Wednesday, April 16, 2014

March Recap and April Challenge: Oops, I'm Late.

Not the pregnant kind of late. I realized last week that I never did a March recap and I also haven't posted my April challenge. Bad blogger! 

In March, I tried to focus on healthier eating and specifically, cooking at home. We definitely did a LOT better, but still not anywhere near acceptable. I haven't quite worked out the kinks of stocking a fridge and eating it all. 

Even with a meal plan, I'm stumped. I've switched from stocking the fridge up all the way to just going week by week... maybe two weeks with one grocery trip. But more often than not we won't have a plan for dinner and instead of making do we'll opt to grab town food. 

This does not help my quest for health, my waistline OR the pocketbook. You know what I'm saying? 

I do feel that we are transitioning. A few nights Bryan and I didn't have a plan for dinner and he quickly defrosted some of the frozen hamburger patties or taco meat that I had previously made. With the leftovers from that, plus cooking fresh meals, we ate at home a lot more often. However, until the scale has tipped to eating at home every night and eating town food rarely, I won't consider it a win. Habits still need to be adjusted and formed. 

Which brings us to April. All this month I will be working on my stress levels and how to relax, how to cope and how to survive my anxiety and work through it. I've been really stressed out because we have a lot coming up. There is just so much on my plate and I've freaked out a few times on Bryan because it seems impossible to do everything. I need to channel my stress and focus on the tasks at hand. Not just bombard my brain with all the lists of things that need to be accomplished.

This is going to be hard. Most people have no idea because I'm pretty good at living with stress. Living with stress and COPING with stress are two different things. Most of the time I just stuff everything stressful way down deep in my soul and it explodes into a huge debilitating migraine. I'm tired of feeling bounded by stress. I'm ready to break through it. 

How am I going to do it? So far I have been breathing deeply throughout the day. I've been stretching on my breaks and taking quick walks outside when I need to clear my head. Shepherd has learned how to "dance" so I've been dancing with him which is probably the best thing in the world. I've been going to bed on time and waking up earlier. 

I've downloaded the Couch to 5k app, because I really want to start running. I feel like by training myself to run I will be able to clear my mind, have a sense of freedom and give my body the activity it crazy in one fell swoop. 

Of course, I have no desire to run in any kind of marathon, but the concept of getting off the couch and running is what I need. Attending the conference and planning Shepherd's birthday has really messed up my workout schedule, so I'll be hitting it hard the next two weeks. I have a lot of make up for in the losing weight front but since I'm entering a very busy stage of life it's a better time than any to start! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

My Nighttime Routine

I've seen these popping up everywhere and I figured I should just jump on the bandwagon. I mean... why not?

Of course, I had to ask Bryan for some help because I just didn't have the ability to take pictures while using both hands to wash my face. He was frustrated because he loathes when I blog about anything beauty related. He moaned and groaned that he likes reading about ME. I reminded him that some of my biggest posts to date were my beauty posts. Also, I'm into it. It's something I love to do and it excites and relaxes me. If I never posted about beauty I'd be leaving out a huge interest of mine, which doesn't seem authentic at all. 

Speaking of authentic, these pictures are real. I strategically shot around my dirty counter-top cause I have products everywhere, but other than that, what I'm wearing is what I usually wear at home. My process is what I usually do on any given night, even if some nights I use my face cleansing brush. I wanted to just show you the process of a very tired Megan and how she gets to bed. Nothing fancy here. 

To prove that they are not fancy, I used my cell phone camera and the lighting is horrible. See? I'm a "real life" blogger. :)

Lets get started! 

My favorite hair style, a crap-bun! I pull it all up and out of the way.

Time to take off the face. Yay! I love wearing make-up but I also love wearing zero makeup. I have darkness under my eyes because I was rubbing them and the mascara flaked. Mostly though, I'm not wearing a whole lot of makeup because the look I was going for was a natural, no makeup makeup look.

So, I grab my products - regular cotton rounds and my new TimeBalm White Tea Carrot Eye Makeup Remover. Longest name EVER. And I take off my eye makeup. 

I felt so funny taking a picture of this. It is such a.... private thing. You know? I'm weird.

 Basically, I press the cotton round to my eye and let it sit for a moment, then I gently swipe it across my eye. I always look and am like ew! gross! even though it's just makeup. I guess at the end of the night I'm just like get this off of me right meow!

Look at that light contour (above, right). I tried out the Bahama Mama bronzer. I like it!! However, I don't like my weird facial expression in the picture. Whatev.

Now on to the next one. No moar make-up! Repeat the process.

