video: October 2018

October was a MONTH. I had a hard time focusing and felt like I was split in 20 different directions, but it’s done and I managed to make it through with minimal strain.

Some November updates:

  • I am not doing NaNoWriMo. Not even for inspiration. I have a goal for in 2018, and I’m going to focus on that without the distraction of a NaNo goal.
  • I have a few videos planned, but if November looks like October, my posts are going to be sporadic at best.
  • If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, we just recorded a whole episode on Mary at The Bluestocking Circle. Give us a listen 🙂

 

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video: saving time – minimalist victories

Some thoughts on how a minimalist approach to clothes and makeup helps me save time. Less time spent on a busy morning routine = one happy girl.

video: how I use bbt charting and DIM to address PCOS & thyroid health

If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know my history. If you’re new, I have hypothyroidism and was semi-diagnosed with PCOS in 2017 (I say semi because the tests were not comprehensive, and I’m not convinced by the diagnosis… but that’s a long story). Last spring, I did a lot of research on supplements and decided to try DIM to aid with estrogen imbalance. In the video, I share my experience after 6-ish months of consistent use.

I also discuss bbt tracking and how this revealed issues related to my hormones, and empowered me to fight back when my thyroid levels were deemed “normal” despite the return of some of the worst symptoms I’ve experienced since starting treatment more than 15 years ago.

Disclaimer: I’m not a medical professional. I did all the research myself and can only share what I know through experience.

Mentioned in this video:

(not affiliate links)

Book

Taking Charge of Your Fertility: The Definitive Guide to Natural Birth Control, Pregnancy Achievement, and Reproductive Health by Toni Weschler

Channel

Femmehead on YouTube – the queen of all things menstrual health

Supplements (I order from Vitacost)

Nature’s Way DIM-plus
Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle (AKA silymarin)

Fertility and period trackers

Kindara app
Flo app

project use it up: August empties

Another month of empties. Some supplements (if you’re a repeat reader, you’ll know I’ve been experimenting with supplements to alleviate PCOS and thyroid symptoms. if you’re new, hi!), beauty, hair, and coffee related things.

August 2018 empties

  • OLLY Restful Sleep – after weeks of sleeplessness, restlessness, and insomnia, I was desperate. I heard that L-theanine could help, so I decided to try these gummies; they have melatonin, L-theanine, and herbs. And they WORK! I never liked the idea of gummy supplements, but there’s something about this particular medium that my body likes when it comes to melatonin. I’m currently using the VitaFusion gummies and separate L-theanine capsules, and I’m sleeping at last.
  • Solgar Vitamin E – I was taking these in conjunction with Selenium for my thyroid. I am currently taking a multivitamin that includes Selenium, but I may try vitamin E again (noticed that my skin looked great and my migraines seemed to improve – need another try).
  • Jarrow Formulas Milk Thistle – liver support for PCOS.
  • AuraCacia Sweet Orange essential oil – I love citrus scents. One of my favorites.

August 2018 empties

  • ACURE day cream – so I use ACURE a lot… this is an old standard whenever I need a bit of extra moisture.
  • ACURE radically rejuvenating cleansing cream – probably my favorite evening cleanser. Very gentle. I use it as my first cleanse to get things off.
  • Juice Beauty Mineral Moisturizer, sheer – I prefer the tinted version of this, but the sheer is clear enough that I can get away with wearing it without makeup.
  • giovanni 2chic Ultra-revive conditioner – My ends became extra dry when I had some ombré put in, so I went back to using conditioner. I liked this one, but I’m currently trying the purple Repairing conditioner from the same line and find that I prefer that one.

August 2018 empties

  • Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee mix, Create with Lion’s Mane & Chaga – so I decided to try mushroom coffee. I can’t say I noticed a difference in my energy, but it was nice to try. I did, however, taste the mushroom. Maybe it’s just me—I am hyper sensitive to tastes and smells. Not unpleasant, just weird.
  • Vital Proteins Collagen Creamer, coconut – I really wanted to love this, but the coconut milk just doesn’t dissolve very well. Still find that I prefer the basic collagen peptides mix.

 

loves & latest: September 17, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons Series) by Sarah J. Maas

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I’ve been pleasantly surprised by this series. A few months ago, I read Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu and really enjoyed it. The Icons series reimagines the history behind the characters, going beyond the usual origin story. You don’t need to know everything about the characters to enjoy the stories; this is a modern takes on classic characters that encourages new readers. To comics fans I say, “They’re worth a read.” I’ve heard doubts about the YA rating, but these are YA only insofar as the characters are young and not yet established in their roles. Selena is 17 when the novel opens, 20 throughout the rest of the story. Bruce is 19 in Nightwalker. I’ve yet to read Wonder Woman: Warbringer, but she’s next on my list. Sarah J. Maas does a wonderful job of imagining a backstory that doesn’t involve sexual abuse, which is a major win in my book. Her Selena is different, but well-developed.

