a wardrobe clear out

a wardrobe clear out

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I hang on to things. Old free T-shirts, jeans that don’t fit, a giant tutu skirt (!!!). But about a month and a half ago, I decided to get rid of a lot of the… bulk. Of course, I still kept those printed T-shirts that mark things like that diner I worked in, that high school dance competition, and a couple vintage ones I took from my mom. (The ones I don’t wear regularly are now in a storage box under my couch.) But I did just donate a lot of stuff that I stopped wearing and wasn’t attached to.

I’m not someone who ever shopped a ton, but I did buy things and hold on to them. And I am someone who tended to buy things impulsively when I thought it was a good deal. This usually came in the form of wandering into H&M, seeing something on sale, and going, “Oh, I could wear that.” Then, I held onto these random purchases that I wasn’t wearing any longer and they ended up taking up space. No longer!

 

In recent years I’ve become more aware of the types of clothes and shoes I’ll actually wear (my early twenties thing of buying heels that I thought I’d go out in has long ceased), so getting rid of all the extra was kind of a natural next step.

I’m not saying I’m a full-on capsule wardrobe person now, but it is nice to have less to sort through, and I did feel that after getting rid of so much, I could stand to add in some things that were well thought out and would be used a lot. This started getting long after I started writing about what that process was like in another post. For now, I just wanted to kind of summarize things and note that I plan to: A. Shop for new things less often and more purposefully, B. thrift/buy secondhand more! (I feel like it’s free rein there, really), C. post more about this sort of thing on the blog. The biggest reason I want to be more conscious is because of the environment and I want that to come through in my posts, as well, so there is more in this area to come. (Soon. Hopefully.)

things i am currently putting on my face

things i am currently putting on my face

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I thought I’d write out my skincare routine, because I like reading about other people’s (or watching videos about them on YouTube). That’s also a big reason for why I do any blog posts: I like reading about these things from other bloggers, so maybe people will like reading about them from me.

The thing with my skincare routine, though, is that if I’m comparing myself to other people of the interwebs, it feels like one or both of those words should be in scare quotes (“skincare routine”). More accurate would be to call it Things I Am Currently Putting On My Face (*edits title*). I don’t use a ton of products on my face, but I do have a few things going now that I’m liking.

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Hydrating Gentle Cleanser

This I started using a couple months ago after hearing about it on Emma Hill’s YouTube channel. (And I just checked and she was talking about a different one from La Roche-Posay… oops.) Toleriane is La Roche-Posay’s product line for sensitive skin, and I like that this one is also good for dry skin. It doesn’t feel like it strips my skin or leaves it dry. Previous to this I was using the Aveeno Moisturizing Face Bar, which I do still like, but I’m liking this better and think it’s gentler. Plus, it’s oil-free.

 

Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel

I’ve written before about how much I love this as a toner, and nothing’s changed. It’s so refreshing, it smells so good, it makes my skin smoother, it leaves my face feeling really clean. It’s great.

Lumene Valo Glow Boost

I first got this at a very odd event: a viewing party for Nick Viall’s Bachelor season finale held at the Finnish consulate. This was in the gift bag and I didn’t try it for a long time after I got it, but once I did, I was into it. Unfortunately, that one fell on the floor and the eyedropper shattered inside the bottle, so I had to buy a new one. I use a couple drops of this about three times a week.

St. Ives Green Tea Scrub

This is another one that I only use about three times a week, and usually not at the same time that I’m going to be using the Lumene Valo. This has salicylic acid helps prevent breakouts and also makes my face feel really smooth.

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Trader Joe’s Oil-Free Antioxidant Facial Moisturizer

Now onto moisturizer, which is an area that I am not totally happy with right now. It’s been a journey, and one that started with my decision to try to find a moisturizer with physical SPF. I had been using this Neutrogena one during the day and the non-SPF version at night, but when I decided to start searching for mineral SPF that kicked off a whole trying-other-moisturizers thing. Anyway… now I’m using this Trader Joe’s moisturizer I’d hear good things about. I like it good enough for now, but think I’ll probably try something else once this is gone. Also, no, it doesn’t have SPF, which leads us to…

Aveeno Ultra-Calming Daily Moisturizer SPF 30

I was so happy when I found this physical sunblock for your face, made by Aveeno, and supposedly “ultra-calming.” I really want to like this and I have been using it, but I just feel like my face gets so sweaty! Granted, it’s often 90 degrees out lately and humid, so maybe no physical sunblock is going to not make me sweat more? This whole sunblock thing has been a journey and it’s one that continues and that will at some point be it’s own blog post. I will say, this one does blend in well without the white cast, so might be worth checking out if that’s been an issue for you.

