Why You Should Wear a Little Makeup…but not too much.

Makeup, Self Care, Bare Minerals

I went through a year or two in my adult life where I quit wearing make up.  It may have started out during one of those “you’re beautiful without makeup/love your face” movements…I don’t remember exactly, but it morphed into, “I don’t give a rip how my face looks and I’m just too lazy to spend any time on it.”  Don’t mistake me: if you’re not wearing makeup out of some feeling of self-empowerment or feminism, or as some social statement, I’m not telling you to do it anyway or implying that you’re lazy; I think you’ll get the underlying point and can apply it in some other way.

The problem with what happened to me was that I quit caring altogether.  I mean, it’s hard not to; when you gain a bunch of weight and spend 11 hours (including your commute) at a place and doing something that doesn’t exactly thrill you, it’s easy to start feeling like you don’t matter.  And sometimes, that manifests itself in a physical way.  For me, it was to quit everything that had to do with taking care of my skin and face.  I quit washing my face before bed, quit using moisturizer, and quit wearing makeup except on Sundays (because I still cared just enough to not want to look slovenly on local public-access television). I don’t think I even plucked my eyebrows for months (hellooooooo Frida Kahlo).

Here’s the thing, though:  it wasn’t about the makeup.  It was about feeling like I wasn’t worth enough to spend a little time taking care of myself.  Over the course of just a few years, I’d put on 80 pounds, and I found myself in a job/industry far from what I’d studied to do, and my life not looking at all like I’d hoped led me to decide that it wasn’t worth it to “waste” the time to do a few little things to make me feel a little prettier…a little better about myself.

So I started putting on a little makeup.  Not a ton.  Just the below few items (although I do add a little sparkly eyeshadow, mascara, and tinted lip balm on Sundays).

Bare Minerals Makeup

Just Bare Minerals Foundation (in Fairly Light because I’m basically Casper), Bare Minerals “Warmth” as blush and eyeshadow, and a little eyeliner.  It literally takes me three minutes.  I even take it with me and put it on as soon as I get to the office so I don’t waste any time at home that I would otherwise spend drinking coffee before I leave for work.

I’m not telling you to spend hours on yourself…that’s why I included the caveat, “but not too much.”  It can be easy to get too caught up in appearances, or to become so insecure that you feel that spending lots of time trying to perfectly craft your appearance/persona is necessary (this is true with more than just makeup, too…social media jealousy, anyone?).  It’s not.  What’s necessary is to find a sense of worth outside of what you look like or what you do.  For me, it was realizing that I have a husband who loves me, family who loves me, and I serve a God who doesn’t care what I look like, but also doesn’t want me to not take care of myself.  And that, in light of those things, I should take a little time and do a few things to remind myself that I’m worth it.

I encourage you to remember that, and to carve out a little time for yourself and to find a way to treat yourself well.

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Why I Should Never Be Left Home Alone

It’s because I do this thing where I get depressed because I’m by myself and don’t leave the recliner for the entire day except to go to the bathroom and make (gluten free) boxed mac & cheese (thank you, Aldi!).  And cry a few times.

10714_10152784645018143_5793002656857410775_nI know, it’s pathetic, but I’m not the type that gets tired of my husband and wants him to go away for awhile.  As a result, Saturday was a little lonely (although I did binge-watch The Golden Girls and the National Figure Skating Championship).  Friday night was excellent; I had dinner and watched a movie with a couple of my very best friends.  And by Sunday afternoon, I was reunited with my other half.

There hasn’t been much de-cluttering in the last few days; I didn’t do much while Joey was gone and the last couple of days have been pretty stressful, so we’re going to have to pick up on it a little later in the week.  I’m afraid we’ve lost momentum.  Our plan is to go through the bags of “keep” clothes and see if there are any in there that we’re ready to part with upon second review.  I also want to go through my bags of yarn, frog projects that I don’t plan to finish and toss ones where the yarn can’t be salvaged.  I think that’ll probably be a Thursday project.

I’m thinking of doing a couple of weekly features on the blog: Monday Meal Plans and Wordless Wednesdays.  Two of my goals for the year were to be more diligent in meal planning and to work on my photography skills (especially after seeing Tammy Strobel’s blog and photography work done solely with her iPhone).  I’ve been doing various photo-a-day challenges on my Instagram since October (and I’m creating my own for February), but I want to take more effort on those pictures in the future and make the most of the Galaxy S5’s excellent camera.  We’ll see how it goes.

I also found this website the other day; it’s got links to THOUSANDS of free online classes (from reputable universities!!) that you can take at your own pace (some for credit, but most not).  How awesome is this?  I’ve been thinking about learning some about web design, and this affords a great opportunity.

Peace out, folks.  Hope you have an excellent Hump Day tomorrow.

Functional Adulthood Takes Work. Lots of Work.

