Games Until...

We have a morning ritual in this house.  My husband gets up and graciously lets me sleep in.  I have CFS and we want to get as many GOOD hours out of me during the day as possible.  At this point the dog gets into bed with me and we have a morning "nap" (Hooray for Naps!).  Then I get up and Guy is all like, "MINE!  This bed is MINE!!!".  And he looks magical just like this:

We are in bulldog heaven over here!

Retinols update:  I skipped using them today to see how I felt.   I did not feel as good as the past two days that I used them, but I felt SOOOOO much better than before I tried them.  My moisturizer didn't glide on quite as easily and I didn't wear make-up, so no news on that end.  My skin did look fresher and I felt like it took my moisturizer better than it had pre-retinol... so, yeah, I'm totally buying the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel.  After 2 days I'm a believer.  At least for 30 applications.  If and when something truly miraculous- not just truly wonderful- happens from these babies, you will be the first to know!


So, yesterday I mentioned a few items in my every day routine that I wanted to better promote because that's what I do.  I love shizzz and I tell you about it so that you can love it too, or tell me to take a hike.  We're all friends here.

For my 34th birthday, which was at the beginning of October, I opted to pass on my mother buying me an entire set of octopus dinnerware from Anthro (make sure to look at the whole amazeballs collection when you open THIS) in favour of Crème de la Mer.  People, I live in a freaking DESERT!  Seriously, I don't know if y'all know that Utah, despite the greatest snow on earth- and it IS the GREATEST- is one big desert.  My skin yearns for my days at Vassar and living in Madison, WI where the humidity abounds and the skin is voluminous!!!  La Mer?  Worth. Every. Penny.  And every dish in this case.


I'm a total La Mer addict.  I don't know if I can be convinced to love anything else.  But try me.  Please. I really want to know your most beloved moisturizers and why you love them.  I'll tell you the one thing I'm not loving about mine is that I have to buy my SPF separately, or I will have to, rather.  Right now I'm living off of samples that I've hoarded, but soon enough it will be time to purchase this baby:


I'm going to have to start stripping for face cream.  I'd better get a confidence wig first!  Seriously, there was a point in my life where I thought my self-conscious little arse was going to have to become a lady of the night, the ballerina of the GENTLEMEN's club, in order to pay my bills.  I was terribly worried that I was going to have to come up with the cash for a confidence wig first. Praise be for fathers who keep their daughters safe and husbands who take daughters off of their poor father's hands!!!

Finally, Sephora tricked me.  Bless their hearts and their birthday gifts:

They gave me this and also in a barely-there shade called Rosé.  These are heaven to my lips in this dastardly climate.  I drink 60 - 120oz of water a day (no exaggeration) and my lips were ALWAYS chapped.  No more, dear reader, no more!  And it lasts.  I only apply once or twice a day.  And nightly, of course.

So, I'm almost done discussing my face!  But here is where I NEED you.  I beg of you to help my find a product that works for I have tried many!!!  I'm talking about make-up removers.  I wear waterproof mascara and, when I go all out, I also use MAC liquid liner:

It is the only thing that stays put on my eyes.  Everything ends up in the corners or the crease as if Ihave the world's oiliest eyes- except I don't.  I'm taking eye liner suggestions as well and I need one that can line the lower rim above the lashes.  While I like this liner, I have a feeling I can do better.  When I first bought this liner I bought MAC's eye make-up remover as well:

I wasn't all that jazzed.  It took a lot of remover and a lot of tugging to get anything off.  Eventually I moved on to this:

I like it slightly better.  SLIGHTLY.  Still a lot of tugging and just too much fumbling around my most wrinkle prone area.  Also, I wasn't getting all the make-up off in one application.  So, I went to Miloberry as I generally do in a make-up crisis.  She stands by this:

I like it better than the last, but still... so much TUGGING!  Reader, I NEED you.  Please tell me how to get waterproof make-up off of my eyes without all the tugging, pulling, and fumbling.  Can there be a product that does it all in one easy swoop?  Tell me there is.  Then tell me what it is.  I beg of you!

