August 29, 2014

Let's talk about clear skin

Or, in my case, not clear skin.

I haven't struggled with really bad skin since I was a teenager, maybe 13 or 14.  My skin hasn't been bad at all for the last 5-10 years.  Not perfect, but definitely not terrible.  However, last fall, my skin suddenly decided to act up in a way that I've never experienced.  It started in September-ish and by spring I was dealing with this.


For a frame of reference, this was December 2012.  A nice, make-up free close-up.

I could tell you the list of products I tried in order to make this better.  I could talk about the amount of time, effort, money, and hope I put into products.  I could write about the theories I developed on why my skin was behaving in such ways.  But I don't want to talk about that.  I can give that laundry list another day.  What I would like to talk about is what worked because that's what's important here.

At the end of May, I started using Rodan + Fields Unblemish.  Two friends I met in Alaska sell the products and I'd found myself wondering if I should try them. By the time I was getting ready to leave Missouri, I knew that I had to try something with the real potential to work on my skin because I was sick of being disappointed.

Now, if you like the idea of using Rodan + Fields, who are famous for their anti-aging product lines, you can go straight to the website and use the Solution Tool to find what line may be right for you:

It's an easy, interactive online quiz that helps you decide on a product: Unblemish, Reverse, Soothe, or Redefine. There's also an Enhancements and Essentials lines, and I'm hoping to try out those products too.  I knew I needed Unblemish, but I'm looking into the idea of switching to a few Soothe products in the future because I generally have really sensitive skin.  

I started out using the sulfur scrub to cleanse, followed by the clarifying toner.  I didn't want to try every product in the line at first simply because I do have sensitive skin and I wanted to make sure I didn't react badly to the products.  The best part was knowing that there was a 60-day money back guarantee, so I didn't have anything to lose.  I also ordered the moisturizer with sunscreen and I use it when needed, but not everyday.

After a month, I ordered the Dual Acne Treatment.  This was the actual medicine that was supposed to heal my skin, in addition to the others that were cleaning it.

By last week, 6 weeks into using the entire regimen twice a day, this is what my skin looked like.

I can't believe it's worked so well. Is my skin perfect?  No.  Is the redness and most of the bumpiness gone?  Yes.

If you've never struggled with bad skin, you might have trouble understanding what it feels like, but confidence is ripped away from you in every aspect of your life. It becomes the number one thing you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last thing you regret over before you fall asleep. It's terrible.

I do say that the only thing that held me back from jumping on the Rodan + Fields bandwagon was the price.  It made me hesitate not because I wasn't willing to pay for a product that would clear my skin, but because I've spent a lot of money on products that didn't clear my skin.  I will say that the 60-day money back guarantee gave me peace of mind when I was ordering.  It also made me feel like the product was more likely to work.  If you are having troubles with you skin, I can 110% recommend these products for you.  I would love to direct you to my consultant Jami's webpage if you're interested in trying R+F.  I do recommend becoming a Preferred Customer because there is the perk of 2-day free shipping, which will save a lot of time and money in the end.

Jami sent me a few free samples of the Enhancements Micro-Dermabrasion Paste to try out and I liked it so much that she offered to send me the full-size version.  I love the exfoliating element this adds back to my skincare routine...I've really missed that!

In the end, I would have to say that these products are worth it.  I will continue to use them and I hope that by spreading the word, you might give them a try too.

All opinions are 100% my own and I am buying my own Unblemish regimen each month. 

August 28, 2014

Stuff and Things 8/28

Skirt: Loft // Shirt: JCP // Boots: Famous Footwear

It's starting to get chilly here in the mornings.  So I, not feeling high heels today, threw on a pair of boots.  So comfy I forgot they were on.  It was 85 degrees after school.  Then I remembered I had boots on (and a sweater).  

True Blood was officially better before they started doing the time-jumping.  There's been 3 major time jumps, if my memory serves me correctly.  Between seasons 3 and 4 (when Sookie goes to faerie land), between episode 9 and episode 10 of season 6 (when we all of a sudden see Sookie settled down with Alcide) and between the 58.5 minute mark and the 62.4 minute mark of the series finale on Sunday (that might not be totally accurate..).
It means they DON'T have to explain anything and they don't have to further character development and I hate it.  Almost as much as I hated that finale.
The jump between seasons 3 and 4 actually kinda worked and they threw everyone into a new place and I kinda liked seeing where the characters ended up.  However, after that they just used it as a lazy explain-away and I don't appreciate that.
Anyway.  Long live season 4.5.  Halfway through season 4 it started going downhill and that was that.
Brian Buckner answers our burning questions for us…I felt a little better after reading that.

Around here, things are looking like this.

It's very unsettling…I have no oven, no dishwasher, no microwave, no counter space, and there's not really a floor…Thank goodness for Scott's 4-day weekend coming up. 

