Free for Haul Friday, Volume #489

Share your recent beauty purchases or rediscovered favorites in your stash (for those on low/no-buys!), chit chat about weekend plans, and learn a little more about each other!

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  • Haul/Rediscoveries: Pat McGrath Eye Ecstasy Kit, Natasha Denona Biba
  • Weekend plans: My second hair appointment is later on this morning (Friday), which is the fun part (color), but between yesterday (I decided to do all the lifting/raising of my balayage/cutting in one sitting, color in the second) and today, I am a bit behind on getting photos edited and up, so hopefully getting that finished later today or early tomorrow. The shower remodel from hell is done (it started leaking; it was only 3.5 years old), which has been an ongoing nightmare since mid-November… so enjoy being able to be in our master bedroom again (spent the last few months in our guest room), our shower, and having the house back in order. (I shared some pictures here.)
  • How do you deal with stress?: I don’t usually get overwhelmed or “feel” the stress consciously, but it manifests in my body – hard to sleep and have incredibly tense and twisted muscles (well, more so than usual, haha) — and I’m learning that while I don’t feel “stressed” out where I’m running around haggard or can’t figure out how to get through it, I need to find better ways to unwind and “let it go” — at least for the night. I’m trying guided meditation but am still trying to find someone I like to listen to.

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Haul: Colourpop Sweet Talk palette and Twinkling Lights quad, ABH Riviera palette, Natasha Denona Face Glow Foundation, Bobbi Brown Crushed Liquid Lip in Mango Mood, Fenty Beauty Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y, Too Faced Just Peachy Mattes, Becca First Light Priming Filter (thanks for the $20 off, Ulta!)

Rediscoveries: My ABH palettes in general and my Colourpop Super Shock Shadows.

Weekend plans: Hanging out with my family, cleaning, hopefully spending some time outside.

How do you deal with stress?: Mostly I just push through stress until I become a ball of grumpy and take some alone time, whether it’s going to see a movie by myself or taking a drive and listening to music. I’m an introvert to the extreme, so I find that having some “me time” regularly really helps keep my stress levels down.


EltaMD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46: I heard this is one of the best for acne prone skin. I am trying to cover my basics with products that are specifically helpful for acne and aging, as my acne flared back up starting in February. This one has niacinamide and lactic acid. It’s good for sensitive and dehydrated skin as well. It’s fragrance free. I just started using it so the verdict is still out but I really like it so far.

Nordstrom had extra points last week and I picked up a few goodies: Le Labo Another 13 body lotion, Chanel Rouge Coco Gloss in Rose Naif (804), Chanel Rouge Coco Flash in Pulse (66), and three Aveda hair products (light elements smoothing fluid, damage remedy daily hair repair, and brilliant damage control). The Le Labo is so nice, I might have to buy the fragrance down the road. I love my Rouge Coco Glosses and Rose Naïf brightens up all of my spring lipsticks. The new Rouge Coco Flash formula is outstanding, I am going to try to wait a month before indulging in another one. Pulse is so gorgeous!

I’ve never tried Aveda on my very curly hair. I have been watching Manes by Mel on YouTube and she uses these products, so I thought they’d be worth a try.

Stress management: I watch for the warning signs: Tight muscles, headaches, tense jaw, heightened overall energy (from adrenaline), irritability, anger, difficulty disengaging from specific thoughts related to my stress, thinking about the stress at nighttime, poor sleep, anxiety, etc. I’ve gotten to the point where I recognize it pretty quickly now, whereas when I was younger I lived in the stress zone and would not have been able to comprehend a moment where I wasn’t feeling it.

Weekend plans: My son, Ian, turned 36 this week. My grandson, Fox, turned two. Double birthday party tomorrow?

I have quite a few coping strategies:

Writing down the problem and figuring out ways to address it can be helpful.

Talking to others about resolution options can help if the others give good insights.

About ten years ago I discovered a life stress strategy for managing stress, and in a nutshell it goes like this: Everyday have at least one hour of downtime, and preferably before bed. Every weekend have at least one half day of time for myself. Every month take one full mental health day.

It’s important to have a break in routine, so making sure I’m not living the exact same life every single day is critical. For example, I live by the clock Monday through Friday, but I don’t even look at the clock unless I have to on the weekends.

Exercise and healthy diet are a must: I work our four times a week and prepare paleo-based meals every Sunday for the week ahead.

