When Nail Polish Color Names Get Real

My favorite thing about getting my nails done isn’t the relaxation and pampering — it’s reading the names of the polish. As a writer who can’t resist a good pun, my dream job would be to work for O.P.I., ella + mila, butter London, Essie, or the like, creating names for their new nail shades.

 

Yesterday, I went with a friend to get manicures. We both got gels that were inadvertently just a few shades apart. My shade was called Dovetail, hers was called Broken Dreams. While Dovetail isn’t the most clever polish name ever created, at least it doesn’t make me want to sniff it until I pass out and forget who I am for a few minutes. Broken Dreams… that’s just bleak.

In the spirit of this dark shade and approaching warm weather, I’ve created the Hopeless Springs Eternal nail polish collection (available Spring/Summer 2019, exclusively in my mind):

1. Depths of Des-pear

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Credit: My Lucid Bubble

2. Li-lackluster

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Source: glaminati.com

3. Sexual Harrass-mint

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Source: Essie

4. Colonosco-pea

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Credit: @fakeupfix

5. Melon-choly

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6. Sea a Therapist

 

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Source: @opi
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Golden Globes 2019 Fashion Faves

I’m going to start this post with my own acceptance speech of sorts. I’d like to thank my husband and his friend for allowing me and said friend’s wife to take over the TV for most of the red carpet and all of the Golden Globes Awards even though there was an NFL playoff game going on. I’d also like to thank the people in charge of the Golden Globes stage lighting for making every woman’s breasts look insanely huge (seriously look at them onstage compared to when they are seated, the difference is ridiculous). Without this cleavage coverage, my male company would not have remained captivated enough for me to retain control of the television for as long as I did without a fight. Also, thank you fashion world for the Year of the Plunging Neckline. You kept Dave on the edge of his seat with what he thought was sideboob, until I pointed out that sideboob spills out from the side, and that what he was salivating over was flat-out front-boob. He said, “Hey, it’s still boob.” Good point, Dave. Now, onto my fashion favorites, in no particular order:

  1. Patricia Clarkson

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There was a lot of red on the red carpet, but I thought the well-deserved winner for Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Made for TV Movie was an immediate stand-out. And one of many women celebrating the Year of the Plunging Neckline.

2. Emily Blunt

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John Krasinski might be the sweetest accessory I saw last night (did you see how he cheered Emily on?). And Emily exuded elegance and class in this Alexander McQueen gown. I’m stunned that Duana deemed her the worst dressed. Fashion is subjective, but dang, Duana.

3. Olivia Colman

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I admit I had never heard of Olivia Colman until last night, but she’s on my radar now (and The Favourite is on my “to watch” list). My fellow viewers were not as impressed with the mesh details of her Stella McCartney dress, but I felt sartorial vindication this morning when I saw she made Harper’s Bazaar’s 10 Best Dressed list.

4. Thandie Newton

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I’ve had a crush on Thandie Newton since her ER days, even though until last night I was pronouncing her first name with a full-on “Th” (as in “Thorazine”). She could honestly wow me in a potato sack, but she also manages to amaze in a cut that gives me prom flashbacks — because no one I know went to prom in Michael Kors.

5. Janelle Monae

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This ensemble was my favorite pure fashion moment of the Golden Globes. I sensed it as a work of art, worrying that others wouldn’t get it and that it might end up on the “worst dressed” lists for how different it was, but I was stoked to see that media outlets like PinkNews and Popsugar were picking up what Janelle — and Chanel — were putting down. For a more detailed look behind the look, which comes from Chanel’s Egpyt-themed Metiers d’Art collection, check out this story from Garage.

I also loved: Lauren Harrier in Louis Vuitton, Rachel Brosnahan in Prada, Emma Stone in Louis Vuitton, Kristen Bell in Zuhair Murad.

Who Wore It Best?

Rachel, Kelly or Brenda?

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Okay, I know Rachel Weisz made a lot of “Best Dressed” lists. But while you heard cheers for her on the red carpet, all I could hear in my head was “Donna Martin graduates!”, which isn’t the worst comparison ever. I mean, it’s not like her look reminded me of Andrea.

Which looks did you love? Which ones gave you ’90s flashbacks? And speaking of style flashbacks, am I the only one terrified of the second coming of wicker furniture?

