growinghumans


February Favorites
February 22, 2015, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The older I get, the more expensive I get.

I am finding recently that I am becoming a bit of a snob when it comes to what I put on my body; clothing, makeup, skin-care, etc.

This month, I explored a few new high-end and organic skin-care brands and I wanted to share a handful of my favorite products that I tried and I think are worth the investment.

lush

Lush’s H’Suan Wen Hua Hair Mask

I have never tried a hair mask before but at the beginning of the month I added some bleached ombre to the bottom of my hair which essentially wrecked it. I was having hair fall out every time I ran my fingers through it and so finally I broke down and dragged myself into Lush (ha, as if) and asked for help. They gave me this, I gave them my money and it has significantly helped my hair. I change my hair color about every two months so this will definitely become a staple in my hair care routine. I use it twice a week.

John_Masters_Organics_Citrus_and_Neroli_Detangler_236ml_1366982165_mainJohn Masters Organics Citrus and Nerolia Detangler

I was highly suspicious of trying this sample when I got it in the mail; the word “detangler” instead of “conditioner” did not fill me with any sort of hope. I have thing and limp hair but it is also incredibly dry and can become damaged easily so I usually go for a heavy conditioner (I only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, though…which also helps to keep it healthy).  I was very pleasantly surprised with this product. A little bit of it in my palm coated my whole head and absorbed quickly. When I rinsed it out, I could already tell that my hair felt softer and was going to be easy to manage. It feels like a lightweight product but it gets the damn job done and is something that I will gladly purchase the full size of. Also: it smells amazing.

pai cleanserPai Camellia and Rose Gentle Hydrating Cleanser

Pai was a brand I had been interested in for quite some time–most of my favorite beauty bloggers mentionthem on a regular basis but the stickershock of their products always deterred me. So, I bought a few sample sizes of their most recommended products to see if the hype was legit.

It’s pretty legit, guys. I hate to say it.

This cleanser is super amazing and leaves my skin so soft after, I almost don’t need a day cream. I have EXTREMELY dry skin during the winter so this is absolutely the bestcleanser for me. A little big goes quite a long way, as well, which might help with overcoming the cognitive dissonance of spending more on a face wash than I usually do on shoes; but remember, you are worth nice things and sometimes you have to invest in  yourself.
pai-avocado-jojoba-moisturiser-pPai Avocado & Jojaba Hydrating Day Cream

No surprise here, this moisturizer is also amazing. It absorbs really well into your skin without leaving any sort of sheen to your skin and it lasts ALL DAY. Usually if I am wearing foundation, my day cream gives up around 2 pm and I start to look dry again under my makeup. This stuff lasts until night cream time (NIGHT CREAM TIME becomes a thing when you turn 30, I have found out).

Now, I have to say, this is certainly the best day cream I have put on but if you are going to pick one Pai item to splurge on, go for the face wash. There are other facial moisturizers out there at a more civilian price that work almost as well. That’s just my 2 cents on that.
face-mask-for-revitalising-the-skin-ila-spaIla Face Mask 

Again, the price range of Ilaproducts always instilled shock and awe into my heart, but a sample size of this face mask  really gave me the idea of what the difference between a $5 face mask and a $50 face mask is. My skin glows after I rinse this mask off; it feels soft and healthy and the tone looks brighter and more even. I don’t know if I can justify the price for the full size just yet, but if I was Kate Middleton, I would be putting this on my face three times a damn week.

lavanila

La Vanila The Healthy Deodorant 

I was super skeptical about this stuff at first for several reasons;

1. I had to go into Sephora to buy it and I hate HATE hate Sephora.

2. I was paying $8 for a tiny stick of deodorant.

3. I had tried natural deodorants in the past and it was a catastrophe.

However, the internet kept telling me to try this crap so I marched into the store, got terrible service, paid almost $10 for a shot of deodorant, and came home.

I put it on and yes yes it smells heavenly. But so did Tom’s from Maine. And that stuff was AWFUL. But I have sensitive arm pits (I’m just a sensitive soul, I guess), and the thought of this product was appealing.

The first two days were similar to my other experiences with natural deodorants; I felt like nothing was happening. I knew I would still sweat because it wasn’t an antiperspirant and I was willing to deal with that but I also felt like I was still smelling, as well. Then, on day three, my body chemicals (?? science? No idea.) adjusted and I stopped smelling like a sweaty person and started smelling like vanilla. So, that was awesome.

