the view from Sunday: the frenzy continues

The cleaning frenzy, that is… I finally took the plunge and assessed my kitchen storage. Exhibit A: that thing has been tormenting for nearly 3 years. My cabinets are largely unusable, so I’ve had to rely on plastic storage bins and the like to keep things tidy. That Sterilite container was a hand-me-down from a former neighbor, and it was only meant to be a temporary solution. That temporary solution turned into a 3-year eyesore, so when Apartment Therapy’s weekend assignment landed in my inbox, encouraging me to get rid of one large piece of furniture, I decided it was time.

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So long plastic drawers, and other assorted bits that are no more (at least in my home).

After the clearing frenzy, I needed some tea, so I gave my new tea infuser a try and made myself a cup of the Irish Breakfast blend I picked up at the Elemental Tea Garden in Orlando. It was lovely and the infuser was so easy to clean(!).

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Of course, I then had to drag all the stuff down the stairs and into my car to donate, so that took some doing. My home is now in a semi-decent state, though not as tidy as I like (stuff still needs sorting and is taking over my dining table). Either way, I’ve given up on cleaning started writing and reading.

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The great Outline of Doom is coming along slowly (or not at all), but I’ve written some scenes (just need to get them out of my head), a character profile, and jotted down a rough plot. This week’s vlog will focus on my current process and how it has evolved, so stay tuned and enjoy the rest of your weekend! I’m off to do some reading until the boy comes for a visit. 🙂

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vlog: the Orlando adventure

My first proper vlog! A little shaky and blurry, but my efforts continue! I tried to film a little of everything, but was so excited and distracted by the magic of Harry Potter, I completely forgot to film during our visit to Universal… there is a wee snippet involving a Pygmypuff adoption ceremony that the boy filmed :). I hope you enjoy the madness of library con and Pottery goodness. And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel if you enjoy my rambly videos.

Also, today marks the second round of my Whole30 “journey,” so I’m back on an exploration of food and flavor. I really need it after my trip (let’s just say there was a lot of sugar and dairy).

lifestyle: mini haul – detox market and sephora

It’s my birthday next week, so I’ve been a little spendy…

I really wanted to try the Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer sunscreen, but I didn’t want to spend $45 on another natural product that may or may not work for me, so I decided to try the Detox Market sample pack. For $9.99, the Detox Market lets you select up to 5 products to sample. Most of their products are high end, luxe, all natural, eco-concious beauty and skincare, which I’m all for… but I’m not willing to pay high end prices for something that may be all wrong for my skin. Their sample pack is perfect. I ordered the Suntegrity 5-in-1 in the shades Light and Golden Light, the RMS buriti bronzer, the Josh Rosebrook lift spray, and the Kahina eye serum.

Suntegrity 5-in-1 tinted moisturizer

Neither the light nor the golden light work for me. Both shades have an orange cast on my skin and require blending down my neck to look natural… while I like to protect my neck and decollete from the sun, I don’t appreciate having to blend a tinted product into my neckline. My first impression was that it smells and feels just like the Andalou Naturals Anti-Aging BB cream, which I used up last year. That product was not as orange, but I hated the slick feel it left on my skin. Suntegrity reminds me of that. If you have dry skin that isn’t neutral with yellow undertones, this product might work for you.

Verdict: I’ll stick to my current sunscreen options and keep hunting for a natural, tinted product.

RMS buriti bronzer

I like the color of this, but I think it will work best as an eyeshadow rather than a bronzer. I like the coppery shade, but it’s a little too dramatic for my face. I like to keep it subtle and this looks too bronze for cheeks. I really just wanted to sample RMS to see if the formulation worked with my skin. They use coconut in their products and I sometimes have a bad reaction to it, bronzer felt like an easy way to experiment as I tend to be less sensitive along the sides of my face.

Verdict: going to play with it until the sample runs out

Kahina eye serum

Why!??! Why do I have to like this so much?!?! It’s the most expensive product in the batch and I only picked it on a whim because I figured I would never buy it, but I LOVE it. I’ve been using the MyChelle Fabulous Eye Cream, but it’s not my favorite. I have a hard time finding eye products that don’t irritate my eyes and this one is perfect… except its $78.

Verdict: Wish list. I’m definitely getting this when I run out of the MyChelle.

Josh Rosebrook lift

Haven’t tried it yet, but the sample is so small I’m not sure it’s enough to make things happen. Will report back when I try it.

Also mentioned:

the view from Sunday: lazying around and tarting it up

In an effort to update more frequently, I’m reviving last year’s failed post series (failed because I never posted): the view from Sunday (or, what do I do with myself when I have the day off).

Today saw the start of my Whole30 adventure, which meant I wanted to murder someone by 3 o’clock (no chocolate allowed), but I digress…

Caramel loaf promptly claimed his spot near the window as soon as the bed was made.

I made some of my fancy French tea, flavored with fruits from Versailles (ooh la la!) and tried to keep myself from reaching for anything sweet (harder than I thought and it’s only day 1!)

Did some mad cleaning (powered by tea) and set the diffuser to work… kill the stink! (I got this one on Amazon for about $25 I believe)

Then, cue the sexy time sounds, I ordered my May VIP box from Adore Me. These are my three most recent sets (the quality is on par with anything I’ve purchased at VS and better priced). Not weird at all… In January, I decided that I was over my plain underpanty business. I don’t need to wait for a special day; I can make any day special.