Turks and Caicos: No Vacation Needed From This Vacation

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For our 15th wedding anniversary, Dave and I traveled to the much buzzed about Turks and Caicos for five days of all-inclusive relaxation. We went against our usual travel style of finding off-the-beaten path, a la carte places and cramming each day to the fullest, in exchange for an easy like Sunday morning experience.

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Getting There

Coming from Asheville, we drove to Charlotte, dropped the kids with their grandparents and took an easy and very affordable non-stop flight to Providenciales. From the airport, there’s really not a spot on the island that’s more than a 20-minute drive. We were up at 6am in North Carolina and on the beach sipping cocktails by noon.

 

Where We Stayed

After way too much research, I booked us at The Beach House, named in 2016 as one of the best all-inclusive Turks and Caicos resorts by Travel + Leisure. We wanted all-inclusive for the convenience and because our bar bill would be astronomical otherwise, but the foodie in me was resistant because I usually love trying local cuisine in all its shapes and sizes when I travel. But “easy” was the key word for this trip, and The Beach House boasts “The only adults-only boutique all-inclusive resort on Grace Bay Beach, with a small culinary obsession” in its Instagram bio. And then there was a 40% off promo due to the off-season. I was sold.

 

The Vibe

The Beach House is a high-end, adults-only resort, meaning we were surrounded by likeminded people who did not want to hear shrieking toddlers — be it screams of delight or terror. Most of these guests were more likely celebrating their 25th anniversaries rather than their 15th (actually one couple was doing just that) but there was one younger couple in their twenties on their honeymoon. They tagged The Beach House in their vacation photo and the resort put it on their official Instagram page and website… but somehow our hashtagged photo didn’t make it?? Whaaaat??? #celestechallengeaccepted

CaicosCouplesWhat I Loved

First, let me say that even with the huge discount, we still spent twice as much on this trip as we have on any other. We are wanderlusters on a budget, but what better excuse to go all out than your 15-year wedding anniversary? My expectations were high, and for the most part they were met if not exceeded.

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The Beach House staff was attentive, friendly, and upgraded us from our one-bedroom poolside no-view suite to a two-bedroom top-floor oceanfront suite. I knew from their website that the rooms were well-appointed, and stocked with beer, wine, soda and water 24/7, but it was a lot cooler to experience it in person.

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The butler, Charles, was friendly, funny, and made a point of knowing us by face and name immediately — this was not his first rodeo. But it was my first time at a resort with a butler and I felt like Lady Gaga at the Oscars (or how I’m guessing she will feel when she goes this year. She’s going to kill it).

The liquor in our all-inclusive cocktails was top-shelf: Patron in our margaritas, Grey Goose in our martinis. We definitely drank our money’s worth.

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My favorite luxury amenity was The Flag. Each suite (which have names, not numbers) has its assigned cushy private beach chairs and umbrella. Ours was Enchanted:) Whenever you want something, be it a cocktail, lunch or snack, you plant your flag in the sand, and a staff member will come by and bring you whatever you want. I thought this was the caterpillar’s kimono. I need a flag at home. I need top-shelf liquor at home. But I digress…

The absolute best thing about our trip was the beach itself. The water was absolutely gorgeous in multiple shades of blue that would make anyone who isn’t there green with envy. I could borrow the resort’s snorkeling equipment, walk literally one minute down the beach and experience some pretty incredible snorkeling at Coral Gardens.

What I Didn’t Love As Much

I know I’m super picky and my expectations were high, but I’m afraid I was let down by the food, and in this case it was more due to the marketing of the food. I feel like I’m not the first one to say this, because since I booked our stay in the summer, I see that the content on the website has changed (no more lionfish ceviche). One of the main draws to this particular place for me was the way they marketed it for the culinary-obsessed — an all-inclusive resort for foodies. If they hadn’t touted that particular part, I wouldn’t have been so disappointed. But as it was, the cuisine was akin to cruise food. There was a lot of heavier common denominator crowd pleasers on the menu. For lunch: loaded nachos, cheeseburgers, salad nicoise, things I don’t care to eat in the heat in my bikini. I would’ve loved to see a fish taco on there or a bright, fresh ceviche. And while I love a good conch (enter your conch/cock jokes here), I can only eat conch fritters so many days in a row. Again, bikini and heat. I did LOVE the soups at dinner, both in taste and presentation. Dave said I shouldn’t expect so much from an all-inclusive and that’s what you get, but I disagree. This was really my only issue. But being that for us this was such an expensive trip, and being that I live to eat, it was quite the issue. I think I have a future as a traveling menu consultant. If you’d like to hire me, I’m more than happy to come to your hotel or resort, all expenses paid, eat and drink everything you have, and give you my expert opinion. I’m so not kidding. Did I mention I’m looking for a job?