Also: I bought it at the beginning of the month and I haven’t gone through the whole thing yet and it’s a super small stick so I’m impressed with that, as well.

I will be purchasing this again, which is a huge deal for me because SEPHORA SUCKS. 

So, there are my monthly reviews of things that you could spend all of your money on if you want to feel and smell nice. I am not saying go out and drop $400 on skin care products; that is not the point of this post. I am simply saying that investing in a luxury product here and there is sometimes worth it.

That you are worth it.

As a mother it is sometimes hard to reconcile spending money on myself; I quickly learned, though, that constantly feeling and looking like a hot mess is stupid and unnecessary. Not to mention it’s not setting a good example for my own daughter.

While growing your own tiny human, don’t forget that you yourself are growing and must be maintained accordingly.

You.

Are.

Worth it. 

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That tummy.
February 17, 2015, 4:58 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

B9uP_e7IEAAcx-i.jpg-large

So, we’ve all seen this photo of Cindy Crawford by now right? We all get that she is being heralded across the internet as the hero of women everywhere. We all see that she is still absolutely stunning even with THAT TUMMY.

That’s what you’re all thinking, right?

That tummy. 

Let me tell you about that tummy, internet.

Cindy Crawford earned that damn tummy. There are many different ways to become a mother; a parent. Sometimes you grow the humans.

Growing a human body inside of your body will do strange things to your body. It will make you hurt in ways that you may never recover from. It will leave you forever changed. It may make you feel damaged after.

photo-1Here is my Tiny Human turning around inside of my belly a few weeks before she  was born. That’s her head. That is her giant, alien baby head pushing against my belly skin like some sort of sci-fi movie.

Cindy Crawford isn’t the hero of all women; or rather, she shouldn’t be. We shouldn’t be silently applauding her from our couches, while surfing for one piece bathing suits on the Target website. We should be standing up next to her. Cindy Crawford is all women who have put their bodies through the freak show that is pregnancy. We are all heroes. photo-1

This was taken four days before I went into labor. No one could tell me WHY it looked like this, but this is what I looked like. It hurt. My skin cracked and broke into a rash from all of the stretching.

In the end, I was given a C-section (BY THE MERCY OF GOD) and when they opened me up, my giant alien baby’s knees flopped out and everyone laughed, “It was knees!”

My tummy looks very similar to Cindy’s–I often call it the basset hound’s nose and if you have a tummy like that, you will smile to yourself because you know what I am talking about.

I lost my baby weight fast enough, but the tummy remained; the hanging skin and the stretch marks stand as a testament to what a woman will do to bring a human into this world.

So, to the women who have grown humans, I say this to you:

The next time you look at yourself in the mirror, naked, tell yourself that you look exactly like Cindy freaking Crawford.

We have earned this.



The Beatles are lying to you.
February 14, 2015, 3:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

rings

So.

I have been with the same man for 11 years, and while I am in no position to preach about relationships, there are a few things that I know to be true.

Love is not all you need.

But, Carrie! If your heart is pure then the two of you can endure anything! Draw your strength from one another! Love is all you need!

Nope.

Here is what I have needed thus far in this marriage to stay alive, and more importantly for him to stay alive.

So much patience that I can’t even measure it.

Patience for when he’s late coming home from work; for when money is low; for when there is so much laundry piled up in our bedroom that we can’t find the bed; for when I go all bipolar on him and say things I do not mean; for when our daughter will NOT. STOP. SCREAMING.

Maintaining The Date Night.

Some people may think that once you have a child, or a bunch, you should stop being selfish with taking time for the two of you. This is bullshit. My husband and I need at least one night a month where we can sit opposite one another in a crowded restaurant, on our phones, and drink.

Inside jokes.

My husband and I are both giant nerds. We watch movies over and over again. We play video games together. We enjoy table top games and the same TV shows. We say “It’s a trap!” at least 4 times a week and always laugh at ourselves. We make sure the other person knows that they no longer have to pretend to be cool; we are allowed to be our true selves that most people keep hidden away behind walls of social pressure. OUR FAMILY SAYS NAY TO THIS PRESSURE.

Girls Night and Man Night.