I conquered the top two dresser drawers over the weekend…almost.  I’ve got about half a drawer’s worth of things that I know I need to keep but am not yet sure where to house them permanently.  I’m still counting it a success, though.  Tonight, we conquer the laundry pile.  Our laundry room has been mostly unusable for the past five years or so because we’ve got so much stuff (and clean laundry), so I’m anticipating a great purge is to come tonight.  I swear, our tax return next year is going to rock.

The de-cluttering euphoria is helping, but I’m still overwhelmed by how much work it is to be a functional adult.  We’ve been in “survival mode” for so many years that we’ve forgotten how to take care of ourselves.  I mean, I cleaned the entertainment center before Christmas, and there’s dust on it again.  Ugh.  But, functional adults dust things.  And fold clean laundry.

Bear with me for a bit while I find my blog voice.  There’s so much that I want to do and talk about, but I mostly find myself staring at the screen getting overwhelmed and feeling that I’m profoundly boring.  I don’t cook enough to be a food blogger, I don’t knit enough to be a knit blogger…I don’t have a kid, so I can’t be a mommy blogger.  I’m not a runner (yet), but even if I was, I think running blogs can be a little boring.  As is often the case in life, I’m not quite sure where I fit.

I’ll leave you with a picture of the moon I took the other night; it’s COLD in Charlotte, right now, and they’re even talking about a wintry mix tomorrow night.  I’d be thrilled if we got a little snow.

cold moon

Conquering the “Stuff”

junk pile

I know.  I’m ashamed of it.  But it’s mostly gone now.  This was on my dresser.  Then it became “on my bed,” which was fortuitous because it forced me to go through it, lest I relegate myself (and the husband.  and the cat) onto the couch for the night.  This huge pile birthed two trash bags full of Goodwill donations, one of actual trash, and one of clothes to keep.  I may have also located three grocery bags worth of yarn (with many half-completed projects).  I wish I could show you a clean dresser, but we’re not quite there yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  We’ll see.

I had two things that I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and I managed both of them.  The first, pictured above, and the second was to make soup.  Joey ended up taking my instruction and making the soup himself while I sat on my bed and alternated between crying and tearing my hair out by the roots.  The soup, alas, was a fail; it’s a passable broccoli cheese soup, but desperately needs some meat and something else that I haven’t figured out yet.  It also looks a little like baby vomit, so I’ll spare you a photo.

Tonight, however, was an incredible dinner win!  I found this recipe for Carne Asada on Pinterest a few days ago, and skirt steak was on sale at Aldi Sunday, so we went ahead and grabbed the rest of the ingredients and set up the crock pot this morning.

flank steak

It’s beautiful, right?  The paste on top is a mix of garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro.  In retrospect, I would’ve added the juice and zest of one lime; it needed a little tang.  Either way, it will definitely be joining the Weaver dinner rotation.  The finished product:

cooked asada

We added some steamed broccoli and ate it off my super-fancy Corelle dishes which made me feel a tiny bit like I may be succeeding at being a functional adult.

I get overwhelmed easily these days, so I’m trying to break this de-cluttering process into very small, manageable chunks. And to be entirely honest, I thought the dresser would only take one night, so I was disappointed in myself when I came to the realization after three hours that, even though the big items were handled, I’ve got tons of “little things” to still go through: cds, ear buds, lip gloss, jewelry, a thousand hair clips, pens, buttons; you know, the usual little things that most people eventually throw away.  Except I didn’t.  For, like, three years.  I used to see a therapist, and I told her many times that I just wanted to conquer the dresser.

I’m not done yet, but yesterday, I conquered the dresser.

Fat Tuesday and the Beginning of Lent

I’ve been given a work laptop.  Yep.  I’m actually pretty stoked since I never would have gotten this far in my career at my previous job.  However, with great power comes great responsibility, and now I feel compelled to set back up to work again as soon as I get home.  I’ll have to work on finding a work/life balance again.

So, it’s Mardi Gras, and I’m sure that naked people are flooding the streets of New Orleans, beads flying through the air, drunk people becoming celebrities for the upcoming season of Cops….and so on/so forth.  We’re ending our Fat Tuesday with a steak and potato dinner, tiramisu, and a few Reese’s cups before the coming day of repentance tomorrow.  I’m not sure if I’ll be able to find somewhere to go to get ashes, but even if not, I’ll keep my spirit and focus in that direction.

It bothers me how Southern Baptists (in general) tend to write off just about every tradition of the Catholic church immediately without paying attention to the history or meaning behind it.  There’s great reason to continue to pay attention to the tradition and liturgy of the Catholic Church; we can’t simply write off the first fifteen hundred years of our faith, you know?  Anyway, here’s a brief explanation of Lent in the event that any of my Baptist friends find it useful.  I think there’s a level of mystery in the Catholic denomination for Protestants on the more fundamentalist side of things.  Although I certainly don’t identify myself as fundamentalist, my circle of friends includes many of them, and the hushed tones in which they say, “s/he’s…..Catholic” is a little funny.  I find the traditions and practices to be pretty intriguing…we can’t really fault them for their shortcomings (perhaps in being caught up too much in traditions and not emphasizing the individual’s direct access to God) when we, as Southern Baptists, have so many of our own (continuing to argue over drinking, caring for animals/the environment, equating Christianity with the Republican Party…).