The rest of the day culminated in writing, food, cleaning, food, more cleaning, and a walk. I promise these posts will be more thought-out in future (though, perhaps, less risque).

the view from sunday: rest and rainbows

The weekend has been a blur of post-conference decompression. There have been a lot of naps. I had a great time, but whenever I’m away from home for more than a day I find it really hard to get back to normal. It’s like jet-lag without the jet part. Even after an afternoon nap, I’m still exhausted.

It’s going to be a tough week. The boy is away so I’m cat sitting, which means I’m going to have to do some creative scheduling in order to squeeze everything into my already tight schedule.

Didymus turned 14 while I was away, but my mom made sure to make him a party hat to mark the occasion. It’s a melancholy celebration because the sarcoma he had removed in February has returned. He’s going in for a second procedure on Tuesday, but I’m afraid it will be back sooner rather than later. Trying to treasure every moment.

On a lighter note, there was a beautiful rainbow that spread across the neighborhood this afternoon. I will take it as a good sign.

the view from Sunday: reconnecting with my inner fitgeek

For years, I bemoaned the fact that some quack doctor told my mother that I shouldn’t rollerblade anymore after I sprained my ankle. Surely, this cannot be sound medical advice? Telling someone they shouldn’t perform an exercise after recovery, especially when the exercise in question had nothing to do with the injury… but I was a kid and gave up my skates for fear of permanent injury.

Now, I have achy, old lady knees and my favorite form of cardio (running) is mostly off-limits, as regular runs now lead to swollen knees and excruciating hip pain 😦 . I need something to pump my heart rate up and keep my lower half from going on strike… hello, rollerblading! I opened my wallet and bought myself a pair of pink-trimmed skates (the only ones available in my size) and took them out for a turn yesterday. I fell flat on my bum twice, but it was so much fun while I was gliding! The next challenge is finding a set of pads to keep my knees, elbows, and wrists safe… I have really strong legs; finding pads that can wrap around my knees is proving harder than I thought. In the meantime, the boy is willing to catch me when I go down (he’s been very sweet about it too). My goal is to practice at least 30 minutes every weekend until I feel secure enough to go it alone. The hardest part is maintaining my balance when skating past uneven terrain–and there’s a lot of it to roll over.

Today’s practice was a short one because I skipped breakfast in favor of brunch (big mistake), so I made up for it by taking a walk this afternoon. There were lots of pretty flowers and happy Easter folks (we have a high concentration of churches in the area, there were lots of happy Easter folks to be seen).

Behold! Plumeria in bloom!

All in all, it’s been a rather nice Sunday. The migraine that has been plaguing me is still around, but on the weak end of the scale. I may try to go over my notes for the next round of editing before the night is done.

the view from Sunday: I’m melting

Friends, it’s hot. Summer in the city hot.

Spring has only just arrived and it already feels like the beginning of summer. No clouds, no breezes, no relief in sight… and the ac in my bedroom broke down about two weeks ago in a dramatic last hurrah. In other words, I may or may not be writing this while wearing minimal amounts of clothing.

In a desperate effort to cool down, I resorted to ice cream… not once, but three times this weekend. This is a sign of serious indulgence, as 1) I am somewhat lactose intolerant, 2) I’m a cheapskate and generally refuse to spend more for a cup than it costs to buy a pint, 3) it means the boy also indulged in three days worth of ice cream outings.

It is hot.

I leave you with guava ice cream in a cup, because I’m a no cone kind of girl.

the view from Sunday, sofas and self-doubt

It’s been one of my darker weeks. I don’t often talk about my less-than-chipper days, but I have them and they usually turn into day*s*. I try not to linger on the doubts, but there are times when I’m prone to melancholy (sounds so much more refined than depression); it makes me wonder why I bother doing any of the things I do. Why should I write? Why should I even bother? Wouldn’t I be happier, freer, more at ease if I just let go and enjoyed the moment without driving myself to sit at a computer, pounding away at keys, knowing there’s a very good chance it will amount to nothing in the end? I try not to feel this way, but some days I let it happen and let go. I haven’t written in days; I tell myself it’s because I’m stuck, that the scene is not right, that I need to step back and do some plotting, but I know it’s because I don’t have the energy to be bothered. I’m tired, physically and mentally. I’ve been disappointed, and have let that disappointment color my outlook. Some days, I just want to let my thoughts go and think about nothing. I know this feeling will pass, and I will come back to the page, ready to start over, but it’s hard to look beyond the next day, let alone the next week, and see something good come of it.

It’s Sunday, so I will share a few of the things that have made me smile this weekend, and hope that better days are on their way.

It’s been a rainy, overcast day. Just the sort of day for staying indoors and enjoying some alone time while rearranging the living room (because…).

After 2 years, I finally upgraded from side chairs to a sofa! I went with a grey Klippan; it’s comfy and just the right for two (+1 demanding kitty). My home once again smells like Ikea–wood and vanilla candles (it’s a scent I will always associate with moving in to this place).

I bought pink washi tape while couch shopping, so today I posted up some instagram prints that had been sitting in a box for over a year. It’s held up for a few hours, will see if the humidity doesn’t win out and make the tape lose its hold.

the latest, a list

These are the things that are making me think…

  • The ending.
  • The thought of letting go of writing for a while and taking care of my body rather than my mind.
  • My dad is a stubborn man and I wish there was more I could do to help him.
  • My grandfather is surprisingly similar in temperament and situation.
  • My car may or may not be ready to clonk out of existence in the next six months (re: I may or may not be ready to pony up the money to buy a new car in the next six months).
  • Someone is racking up the water bill at my complex and the landlord is threatening to raise the rents 😦 😦 😦
  • I may have snitched in order to avoid the above scenario and this makes me feel like a total narc.
  • My insurance plan finally kicked in. Better start saving for the copays.