This is me showing the gentle sweep of the cotton round. GENTLE. Do not be rough with the skin around your eyes. Treat it kindly. 

Clean eyes! Now to move on to the face.

Grab yer coconut oil. People will tell you you have to get some fancy million dollar coconut oil, but don't listen to them. As long as it is 100% pure coconut oil, non-gmo, etc, you're fine. I grabbed this at the Walmarts once when I was there. I bet LouAna never thought people would be oil-pulling and taking off their makeup with coconut oil. They should really market it better!

I rub the coconut oil all over my face, and usually my eyes. It helps clean off any mascara that may have been stubborn but also helps your eyebrows and eyelashes grow. It also breaks down your foundation and nourishes your skin. Don't forget your neck if you blend down - and you should be blending down - your foundation. Washing your face means ridding your skin of all makeup. Where ever you put it, it needs to be taken off. Again, be gentle. Protect the skin on and around your eyes and neck! Also, I see now how booby this picture is. Sorry about that. 

While the coconut oil is still on my face, I rinse my hands and grab some face wash. I like the combo of coconut oil and Cetaphil.

I pump some Cetaphil on my hands and then wash my face. It breaks down the coconut oil and helps to rinse your face. Look how happy I am at washing my face! Bryan was making fun of me because I was posing. Just call me Cindy.

I pat my face dry and then grab my astringent/toner - Witch Hazel! I adore this stuff. So cheap, so effective. Gentle on your skin, great for acne. I dig it. 

I primarily focus on the t-zone because I am oily, but I do use the exfoliation side and I do sweep it over the entire face and neck. I really make sure to get around the nostrils because I have an oily nose but flaky skin in that area. How that is possible I will never know! 

Blemish on the bottom of my t-zone. So sad. That girly time of the month is to blame. Ugh.

Time to grab the moisturizer! Yes! Even though I rubbed coconut oil over my face and my skin feels sooooo smooth from exfoliating, I've got to moisturize. I use Take A Deep Breath by Philosophy because it feels great and doesn't make me even more oily than I naturally am. I dot it really lightly all over my face and then rub gently into my skin. An error that I used to make (and that others commonly make) is using too much moisturizer. The right amount totally depends on your face, but I was using waaay too much and when I backed off, my skin started to really shine. Try different amounts until you find out what your skin responds to!

Alright! So my face is done and it's time to move on to teeth! I've been trying to do this really regularly because I drink me the coffee and that's hell on teeth. 

I've been doing this every few nights and the night I planned to take pictures of the routine, it was teeth whitening night. So that is why you are seeing it. I use the knock off brand of whitening strips. I needed something a little stronger than the natural methods, but as soon as I'm done with this box, my upkeep will be all natural!

First, I really lightly brush my teeth to start with a clean canvas. I brush for maybe twenty seconds and use the smallest amount of toothpaste. Then I pop on the strips and smother the old school black label Chapstick all over my lips. 

How stupid do I feel taking a picture of me putting on Chapstick? So stupid.


Anyways... At this point I know I SHOULD do my devotional.... but I'm so exhausted that I end up watching Veronica Mars. I'm watching the whole series again and I'm addicted. I need to buy the movie, stat!

After about twenty or so minutes, I take that nastiness out of my mouth. Remember - while you are wearing these you do NOT swallow. I spit multiple times throughout the process. Not glamorous, but I'm not ingesting any of that. Gross. I also didn't take any pictures of me spitting. You're welcome.

This is when I really brush my teeth. I don't like the slime feeling the dental strips leave on my teeth, so I brush really well.

Ahhhh, so fresh and so clean. But we aren't done, oh no. Time to do the hair. I take my hair out of the crap bun and look how voluminous it looks! 

I run the brush gently through my hair, following the part.

Then, I brush it back. And pull it up to the top of my head, apparently in a super creepy manner. 

I wrap it into a bun without twisting too much and secure loosely with a hair band. I use the brown Goody ones...Ouchless or whatever. I wrap twice so it's kind of floppy. 

I made him take a picture with me. He's so hot. Even though I hate his hair.

Then I made him take a picture of me "sleeping". Because I'm done! Yaaaay!! I get to just relax until I pass out and start the new day. 

But he ended up just making me laugh because he said, "Maybe you should stick out your jaw a bit, so it actually looks like you have one." Ouuuuuch! Haha. Jerk. He had me laughing so hard I was crying. So I tried snapped these pictures to commemorate our happiness. This is what life is about after all...

And then he stole the remote from me and used my head as a rest to change the channel.

Not cool man. Not cool.