May you have sweet bulldog dreams!


Monday, October 29, 2012


Be warned, dear reader, that this post contains some disturbing images.  Seriously, I have some photos of my face after a very terrible and traumatic cycling accident that occurred in 2006.  My face made love to the asphalt like nobody's business, but I assure you that I am not trying to shock or disgust you.  I feel they're pertinent.  Not quite as pertinent as this, however:

This was poor Guy's defeat when he realized we were going out without him Saturday night.  Is that sweetness or what?  This is why we almost never go out... and leave that face?  Come on (a la GOB Bluth)!  Now let's get gross...

Harvey Dent:


Mrs. Roger Federer:

To see the real extent of the damage, you need to click and enlarge the photo... or don't.  This was about 12 hours after the accident.  I had gone into work and people started crying when they saw me.  Finally I agreed to go home.  Side note:  I lost my right front tooth in this ordeal and a fireman found it in the gutter, IN ONE PIECE, and they put it back in.  Craziness.

For many years the scars on my face were almost completely unnoticeable except the one under my nose, which is, oddly, a white scar.  This past June we went on the dreamiest vacation to the Kona Coast on the big island of Hawaii with my family. 

Guess who's allergic to the sun?  Seriously, I AM ALLERGIC TO THE FREAKING SUN, Y'ALL!  In order not to be covered in sun rash and pain the whole trip, my husband and I took quite a few visits to the tanning salon.  I paid for it because now you can see more of my scars, but I still had one hell of a vacation.  I call on the powers of retinols to save me!  

So, this is me today.  Sorry about the crap quality, but I'm stuck with Photo Booth until our iPhones get here.  For some reason these photos and the photo from the accident are showing my scarring on different sides of my face.  In person, it is on the right side of my face.  The "diagram" on the left is me after washing my face with my Clarisonic Mia and Neutragena naturals face wash, followed by Dr. Dennis Gross' retinols (I could not resist using them again today), then a generous dosing of La Mer eye cream, a slathering of Crème de la Mer, a thorough coverage of La Mer's SPF 30 fluide, and finally a lip hydration thanks to Sugar by fresh (it has SPF 15 and I swear by it!).  The photo on the right is me in every day make-up.  Like going to the grocery store make-up.

As you can see I have some worry lines on my forehead.  Makes sense since I am the greatest worrier since Telly from Sesame Street and my handicapped brother.  Let's go through the diagram, shall we?

A: those are burst blood vessels or something.  They make people in the make-up industry CRAZY.  I don't mind them and I don't care for base, or whatever they call a full face concealer these days.  It's just too much.
B: this points out two scars from the accident.  The one above my eye was not even noticeable until the tanning booth.
C: the white scar that I have actually had people in bars point out to me like I didn't get all my cocaine up there.  Seriously?! Seriously.  People are dumb.
D: another scar from the tanning booth's revenge.
E: a HUGE clogged pore that I picked at (SHAME ON ME).

The photo on the right is me with some Benefit Erase Paste (under eye, down the nose, in the creases on the sides of the nose, above the divot in my top lip, and the center of my chin), Benefit's Ooh la Lift, some generic mineral powder that I'll hang onto until I can get THIS, my favourite Chanel blush that I'm sure is discontinued and is probably 15 years old (don't judge!), Clinique's bottom lash mascara (this product is an absolute MUST... for everyone.  You will thank me later):

and, finally, L'Oreal's Voluminous Million Lashes in waterproof on the top lashes.  I swear by the latter because I SOBBED through my entire wedding ceremony (I am sentimental to a fault) and it did not budge:

At any rate, do you have any suggestions to make this face more palatable (ooooh... punny!)?  And I still need eyeshadow suggestions.

Have you ever had some crazy facial accident?  How do you handle the scarring?


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Gotta Run... Dexter's About to Start

We are obsessed with dog shaming up in this piece.  We can't decide which Guy pic is best:

Option A is simply titled "The Bed Wetter".  My husband thinks they won't use this one because they might feel bad for Guy.  I beg to differ.  I think it's because they are still using a tumblr format and I don't have a tumblr account.

