sick day essentials

Ringing in my favourite season with a gross cold isn’t exactly my ideal situation, but I’ve been making the best of a bad time with some tried-and-true pick-me-ups…

Keep your toes warm with soft, comfy bison down socks.

I don’t have a real fireplace but even a fake one gives the impression of coziness so why not fake it ’til you make it?

Cinnamon + honey, tea + whiskey.

Vegetable soup doesn’t really need a recipe but just in case.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone: A First Impression

Before you think I’ve suddenly become some kind of fancy beauty blogger that gets sent products for review REST ASSURED, I ordered a different product and was sent this one by mistake. I received my order last Friday, so I’ve only been using it for a few days and can’t speak to it’s efficacy in reducing the signs of aging, but I wanted to share my experience with it so far for anyone who was considering trying this product.

Although I haven’t tried the Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% (because… they sent me this instead? haha), many of the complaints I’ve read about that product is the gritty texture, poor absorbency, greasiness, inability to use in the morning due to the aforementioned poor absorbency & greasiness, and difficulty dispensing the proper amount leading to wasted product. In my opinion this new suspension neatly sidesteps these problems. It’s a medium-weight white cream that comes packaged in a tube. The consistency is thick enough that it’s easy to dispense only the small, pea-sized amount I want to apply with no product wasted, yet light enough that I can easily smooth it over my face. There is a little texture too it, but it’s very fine rather than gritty, so it’s not unpleasant. There is a light prickling/tingling sensation when the product is first applied applied, which is to be expected. It absorbs quickly and has a matte finish with no greasiness at all and therefore can be easily used in a morning routine, which is great because I’m definitely lazier about skincare at night than in the morning!

The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 30% in Silicone, $6.80/£5.80 for 30mL

make the most of it: goals for 2017


notebook // pen // tablecloth

This year I really want to get shit done. I had a lot of things I wanted to accomplish in 2016 and well, I didn’t accomplish any of them. I think I had a pretty good excuse though, as I was kind of distracted by being pregnant all year, and all my self-care and nesting energy went into that.

Get into some sort of shape. I KNOW I KNOW A TOTAL CLICHE. But this isn’t actually a new-years-lose-weight resolution, this is actually a post-pregnancy lose weight resolution. It was just unfortunately postponed by my c-section recovery, and then the discovery that at some point in the last few years of being pregnant, being sick with an autoimmune disease and being pregnant again, I threw out all my workout clothes. When decluttering goes wrong, y’all. So I had to get all new stuff and by the time it arrived it was full holiday season and I couldn’t find the time to get started, and now it’s resolution season at the gym which makes me disinclined to go because it’s gonna be so busy! I’ve figured out that the only time I can possibly go to the gym is Monday and Friday mornings at like… 6:30. I am in NO WAY a morning person so my ACTUAL fitness goal is training my body to get out of bed at 6 so I can get to the gym, work out, get home & shower in time to start work at 8. Then the other days I can work out at home I guess? My idea is to set an alarm for an earlier time each week and slowly ease myself into it, so this week I have it set for 6:45. Tuesday I managed to get up that early, but Wednesday I stayed in bed and dozed off until my regular alarm went off at seven and today to my hame I snoozed it until like… 8. IN MY DEFENSE Gwen woke me up at 3 on Wednesday morning and I woke myself up at 5 today so I was extra tired! Honestly I feel like this is my life rn…

I can’t not work and I’m not willing to give up time with my family so I’m going to have to sacrifice some sleep if I want to make this happen. I guess we’ll see how it goes.

Finish the half-done home decor projects around the house. The kitchen backsplash is half-tiled. The bathroom is half-painted. My side of the office is where unwanted furniture goes to die and the hallway has no storage so there are always bins and boxes piled in it.

Start some new home decor projects. I want to repaint the living room, dining room, hallway and half-bath. I should probably repaint the entryway (it’s the first room I painted in like… 2007? and it’s looking rough). I’ve never painted my bedroom at all in TEN YEARS and it looks just godawful, and I really want to get a headboard for my bed. I have windows that need curtains and closets I’ve taken the doors off that also need curtains.