And that’s it! If anyone has suggestions for physical SPF for your face that doesn’t make you sweat and actually blends in, please let me know!

bathroom update

bathroom update

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Ahhhh! It’s been a month since I posted. I didn’t mean for that to happen. I wrote a post about the state of the bathroom at the time we moved in nine months ago (how?!), along with some ideas I had for it. And, apparently, I was very optimistic about how much I would actually do, including painting the whole thin. Well… that did not happen.

Also, the bathroom did change between when I posted those original pics and when I updated things yesterday. I got rid of that random stuff that was left here when we moved in, and it became more comfortable for us, but the biggest change is that we just had a clear shower curtain until now. I became a passionate clear shower curtain proponent at our previous apartment because the window was in the shower, so I felt like it kept the space more light and open to just use the liner.

Now, though, I’ve changed, basically because… banana leaves!! (Also the window isn’t in the shower, so I stopped being stubborn.)

Here is a look at how the bathroom looked up until yesterday:

And now:

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I added this shower curtain I got on Amazon, and The Two Fridas have made their way from the kitchen. (Is it a page from a calendar in a frame meant for a record… maybe.)

The white curtain is the Ritva from Ikea. I’m not totally sold on it for the bathroom, because I think it might be too thick. I bought two packs of these since I plan to use them in the bedroom too, so if I decide to get something lighter weight — still plain white — for the bathroom, I can just return the unopened pack. I do like the texture a lot, just looking at the before pic, that thin curtain did have a nicer flow to it and felt like it took up less space.

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As you can tell, our bathroom is pretty small. Took this pic by reaching my arm as high as I could into the air in the corner.

That’s it for now!

i’m into it #1

i’m into it #1

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Decided to try sharing some of the products/items I’m into lately. Here goes… (They are in no particular order, except the first one!!!)

1. Megababe Thigh Rescue

I thought of writing a post about just this because it’s that good. As one does, I started looking up anti-thigh-chaffing products last year when I realized that that was what was going on with my legs, but didn’t buy any because what difference does it really make anyway might as well suffer and not wear the stuff I wanna wear when I wanna wear it 😦

So then, this year, I got a bit less self-deprecating and looked up anti-chaff options again. Megababe Thigh Rescue seemed to have the best reviews, I put a container on hold at Ulta, and went all the way to 86th street to get it. IT WAS WORTH IT. I went out that very humid night in shorts and walked around a lot (this just happened to happen, but made for the perfect test), and I WAS FINE. No chaffing, no nothing. It smells good too, but very light, which is perfect. If you are in denial about the cure for thigh chaffing and don’t want to wear bike shorts, buy this!

2. Urban Decay Beached Vice Lipstick in 100 Degrees

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This I got from the beauty editors at my now-old job and it’s great. It goes on so smoothly, is the perfect amount of color, and isn’t matte but also isn’t too glossy. It also doesn’t wear off in a weird uneven way.

3. Thayer’s Rose Petal Witch Hazel

I never used witch hazel before getting this, but since I was wanting to buy a toner again and heard good things about this one, I thought I’d try it. I’m really loving it. First, it smells so good. I never thought I was a rose person, but between this and the rose scent of the Dr. Bronner’s soap, I’ve changed. My skin texture had been feeling really uneven and I think this really helped. And, it’s really refreshing!

4. Dove Body Polish

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Dove was giving these out in my office building, so obviously I was going to take one no matter what. I tried the Pomegranate and Shea Butter and it is pretty strong smelling (kind of like cake icing?) and not the sort of thing I’d normally go for, but something about that makes it feel extra pampering. My skin feels super soft after using it and some, but not too much, of the smell remains.

5. Target Slide Sandals

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I went back and forth on these for a while. Would they stay on? Would they get dirty immediately because they’re yellow microsuede? Well, yeah, they did get a little dirty pretty quickly, but I still really like them. They’re so easy. And they do stay on. (Btw, they come in five colors and I may or may not have just also bought the red ones…)

Bye!

 

How I Switched To Natural Deodorant

How I Switched To Natural Deodorant

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I bought The Crystal about a year before I ever actually used it. I was in Virginia visiting my parents, saw it on sale at Kroger, and figured I’d pick it up just in case I ever wanted to try it out.

The idea of using natural deodorant had appealed to me for a while, but my previous attempts (with Tom’s) weren’t successful. Part of this was that I’d for a long time used unscented Dove, so I was trying to switch to an unscented natural deodorant. But the other issue, which a lot of people don’t seem to mention when talking about switching to natural deodorant is that your armpits smell stronger at first, as you adjust. Because of this, I think that what I ended up doing to switch  — about a year and a half ago now — actually ended up working out pretty well.