Option B is is titled "I Chewed a Hole Through the Quilt that Grandma Made Mom and Now Grandma will Kill Mom and I Don't Care".  Weigh in folks.  Which one do you prefer?  I'm still partial to option A.

So, I tried out the Benefit Erase paste under my eyes and as a highlighter on my nose and chin last night for a Halloween party.  Here is a photo that gives no indication whatsoever how it turned out:

I was the blood spatter at a crime scene (I wore two pairs of leggings.  The top was made by cutting the crotch out of one pair to create a neck/head hole.  It's a trick I used to do with my old ballet tights for warm-ups) and Andy was Dexter at work.  Since you cannot tell how the Erase Paste looks, I'll tell you.  It looks amazeballs!  It is so much creamier than the Urban Decay pencil I was using before and a little goes a VERY LONG way.  The tiny little pot is going to last me decades.  I'm so glad I listened to Miloberry!

I had just gotten off work at Anthro when I went into Sephora to get the Erase Paste and my feet were KILLING me from breaking in some very beautiful shoes:

And I was a little stressed out because I could not help but buy a very beautiful dress:

It's a wonder I've ever even gotten a paycheque.  I certainly put everything I earned this pay period back into the store!

Back to Sephora... I was really, stressed, tired, hungry, in pedal pain, and I needed an eye shadow.  I need something I can wear every day.  And I want shimmer.  And I want pinkish.  Seems easy enough unless you have NO patience because of the symptoms listed above and you continually get incompetent employees "assisting" you.  So, of course, I stress bought the first thing we came across.

I HATE it!  I don't know if I'm stupid, or if it is.  I DO think it won't last long, it doesn't go on evenly no matter how I try, and I can't get a good consistency.  Maybe I need a cream shadow?  Give me advice, ladies.  I need to take this sucker back and get something I love.  And quite frankly, I don't trust the girls at the Salt Lake Sephora... no offense.  If you don't have a product suggestion, do you know of a Sephora employee who knows their stuff?  I need help.

In the last of this week's face saga, I tried the retinols:

So far I could not be happier.  My skin feels superdooper.  My moisturizer seemed to glide on easier.  My make-up felt the same as usual.  My skin is not peeling or flaking.  There was a little bit of a sting with the first wipe, but a good sting.  I'm going to wait a couple of days and try it again.  I'll keep you posted, but I think I may just have become a lifelong advocate.


Monday: Mac n' Cheese with 2lbs of butternut squash and an entire head of cauliflower "hidden" in it.
Tuesday: Brussels sprouts au gratin and FRESH buffalo sirloin steaks with horseradish mustard (when I say fresh I mean that my uncle culled the heard on his ranch, the buffalo went straight to the butcher, and straight to our freezer... it doesn't get more fresh, nor more organic, baby!).
Wednesday: Chicken picatta and sauteed spinach.
Thursday: Pepperoni rolls with homemade pesto and homemade pizza sauce for dipping and roasted butternut and mystery squashes.
Friday: Leftovers (read: Andy went to McDonald's) because I had to work (read: shop).
Saturday: I brought white bean and roasted red pepper dip to the Halloween party.
Sunday: Roasted tomato and basil soup at mom's  where I finally got to hang out with my nephew:

It's been a long week, but a good week in Paris.  But it just isn't the same without you...


P.S.  I totally forgot to pimp out my Pinterest account where you can get most of my recipes.

Friday, October 26, 2012

I Fell for the Pressure Sell

This is totally how I feel today:

Guy can guff like nobody's business.  He is the guffiest guff that ever guffed and I'm feeling pretty guffy myself today.  Serenity now!!!

OK, Genesis just came on my playlist and then there's this:

This reminds me that I am trying a sort of home remedy teeth whitening experiment.  I don't have much to report right now because I just started.  I was not genetically blessed in the dentitional department.  Do you have any go to teeth solutions?  My teeth are EXTRA sensitive, so I am limited in the scope of products I can use... the bad puns continue!