Replace busted and/or janky furniture and appliances. Did you know I’ve never ever bought a desk for myself? It’s true. Before Taylor I shared a computer with Sym’s dad and he picked out & bought the desk. After we separated I had no desk for a while, and then had a hand-me-down desk from Sym’s room. The desk I have now I found in the trash (really). So yeah. A decent desk would be nice. We also need a new couch (ours has become basically unsittable) and the dishwasher hasn’t worked properly in years. YEARS.

Keep on top of like… basic housework. Fun fact: having a baby DRASTICALLY increases the amount AND frequency of laundry and dishes you have to do, and also cuts into the time you have to do them. It can quickly build up and spiral out of control, leaving me with even less time to do anything else. I’ve committed to getting back into using my to-do lists. I got out of the habit of making them last year but HONESTLY it help me a lot. I need to have a physical list to remind me of what I’m doing, the satisfaction of crossing things off as I complete them, and no option for things like “sit in front of Netflix for three hours while scrolling through instagram” :X I have a new notebook and pen and I’m doing monthly lists of large or irregular project as well as daily lists of everyday things. I also find it useful to break my most hated chores up into teeny-tiny daily increments; for example I don’t necessarily have the time or inclination to clean the whole of both bathrooms in one day, but cleaning one type of fixture a day is totally doable.

Reorganize & declutter. The kitchen cabinets. The bathroom cabinets & shelves. Almost every closet in the house but ESPECIALLY my craft closet. Our storage room! The entryway! It’s basically all a mess and needs serious looking into.

I know none of this follows the typical blogger new year goal list of mindfulness and personal growth (maybe that is the real cliche…), but after the total wash of last year I need to make practical choices. Maybe if I accomplish all this next year I will have goals that are more abstract (but probably not).

shark bait hoo ha ha

00-bokeh-tree

01-bw-cat

02-nicky

03-new-ornaments
I swear I bought a new ornament this year that isn’t a deer.

04-bare-lighted-christmas-tree
A few years ago I bought a large wicker basket to use in lieu of a tree skirt. I really liked it; tree skirts are a pita imo; always getting mussed up by pets and kids and sucked into the vacuum cleaner. However, the basket somehow vanished from my storage room after just one Christmas so I had to go buy a new one this week because fuck a tree skirt, honestly. I needed something at least 21″ in diameter to accommodate the tree stand and all I could find was one that was one miserable inch too small, and this fricking enormous one, oops.

05-gwen

06-shelf-with-small-toys

08-gwen-picking-her-nose-at-the-door
Tried to get a nice picture of her with our Christmas wreath…

07-wreath-bird

09-serums
All I care about right now is my skincare regimen. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

10-shark-nicky
This is just beyond. I mean come on.

11-shark-nicky
Shark-shaped baby sleeping bag from AliExpress.

12-pomegranates

I hate it with my life

This post contains my raw and crabby feelings about my c section; you may have different feelings about your c section and this post is not intended in anyway to invalidate your feelings.

after-delivery-1

after-delivery-2
Not exactly the meet-cute I’d hoped for. Photos by Taylor Laramie.

I hate my c section. I hate it with my life.

I know that due to his fetal tachycardia it was the best thing to ensure Nicky was delivered safe & sound, whole and healthy, but I hate it. I hated it from the minute the on-call obstetrician told me it might be necessary if his heart rate didn’t normalize. I was scared of having surgery and afraid the recovery would be a nightmare. I didn’t want to do it and I cried “no, no, no” during my contractions. When someone (a nurse? the doctor? who can remember) asked me what I was saying “no” about I cried “this whole situation! I don’t want to do this!”