Stretching: When I notice the extreme tension in my neck and shoulders, I have a stretch routine that eases and opens those muscles, and also resets my posture.

Mindfulness: Christine, have you tried Headspace? I too have difficulty with certain voices, but the Headspace guy has a great voice. I practice Mindfulness in the morning and it is the first line of defense when I recognize my stress signals. Usually I can have myself calm within just three minutes.

Expectations/perfectionism: Have realistic expectations of myself and others. Recognize perfectionism and put that bitch down as soon as she rears her ugly face. Perfectionism is all about not feeling good enough, and it is so horribly unhealthy. My mantra: It’s okay to be average.

No electronics one hour before bed. This means no phone, no computer, no tv. If you go straight from mental stimulation to sleep, your mind is going to start processing the stressors in your life as soon as you hit the pillow. Turn everything off and allow yourself time for reflection. Then close your day with gentle activities such as reading or mindfulness.

First of all, Happy Birthday to your son and I can’t believe that Fox is two years old. He is going to adore his birthday party.
Your comments about managing stress are absolutely spot on. Long ago, I worked out that I had to have an hour of reading my book before bed to wind down, took the Sunday afternoon off to see something beautiful and organised a whole day outing at least once a month. It worked for me too.
Having a fabulous collegiate team around me at work was instrumental in maintaining my mental health during difficult times. People with whom I could trust and we would all offer unlimited support and acceptance was crucial. We are still great friends today.
I used to prepare healthy lunches of salads and snacks during the weekend for lunches too.

Happy birthdays to Ian and Fox. How is Fox two already?! It seems like he was just born.

Good tips about managing stress. The perfectionism one is real toughie for me.

*ColourPop — Just My Luck Palette, Lippie Pencils in Whatchamacallit and ALT, and No Filter Natural Matte Foundation in Fair 05 (great color match; testing it this weekend).
*Other — My ABH Riviera Palette finally got here. Also: Lime Crime Venus 3 Palette; Bobbi Brown Luxe Lip Color in Bond; various samples.

Weekend plans: Finish moving the last of my son’s things to his new apartment. Hopefully dye my hair. My roots are way too long to even be called “roots” any more. lol

How do you deal with stress?: I have severe generalized anxiety disorder AND a legitimately very stressful life. I HAVE to be on anxiety medication or I’m an utter mess. Having a weird sense of humor that I share with my husband and kids is a huge lifesaver. If we weren’t crazy, we’d go insane, you know? I also try to de-stress by listening to music, adult coloring books, casual computer games, getting manicures, and doing fun things with my sons. I try to go for regular drives in the country and/or dates with my husband.

I really feel you with the bodily effects, and I’m sorry you have to deal with them. I have chronic insomnia, and I hold tension in my body, especially my jaw and back. I started grinding my teeth in my sleep about 6 months ago, and I have to get a sleep guard now. I withdraw when I get overwhelmed, too.

((Hugs)) Rachel, my husband went through panic attacks and general anxiety disorder for many years. It was a massive and constantly changing learning experience and we had to do a lot of things differently to adjust to his disorder. But we all drew together and helped him through it and he is so much better now. He still can’t go on a Ferris Wheel or a ski lift, but he can drive over bridges and in rush hour now and that is huge!

It sounds like your husband is coming along great! I’m trying to get back into therapy, but not many providers take our mental health insurance, so I’m waiting on an opening. I’ve had anxiety my whole life. There are a lot of mental health issues on both sides of the familiar. My dad was a paranoid schizophrenic and gradiose-type narcissist. My mom was a victim-type narcissist and hoarder with delusional and magical thinking. I grew up never knowing what was going to happen next.

Holy Rachel! I had such bad anxiety when I was 5 I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. I force myself to socialize, fake it till you make it type of thing. My husband and I study narcissism and other personality disorders, we find it fascinating and I think all of us have a little bit of a narcissist in ourselves. The world is a wild and wonderful place and I wish you well Rachel.

Thank you for the well wishes! Everyone has to be a touch narcissistic just to survive, I think. Narcissist Personality Disorder is a whole other thing. It is fascinating, when you’re not living with it. They are incapable of loving anyone other than themselves, and see people only as what they can do for them. This includes their children. It’s a horrible way to grow up, and has lasting effects. I won’t write out all the truly bizarre details of my childhood, but I’ll say I wouldn’t wish even 1% of it on my worst enemy.