 

We still had an amazing time, truly relaxed, and we’d totally go back to T+C — although we’ll most likely have kids in tow which means no Beach House. But if you’re looking for a romantic, luxury, no-kids getaway with great cocktails and service, and aren’t an insanely fussy foodie, two tanned thumbs-up for The Beach House.

Recommended links for the Turks & Caicos area: The Beach House, Somewhere Cafe and Lounge, Pelican Beach, Bonefish Unlimited

5 things I’ve learned so far this month.

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1. Don’t run important errands with your kids the day after Halloween. In fact, don’t go anywhere. Make like Charlie with his golden ticket and take those sleep-deprived suckers straight home. October 31 may claim to be a holiday of all things spooky, but November 1 is the true day of little zombies and monsters. Nothing is more frightening than a 4-year-old throwing a five-alarm tantrum while waiting in line to vote early. I was attempting to vote at a library (of course the quietest of all the places), and was so flustered that I ran out of there with her and a book I did not check out under my arm.

2. I have a doppelgänger at Walmart.  I live in a two-stoplight town just north of Asheville. “The Walmart” is the epicenter of everything. It’s the closest place to buy all the things without driving into The Big City. Judge if you must. So I was at The Walmart, when one of the employees tapped me on the shoulder. I turned around and he was all, “Whoah! You’re not her, but you look just like her!” He didn’t know her name, but apparently there was a woman who used to work in customer service there who is my twin. Apparently she still shops there a lot even though she no longer works there, so perhaps I will run into her one day. And if I see her in the check-out lane with a case of Mountain Dew, I’ll remind her what refined sugar does to our midsection.

3. Job hunting is like, HARD. Searching for a full-time job after freelancing part-time and mom-ing full-time for the past nine years feels like re-entering public school after being homeschooled. Only there aren’t any cool kids wearing pink or even art freaks dying to take me under their wing. I just keep putting myself out there, trying to sit with anyone in the proverbial career cafeteria who has an open chair. And I’m wishing I spoke Korean, had technical writing experience, or a deep love of vaping. Because that’s what these companies want, and I don’t have it. That being said, if you know of anyone looking to hire a stellar communications professional in Asheville or to work remotely, I’m your woman! (Kidding, not kidding.)

4. The “Insta” in Instagram is lost. I’ve really noticed more and more that both professional and personal accounts on Instagram have taken the instant spirit out of what used to be a spontaneous social media platform. If you’re scheduling out your Instagram posts or running your images through Lightroom and not simply using the filters readily available or (gasp!) #nofilter, you’re going against the entire purpose for which Instagram was intended. I’m an old school Instagrammer. That’s why most of my images aren’t of the highest quality and my comments are only as quippy as my brain is sharp at that instant.

5. “Funky Cold Medina” is a song about date rape. They’ve revived this song on one of my favorite radio stations, and the more I listen to it, the more horrified I get:

She said, “I’d like a drink, ” I said, “Ehm – ok, I’ll go get it

“Then a couple sips she cold licked her lips, and I knew that she was with it

He also drugs his dog, and there are definite anti-transgender undertones as well (remember Sheena?). And I used to roller skate to this shit. Can you imagine if this song came out today? Although there was “Blurred Lines.” Nothing blurry behind the meaning of that song.

That’s all.

