Monday, September 25, 2017

anxiety

I have been an anxious person at least since I was 10 or 11. I remember watching The Sixth Sense (which was my favorite movie at the time) and asking my mom towards the end (when it gets super suspenseful) why I couldn't breathe. Since then, I have had seasons of anxiety. It comes up at different times -- my senior spring, for instance, when I was in a full-fledged panic over which college to attend, trying to survive make an A in my AP Calculus class, fearing the loss of identity that would come with graduation, and developing a full eating disorder. Then in college, when the transition away from home rocked my world unlike anything prior. And since being married, it's come up in seasons of work stress or newborn baby stress and moments I don't have a great physical outlet to deal with it (like hot yoga).

Falls also tend to be really stressful for us (as in, me and Drew). We broke up multiple times in the fall. We've had school issues in the fall. Work issues. Stressful wedding seasons. Family turmoil. Illness. You name it. I have tried to pray off any kind of actual spiritual issues that are recurrent, but this fall is yet again kicking my ass.

I thought finally getting my high school reunion planned would relieve me of this crippling chest-crushing anxiety, but it hasn't. It brought a new set of problems to resolve -- dealing with how I handled myself around ex-boyfriends and still trying to please the popular crowd (ten years later, with no relationship with them outside of this). I have to let a lot go, but it's not without things to work through.

I have two big weddings mounting. That's got to be some of the most serious pressure. (One is the second most high-end wedding I've ever done.) My health is deteriorating, so I'm in the process of waiting to receive my continuous blood glucose monitor and figure that out. The girls are good, which is a massive blessing. Drew's in the midst of a potential work situation change (talks of promotions and responsibility shifting on the horizon). We're trying to deal with finances and get a good grip on them at long last. Beautycounter is stalling out for me, as the impending holiday season is fast approaching. Family life is tense and under pressure (as my sister's family is currently living with my newly retired parents -- 3 adults, 3 kids, 3 cats, 2 dogs, 1 roof; plus my two girls one day a week when Mom watches them). THERE IS SO MUCH.

I know the way to deal is to breathe, take things one little step at a time, keep things in perspective, and prepare. Be intentional. Let things go. Meditate. PRAY. Do some yoga. Connect. Consume less caffeine. But it's hard.

This is a refining season. Time to let go of bad habits, develop good ones, survive. Learn.

It's just hard to breathe.

Friday, September 22, 2017

five on friday:: it's reunion week!

Friday AGAIN?!

Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:


ONE:: reunion on the brain

The time has come, at long last! I seriously can't believe this week has finally arrived and how much this event has changed since it was initially planned by our class president. If you read my previous post about it, I stepped in as the third planner for it at the end of July (the date has been set since LAST August!). It's gone the gamut from a hotel ballroom adult prom to game night at Dave & Busters to a formal cocktail party to now a relaxed BBQ at the local golf range. When I was consulting the initial planner back in March (when I had a newborn baby), I told her I didn't expect for more than 50 guests to come regardless of our idea, and I oftentimes threatened to reduce the event to a potluck at the dam, so it's crazy to think that some persistence, stubbornness, and a willingness to be flexible to accommodate more people has garnered a crowd of 75!

My priorities have always been food, drink, and a party concept that accommodates conversation. We've got food, drink (despite a wine snafu thanks to Trader Joe's lack of inventory - BOOOOO!), dessert, and some party decor ready to go. There's still plenty I haven't gotten done (procrastinating much?) and I obsessed over my outfit for daysssss but we're close enough.