Before I switched to the Actually a Crystal Crystal — and then to the liquid scented Crystal — I briefly used Tom’s in the Beautiful Earth scent. I was looking around the beauty section at Whole Foods one day because I had a gift certificate and found that Beautiful Earth actually smelled good and pretty light despite it’s incredibly vague name . I thought if I could use a scented natural deodorant, maybe that would actually work — there isn’t a chemical antiperspirant, so maybe I could do with some scent, anyway.

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I started using the Tom’s and liked it fine for a while, even though I’m not big on the texture since it’s kinda gel-y. But I decided to try out the Crystal I had on hand, thinking maybe my body had adjusted already by using the Tom’s. And it had!

Crystal is a stick of mineral salt you wet and rub on your armpits after showering. I’d read online that it left you not smelling like anything, and it’s true. It’s really something. You do sweat, though. This isn’t an antiperspirant. But when you sweat, it smells like… nothing. Not long after I started using it, I went on a trip to Mexico where it was sweltering and thought, oh, well this is the real test, and it was totally fine. The other big benefit is less armpit stains on white shirts since that tends to happen more frequently from the aluminum in antiperspirant mixing with your sweat. Since I’ve switched to using Crystal, this hasn’t been an issue for me.

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For months I was totally fine using the traditional Crystal and could have easily gone on with it, BUT! One day I saw liquid roll-on Crystal for sale, which means it cuts out the step of having to wet the actual salt stick each time. I’ve only ever used the scented ones, but the Crystal website shows that an unscented roll-on is also available. (It also shows cute new packaging that I’ve never seen before and new solid versions that look more like “normal” deodorant and apparently even wick away moisture.) I’ve tried the lavender, vanilla jasmine, and chamomile & green tea liquids, with the chamomile & green tea being my favorite.

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The only negative with the liquid is that it goes a lot faster than the hard Crystal, which can last over a year, but they really work for me. I’m glad to have found something to stick with, and I would imagine that using liquid scented Crystal would help a lot during that smelly transition phrase (especially since I’m def not suggesting anyone go buy a Tom’s simply to ease into things). I hope this helps anyone else who is curious about natural deodorant. (Especially if you don’t want to use a paste, I’ve read some good reviews, but they seem very unappealing!)

window shopping: sandals

Due to my obsession with looking at stuff online, but (usually) not actually buying anything (see also, this time I found a lot of things with stars on them), I’ve decided to start a series. Up first? Sandals. First I was looking for a red pair after I found cute ones on Topshop, but didn’t commit fast enough. Then I was like, do I really want heeled sandals? Or wait, no. Yellow would be better. But tan. Tan is good, too. Hmm… but they shouldn’t be totally flat because those have, like, no support.

Yeah, this is how things tend to go. And I don’t mind it, because it’s better than the days where I used to just buy random things at Forever 21 or heels that I should’ve known I’d never end up wearing. I’ve definitely become more thoughtful about what I buy, so that I end up with things that are comfortable and that I will wear a lot.

So, yeah, sandals. Here’s what I’m looking at.

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Flat yellow with ankle ties

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Flat espadrilles

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Wedge espadrilles (currently 40% off)

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Yellow slides (I’m not a slide person — other than these. I think I’m gonna just accept that, but these are cute and very inexpensive.)

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Simple tan flats

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Red with ties

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Tan short wedges

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Red heeled

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Monochromatic yellow wedges

Tuft & Needle Review

Tuft & Needle Review

I could say that the reason I haven’t blogged for so long is because I was waiting for a full six months with the mattress before I did my Tuft & Needle review, but that’s not the case. Just been lazy, and it just so happened that the post that made sense to write next was this one.

As has actually been documented here (unlike anything else for the past couple of months), we moved into this apartment in November. At the time, we decided to switch out some of our furniture. We sold our Ikea Tarva full size bed frame and bought a queen size one, both on Craigslist. Accordingly, we also ditched our very old spring mattress, which belonged to Michael for a very long time, before we were even together. It was looking and feeling rough.

Because we live in New York and don’t have a car, the best option was for us to order one of these new fangled order online mattresses that inflate before your eyes. After researching some reviews and looking around at the prices, we decided on Tuft & Needle, which was $575 for a queen, base price. Shipping was free and, for us, with taxes the total came to $626.

I’ll just start by saying, the process of actually receiving the mattress was easy and SO FAST. The mattress arrived within two days of ordering it, which was great since we had been sleeping on an air mattress for the few days between when we moved and received the new mattress.