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Suffering From Some Serious Pouf Envy

When it comes to redecorating your home, or even one room in your home, I’ve realized it’s like a design domino effect:

We need a new sofa for our living room. But when the new sofa comes, we will need to move the old sofa downstairs to the basement. But we haven’t finished the basement yet, so we will need to finish the basement in order to have a proper place to put the old sofa — in the new basement playroom (which will also be where we stow our kids until they turn 18). But we can’t start moving things into the basement until we move out the old stuff. And we can’t clear out the basement until we clear out the attic. This all has me hyperventilating like my first visit to IKEA. I went in with my shiny, sparkling bravado ready to take on the world one Swedish step-by-step instruction at a time, and came out on Xanax, clutching a toilet brush to my chest (my only purchase) mumbling to myself that it just cost a dollar. So poufs.

Poufs are an easy, non-threatening place to start. I can begin to refresh our living room without toppling over all of the other interior design dominoes. I am pouf-obsessed, and not just because the word is so much fun to say. The floor is highly underrated. Just ask the Japanese or Bedouins. I’m sure I’ll be singing a different tune in a few years when I’m well into my forties and my joints start to ache and I grown every time I stand up, but for now, I’m all about poufing out on the floor. (Not to be confused with boofing. Get your mind out of the gutter.)

Here are 10 poufs I’m totally pining for:

1.Ira – Handmade Wool Braided Square Pouf , Death By Modernism2290100_Square_Pouf-Yellow2_544x576

Usually, I’d be nervous about a knit pouf with spills, but the mix of natural hues with just a stripe of color speaks to me. It screams to me, really. But in an exciting Oprah kind of way, not in a scary Billy Mays way (RIP, Billy).

2.Lyle Leather Ottoman, Joybird.com Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 1.44.04 PM

I’ve been coveting this buttery leather delight for a long time. Although I think my family would constantly fight over who gets to use it for the coffee table, ottoman, to sit on, to do a flying burrito on, etc.

3. Mina Stool, Rove Concepts

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Technically a stool, but the fur makes it pouf-y. We already have a blue rug, so instead of another pop of color, a change in texture can be a fun way to mix things up.

4. Mini Faux Leather Pouf, Crate & Kids

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Don’t dismiss the kids’ websites for grown-up rooms… they have some great stuff that’s very affordable. We have one of these in teal in my daughter’s room, but it floats around the house. It’s impressively durable, and for the price, I can get two! I just need to choose between white and gold.

5. Bumper Small Leather Ottoman, Blu Dot

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So versatile, this one can go with really any design style should I change our look down the line. And I just heart Blue Dot so much.

6. Sumo Pouf, Design Public

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I love the details on this one, like the stitching and the button, but really, the name was the clincher.

7. Stockholm Ottoman, IKEA

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I haven’t seen this one from IKEA in person, but it looks just like some way pricier Scandinavian ones I’ve seen online. And obviously more budget-friendly (if I could get through an IKEA trip without a panic attack).

8. Birdie Ottoman, Grandin Road

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Again, not technically a pouf but serves the same purpose. I like the playful yet modern bohemian feel to these.

9. Spotted Hide Pouf, cb2

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We used to have a cowhide rug that I miss dearly. This would bring back that feel only in fun-size. If you’re thinking about trying the hide trend, this is a great baby step! It’s surprising easy to to spot-treat. Just like if you spilled coffee on your dog… so I’ve heard from a friend.

10. Dainty Pouf, Warm Nordic

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Dainty Pouf, I think I love you most of all. So sleek and sophisticated, yet accessible. A perfect chance to add a pop of color to a room without going too crazy. And this is just the tip of the Warm Nordic iceberg. Their website is like the Lay’s potato chip bag of Nordic design — you can’t click just once.

What Nobody Tells You About ‘Kondo-ing’ Your Closet.

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If you aren’t familiar with the term “Kondo,” it comes from Marie Kondo, who has become the household name in tidying up and decluttering. Like Googling and Tasering, Marie has hit branding pay dirt with her name transforming into a domestically blissful buzzword.

I Kondo’d my closet last year. First, I read the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upand it was indeed life-changing. While her methods apply best to people who don’t share space with others, you can still Kondo areas of your home (like your closet) that solely belong to you. So lets stick with the closet example. There are many details involved (like special ways to roll and fold your underwear), but the premise is that you only keep items that “spark joy.” You go through every single article of clothing, holding it between your fingers, and if it doesn’t spark joy (i.e. make you happy), you get rid of it. Forget who gave it to you, or holding onto it with the hopes that it might fit one day, or that you might have a reason to wear it if you change jobs. If it doesn’t spark joy, it’s gone.