TWO:: a cohesive wardrobe
{i totally need these shoes for my capsule, right?}

I really need to go through my closets and pare down all the things in it to only have a cohesive, love-to-wear, versatile wardrobe, but I tend to either hoard things or pare down TOO MUCH (I have donation regret every now and then). I definitely think I'm too much on the hoarding side, but it's hard. I have soooo many dresses from college that are now outdated, not flattering, and don't make a lick of sense for my current lifestyle. And a lot of businessy attire that never gets worn (silk blouses, dress pants). My other issue is I have a huge range of sizes, too, so it's hard to get rid of a bunch of one size since I do fluctuate -- between breastfeeding, working out, getting pregnant, having babies, I don't know what I'm necessarily going to wear forever. It's not like I want "fat clothes on reserve" or anything, but it's just hard to fit my body right now. I also need to look at my things and decide what gaps there are (if any) to fill -- are there pieces I would get so much use out of, that would make me look more polished and put-together? Do I have disproportionate amounts of certain types of clothing? (Umm, dresses?) What the hell am I going to wear this winter with breastfeeding all the time? Halp.

THREE:: it's fall already?

I was really embracing fall when it struck the first week of September (and end of August), but now that it's back to being 90 degrees and miserably hot, I'm kind of surprised it's ACTUALLY fall now. We pulled out a couple of pumpkin things (candles, salt & pepper shakers), but I've nowhere near tackled fall-itizing the house. September has been 100% survival mode. What day is it again?

FOUR:: very important things
There are some extremely important things that really should take precedence in my mental state right now, but I have to actually switch gears to deal with them. Like getting a Dexcom (my health is out of control) and dealing with some tag issues. The stupid emissions test people said they were going to renew our tags for us, but there was some mixup with the amount so now we're screwed and our tags are expired. WOOF. PRIORITY.

FIVE:: beautycounter

I'm way behind on beautycounter. It's been a roughtastic month for me in that business. Stagnant. Frustrating. Jesus take the wheeeeel!

Friday, September 15, 2017

five on friday

It's that time!

ONE
Reunion countdown -- 8 days to my class reunion! Ticket sales officially end TONIGHT, so I'm seeing the last-minute procrastinators fill my inbox with their ticket sales. I'm getting excited! The party aspects are kind of having to come together last-minute, too (hence the issue with no set budget in advance), but I'm determined to make it fun and lovely albeit ultra-casz and low-key. We've got food, booze (beer & wine), a covered pavilion, the promise of some music, and a makeshift photo booth repurposed from past party supplies, so we'll see how this goes! Ha!

TWO
Now that our mini-fall is officially over (BOO! I was loving windows open 24/7!), it's going to be hot again. Which screws up my reunion outfit planning. I will admit, originally I was going for something insanely try-hard and it did NOT work... thank goodness. (As in, a backless skin-tight red cocktail dress with cowboy boots... to a BBQ at a golf course. Y'all.) Oftentimes I need to rein it back in... this was one of those times. Fortunately for me it didn't even fit, so that got sent back and then I had a few glasses of wine to peruse eBay (unintentionally, honestly) and bid on a couple of options there. Right now the winning contender is a navy blue eyelet-patterned solid Lilly dress with the same boots (it just looks a lot less stupid / attention-seeking). Fingers crossed! Now what am I going to do if it gets chilly...?

THREE
My baby is 7 months old today!!!!!! HOW?! She turned real blonde in August but has been looking significantly more ginger in recent days. Crazy how much they change over the first year!

FOUR

Lilly had the worst coxsackie virus last month. She got it once when she was a year old, but she got it again with a vengeance after we visited a new church the other week (boo) and it's seriously taken her 10 days for the rash to subside. It covered her legs and arms and face and feet, she was pitiful and weepy and felt awful, and now it's scabbed and is falling off to heal. AHHH! It was definitely not this bad the first time. Nashville peeps -- beware! It's most contagious before it turns to rash, which sucks maybe the most. Hoping for a healthy rest of fall!

FIVE
Since I started with Beautycounter I've tried to completely eliminate ANY self-care products with toxic chemicals in them (because I mean, go big or go home right?), but I caved and bought a Kristen Ess dry shampoo at Target the other day and it's the first one I've ever liked! It sprays on as an actual powder (not wet-to-dry like the others I've tried), so it doesn't feel all gross on my scalp. The fragrance is kind of killing me now that I've detoxed from anything artificially scented for a few months, but I'm liking the performance. We shall see how often this actually gets used!