It arrived in a big box. (As you can see in the pic above, I took a picture of myself standing next to it, and it came up to my shoulder. I’m 5’2″.) Basically, you just take it out, unroll it on to your bed frame, and very carefully cut off the plastic wrapping. (This process involved a lot of me going, “It’s puffy!” “I like it!” “It’s already puffy!”) Reading reviews, I had heard that it didn’t have a smell, but still, I was shocked to find that it didn’t have a smell. I’d bought mattress pads before and those reek for the first few days; this is basically a much larger version of that — a giant piece of compressed foam wrapped in plastic — so shouldn’t it smell up my apartment for weeks? Nope. It was just neutral from the start, which meant we got to sleep on it right away.

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How things were looking on night one.

That first night, I already liked the mattress, and it’s been six months now, and I’m still enjoying it. Some reviews I read online — not just for this mattress, but any new mattress — talked about having to get used to it and adjust. But I guess my standards were just so low from years of the ancient mattress that I didn’t have to go through that? I mean, that one was so uncomfortable (we had a mattress pad on it, but even still), that I think anything would have been an upgrade for me, so I liked this one right away.

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More recently.

I do feel like after months of sleeping on it, though, I can say that I do really like this one, and not just as compared to the old one. It’s definitively not a firm/hard mattress, but I think it’s really comfortable. Doesn’t sink in too much. The only thing I could even put as a negative is that if you sit on the edge, that part sinks in a lot, but that’s more just something you notice if you want to sit on the edge to put on your shoes or, you know, kneel on the edge to reach a water glass you left on your dresser because you don’t feel like getting all the way up. Overall, I’m really happy with the purchase and would definitely recommend Tuft & Needle, especially considering the price and how convenient the whole process was.

bedroom updates + the obsession continues

bedroom updates + the obsession continues

 

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I just wanted to share what the current status of our bedroom is since I’m trying to be fairly consistent with documenting this whole apartment decorating thing. The bedroom looks the most complete out of what we’ve gotten set up so far — well at least half of it does. The side with the bed and my wardrobe is all good. The side with Michael’s dresser and the piles of random stuff is not because… there are piles of random stuff. Also, my dresser is still being used as our TV stand in the living room, which says quite a bit.

Here’s what the bedroom looked like when we moved in:

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There’s just one small closet, so I bought the Kvikne wardrobe from Ikea to put at the wall in front of our bed since it’s set in more than the rest of the wall. I had the rolling rack from my previous apartment there at first and I’m really liking how much cleaner it looks with the wardrobe (even though it’s crooked because ALL the floors in this apartment are crooked). With the rolling rack all the clothes were just out, but with the location they would constantly be in our line of vision so it was really jumbled looking.

Then this was how it looked right after we got the bed setup. Not much to say about that; although I do plan to talk about the mattress we ordered in a future post.IMG_2434

And then this is what it’s pretty much looking like now once the wardrobe was assembled and pictures were hung behind the bed. These are the same pictures we previously had behind our sofa at the old apartment. (It’s a old National Geographic poster of the Onion Nebula, a George Harrison poster, a Rush record, and a Strokes record.) I always really liked how these went together and the colors and thought it would work better in the bedroom this time. Speaking of, one of these curtains was in our old living room and one in our old kitchen. They really need to be washed, but I LOVE them. I had such trouble finding curtains I actually liked and I came across these at Target a few years ago. Now I never want them to get messed up.

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So that’s that. I’m hoping to get working on “building” (it’s going to be concrete blocks and wood boards…) our shelves in the living room for the TV tomorrow, so hopefully I’ll have my dresser in the bedroom soon and be able to talk about the other half!

In completely different news, THE OBSESSION CONTINUES:

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In my old age I’ve gotten much better about not buying things like dresses and heels just because I like them even though I rarely wear dresses and heels, but someone help me I NEED this dress from ASOS. Just look at the back! I’d wear it somewhere eventually, right?

10 Stars

I’ll keep this simple: I keep seeing a bunch of star-print shit everywhere and it’s cute, so here’s a bunch of it that I’ve gathered because I am a serial online window shopper.

All of the above are Old Navy. I actually bought the pants myself, because I was already looking for workout pants and Old Navy is the only place I buy them. I’d already been collecting links for a ~star post~ at that point, so they were my one actually practical star-printed purchase. I would have also bought those flats probably if they came in my size, especially since with Old Navy’s Black Friday sale they would have only been $14.

Worth noting: Most of these are on sale right now because of Black Friday/Cyber Monday/Old Navy Just Always Being On Sale. And do me a personal favor and just buy the curtains. I really don’t need more. I only have four windows.