What this book doesn’t come with is a warning not to Kondo areas of your home when you are in a depressed state when nothing brings you happiness. The day I Kondo’d my closet, I could’ve held Robert Downey, Jr. in my hands and been as joyless as the Rockbiter from The NeverEnding Story:

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I got rid of everything. And do you know what happens when you have no clothes? You might think, “Shopping!” But when you are on a budget, chemically imbalanced, and super down on your body to begin with, it’s tough to fill those voids with any urgency. So no. No shopping spree for me. Instead, I did (and still do) a lot more laundry. And a lot of wearing the same thing two days in a row when I know I won’t see the same people. I’m slowly building back up my wardrobe, but when it brings you no joy to buy things in your current size, and you’re waiting until you lose at least 10 more pounds, it’s quite the process. Plus, even though Ms. Kondo swears once you go tidy, you’ll never go back, I went back. I just cleaned it again, so you can actually walk into my walk-in closet, but it’s not the wrinkle-free beacon of minimalism it once was (for a whole month in 2017).

I’m thinking of bringing back the muumuu. Then I can finally open up my store of oversized dresses called Everywhere A Muumuu. I swear I’ll do anything for a pun. In fact I just (as in this very minute) bought this vintage maxi oversized dress from WanderWears on Etsy. Yup, I feel the spark. Will I still feel it when I’m holding this dress in my hands or more importantly when I try it on? Or is this just a momentary shopping high to be followed by buyer’s remorse? We shall see, Marie.

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On a related note, I’m looking for more Instagram influencers to follow for style inspiration. So far I’m loving @styledsnapshots, @lovelyinla, and @laurabrown99. Who are your favorites?

3 Things I Miss About Pepsi in the ’90s

I’m a Coke girl, but there was awhile there in the ’90s when Pepsi had my heart. As a gawky, poofy haired tween (before “tween” was even a word, they called us pre-teens back in the day), Pepsi had a knack for making me feel like I could be just a wee bit cool(er) if I drank their sodas. I’m such a sucker for a smart ad and good design. Thank god they weren’t selling crack… or butterfly clips.

The “Cool Kids” Commercial. People may have gone gaga over “Pepsi girl” Hallie Eisenberg, but this is my all-time favorite Pepsi commercial. It takes a good ad to make you switch brands, and this was that commercial for me, where I decided to give Pepsi a try. It didn’t last long, but then again neither did Bugle Boy jeans.

Young MC and Pepsi Cool Cans. With entire blogs devoted to drink design like Oh Beautiful Beer, it’s easy to forget that cans weren’t always considered an open canvas. I went bananas for these Pepsi Cool Cans and collected all four in the summer of 1990. Now, a six-pack goes for almost $30 on eBay. Maybe I should’ve kept mine!

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Crystal Pepsi. I feel like if I search really hard, there might be a few cases left in some dark corner of the dark continent along with a crate of Kentucky men’s basketball 1992 NCAA Champs t-shirts and hats that never saw the light of day (that one still hurts). And just now — like just this minute — I learned that Crystal Pepsi was re-released a couple of years ago for a brief time. How did I not know this? Well, I’m not going to miss another Crystal Pepsi promo, because I’ve joined the “Bring Back Crystal Pepsi” Facebook page. And while this page, with more than 7,800 followers is still active as of February 2018, its petition is sadly closed. So I’ve brought it upon myself to start the Bring Back the “Bring Back Crystal Pepsi Petition” Petition. Oh yeah, you heard that right. I’m imploring the original creator of the Bring Back Crystal Pepsi petition to open back up his plea to the masses. You can sign it here: httpschn.ge/2HhhAgv. They say you should pick and choose your battles. For me, the choice is clear.