At any rate, I am here to report on yesterday's trip to Sephora in regard to retinols.  I happened to catch one of their skin care specialists who was in town from L.A. educating the Utah bumpkins.  First, she convinced me to try another eye cream:


From what I gathered Sephora is really pushing this product right now.  And I can attest that it DOES illuminate around the eye (kind of like a B B cream for eyes).  It didn't give me dragon skin.  It smells good.  And it burnt the living hell out of my eyes.  I'm a super shaky gal and I cannot be trusted to use products AROUND my eyes that burn if they get IN my eyes.  Why would they make an eye cream that burns?!

So, that's out for me.  I'm keeping the La Mer.  I don't care if it contains ingredients with the suffix "cone".  I think it's amazeballs.

Then this lady tells me that I need to stay away from retinols because my skin has "clearly lost its elasticity".  Ummmmm... bitch (pardon my french... oh, puns, oh you!).   I told her that I owed it to the readers to try retinols and she finally agreed to give me some samples of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincares's Alpha Beta Daily Face Peel.  I am, however, taking her advice and waiting to try it when I have no big commitments because I work at Anthro in a couple of hours and I need to look nice.  She basically terrified me by telling me it is going to eat away my skin and any sun damage that is repaired will come back ten fold because I'll be so sensitive to the sun.  That's why I got buttloads of samples of La Mer's sunscreen, lady.

The other reason I was at Sephora was because I need a new under eye concealer.  I've been using one from Urban Decay:

I really like this product, but I have used it up really quickly and I apply make up infrequently and very lightly.  I need a product that I don't have to replace so often.  I combine this with Benefit's Ooh La Lift, which I adore.  It is so brightening and makes my skin look dewy and fresh:

I apply it like so:

I just dab at it with my fingers and spread upwards.  It's wizardry, I tell ya!

At the advice of Miloberry (Read her blog.  She is thorough.  She is my go to for all things make-up as I venture back into wearing it) I was headed in to buy Benefit's Erase Paste, which she swears by:

But I ended up walking out with Korres' Concealer Correcteur:

I haven't decided whether I'll keep it or not.  That's a lie.  I'm totally returning it AND the brush she pressure sale-ed me into buying and getting the Erase Paste I went in for.  Unless you have a must-have product... do you? 

I'll be trying out the retinols on Sunday!  I hope I don't look too much like Freddy Krueger as that isn't my intended Halloween costume.  On that note, I leave you to get into the Halloween spirit with a blog written by one of the most beautiful, wonderful, and strongest babes I have ever had the pleasure of knowing:  She really DOES walk softly.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Diving In Head First! (Bad Puns: Part II)

Salt Lake had it's first snow of the season today!  I'm not going to lie... I really wish the weather would consider my feelings and wait until November.  But hey, it gave me the perfect excuse to nap with my pup (after I worked my little arse off at Xtend Barre... more about that later).  Bear in mind that Guy is a VERY svelte bulldog.  He's on a strict diet (also for flatulence control) and he's really active.  He's also some sort of wizard:

What the what?!  My svelte, little Guy is a fat, ol' jellybean!  And what a glorious sight to wake up to!  Hooray for Naps!  If I ever run for anything, the latter will assuredly be my slogan.  I'll be a shoo-in.

So, today I was going to write about toners keeping with the theme of the face, but I'm not going to anymore.  While the Clarisonic Mia has done wonders for my pores, I still need help.  I've been using a witch hazel toner from the health food store and it doesn't seem to be doing anything either way.  It doesn't even smell good.  I was going to ask for suggestions, but then Lems, my friend and fellow Vassar alumnus, wrote in the comments about retinols and I asked for more info.  I totally got it:

OK, retinols. It's a form of Vitamin A and it's a miracle worker for the skin. There are loads of ways to get it, but my faves right now are:

Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Skin Peel (Sephora, $78)


Glow by Dr. Brandt Ruby Crystal Retinol Hydracreme
(Sephora, $65)


Both do amazing magical things to my skin, such as: shrink pores, smooth texture, lighten sun spots; calm rosecea and/or acne; tighten things up; make makeup go on smoother...