Beauty

Sappho New Paradigm CC Cream in Light

The only thing that could make this product more perfect is SPF. It’s the most perfect color match I’ve found in a green beauty product, no scent, not stickiness, it dries matte and doesn’t oxidize. I LOVE IT!


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circle

Didn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do!

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle celebrates Garth Nix’s Sabriel. Minisode 13.5 announces the next work in our series. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

video: on not settling – a minimalist win

Just wanted to sit down and share some thoughts on settling and why I won’t settle for good enough when it comes to stuff. It’s a minimalist win for me.

writing: August update

writing

The draft is “done”. The words are down and the review copy printed. Next steps include: writing my synopsis, drafting a query, and reviewing the first 50 pages. As usual, I am left with writerly ambivalence (It was the best of drafts; it was the worst of drafts.) but there are only so many times you can rewrite before you’re just avoiding the next step. So, wish me luck.

The numbers, as they stand:

  • Words (re)written in August: 27,431
  • Words in 2018 to date: 135,148
  • Words before revision : 80,160
  • Words after revision: 77,930

Making this the second shortest version of “Anúna” since my 100+k first draft (the shortest draft was just over 70k). I’m brutal when it comes to trimming excess.

There are two other manuscripts I’d like to revise, but I’m probably going to focus on a fast draft of last year’s failed NaNo project. It’s a story that I may not be ready to write, but I’d like to give it another try and see where it goes. If I do decide to join NaNo, I will do so completely safe in the knowledge that I will fail to reach 50k in a month. I’m just not there right now, but it is a nice motivator.

5 things: minimalist transitions

It’s a little more than 3 years since I decided to adopt a simpler, more minimal approach to life and consumption. I was already interested in green initiatives, but, naturally, this led to an increased interest in low waste, DIY, conscious consumerism, curated collections, and introspection. Like many, I started with a copy of Marie Kondo’s Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up and took off from there. The book really was life-changing, altering my philosophy on home, spending, and happiness in general. My initial goal in reading the book was to inspire my mom to change some of her own habits and overcome her fear of letting go, what I found was a new outlook that resulted in a happier, simpler me.

I filmed a few videos describing my early experience with “sparking joy” (I’ll be restarting that that series soon, re-titled “minimalist transitions”), but here are 5 things that facilitated the process and/or inspired me to think about what I consume.

5 things: minimalist transitions

the book

This is the book that started it all for me. I borrowed it from my library and learned so much, I wanted to share it with everyone. I still apply KonMari’s philosophy and strive to surround myself with things that spark joy — in life, work, and home.

KeepCup

I have a coffee habit, and while I’m still working on minimizing my use of disposables, this was a start. KeepCup has since become the cup du jour among the cool kids.

I am not a cool kid, just a posh nerd.

Fjallraven Kanken (classic and mini)

I have two of these – the classic in red and the mini in brick. I work at a university and I have a lot to carry. I also travel for work and love Swedish design. These bags hold EVERYTHING and don’t make my back hurt (joy all around); they also helped me re-evaluate what I carry, and learn that I value comfort and practicality above all. I wear a Kanken on most days and have gotten sooo much use out of them. Fun fact, I used my amazon reward points to purchase both of them. I paid $0 for each.

Lesson: use those credit rewards!

tieks

I’ve talked about these before (here, here, here, and here). These were the 1st big, well-researched fashion purchase I made after re-evaluating my spending and shopping habits. Purchasing a pair of $175 shoes is an investment and not one I made lightly. This purchase forced me to re-evaluate my relationship with fashion, and appreciate the quality and durability of well-made shoes. Two years on, my first pair is still one of my most-worn items.

Another happy side-effect, I was able to let go of all the shoes that made my feet hurt. I reach for tieks whenever I’m not wearing my Lotta’s (another purchase made for comfort and durability).

Note: I have the luxury of being able to afford these. This is a luxury that I did not have once upon a time, but one that I am aware of. Buying secondhand, quality items that live up to their value is always an option. Quality does not always = $$$.

project use it up

Not a thing, but a concept – “project use it up,” or tracking my empties, has resulted in a greater understanding of what I buy and use, which leads to fewer impulse buys and more selective purchases.

some thoughts…

Do you need these things to adopt a lower waste/minimalist philosophy? No. Do they help? Sometimes, but you can find your own joy sparking alternatives. The items listed are items that I love and appreciate for their style and purpose; they have a classic, timeless style and will serve me for years to come.