6 Things I Want on My Face Right Now

OK, so one of those is Robert Downey, Jr. But the rest have to do with the endless challenge of not looking tired all of the time. Everyone’s response to my sallow complexion and chin acne is, “Oh, well you have kids.” And until my youngest turned two (yes it took until she was two), it was, “You just had a baby! Don’t be so hard on yourself.” While I appreciate the blind support, this is not something that just started when I became a mom. There was the time I came off the plane from a bachelorette party in my mid-twenties, and I was mistaken for a young woman (then prominently in the news) who had been held captive in a third-world country for several months. While I love the idea of self care, and can even rationalize buying cosmetics and skincare products, they always seem to add up so quickly. So I’ve made a wish list that I can reference when I’m ready to treat myself:

  1. Weleda Skin Food

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Though Weleda’s self-proclaimed “best beauty secret” has been around since 1926, I’m just finding out about it. (Hence the secret, I suppose.) But if I had a product that was an all-purpose, cure-all skin cream, which gave that dewy glow with the tap of my fingertips, I’d be shouting it from the rooftops. Customers rave about Skin Food for their hands, feet, cuticles, lips, and even to add shine to dry, curly hair (um, hello!). And I probably should have led with this, but Rihanna and Victoria Beckham don’t leave home without it.

2. The Magic Pads

I’ve decided that drag queens have the best makeup and skincare secrets. A former drag queen and makeup artist did my makeup for an event the other week. I told him the chin acne he was covering up had been plaguing my face since I was pregnant with my daughter four years ago. “Magic Pads, Magic Pads, Magic Pads,” he replied with confidence. “Say it three times, and you will remember it.” I did, and can’t wait to try them.

3. Cloud Paint

I admit I got lured in by the name and am smitten by the packaging. And any time, a product promises a “flushed-from-within glow,” I’m sold. This will be the next blush I buy.

4. Drunk Elephant Lala Retro Whipped Cream

My face is SO dry and dull, it’s like the skin equivalent of watching C-SPAN. This moisturizer doubles as a day and night cream, plus it hydrates and reduces fine lines. For the win: Drunk Elephant “never takes into account an ingredient’s synthetic or natural status, but instead chooses based on its safety and bio-compatibility.” That speaks to me.

5. The Ordinary Suncare

I was first drawn to The Ordinary through a post from The Cut about an easy, affordable skincare routine. Their product called The Buffet appealed to me the most because it’s the only one without a super sciency sounding name. Putting honesty and integrity above all else resonates with me, but if I’m being totally honest, I found the whole brand very confusing. However, after reading this The Ordinary Cheatsheet, I’m starting to wrap my head around what they’re all about, and I’m still on board. Now my sights are set on their sunscreen, which is supposedly due out anytime now. I LOVE a good, affordable daily sunscreen. Their site says “coming soon.” I will keep stalking them until it comes out. It has to be out before pool season, right?

What’s on your beauty wish list?

Would You Rather: Mom Edition

In the movie About A Boy, Hugh Grant’s character explains how he divides up his days into units of time. Taking a bath: one unit. Exercising: three units. I also measure my day in increments, but rather than the arbitrary units of a bored, rich playboy, I view my minutes in a very specific, valuable commodity called sleep. Choosing sleep over anything else almost always results in a sacrifice of some kind, be it my appearance or basic hygiene. What used to be a fun party game (Would you rather eat shit that tastes like chocolate, or eat chocolate that tastes like shit?) has turned into my daily life. And I always lose. Maybe I love sleep more than the average person. Maybe I’m more ambivalent about showering than the average person. You tell me. How would you answer these questions?

1.

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My answer: This is a tough one. Five minutes more of sleep in the morning is gold, and if I’m drinking coffee on the way to the bus stop, it’s going to immediately counteract my fresh breath anyhow. There used to be nothing I hated more than morning teeth (that nasty filmy feeling) and my own morning breath… until my kids started crawling into bed with us at 2am, stealing the covers, waking up the dogs who then need to go out, and jumpstarting my anxiety at an ungodly hour. It honestly depends on the morning. Though if I’m going to do one thing (besides get dressed, which is not a given if I’m coming back home after taking the kids to school), this is it.

2.

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My answer: First, 15 minutes is a conservative estimate given how thick my hair is. It almost takes five full minutes just to get it all wet. And then if I dare to shave my legs (it will have been at least a couple of weeks since the last time), add another five minutes. Not to mention all of the product I have to lacquer myself with from head to toe when I get out. So let’s call this 30 extra minutes of sleep, and let’s say that when I do shower (which is not often enough) it’s usually in the evening after my husband gets home.