I can't sing their praises enough. I alternate these - don't use more than one product at once, it's too much for the skin. If you have sensitive skin, start slowly and remember to always use SPF during the day! Retinol makes you extra sensitive to the sun.

 See ya toner (for now at least).  Toner and retinols sounds like too much for one little face to handle.  I looked up both retinol products and I've decided to try the Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Skin Peel.  While it's pricier, I cannot risk testing out a new lotion for a few reasons, but mainly because lotions have proved to be the most risky of all products for causing allergy induced eczema.  While facial eczema is totally IN right now, I'm going to go against the grain and avoid it.  I'm a loner, Dottie.  A REBEL.  Also, the reviews on Sephora were amazing... all 500+ of them.  I'm headed there in a couple hours to get/buy some samples... Thanks, Lems!

Hey Utahns!  Did you know that we have a Sephora at the new City Creek Center?  Did you know that Anthropologie is there now as well?  The Gateway store is closed, sorry.  The new Anthro is amazing!  You need to stop in.  I don't care if you shop.  You need to SEE it.  So, yeah, I'm pimping out my place of part-time employment because, well, because it's the bees knees.

I'll let you know my physical and emotional reaction to retinols soon!  Do you have any advice, stories, experiences with retinols? HOORAY FOR NAPS!!!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What do YOU Wash With?

Remember how I was complaining about dragon skin around my eyes and you thought that I was just making excuses to buy La Mer eye cream?  Go HERE for a refresher.  Let me show you a mild version of dragon skin:

EWWWWWWW!!!  This isn't even that bad because it was caused by this:

Yep, I'm allergic to my baby.  Love really does conquer all... with the aid of antihistamines.  Product induced dragon skin lingers, however.  It scoffs at antihistamines.  And it gets puss-y and scabby.  SEXY... er, I mean, GROSS!  I don't always have to go to the extreme cost (and extreme awesomeness) of La Mer to appease my allergies, however.  When it comes to face wash, I've found one that I am really happy with.  And I can get it at the grocery store!

This stuff is great and it lasts a long time because a little goes a long way... especially when you're using it with the Clarisonic Mia.  I also really like the pore scrub from this line:

It's gentle enough that you could use it everyday.  

I have to admit that I haven't tried a ton of other facial cleansers.  I've been pretty blessed with good skin regarding breakouts and such... except for the cystic acne I had on my chin in college.  They were CYSTS!!!  AND ZITS!!!!!  I cringe at the memory.  My poor self-esteem!  I've always done well with Neutrogena, but...

What do you use?  Are you totally committed to it?  Tell me if there is something I am missing out on.  


Monday, October 22, 2012

Let's Face It (I intend to use a lot of bad puns)

I don't have hoards of things to write about today, so I thought to myself, "How can I entice someone to keep reading this blog?".  Here's your answer:

Just ignore those schlubs in the background and answer me this: Have you ever seen a sweeter face EVER? Ever in the whole cosmos?!  That was a rhetorical question as your answer is obviously, "OMGZ!!! No. No, I have never EVER, never in the history of everything, seen a face that sweet!"

Let's talk about stuff I love.  Let's Product of the Day this bidnezz:


So, do you have the Clarisonic Mia yet?  How many times have you heard about this awesome little mechanism?  Like a billion times?  Then why don't you have one yet?!  Given, this was another splurge... or maybe, just maybe, I conned my mother into getting herself one while we were out registering for my bridal showers/wedding gifts (I JUST got married in May, y'all!) because I knew she would feel too guilty not getting one for me as well since we WERE supposed to be celebrating my impending nuptials and all.  I got a light green one and this photo is making me green with envy (oh yeah, I went there) because I like the vibrant green so much more.  Get any colour you want.  Get a colour you hate.  You will still love this baby.  "What is this thing?", you ask.  It is the world's most important face cleansing aid!  You just charge it up and push the button.  It has a timer and I ALWAYS go over, but the idea is that you wash your face for 1 full minute and it will detail the number of seconds for each area of your face in the instructions.  All the while this little miracle is softly scrubbing circles over you skin and you WILL see a difference.  In 3 weeks the pores on my face could no longer be seen from space.  You had to get, like, as close as the edge of the earth's atmosphere to even make them out anymore.  EVEN ON MY SCHNOZZ!!!  Buy this.  Buy it now because you are one sexy dreamboat hiding behind some pores and maybe a little acne.  Stop hiding, sheesh.  Are you sold?