Affiliate links support the Bluestocking Circle Podcast.

project use it up: July empties

project use it up-2

Another month, another round of stuff I used up.

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Kicking it off with the supplements… my doctor is in awe of my self-experimenting and documentation.

  • Vital Proteins Collagen Beauty Water: Watermelon Mint – Have to admit, this tastes pretty awful until you get used to the flavor. I’d much rather use the Collagen Peptides, but I decided to try this to flavor my water during the summer. I used it up, but it took some time. After trying a different flavor (and finding it just as bad), I’ll be sticking to the Peptides in future. I take collagen for my joints and find that it does ease my aches. Also, an extra source of protein since I tend to have a carb heavy diet on most days (especially after going mostly plant-based).
  • Florastor – I had a nasty bout of tonsillitis in July (still not over it), and had to take a round of antibiotics. Once upon an infection, a doctor recommended this brand and I turn to it whenever I need to take antibiotics.
  • Nature’s Way DIM-Plus – My first bottle and not my last. I started taking DIM because it works to balance estrogen in the body. I’ve been taking it for three months and have seen a significant change in my charts, as well as my overall mood and health. I’ve had fewer migraines since taking this and I am convinced this is due to the estrogen that it helps metabolize (I take it with milk thistle to detox my liver – where excess estrogen is stored).
  • Vitacost Selenium – Selenium is important for thyroid health and *newsflash* I’m hypothyroid. I recently started a multi that includes selenium, so I’m not supplementing for the moment. I took it in conjunction with Vitamin E and noticed some improvement in my nails (there is a kind of nail splitting that happens when thyroid hormones are not being produced or taken up by the body).
  • Solgar B-complex 50 – Not supplementing at the moment because of the multi noted above, but I used to take it for energy and metabolism. Sometimes, it made me a little too hungry.

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On to the products…

  • Suntegrity 5-in-1 in Fair – I’ve tried the Suntegrity Light, which is too warm on me, and decided to give Fair a chance. It’s nice, but still not my favorite. I’m currently using their moisturizing primer, which has a different texture and no tint, but smells very strongly of orange jellies.
  • Kiss My Face Triple Action – My favorite brand of SLS, Fluoride-Free toothpaste 🙂
  • Andalou Naturals A Path of Light hand cream in Lavender – At first, I hated the smell. I don’t love lavender (I meant to buy the citrus one and grabbed this one by mistake), but I grew used to the smell and I really enjoyed the moisture.
  • ACURE Brilliantly Brightening scrub (trial size) – My BF recently noticed the number of ACURE products in my bathroom… they work well and are an affordable eco option if you’re trying to switch to a more natural skincare routine. I like this scrub, but the full size tends to go bad in my shower if I don’t use it quickly, because it’s so hot in my apartment. This trial was just right.
  • Honest Beauty cleanser (trial size) – This was part of a Target beauty box. I always wanted to try the Honest cleanser and I’m glad I got to use a trial because it’s not a keeper. I used it while traveling and had to wash my face two or three times to get the makeup off. I ended up using it as a second cleanse to finish it up. Not buying a full size.
  • Ulta Luxurious Cleansing Body Wash in Coconut + Almond Milk – Have to admit, this was an impulse buy that was on clearance, but I like a bit of bubble in my bath. Nice scent.

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PENS!

The red and green ones are actually declutters. I gave up on trying to use them because they were always scratchy and dry. They were part of a set that I plan to give away at work (where pens walk away on a regular basis). I used up the yoobi and the Faber-Castell was a mediocre brush pen for calligraphy that didn’t quite work out.

loves & latest: August 6, 2018

monday musings

Loves

Reads

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Uprooted was one of my favorite books of 2017 and I was ecstatic when I learned that there would be another work in Naomi Novik’s re-imagining of Eastern European fairy tales and folklore. This one concerns a Rumpelstiltskin like story. It’s a dark, compelling story and one I’m intrigued to finish.

Sabriel by Garth Nix

An old favorite that I recently revisited, Sabriel is a classic and still perfect in every way. It is also the coming theme for the next episode of The Bluestocking Circle, so read up now!

Beauty

Medieval by Lipstick Queen

This has genuinely become my go-to lipstick for every day. It’s sheer and glossy with just the right amount of color to look natural and put together. I also find that the formula lasts long and does not dry out my lips – win-win!

Affiliate links provide a tiny stipend that supports the podcast.


Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleDidn’t know I co-host a podcast? I do! 

The latest episode of The Bluestocking Circle is on The Flash (CW). Our previous episode was on The Incredibles and Incredibles II. If you want to hear three lady nerds talk superheroes, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.