3.

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My answer: I hardly ever wear makeup even when I do have the time to put it on, although I love the idea of any product that will make me appear well-rested and all dewy and glowy. And I do love my Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. I really do need a morning skin care routine, but right now I usually end up hitting the snooze button a second time, rush to make the kids’ lunches, curse myself for not making their lunches the night before, and maybe slap on some moisturizer with SPF (I’m not a savage) before running out of the house with my stank morning breath.

4.

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My answer: Ok, this one has nothing to do with sleep, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and still don’t know which one is worse.

Almost losing my child (and my shit) at the library.

serenity-now

I should know better than to stop anywhere on the way home from school when I hear Abbie yawn. When grown-ups are tired, we sleep. If we can’t sleep, we might get a tad cranky. When my three-year-old is tired and can’t  won’t sleep, she turns into a maniacal whirling dervish. But they wanted to go to the library, and what kind of mom says “no” to that? Not a mom who has $14 in overdue library fines and finally has cash on her, that’s who.

I reminded Abbie of our library rules:

  1. Inside voices
  2. No pulling random books off the shelves
  3. No running away from Mommy and hiding

She followed the first rule, and only the first rule, which ended up working against me since her ninja-like silence made it impossible to find her. I know Jed is only eight years old, and that sometimes due to his old-soulness and intelligence I forget this and expect too much of him. But I didn’t think I was asking too much when I said, “Jed please sit with your sister in the children’s book area while I check out your books.” Right? Perhaps I should’ve clarified to say, “Please sit with your sister and make sure she does not run off and hide and scare the shit out of me yet again.”

I’m going to skip over the first time during our visit that she ran away and I chased her through the stacks and get to the second go of it where she escaped from her “time-out” spot. Or rather disappeared into thin air. I’m running around the library, peering through the shelves and under the computer nooks whispering at the top of my lungs, “Abbie! This isn’t funny! Abbie! Answer Mommy!” Everyone is pretending to ignore me. Assholes.

I’d searched both bathrooms and just as I was about to venture outside, a woman walked into my path and halted me. “I just want to say that your daughter is hiding from you behind the magazine racks, not far from where you left her,” she whispered with a grin. “My kids are now 23 and 26. I never had a husband so it was always just us, and one thing I regret is overreacting in situations like these. But I remember these times and want to give you a hug.” And she embraced me. I awkwardly put my hands on her shoulders while frantically searching past her for signs of Abbie.

“Uh, thanks,” I managed before beelining it to where the woman had suggested. And there was Abbie. Behind the magazines with a devilish smile on her face. I wanted to hug her and kill her (of course not really) at the same time.

But let’s back up a minute to that woman. What. The. Fuck. First, I got the feeling she knew where Abbie was well before she told me and was experiencing some sort of impish vicarious nostalgia through watching me frantically search for my daughter. Then there was the unsolicited parenting advice to not overreact. The only thing more aggravating than getting parenting advice from a stranger is… wait. There’s nothing more aggravating. And then the hug. I’m not a hugger. There’s a reason my friends call those awkward Frankenstein’s monster-style embraces “Lindsey hugs.” I feel like tweeting #metoo from the rooftops. So. Violated.

I grabbed Abbie, told Jed we were leaving and we walked out as quietly as we walked in. As soon as we left, I told Abbie she would lose TV tonight as punishment. Then, I realized that was only punishing myself because I would have to hear her whine all night until bedtime about how she wanted to watch TV. So I took away her dessert instead. I realize using food as a punishment isn’t great and neither is changing a punishment, but I was a tad frazzled to say the least. I was lucky I called her by the right name. And then she screamed in the car the whole way home. And my son screamed at her for screaming. Did I mention my husband is out of town?*

So what’s the lesson here? Never go to the library? Never have kids? Don’t try to quit drinking until your kids are 18? I really don’t have an answer, I’m asking you.

*If you are a serial killer and reading this, my husband is in fact home. We are both experts in Krav Maga and have many, many guns.**

**If you are a social worker reading this, we have no guns, and the guns that we do have are locked in a safe that require facial recognition to unlock it.