September 1, 2014

I always get sick on Thursdays

I felt the scratchiness in my throat by lunchtime on Thursday and it was all downhill from there.  I barely slept that night and felt hot and my throat burned on Friday.  Friday night, with a mug of tea in one hand and a mug of candy corn in the other, I was in bed around 9.

Saturday was supposed to be a great day of productivity but all I really wanted to do was lay in bed.  My nose was getting to be stuffy and that, to me, is the worst thing in the entire world.  I'd rather have a sore throat.

Scott had made plans for us to go to Home Depot to order our countertops.  That's right: we've switched from Lowe's to Home Depot for our remodeling needs.  The Lowe's in Fountain (the closest to us) screwed something else up a couple of weeks ago so we ordered our induction cooktop, our copper sink, and now our quartz countertops from Home Depot on the other side of Colorado Springs.  We like them so far.

I knew that if we were going to be on that side of town, I would need some pho for my cold symptoms.  With jasmine tea to drink, it made me feel so much better.  I could eat this every single day.   I put extra chili-pepper sauce in to clear my sinuses.  The broth was practically red after I stirred it up.

Then, it seemed like a nap was in order, but I had made plans for us to go to the Brantley Gilbert concert at the Colorado State Fair.  Or, rather, I'd bought the tickets 2 weeks ago. We've been spending so much money lately that, come hell or high water (a real possibility), we were going to that concert because that $64 was not going to waste.

The Colorado State Fair was….strange.  I don't know if people have just gotten trashier as the years have gone by, or if it's specific to certain places, but it wasn't a place I'd like to spend any amount of time.  I've spent entire days at the Alaska State Fair and never felt like I wanted to slap anyone.  There wasn't enough parking and I was all ready to pay $7 for a spot in a lot, but then we drove around for awhile and ended up parking at the Safeway.  Their loss, I guess.

I swear I wasn't getting a picture of anyone in particular.  Just the venue.

(I feel like I'm a really bad storyteller…this is why I don't do recaps often.)

After a funnel cake and some people-watching, we made our way into the Southwest Motors Event Center…which was heated to approximately 92 degrees fahrenheit with a couple thousand in attendance.  Me, feeling the cold-like symptoms, could've imagined a better place to spend an evening, but it was a really good show.

It was kind of funny because Scott had heard the name "Brantley Gilbert" on the radio and whatnot, but I'm the one who's been listening to him on Pandora for a couple of years.  He doesn't look like a country singer, so Scott was like, "Whaaaa…where are we again?"
And then he tried to tell his friend via text message that he was at the Dierks Bentley concert.  *face palm*

I hadn't been to a concert since Maroon 5…in 2005.  I just always think of better ways to spend my money and I hate committing to dates and times (i.e. the issue of "Do we nap instead?" that came up on Saturday).

Budweiser was obviously a sponsor of the fair because everyone you met had a 25 oz. can of Bud Light.  I thought this was really strange:  Colorado is Coors country.  Anyway, I hadn't had Bud Light since 2007, and it hit the spot.

Sunday, again, I just wanted to sleep but I felt like I had way too much to do.  I started cleaning things, checking stuff off my list, trying out the new Shark Steam mop (I do like it) and then I spent my Kohl's cash on $22 Wood Wick candles and grocery-shopped at Target.  How lovely is it that I can go to Super Target to buy storage tubs and also buy the groceries for the week?  Eliminating unnecessary stops is the name of the game these days.

Back to the point of this post:  I'm feeling better now, good enough for school tomorrow and the busy 4-day week ahead.  That's ALWAYS the way it goes.  Every single time I get a cold.  Symptoms start Thursday, functioning again by Monday.  Happens about 4 times a year.

It's a terrible way to live.

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.)