Linking up with ChristinaApril, and Natasha:

Monday, September 11, 2017

enneagram findings and what i'm up to

I took the Enneagram test over the weekend as part of a Beautycounter business growth project, and it was quite revealing to me!!! I was pretty much tied between a 9 & a 7 -- the Peacemaker and the Enthusiast. As I read into both of them, I identified more with the 7 - "extroverted, optimistic, versatile, and spontaneous, playful, high-spirited, and practical, [but] can be over-extended, scattered, and undisciplined." Unsurprisingly, it means I tend to take on a ton of projects at any given point of time. Exhibit A - my life right now. Here's what I've got going on:

- keeping two small children alive and happy
2 upcoming weddings for next month
- 1 upcoming wedding in November
- booking weddings for 2018
- high school class reunion planning (it happens Sept. 23!)
- Beautycounter business building (socials, dropoffs, trainings, all the things!)
- planning Julianna's bachelorette party for next March
- ongoing home projects
- joining a church & a small group
- selling all the things on ebay

I'm a bit overwhelmed but also trying to really settle into my groove at the same time. Patience, grace, time management, tackling one project in a block fashion at a time... Here are the recommendations the Enneagram people give me for personal growth:
  • Recognize your impulsiveness, and get in the habit of observing your impulses rather than giving in to them
  • Learn to live with less external stimulation
  • You do not have to have everything this very moment. Most good opportunities will come back again—and you will be in a better position to discern which opportunities really are best for you
  • Always choose quality over quantity, especially in your experiences
  • Make sure that what you want will really be good for you in the long run

Do you know what type you are? Do you agree with their recommendations, and what have you learned about yourself?

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

lilly after-party sale haul!

This week is a long-awaited one for me -- the Lilly Pulitzer After-Party Sale! You have just under 12 more hours to shop... eek!

Here are some things I scored:



The Colby Tunic Dress
I kind of cringe that I bought yet another dress, but this one is sooooo pretty (and originally $300!!!); I got it because I think it'll be the perfect Christmas card photo dress. Thinking of dressing our family in luxe neutrals -- so good for fall, winter, and Christmas.


Dusk Racerback Silk Tank
I have been needing a good solid neutral (light-colored) tank for layering / wearing with printed pants/shorts/skirts / wearing under my cashmere wrap poncho (Anyone else thinking of that "DON'T TELL ME PONCHOS ARE BACK!" quote from Legally Blonde these days?). Love the "Oyster" color and simple silhouette. I have the dusk racerback silk maxi dress from my maternity shoot circa 2015, so I know it's a great drape and flattering shape.


Lilias Tunic Top
I wanted to make my sale haul this year be max bang-for-buck, so I'm all about the neutrals that go with all things. This looked super soft and comfortable (softness is soooo important to me these days), and I know it'll be nice and versatile -- wear with printed pants, jeans, white jeans, skirts, maybe even leggings (I think it's long enough to cover my rear!). I've had the same 3/4-length navy top from Gap for yeeeeeears, so it'll be nice to have another solid basic to fall back on.


Meg Top
And finally, another solid basic for the fall/winter -- my beloved favorite shade to wear (white), perfect for layering with jeans and boots or under a vest! Much to be said for simplicity!

___________________________

Did you find anything you were wanting?! It pained me a little to not invest in one of their gorgeous cashmere sweaters they had Monday or a Lobstah Roll pair of Luxletic leggings, but I really tried to opt for things I "need" / would be the most versatile / weren't pricier. I mean, it's debatable that I should've gotten an oatmeal-colored cashmere sweater rather than a more expensive gold silk tunic dress, but I legitimately don't have anything in my closet like it and I can see myself wearing it to church, work meetings, special events, etc. I'll let you know if my predictions are right or if it'll go straight to eBay to resell!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

high school reunion planning

So I have spent the last month planning my high school's 10-year class reunion. Our class president was in charge of it originally but got super busy (no surprises -- it's a big undertaking!), and then a couple of girls took over but couldn't get the response they needed to financially tackle all the deposits, so it was up for grabs and I grabbed it. I'm probably crazy for doing so, but I am a professional event planner and I kind of live for these things, so why not take on the challenge?