It takes a terrific amount of strength to be able to manage life without any additional obstacles. Hang on, it sounds like you have some great coping skills Rachel and hopefully you’ll get in to see someone soon!

Having a shared sense of humour helps and I am glad that you have found some ways to relax. You do have a stressful life, from what I have gathered from this blog and I admire the way you deal with it too. Rachel, you come over as a compassionate, dedicated person to your family and going out with members of your family also builds beautiful shared memories.

Thank you so much, Genevieve. You worlds mean a lot to me. My parents were such uncaring people. I’ve tried to make my family my top priority and break some bad cycles. I genuinely like my husband and kids, and well as love them. Just with my older son’s psychiatric issues, by all odds our family should have fallen apart. We all fought hard to keep it together.

What a courageous person you are Rachel and no wonder, with your childhood experiences, you developed anxiety issues. You have absolutely been through the wringer, I would say. By focusing on love, care and respect your family has withstood all of the challenges of life – you are amazing.

I got one of the L’Oreal Colour Riche Glossy Shine balms. I bought two last year (Fawn and Doe) and did not like them—they were pale and milky even on my colorless lips. I went back though and got Varnished Rosewood and find this one to be good. I was half-looking for a cheap dupe for Nars Dolce Vita sheer lipstick, which I can go through in just 4 months and have been staring down the bullet of another replacement. I think this is a good dupe. I hope the formula sticks around.

I too have trouble sleeping when I’m stressed, even if I don’t feel “different” during the day. And I normally sleep like a rock so it can be disturbing when I find myself tossing and turning.

Haul/Rediscoveries: Nothing. I haven’t purchased anything or worn makeup at all this week.
Weekend plans: My nephew, a friend, and I are having a dinner date tonight (Friday). My poor baby is having a lot of emotions due to a new baby brother, so I’m going to spend some one on one time with him tonight. My friend’s sister recently had a stroke, so I invited her along so she could have a break from all of those emotions. Saturday & Sunday I will be spending with my family, as well as hitting the gym with a friend in the morning. Plus, a hair appointment to get my hair cut refreshed for next week’s big shindig at my job.
How do you handle stress: I handle stress by working out and stress eating, lol. At least I’m canceling some of those calories out right? smh.

That’s a really great idea Jessica to take your nephew out, as he probably is feeling all kinds of things about the newborn’s arrival. I can remember my eldest son wanting chocolate ice cream for breakfast (of all things – to protest against his sibling’s arrival).
And you are so kind to invite other people along to share the outing as well, it will make your nephew feel important too.

All the beds are Mellan’s! Too funny!

Haul/rediscoveries: The only purchase I made all week, even with all the temptation from Ulta 21 Days Of Beauty, was the 50% Lancome Cils Booster Mascara Primer XL. And I’m in love with it! This stuff is a game changer for my puny lashes. This past week or so, I’ve been rediscovering my love for ND Lila and Viseart Amethyst palettes. Not that I wasn’t using them all along, more like I began to experiment with different color combos that I hadn’t tried previously. With Lila, it was fun to see that I really could do more everyday type looks that still retained all the plummy goodness that brings out more of the green in my eyes!

Weekend plans: I’ve been in a very deep, dark funk all week. Perhaps all of March, tbh. So, I’m just trying to pull myself out of it and get back to an even keel! I at least have my 1 Day Special Assembly in Casa Grande on Sunday to get myself together for. Hopefully, keeping busy with that will give me the needed jumpstart.

How do you deal with stress? Unless I stop dead in my tracks and pray to my Heavenly Father asking Him for a calm heart and mind, I will spiral very precipitously into a downward tailspin of worry and severe insomnia. I’m trying to do better at nipping that in the bud if I catch myself in time. Also, reading certain very faith strengthening passages in the Bible can bring me a sense of calm and inner peace. None of this comes easily to me, though. It is a work in progress that I have to keep at consistently. But, it does work when I do!

I am sorry to hear that you have been feeling poorly this week Nancy and hopefully the focus of your upcoming Special Assembly will give you the spark you need. It helps to look forward to something outside of yourself too.
Faith is really important in restoring a calm and harmonious mind. Best wishes for the coming week.

Oh Mellan! That’s the people bed!