Do you have any Mia success stories?  Have you tried something you think is just as effective (it's not, but I still want to know)?  What colour would you choose and why?


Sunday, October 21, 2012

And we're live!

Welcome to my blog!  I'm here to shamelessly plug... well, basically anything I love, be it a recipe, a product, a service, another blog, and, above all else, my dog.  My husband might get a little love too here and there.  Let's start with the dog:

This obscenely handsome beast is a rescued Old English Bulldog with the very hefty moniker of Guy Winston Churchill Larkin-Federer Wilson.  He is as obscenely spoiled and loved as he is handsome.  You'll be seeing A LOT more of him.

This dapper young fellow is my husband.  You'll be hearing more about him, if not seeing as well... assuming he doesn't smother me in my sleep for posting this photo.  He should become a realtor just so he can use this photo as his head shot.  As it stands, he's a biostatistician... with a bright future in real estate... ha!

And here's me.  I'm a 34 year-old housewife with a part-time job at Anthropologie and a freelance editing career.  I love my little family, I love to cook, I love the Oxford comma, I love cheap champagne, and I love Phil Collins.  Seems like we've covered all the bases in this introduction of characters, so I'll move right along to a segment I'll be calling THIS WEEK FOR DINNER.  I'm totally stealing this idea from my birthday twin, Ashley, who has an amazing blog called The Pickled Bean.  It's a heartfelt story about her little family and it's well worth a read.  I won't tell you anymore because you need to read this gem for yourself.  Onward!


Monday: Sloppy joes on garlic bread with parmesan roasted cabbage.
Tuesday: I had a big health scare (I have the crappiest health in all of crapdom), so we had ramen *hangs head in shame*
Wednesday: Spinach pasta with mascarpone, lemon zest, and chives with mustard-rubbed pork chops.
Thursday: Homemade cashew pesto and provolone grilled cheese on wheat bread (that mountain of basil from the Farmer's Market pictured above was far more mountainous in person... we are swimming in pesto) with fresh tomatoes from the husband's coworkers' gardens.
Friday: I worked at Anthro all night, so it was fend for yourself.
Saturday: Crock pot chicken enchilada soup that was so much better than anticipated.
Sunday: Leftovers... normally we have dinner at my parents' house on Sundays and my mom puts together quite a feast.

Oh My General Zod!  This is, like, the perfect place for me to shamelessly plug my Pinterest account because most of the recipes I use will be there.

Finally, I have a Product of the Day, which will be another constant feature on this blog:


Along with my crappola health, I'm allergic to nearly EVERYTHING!  At 34 I finally accepted that I needed to start taking care of my skin in order to still look 25.  I tried SOOOOOO many eye creams.  They were all natural, they had no preservatives, they came highly recommended.  I ended up looking like I had dragon skin around my eyes for weeks, which I couldn't treat with Neosporin BECAUSE I'M ALLERGIC TO IT.  And then I find the most expensive stuff in town.  I'm not allergic to it! It looks pretty, it smells good, it lasts a LONG time... it has everything going for it except the price tag.  Let me assure you, it is worth EVERY penny, but it's totally hard to get that many pennies together for eye cream, ya know?  So, that's also why I'm cooking so much lately.  My sweet husband will get me more eye cream next month with all the money we save not eating out!  And just so you know, the cream has lasted over a year.  Make like Tom and Donna and TREAT YOSELF!!!

If you made it all the way to the end, I thank you, dear reader.  Paris just isn't the same, so come again. xoxox