Originally I thought the best bet would be to have some fabulous cocktail party at an awesome lounge space. I toyed with the idea of doing a formal party at the zoo (complete with animal encounters!), but it's SO EXPENSIVE to do anything in Nashville, and our class just wasn't willing to spend the money it'd take to do something truly incredible without any predetermined funds. (Boo!)

My cocktail party idea got scrapped this weekend -- I asked for commitments from everyone, and my classmates just weren't willing to dress up, drive 45 minutes to a venue, and flesh out $55/ticket. I was about to throw up my hands, but my best friend called and one of our classmates knew of a local golf course that had an event space available, and could inexpensively cater for us. I toured it a couple of weeks ago -- it's no frills and certainly not formal, but after pitching to the class on our group facebook page, EVERYONE bit. Who knew?! Turns out informal + close by + cheaper is the way to please.


We're still definitely working with limited funds, but here's what I'm thinking --

Saturday, September 23, 2017
7pm - 10pm time frame
Casual dinner, buffet-style BBQ. Couple kegs of beer and some boxed wine (because we're classy like that). A cute dessert spread, made by the classmate who owns a precious bakery I use frequently for weddings. Low-key background music (spotify playlist on speakers?). I assigned one of my friends to doing the centerpieces (framed photos of different organizations from high school, maybe some memorabilia but nothing fancy). Now what?

I'm kind of at a loss for where to go from the bare bones. I don't have a ton of extra ticket funds beyond the initial requirements for space + food + booze, so I don't really know where to spend money beyond this. 

Get fancier lighting? (String lights instead of the Christmas icicle lights they currently have hanging? Does anyone even care??) Get customized napkins or cups? (Or should we stick to plain basic clear plastic and call it a day?) Spend more on entertainment than our free playlist? (I'm afraid we don't have enough commitment to justify a live band, but I don't want to skimp if that would really be worth it... Although I also have a hard time booking a DJ because I can't see anyone actually dancing and DJs can be sooooo cheesy.) Get fancy placards for the "grownup superlatives"? What makes the most impact? What does anyone even care about?

Insight appreciated!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

my beautycounter favorites & wishlist

So while it's been a little silent over here, I've been ultra-busy working from home with two littles, a full-time wedding planning job, and my new side hustle -- advocating for safer skincare with Beautycounter. There are so many things I could say about why the hell I joined, what I'm doing, and all that jazz, but I figured the best way to get you acquainted would be to share with you some of my FAVORITE products I've tried thus far! I love product recommendations from people I trust, and I love giving recommendations too! Who doesn't love sharing things that increase their quality of life?! 

So without further ado, here are the...