Haul: We went down to Portland over the weekend for our anniversary, and they have NO SALES TAX so of course it’s always a good excuse to hit Sephora. I’ve been dealing with some annoying inflammation on my face that has slowly gotten worse since around the start of the year. The nice lady in the skincare section recommended the Dr Jart+ Cicapair Serum. The first time I wore it, there was a noticeable reduction in redness (noticeable because it made the bumps from the inflammation stand out more, lol, but it’s progress). My face is slowly getting better with continued use. I’m really happy because I was worried they were going to try to sell me on a whole new skincare regimen, but she actually thought the moisturizer I’ve already been using (from FB) was perfect and that I shouldn’t use a whole bunch of new products while trying to control some inflammation. Also picked up the Chronicle Fragrance Discovery Kit because I’d had my eye on it for a while and my partner and I both like to try new scents from time to time.

Rediscoveries lately have been more along the lines of “Ugh, why do I still have this?” LOL.

Weekend plans: Keeping it low-key after last weekend’s trip. Biggest plans are to get together with another couple for some gaming (Legend of the Five Rings RPG, for any curious fellow gamers in the audience).

How do I deal with stress: Besides buying makeup? I mean seriously, I’m an at least third-generation proponent of retail therapy. But I also like dance, reading, and walking. I stress a lot, though since I started therapy at the end of 2018 I’ve become a lot better at identifying what I actually need to stress about and letting other things go.

Centella/cica/tiger grass/gotu kola is fabulous for inflammation. I’ve used the Cosrx centella toner for a long time, but recently added the Purito green level calming toner…which IMO is really an essence. It’s not a cure, but it certainly damps the red down. I recently changed the direction of s/c to anti inflammatory, whereas it formerly was anti acne/ anti aging. The Klairs midnight blue calming (guaiazulene) is decent. I use it over differin at night. There’s the downside that it uses up inordinately quickly. I hope the rheum/derm can help me out with something systemic. My topicals are in order. No fun, is it? Esp on the face. My feet and hands are worse! And the exhaustion, oy.

kjh, I hope your doctor(s) can offer some good solutions for you! Fortunately I a just dealing with inflammation/irritation on my face from either poor product choices or environmental factors — no underlying related health problems.

It’s fabulous that you found a very honest MUA who didn’t try to con you into purchasing any expensive regime that might not work anyway….
I’ve read good things about Dr. Jart’s products, so I think you might be on the right track.
Beauty and retail therapy can be so soothing…..

I was totally prepared for them to try to sell me on some complicated K Beauty inspired multi-part skincare regime, and that is just not what I want in my life. I know some people enjoy taking the extra time for skincare, but for me I just want to keep my skin healthy so I can put fun color cosmetics over the top. I’ve been spoiled by total low-maintenance skin for most of my life, so I am relieved to only have to add one simple step to my regime that will hopefully clear this up!

I don’t think Mellan cares whether he is in the guest room or master bedroom. We are current,y having bed issues with our girl kitty. Her arthritis doesn’t let her jump onto the bed any longer so whenever we hear a plaintive wail (she is Siamese so hearing her is not a problem), one of us runs to the bed to lift her on to it.

Haul/rediscoveries: Nothing this week. We just moved and I am busy settling in so I haven’t updated my weekly makeup basket for several weeks.

Weekend plans: More settling in to the new place. I hope to hang some pictures. Brunch with old friends on Sunday.

How do I deal with stress? Not very well. I mainly eat. This is unfortunate because I once was pretty consistent using Headspace.

Have you moved far away Lesley from your old place?
Best wishes for the settling in process, it can be so tricky finding where you’ve put things……

Haul/Rediscoveries: After falling so much in love with the Arch Brow Pencil, I just made a Sephora order today for the Hourglass Brow Gel. I was waiting for a good perk (I like to maximize benefits when I place Sephora orders), and there’s a mini Bobbi Brown face primer I really wanted to try with the code `youpick`.

Weekend plans: A long hike on Saturday (preferable some redwoods), maybe a short day trip to San Francisco on Sunday. In the free time I’ll squeeze in some groceries, meal prep and those little tiny things to set the next week right.

How do you deal with stress?: I don’t deal with it, I just leave with it. I’m the kind of person that naturally stresses about everything, so for the stress is a part of life. I have learned to deal with it, use it in my favor and make it affect less my health and well-being. Usually a long walk or doing chores that are mostly automatic help me relieves stress; cooking is also a stress reliever for me.

Mellan looks like the way I feel right now.