Last but not least, The Great Pumpkin Swap is coming!  I swore I wouldn't do this swap stuff again just because it always makes me feel like a bad person…mailing my package on the day (or later) than it's supposed to be shipped out.  Because I will go to the ends of the earth (and back) to avoid the post office.  However, I love fall.  I love giving gifts.  I love blog friends.  And I couldn't say no when Becky asked if I was interested.  Get your mugs, candy corn, and fuzzy socks ready…

Sign-ups start September 15th

August 26, 2014

After like 2 years, I finally finished The Office

I used to be a die-hard fan and then I kinda started losing interest around the time Michael left.  Some of it has to do with the fact that Scott hates The Office so there was never anyone around to keep me watching.  It's okay though…Scott watches The Killing and I cannot understand why.  It puts me to sleep and gives me a migraine at the same time.  And I don't even get migraines.

Also, I couldn't deal with Robert California and Nellie.  I mean, she literally makes my skin crawl.

However, I finished it on Netflix in the last week or so because, let's face it, you can only watch Gossip Girl over and over again so many times.  

My thoughts:

Originally, no one rooted for Jam (Jim+Pam) more than me.  And, quite coincidentally, they had their wedding episode right around the time Scott and I got married.  So I always liked them.  They did get kinda boring, but I admit that I was happy with the way it wrapped up.    

Nelly wasn't as bad in the last season as she was when they first introduced her.

Angela and Dwight ended up together.  The way it should be.

And Michael came back.  They needed that to get a sense of closure on the series.

I felt very reminiscent as I was watching it and now I feel like that chapter is finally over.  The chapter that led from college to marriage to Alaska.  Because I watched it that whole time!

Also, shameless plug.

Thoughts on The Office?  I think it's either love it or hate it, don't you?

August 25, 2014

Day in Denver

Two weeks ago, we had some friends stay with us.  Johnny is Scott's friend from high school and a  best man in our wedding.  Jenna is his girlfriend and she's a teacher in Pennsylvania, so we have an awful lot in common.

Can we metaphorically afford to spend a lot of time sight-seeing these days?  Eh, not really.  However, I'm glad that, since we had friends in town, we were given the opportunity to do a few things we otherwise wouldn't have.  For example, we ate out at Thunder and Buttons in Old Colorado City last Thursday night.  Fabulous food and terrific service.  Highly recommend.

Last Saturday, we went to Denver for the day and while I would've been perfectly happy hanging out at the outlets in Castle Rock, sight-seeing was on the agenda. (There will be a return trip to Castle Rock.)

We started out at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  You could easily spend a whole day in there.  For about $22 a person, we had museum passes, a 25-minute 3D movie in the planetarium, and an IMAX movie (45 minutes) about D-Day.  The planetarium was interesting and the D-Day movie was fantastic.

We were disheartened to find that the Mayan exhibit cost extra.  We got there kind of late (11ish) so we didn't pay for it.  The museum didn't do a very good job of making that known right up front.  

We saw some mummies.

And dinosaurs.

And then went to the Botanical Gardens.

And then we had the best sushi that ever was.  I don't have any pictures (sometimes I just don't want to be that person, you know?), but we had 8 or 9 rolls of all varieties, 2 appetizers, a tempura entree, and 3 sakes and 2 beers + plus a giant tip for less than $140.  I HIGHLY recommend Banzi Sushi in Denver.  
("Highly" is definitely a play on words.  We were in Denver, after all.)

August 22, 2014

Hey, welcome to 2012

Sweater: LOFT // Dress:  T.J. Maxx

I've been planning on buying a maxi skirt or dress since 2012.  Really, I have.  The stipulations were "not cost more than $20" and "not look frumpy".  I couldn't find one, but maybe I didn't look all that hard. A few weeks ago I came across this maxi dress at T.J. Maxx.  I would've gone for navy blue, but they didn't have it in my size.  I grabbed this black and white one and it was kind of tight at first but loosened up throughout the day.  Also, I threw this sweater over it because I figured a body-con-on-top maxi dress wasn't appropriate for school.  However, I know maxi dresses/skirts are appropriate for school because I've watched every teacher but me wear them at my school in Missouri and the same here too….and no wonder:  This was the most comfortable thing I've ever worn.  It was only $19.99 so I might go back and comb the racks for another.  Maybe in blue or green?

I've gotten a few questions about Skirtember.  Remember Skirtember?  Last year was a failure for me because I didn't have as many skirts as I thought I did.  Dresses are so easy for work here though, so I've consciously been buying more over the last few months.  However, there is no Skirtember in the works at this time.  

In a funny coincidence though, I realized I've worn a skirt or dress every day this week.  It's still hot, so pants are quite out of the question. Tomorrow is jeans day though.  Wearing jeans gives me a headache.