Things I legitimately, personally love

- Baby Calming Diaper Rash Cream {If nothing else, THIS is MAYBE my favorite product. I have two babies still in diapers (*hangs head*) and I have seriously TRIED the "natural" baby diaper creams out there. They didn't work!!!!! This one actually WORKS, and I can feel like I'm not killing my children with the gunk I smear on their booties. Win-win! This one will be a forever baby shower gift, I know it!}
- Body Wash & Hydrating Body Lotion {Just this month, I was actually shocked to find out the "natural" cocoa butter lotion I was using that I thought would be 100% safe was rated a 9 in toxicity on the ThinkDirty app (NO BUENO). Especially with items I slather ALL OVER MY ENTIRE BODY day in and day out -- these are the highest on priority level for using safe ingredients. While it pains me that they're so pricey, a little goes a long way!}
- Protect Stick Sunscreen {Oh my gosh, where have you been all my life?! Beautycounter sunscreen is amazing. I'm a total convert -- it goes on clear, NOT super cakey and white, it's zinc-based and safe to slather all over my lily-white babes, not super greasy, easy to apply -- just swipe and gently rub in... amazing. Love the face and body sticks!} 
- Charcoal Bar {I've been hearing about the benefits of charcoal and how it works great for oily skin types, so Drew and I have been using this and I love it. I use it along with the Nourishing Exfoliator, which I keep in the shower, and they're both great!}
- Lip Sheer in "Terra" {I have never been legitimately EXCITED about a lipstick before (I previously just wore whatever freebie came in my Clinique promotion bags from time to time or whatever my performance makeup dictated), but I cannot get over how silky it feels, amazing it smells, and the subtle but super pretty look it gives. I've considered trying the stays-on-forever lipsticks that are gaining in popularity but I honestly don't mind reapplying after I have a glass of wine or eat something, and too many years of dance performances with long-lasting lipwear kind of wore me out in my teenage years. NOT TO MENTION, you unintentionally eat so much of what you put on your lips, so it's a huge priority for me to have my lip products be safe! And I actually love the lip gloss. I've always liked how lipgloss looked but hated the sticky feeling. Beautycounter lip gloss is a step above, y'all. Doesn't feel gross on, doesn't all come off immediately when you put your lips on a glass. Bomb.}
- Lengthening Mascara {This is a non-negotiable beauty product for me. I have worn mascara daily since I was 12. I have had plenty of allergic reactions to mascaras, so that's even more of a testament to the fact that cosmetics are underregulated and there are some awful things out there! I love my Beautycounter mascara, and I will never again live without it. It's not clumpy, it's impactful and has a great wand... no complaints!}
- Rosewater Mist {I honestly have no idea what this "does", but it smells INCREDIBLE and Drew and I are both obsessed with it in a "this is a total luxury item but it's so nice" kind of way. You know those things that make no sense but you indulge yourself from time to time? This is one of those for me/us.}
- Rejuvenating Eye Cream {I'll be honest with you -- one of the reasons I switched to Beautycounter was because I needed a "grownup" skin care regime, and one that work legitimately work for me as I start to age. I am rapidly approaching 30, and seriously, the morning I turned 24 I started to notice forehead wrinkles and signs that my perfectly youthful skin was getting hit hard by my sun exposure / not washing my face enough / drinking alcohol / not drinking enough water. I had bangs for apparently the wrong time period, because I had perfectly smooth forehead skin ages 16 - 23 which was when I wore them. Of course NOW I have something to cover up and no bangs to conceal. Why am I talking about my forehead when I'm referencing eye cream? Because as the years go by, my forehead has become allies with my eyes, and those laugh / "smizing" crinkles are not so much going away anymore. So hello Rejuvenating aging line! Step one of becoming an ADULT-adult: Start wearing eye cream.}


Of course, you have to start somewhere. I have most certainly not even grazed the surface of all there is in the Beautycounter world, but I know these items are on my near-future wishlist!

Can't wait to try:

- Mattifying Powder {My skin is on the oilier side, so I am excited to replace the $38 Laura Mercier version I was using with this $37 safer pick!} 
- Lip Sheers in Twig, and Petal! And Coral! And Rose! And Scarlet! 
- Color Contour Bronzer in No. 1 & Color Sweep Blush Duo in Bloom/Tulip {I am by no means high maintenance when it comes to makeup, but I love me some blush/bronzer. And wear it DAILY to look alive. I also want this shimmer oil...}
- Color Outline Eye Pencil in Brown & Navy {Eyeliner is another everyday wear item for me - You will not find me in public without a little scribble of kohl above my top lashes. I find it important to pick the things you wear EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. to be some of the most important items to switch over first.} 
- No. 3 Balancing Charcoal Face Mask & full No. 3 Collection {I'm already a believer in the charcoal bar for washing my oilier face, so I think the charcoal mask would be a great complement! High-quality masks are such an indulgence... and a safer (and less expensive!) one to make than routinely getting toxic gel manicures, honestly... give me a spattering of this and a glass of wine and I'm in heaven.}

Are you familiar with Beautycounter?! Do you have favorite products I should know about?! Holla!! (And ps -- who's got a great safe deodorant rec? Because that's another non-negotiable self care product I am not about to give up, but I would like something safer to use than my everyday Degree for Men I've used since 2005. #sorrynotsorry)