Haul/Rediscoveries: Nothing new this week. I haven’t been wearing much makeup this week because I’ve been sick.

Weekend plans: Getting over this stupid cold, the worst one I’ve had in years.

How do you deal with stress? I’ll watch a comfort movie or show, often crafting at the same time. Depending on what kind of stress it is, eating might be involved, too.

Colds, at any time of the year, are a nuisance and especially one that lingers on too. I hope it is starting to get a bit sunnier where you live and that will probably clear it all up.
I hope you are feeling better next week Seraphine.

Thank you, Genevieve! We don’t get real winter weather here, but we still get our share of colds. This one came courtesy of my husband, who caught it at his office. (People should stay home when they’re contagious.) I am on the mend, but it will probably be another week before it’s totally gone, judging by how long it’s taking him to get over it.

Haul: Pat McGrath Lust Gloss Trio in the flesh 4, bronze temptation, and flesh fantasy (I loved the other set!)
Weekend Plans: Work, set up my serger to make washable, reusable cotton facial rounds, handkerchiefs, and hand towels, and do some reading for fun.
Destressing: I love the mindfulness meditation app Buddhify, because it has different voices using different mindfulness techniques. I also like to watercolor, write, read, or walk somewhere where I can see nature (living in an urban city has been a new sort of claustrophobic stress). When I’ve been perpetually sleep-deprived and miserable because of work, I force myself to cook, exercise, and get restful prolonged sleep to remind myself of my basic human needs.

Haul: I could’t believe my luck when I found the Cargo Chill in the Six palette for $12 at Marshall’s. Having been born and grown up in “the 6”, I’d have bought this no matter what but the crazy low price and the fact that it’s a really nice palette – BONUSX2!!! I also picked up (again, at significantly reduced price) a bottle of Redken All Soft conditioner (I’m almost done the bottle I have so this was a timely find).

Weekend plans: our younger son is bringing his girlfriend to town tomorrow to stay overnight. We’ll probably go to the Royal Botanical Gardens, hit Donut Monster (a local “sensation”) and then go out to son’s fave Indian restaurant on Saturday. Sunday, he wants to make buttermilk pancakes for us all so I picked up bittermilk as well as sausages and bacon. With a bit of luck, I can fit in a trip to the gym on Sat. morning, before they arrive.

How do I deal with stress? – it really depends on the source. If it’s a ton of stuff I have to get done that’s causing it, I will delegate or ask for help. If it’s worry over family or friends’ or even my own issues (health, etc.) I try to remind myself that worrying won’t make it better so I try to stay positive and keep my worries in check (easier said than done). A massage, a pedicure, some fun time with husband or friends often helps, as does talking to my best friends. Yoga helps a lot, though often when I’m stressed and need it the most, that’s when I tend to tell myself I don’t have the time…

What a lucky find Mariella, those eyeshadows will look beautiful on you. That would make my day.
Is it a new girlfriend that your son is bringing over for you to meet? Anyway, it’s a lovely day you have planned out and finishing off with dinner at an Indian restaurant is divine. The Sunday morning breakfast sounds good too – especially if he cleans up after himself….
Enjoy your weekend.

That’s the way Lachlan ends up sleeping! That way or horizontal across the bed. Mellon looks so peaceful here.

Haul: I did order that Maybelline Spice for Life lipstick off ebay yesterday. It is the shade I have been looking for. No retailers in Aus land have it and it probably either won’t come at all or next year. We only get a third of Maybelline’s products here in Aus. There were plenty of US retailers selling this lipstick, but their international shipping rates were like $26….ridiculous. I ended up finding one that shipped the lippie for $8. Much better. The MAC Chilli lipstick, which is a dupe for this shade, is $36 here. So expensive.

Weekend plans: It has been really hot and humid here, due to the cyclonic weather patterns up north that filter their way down south.
Friday – We had Lachlan over and as he is now officially toilet trained (it has taken awhile, lots of deliberations on his part), so I took him into our local shopping centre to get a small reward – I had a star chart going to ‘help’ him along. He was very proud of himself.
Saturday – just grocery shopping, laundry etc.
Sunday – as mentioned last week in my post, the reunion of neighbours from my childhood, one of the girl’s married an Italian man and they have a winery in central Victoria. It turns out that his family came from the exact region of Northern Italy that my husband’s family came from. When I came home and told my husband this, he remembered the surname and wondered whether these people were his neighbours when he first migrated to Melbourne as a child. During the week we found out that they were indeed neighbours in inner city Melbourne. What an amazing coincidence, so we are going up to visit their winery on Sunday.

