Wednesday, February 26, 2014


Whew, haven't done one of these in a while. The snow days have been throwing everything off, and the rest of my days feel so routine and boring! Oh well, onward and upward....

Watching: Broadchurch, the UK version. It has David Tennant (insert starry eyed fangirl here) in a truly brilliant role. I know I'm biased, but he's a genuinely good actor. Even Dan enjoyed it, and I can't wait to see what they're going to do with the 2nd season (or series, for any Anglophiles out there).

Cooking: A little bit healthier. You can check out some of my recent pins on my Meals board, we've been doing lots of veggies and lean proteins. Dan also purchased a Nutri-bullet, so we've been trying out lots of smoothie combinations. I'm a little weird about the textures--as always--but some of them have been really tasty. Plus it's a great way to pack in some extra greens and nutrients! Do you have any favorite healthy or smoothie recipes?

Reading: All the World War II books. Actually, kind of. I read The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak. All the tears. It was an incredible book, you don't even realize the depth of the setting until you're about two-thirds of the way through. I want to learn to write like that, so the words just leap off the page and dance around in your head. Brilliant. Then I read Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne. I loved it, but in a very different way from Book Thief. The child's perspective was so well done, and I was just stunned by the ending. Next up, I have Once We Were Brothers, by Ronald H. Balson, which is another WWII story, about two men who were (duh) at one point super close, and then ended up on opposite ends of the Holocaust. Yes, sometimes these books can be depressing, but they are also beautiful (and I tend to go on kicks).

Wishing: For this gorgeous dress from Loft. I've been going to the gym and eating better lately, and I tried on this dress while shopping for interview clothes. It was thrilling because not only the dress was beautiful, but it looked great and wouldn't have looked great about six or eight weeks ago. Huzzah! I'm waiting for it to go on sale so I can nab it. I love pretty dresses.

Excited About: Our trip to Vermont next weekend. We're going with a big group of friends and staying at a nice house in the snowy, frozen Northeast. Some of our friends are going skiing, but since I lack any outdoor winter gear whatsoever, as well as any athletic skill whatsoever, I'll be reading by the fire. Or perhaps snowshoeing, which requires less money, gear, and stamina. Anyway, it'll be a fun time with friends and we have some awesome (non-ski) activities planned.

Snuggling: A very cute puppy (as well as some cute babies, as provided by several new mama friends!).

What have you been up to lately?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Not-So-Dirty Hippie

Over the past 6-8 months or so, I've been slowly swapping out a lot of my body and beauty care products for more natural stuff. My husband calls this becoming "hippie-dippy."

I prefer to think of it as taking care of myself.

Whatever floats your boat.

So far, I've incorporated a homemade sugar scrub (which leaves my skin super soft and happy), Simple brand facial wash, and Say Yes to Carrots body butter. All of these things have fewer (or no) chemicals, and are way easier on my skin. And, pleasant surprise? Most of them aren't much harder on my wallet than the "normal" stuff.

Anyway, one of my newest swaps is for some sulfate-free, natural-product laden shampoo, conditioner, and soap.

I got these bad boys from Trader Joe's, and they were surprisingly affordable. I have pretty bad dandruff (especially in the winter) and the tea-tree oil is supposed to handle that. I've been using the conditioner for a few days now and I love it, but I'll keep you updated as I use these. After just one use,  I love the smell and the softness of my skin and hair.

Hippie-dippies, unite!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Winter Skin Pick-Me-Up

As has been abundantly evidenced, I am not a huge fan of winter.

This winter has been particularly brutal for a lot of people, and Philadelphia has certainly not been immune.

Our friends from Massachusetts have deemed this Philly winter
"just like a bad winter back home." Now that's cred, folks. 

My school has already filled their quota of allotted snow days, plus an early dismissal (almost unheard of due to the sheer logistics) and a 2-hour delay. I'm kind of over the unbelievable bitter cold, and I'm definitely over the dry, itchy skin that accompanies even mild winters.

I have psoriasis, as well as just generally dry skin. Most *good* lotions are expensive, and the lesser ones tend to be filled with chemicals and crap that either A) makes me break out in weird, uncomfortable rashes or B) totally skeeves me out.

I was delighted this past year or so to discover coconut oil and all it's mystical properties. Seriously, if you've never tried it, it's good for just about everything. I use it to fry food (no, everything doesn't taste like coconut, although if it's a mildly flavored food the oil makes it taste slightly sweet) as well as for body care. You can shave your legs, put it in your hair, on your name it.

Pretty much all winter I've been mixing up this delightful concoction from How Sweet It Is: Chocolate Coconut Sugar Scrub.

No, my picture is not nearly as pretty as HSII. 

This actually made it onto the list of homemade Christmas gifts I gave to coworkers and friends, and it's been popular across the board. The great thing about homemade sugar scrubs is since they're basically edible (although I don't recommend it) it's definitely not going to be bad for your skin.

These simple, good-for-you ingredients?

Annnnd mix. Forever.

This particular combination LIVES in my shower. I use it last thing before I get out, and then towel dry. I barely need any additional lotion, and it smells great. Plus? That cocoa powder lends a nice warm tinge to my super-winter-pale skin.

(Yeah, my skin goes both ways. All summer out in the sun I get nice and brown, then as soon as winter strikes I look like death. Not a fair, porcelain malnourished pale, except for the exceptionally chubby cheeks thanks to winter comfort food.)

Anyway, make this. Use it. All the time. And enjoy the super soft, chemical-free winter skin!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Dog Days

This is kiiiind of my life lately.

Blurriness included. 

Why don't little dogs eat the food out of their bowls rather than scattering it every.where. and then starting insolently at you?