I don’t feel guilty, or disappointed in my body, or like I have somehow failed by having a c section. I mean… there wasn’t anything that my body could have done. I think if we’d had a couple more hours I could have delivered vaginally. I was 5cm dilated and I have my “proven pelvis” (a phrase I will never not find funny) thing going for me so I truly think if Nicky wasn’t in distress I would have pushed him out just like I did both the girls, but we didn’t have a couple more hours. When I think back to that night in the hospital it seems like such a long evening but really it was only a few hours: I arrived at 8pm, spent an hour walking around, spent another hour being monitored, and then my water was broken, I laboured for a while, I was taken to the operating room and prepped for surgery. Nicky was born just after midnight, so there were really only two hours between “you might need a c section” and “it’s a boy!”

I just feel… angry? Angry and frustrated. Now that I’ve had a variety of birth experiences I think I can say this one is my least fave. And the recovery is the worst! I honestly wasn’t even going to write this post about my dumb feelings but last night after my shower I noticed one end of my incision was a little open (just like.. a couple millimeters) and inflamed-looking and when I was patting the area dry it… well not to put to fine a point on it, it oozed. It’s gross! I hate it! And now I gotta worry about what if it’s getting infected? Is the whole thing gonna open up like a zipper and all my guts spill out? Ugh! (ftr I don’t think this is going to happen, it already looks less swollen/red and has mostly stopped weeping today but STILL).

But I mean, even before this latest fun development the recovery has sucked, and it’s not even as bad as I thought it would be. It’s still bad enough though. The first couple of days in the hospital when I couldn’t even sit up on my own, like I needed to raise the back of the bed up and then pull myself up the rest of the way before I could even lift my baby out of his little cot. The gas pains in my shoulders, feeling like I was gonna burst open every time I coughed or laughed or went to the bathroom or tried to lie on my side, my abdomen hurting inside and out. I still can’t stand the feeling of anything around my waist, like even my maternity leggings are too binding and I kind of wish I’d had the baby in the summer instead (like, that he had been DUE in the summer, not that he was a super-preemie) so I could just wear flowy dresses and not fuck with pants at all. I can safely say I would 100% prefer to have all the worst pain of delivering a baby BEFORE the baby is born, rather than for weeks and weeks afterwards when I’m also trying to look after a baby. Like if this wasn’t our last baby, if I was to have another I would for sure try for a VBAC because this? This sucks. Zero stars, would not recommend to a friend.

Some people would say the only important thing is that I had my baby, and he’s fine. I know I’ve been guilty of saying it myself in the past and to anyone who I might have said that to, I APOLOGIZE. Because like DUH obviously I’m thrilled to have my baby here and healthy! I was able to come home and bring him with me after just two days in the hospital. That’s amazing, I’m so lucky! But that doesn’t mean I have to also be thrilled with being in pain every day, and with the memories of the fear I felt going into surgery, and this whole stupid thing. The baby is important, but I’m important too, and my feelings matter.

Another frustrating aspect to having a c section is it’s sent all my carefully-laid plans for my return to work into a tailspin. After you have a c section you cant lift anything heavier than your baby for six weeks, and you know what is heavier than my baby? All the daycare kids. I’m pretty confident that I will be able to do most things with them (playing toys and games, preparing their food, regular daycare activities like story and song time) but what I CAN’T do is lift them into and out of their high chairs at mealtimes, and into and out of their cribs at nap time. Thankfully Taylor is going to be able to help me out in the mornings and Sym in the afternoons, but like… it’s going to be hard and it’s going to be complicated. But I am just going to have to do it and get through it. Like the c section itself, I guess.

self care sunday

At the end of last year I was so busy with orders I really didn’t have any time to spend on myself. Some days I literally couldn’t even squeeze in a shower, let alone any pampering. This year I want to make a more conscious effort to get a little more me time. For me a perfect opportunity to do this is right after Gwen goes to bed; while Taylor takes the dogs for a walk I love to hop in the bath with some fizzy salts, a mask on my face and a good book, then afterwards wrap myself in a cozy towel.

self care sunday 1

Bison Fresh Grapefruit hot bath salts // Tony Moly Choco Mushroom face mask // The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman // Bespoke Post Turkish bath towel