Dealing with Stress. It is so difficult to deal with stress because the emotional aspects can be all consuming and it can easily tip over to generalised anxiety and panic.
I find the best ways to deal with it are:
Break down the challenges into manageable bits
Problem solve, logically, the actual worry into possible, achievable solutions.
I try to worry only about the things I can actually change
From my years of teaching, I learnt that during the weekend or even the week, I would actively seek out restful sessions: read a book, take a walk or see something beautiful (hence my drives to the country side).
Put everything into a perspective.

Oh Christine I can relate , with regards to remodeling , we just had a feature wall done ,it can be hell, but such a relief when it over
Ps….love the concrete look you went with , really clean , timeless and modern .
Also good move breaking your hair appointments up into 2 sessions it’s a big job, can’t wait to see he results.
Haul ? Art Books! ( not really beauty related , but beauty for my Soul, ,,,
Also took me a while to track down a Tom Ford Ultra Shine lipcolor in “Nubile”
But one is in the mail .
How do I deal with stress?
Yoga ! lots of “Breathe of Fire” Or taking a good walk in nature , also I take a supplemental drink called “Calm” sold in Health Food Stores … great before bed .

Oh I forgot … weekend plans?
Going to see the scary movie”Us” hoping it’s as good as “Get Out”
Then heading to Seattle for a weeklong workshop, Happy Spring Everyone ??

Just looking at Mellan makes you relaaaax!

Haul/Rediscoveries: nada

Weekend plans: Cleaning up my yard a bit before we get some more snow (yuk) on Sunday. I’ve started cleaning out our basement. I have a very bad fear of spiders, I have put this off as long as I can, now I have to do this. I have sprayed a human/pet friendly spray around the baseboards and I was vaccuming up the dead bodies that were down there and that was traumatic enough for me, they are not small. I know I will come across live ones and it’s not going to be fun. Somehow I will get through this.

How do you deal with stress?: I prepare myself as much as I can in advance. After that come what may. I usually can’t sleep as a result, so I will read or do research to distract myself.

Spraying around the baseboards in your basement and waiting awhile is a good idea so that the actual spiders are dead. I don’t mind spiders myself – no real fear of them, it’s just snakes (there are so many deadly ones here in Aus) that would give me the absolutel horrors.
I think your advice about planning and organising ahead of time is wise, as it does reduce a lot of stress and panic. I am a great reader myself and I know that helps too.

Oh yes Genevieve, the snakes there would be scary. I’ve only come face to face with a garden snake so no experience with deadly ones. My niece lives in New Zealand and lived in Australia for a few years and said there were pretty large spiders there. I think I would have to take Ativan with me to visit there lol!

Haul: I picked up one lipstick from Ulta, Bare Minerals lip in the shade Geranium. I also picked up an eye brow pencil for my daughter. Otherwise, no buy going strong.

Weekend plans: As I am typing this I am trying to recuperate from a bout of either food poisoning or a flu bug. It is most likely a flu bug because of our trip to Glacier National Park and being out among people. Being a diabetic and having any illness is tricky but nausea and vomiting is a real killer. You are unable to eat so consequently, your body starts pulling energy sources such as fat and muscle and that elevates your blood glucose so trying to figure out how much insulin to take is difficult. It is even more so since I only take long acting insulin so there is nothing I can give myself that would deal with the blood sugar elevation in a quick and short manner. I rarely get sick so I find it usually is much worse when I do get sick.

How to deal with stress: For the most part I don’t feel stressed about things. I worked in a highly stressful position for my entire adult life. As you all know, I am a registered nurse so there were rarely days when something stressful didn’t occur. I feel like I just dealt with things and moved on. Now that I am no longer working, I do find that things happening in my life that would not have bothered me before, seem to bother me now. I also tend to notice things when they pack on top of each other, hence my some what depressive winter with my sister passing, my Mom falling, my brother having surgery, and being buried under a ton of snow. I hadn’t been doing anything creative in awhile since my craft room was under construction so I found that getting back into creating helped me the most. I can’t rely on exercise for dealing with stress because I live where getting out and doing exercise for half of the year is impossible unless you are skiing or doing something involved in winter activities. I have never been one of those people, although I regret that now. At my age it is a little too late to take up skiing, I think. For me the best outlet is doing something creative.