This is pretty self explanatory. DO STUFF AWAY FROM HIM. Give your brain time to miss your spouse. Give him a chance to go out in the world and realize how great he has it with you. I mean, I PLAY VIDEO GAMES WITH HIM. It doesn’t get much more trophy wife than that.

Some people may think that all of this crap is wrapped up in the word “love” but it’s not that easy. All of this stuff takes more work than “all you need is love”.

All you need is medication, video games, and some beer. At least that’s all we need.

Love is not the something that you need; love is the sum of all that you need.

Humans are far too complex to just need any one thing–We need particles of everything. We need atoms and molecules and long, silent bubble baths to make up our own version of the love that we need.

Sorry, Beatles.



The Human Condition: A musical.
February 13, 2015, 5:03 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

 

Growing a human is hard work. Music, I find, makes it easier.

But only easier in a way that sometimes makes you cry because it applies so well to your experience.

Here are a few of my favorite songs about growing tiny humans:

Tom Petty “Wildflowers”

I always picture my husband dancing with our tiny human to this song. Maybe at her wedding but if I think about that for too long, my face dissolves off of my skull.

 

Rod Stewart “Forever Young”

If this song doesn’t make you want to clutch your tiny human to your body for the duration of the entire damn song, you are dead inside.

 

Lee Ann Womack “I Hope You Dance”

I think what we all need for our tiny humans is the courage to face the good and the bad in life–I think too often we, as adults, run from the good. We don’t know how to process it and that makes us too nervous to want to explore the feeling. I hope you dance, tiny human. I hope you still feel small when stand beside the ocean.

 

Switchfoot “I Dare You To Move”

When I think very specifically about what kind of fully grown human I want my tiny human to become, this song always comes to mind; perhaps because of my experience with mood disorders and sadness–but I want her to fight. If I pass this on to her, and I might, I want her to be a fighter. And I want her to know that I will be there, helping her and daring her to run, move, and lift herself up off of the floor.

 

One Republic “I Lived”

My final song for my tiny human is one that deals with disappointment and how I hope she will be a strong and honorable woman about it. My favorite line in this song and what takes my breath away when I look in my rear view mirror and see her singing along is “I hope that when everyone leaves, you chose to stay”. Be brave, my girl. Hold your chin up high and realize that the road less traveled holds the most adventure.

 

All I want for my tiny human is everything.

I want her to belong among the wildflowers. I want her to be courageous and brave. I want her to always chose to dance when given a chance. I want her to recognize the tension between who she is and who she could be. And I want her to fall in love that it hurts so bad.

 

 

That’s all.

 

 

 



Solid life advice from Beyonce.
February 3, 2015, 12:52 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

jay-z-beyonce-blue

We all remember this adorable moment in award show history last year. Beyonce was winning awards, singing amazing songs, and getting kisses from her sweet family all on stage with no pants on. It was a good night to be Beyonce.

Do you remember what she said, when handed the microphone?

I feel so full. 

And I think every mother in the world took note of that phrase and dissected it until it lay raw and bleeding at our feet.

To be full.

To be that full in that way.

I am chasing that feeling this year and I am not ashamed of it.

As someone who has struggled with severe depression most of my life, I cannot ever recall a time when I felt full. There has always been a corner of emptiness inside of me.

Turning 30 made me examine this scary part of my mind. Why was part of me empty? Why was I wasting real estate?

I discovered something very important and terrifying–

The empty part was where my passions were supposed to live. My loves, my hobbies, my goals and dreams.

And yet, there it stood.

Uninhabited. 

The rest of my heart and mind belonged to other people; certainly my husband, my Tiny Human, my parents and sister, my friends.

I think most people inadvertently give more of themselves to others than to their own needs but it never occurred to me that I was giving myself

nothing.

I wanted to feel full and I was elated at discovering why I had never come close to that feeling.

I joined community theater.

I blog.

I submitted a short story to several publications.

I make silly Youtube videos about clothing.

To some this may seem selfish or trite or a waste of time but I don’t actually care;

because, you see, I am starting to fill up.

The key is to start slowly; don’t over stimulate yourself with too much self promotion or love or you will just vomit. Ease yourself into self love, give the people around you time to see what you are doing so they can pull you along the path you have selected. If you have had an empty space like this for as long as I have, this won’t come naturally and you will need help. Take the help but make sure it is still YOURS.

All of this is yours. This space is yours. Paint the walls whatever color you want. Fill the room; fill the void; fill your heart.

Be full.