My, I’ve rambled on so.  Sorry about that…lots of thinking about Catholicism the past few days.  I’ve been trying to figure out what I need to give up for Lent, and the past couple of days, I’ve felt the unhappy tug of something that I didn’t really want to hear.  Sugar.  Sugar???  Yes, Sugar.  It’s become an idol for me, and it’s literally killing me.  So, starting tomorrow, I’m abstaining.

 

Walking Away From it All

yeah, i really didn’t mean for that to sound as “final” or “foreboding” as it does.  i’ve been struck the last few days with this urge to detach from “the system.”  it’s a moot point, because there’s really no way to detach anymore; we’re numbered, inventoried, and surveilled wherever we go.  and, to be honest, i really like my cable tv and smartphone, so it’s not looking to be in my future.  but i still want it.  what i want is to NOT want my smartphone and tv and the myriad of other things that make my life so very comfortable.  i want not to be so tied to them because, if somehow the opportunity arose for us to actually live a more analog, off-grid lifestyle, i would want to jump out on faith and take that chance.

wpid-IMG_20111120_090325.jpg

i promise, I’m not trying to romanticize “the good ol’ days” where people were forced to do without modern luxuries (i.e., the Great Depression), but sometimes i think that we’ve been victims of our own success, and i can’t help but feel these days like a big “reset” is about to take place…whether by natural means, or vulnerability of our power grid, whatever it may be.  it just seems that the world has become such a volatile place so rapidly and that it’s all coming to a head.  of course, the fundies are either freaking out or salivating with joy because they think we’re on the cusp of the end of the world.  we’re such a short-sighted, chronocentric people.  these things have happened over and over throughout the ages…we struggle, become successful, become victims of our own success, and then the pendulum swings and we’re back to the struggle again.

camping

part of it may be because i didn’t get a chance to unplug this past year.  i changed jobs, so we couldn’t take a long enough vacation to justify taking the camper.  the weekend that we did tent-camp, we had a horrific storm come through which culminated in our desperately trying to pack up the tent in the pouring rain and lightning while i had a panic attack.  also, my health has been pretty piss-poor the last four months of the past year, and it’s not getting better as quickly as i would hope/like.

we’re going to give gardening another shot this year.  with the price of food rising, i think we need to be able to mitigate some of that cost ourselves.  and, i’m just enough of a conspiracy theorist to think that it’s no accident that we’re getting sicker and sicker the more that the government gets involved in our food.  the best solution as i see it is to do what i can to keep them out of my food as much as i can.

i do hope that someday, before it’s too late to do so, we’ll be able to move out to an area that’s a little more rural and secluded, a little out of the way, and that we’ll be able to unplug a little bit more, enjoy God’s creation a little bit more, stress a little bit less, and try to bring things in our corner of the world a little closer back to how it should be, in spite of the political, societal, and religious unrest that seems to be rapidly spiraling out of control.

 

 

 

Dona Nobis Pacem…

The past few weeks, my heart has been heavy over the lack of peace in this world.  Syria, Lybia, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Colorado, Oregon, China, now Connecticut.  When things like these tragedies, atrocities, and abuses of human life occur, I wonder why God continues to put up with us.  We (humanity) seem to excel at little more than destroying this world…things, places, creatures, and each other.

On an even smaller scale, things are not peaceful for me right now.  Christmas is never an enjoyable time for me, because it’s never about what it should be.

I declared my “word” for 2012 as “healing.”  After the medication issues and resulting mental illness for 2011, I anticipated that this year would be a time for healing.  There are parts of that that happened; I have a medication mixture that is working for me and has put me in a much better position.  I’ve become  much more secure in myself, in part because of the weight that I’ve gained (not that I’m happy that I gained it), I was able to rid myself of a job that I hated in a toxic environment for a job (doing the same thing) that pays much better and is in a much better environment.  I’ve removed some toxic relationships in my life and have accepted that I cannot take on the guilt for other peoples’ problems.

However, my physical health has declined.  While my blood pressure is back under control, my liver enzymes are mildly elevated, my cholesterol is too high, and my blood sugar is at pre-diabetic levels.  And that robs me of my own peace.

2013 is going to be a year of Peace for me.  I cannot control the fact that our world, our nation, and our state lack peace.  But I will do my part, in my own little corner, to help make this world peaceful for others and to help make it peaceful for myself.  Dona Nobis Pacem.  Lord, give us peace.