Why not cross country skiing? It’s a do at your own pace kind of thing, and can apply to flatter terrain. Not everyone has to do it like race walking…. and you can stop and small the non-flowers.

Haul: decided to get the Proactiv version of Differin, due to Ulta sale. The only reason I mention this is: oddly, the Proactiv and Differin have the EXACT same ingredients profile on Cosdna, but the Proactiv is prestige (no coupon use) and the Differin is not. I patch tested before I ordered additional. Impression: Differin is somehow milder/? more buffered and I prefer it, but $ saved is $ saved. Still strong on color cosmetics low buy. Really enjoyed the Strobe Divinity palette this week. It captured many of the shades I liked in ND Safari, and it’s more curated, less expansive, and indie. Plans: SSDW. Stress: currently, it’s anger, and Lamictal may be in my future, again. I have zero control over the computer mess at day job, but massive swearing rants do not help. If the rheum/derm tx alleviates some of the inflammatory crap, maybe the mood stabilizer won’t be necessary. Whatever. I’m too exhausted to do constructive stress alleviating things, but my pups always ramp down the aggro. Feeling as if you are being bee stung on your hands, face, neck, pits, feet certainly does not help. Hence, the anti inflammatory skincare.

Ugh. I hope the computer mess gets straightened out soon. It sounds horribly frustrating. Here’s hoping the rheum/derm treatment works well for you.

I hope you feel better soon. Any chronic illness is stressful both on our psyche and our bodies. I never seriously considered suicide when I was dealing with my chronic illness but there were times when I new that I didn’t want to continue living with my condition the way it was. I think before I could get to the stage where I would likely have entertained the idea, we found a diagnosis and a treatment. I am not 100% but that is the nature of chronic illness. There are always ups and downs. I have neuropathy from my diabetes and it feels like a hot stabbing poker is being used on my feet. It makes me jump and yelp a bit and that always freaks my daughter out and there is nothing she can do to help. Damn Diabetes!! I am so happy that you have your doggies to help take your mind off the issues. I know they mean a lot to you and taking care of them has been a stress in itself, what with vets and medicine but they give us so much back.
Your remarks about the difference between Differin and the Proactive version are interesting. I use to use Sunday Riley Good Genes and over time I have tried several other brands with identical or near identical formula’s and yet, I honestly have to say, I prefer Good Genes. Some of the other brands had stronger formula’s but yet Good Genes worked better for me. I am just finishing up the last of the brands I purchased to replace Good Genes and then during the Sephora sale I am going back to Good Genes. Sometimes you have to shop the market to know what is there and convince yourself that what you are doing now is the right choice. I know that it isn’t always about a brand being better than another but sometimes it is that unidentifiable difference that makes all the difference in the world.

Hauled: MAC Soar lipstick. MAC Boom Boom Heartmelter Lipglass. Dr. Pawpaw original lip balm. MAC Print Eyeshadow and MAC Davidblonde lipstick from the Blondes collection (from the CCO).

Weekend plans: Cleaning and beginning my Spring Break!!

Deal with stress: Neflix and a cup of coffee. I also talk it out w loved ones:)

Haul: (Macy’s 15% off + Star Reward): Dior Lolliglow Luminizer in Peach Delight

Rediscovery: I’ve been using Hourglass Dim Light in an effort to pan the product. This week I saw the dimples at the bottom of the pan. Still plenty of product around the middle but it was gratifying that I will finish this product with continued persistence.

Weekend Plans: Put away the heaviest winter clothes and continued decluttering of our main room.

We had a health scare this week in our family that involved double vision being a sign of a stroke. Thankfully, after scans and administration of a clot bursting medication, no damage was found. and our family member (who is in their late 40s) is fine but has now had a minor stroke. We learned that sudden changes in vision or balance/dizziness are increasingly symptoms being seen in the ER and confirmed to be a stroke. Very thankful it was minor but no less a wake up call.

Handling stress: I try not to worry about something until it presents as something to be concerned with. Usually getting some distance on a matter or stopping to procrastinate are effective for me. Knowing where I carry stress and doing excercises to relieve tension help though when I have better control over my thoughts, that directly minimizes physical symptoms before things get too tense.

Hi Rachel, thank you for your note. It really was a shock, for sure. We are so thankful it was minor. It’s still hard to believe it happened.

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