Wednesday, January 21, 2015

freshening up my skin care regime

the morning i got engaged, i had an amazing facial. i also learned that morning that i was completely misguided as to what a proper skin care routine should include. i thought that i was ahead of the aging curve by wearing spf in my daily face moisturizer but i had no clue that there are actually four types of products i should be incorporating into my routine on a daily basis:

1. cleanser (including some type of exfoliating product to gently scrub off dead skin cells)
2. toner (to restore the skin's ph balance after cleansing)
3. eye cream (to protect the precious eye skin)
4. moisturizer (to replenish the skin and protect with an spf)

after having this knowledge bomb dropped on me, i thought to myself, man i really should amp up what i'm doing to make sure my skin is flawless come wedding day (and you know, it's good to take care of your skin in general. another healthy habit to continue to improve on especially as i get older).

in my research, i've seen skin care recommendations broken down into four steps, which are pretty similar to the products i mentioned above, but the lovely woman who did my facial told me to keep it simple and focus on those four products first. so that's what i did. when i started looking at skin care products though, i had no clue where to start. browsing through ulta, sephora, beauty magazines... they were only so helpful, but more so overwhelming. and it seemed like everything was so. stinking. expensive. sorry, but i'm not interested in spending $70 for a one ounce tub of cream that will cover my entire face only a few times. that doesn't work for me.

i finally landed on the body shop's website where they have a custom skin care recommendation tool. i am a nerd for things like that, so i gave it a whirl and it popped out a list of seven products for me to try. easy, right? it just so happened the day i did all this the body shop was having an awesome sale so i got all (plus an extra product not listed)  but three of the products for less than $40. major score.

i'm about one and a half months into using most of the products above and i think i've already noticed improvements. overall, my skin seems to look a little brighter and i'm having WAY less breakouts than i normally do (halleluiah). i think some of the products aren't realistic for year round use (like the moisture cream which i think would be way too thick in the summer), but all things considered, i'm pretty happy with the recommendations the online tool provided. happy enough, at least, to continue to use most of the products once my current stash is used up.

i also started using a mask twice a week. my lovely instagram friends also recommended a clay mask (by the same company as the one pictured below) that i'm going to try using after i run out of the avocado based mask.

i also started using skin, hair and nail vitamins. i first started using the "it works" vitamin as recommended by a colleague, but i just finished the bottle and i'm not impressed enough to pay the price to buy another. i found a comparable vitamin at costco for about a third of the price and it has nearly the same amount of vitamins in it, including biotin, which i guess is the popular nutrient for skin health. in the past month i have noticed that my nails are a little less peely than normal, but they've still been breaking so i guess i need more time for the vitamins to work to see if they really are worth using long term.

all in all, i'm feeling pretty positive about the changes in my skin care routine:

  • adding in a toner
  • adding in an eye cream
  • using a richer moisturizer
  • using a face mask twice a week
  • taking skin, hair and nail vitamins

i'm sure i will be in glowing skin bliss when it comes to my wedding day. ;) for what it's worth, i also found this 8 month wedding beauty timeline that i'm going to follow. according to the timeline, i'm ahead of the game by getting my skin in shape a little over a month ago, so good on me. i've still got plenty of time to try different products and figure out what works best.

anyone out there have favorite skin care products or skin care secrets they can't live without? i'd love to hear what works (and what doesn't) from others!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

the 4 x 13 survey

my wonderful oiselle teammate, sun, tagged me in a "four things" blog survey. i'm a little slow to post, but here it is in all it's glory. for some reason, trying to think of my top four things, versus a top three was harder. not sure if anyone else thinks that or if it is just me :) i've tagged four bloggers at the bottom to participate as well! 

four names that people call me:
1. alicia (my name)
2. curly 
3. licia or just lich (which is pronounced "leash")
4. rockstar (my dad calls me this)

four jobs i've had:
1. recruiter (current)
2. account executive (sales)
3. customer specialist (best buy, variety of departments)
4. sandwich artist (?) (at jersey giant, best subs anywhere)

four movies i've watched more than once:
1. eternal sunshine of the spotless mind (fave movie)
2. the breakfast club (who hasn't?)
3. pretty much every disney animated film
4. the santa claus (christmas tradition) 

four books i'd recommend:
1. the harry potter series
2. anything by harlan coben (he's one of my favorite authors)
3. necessary losses by judith viorst (awesome psychology book about life changes and the respective loss)
4. the odd thomas series by dean koontz (so, so, so good)

four places i've lived:
1. lansing, mi
2. minneapolis, mn
3. sydney, australia (for 3 months)
4. ann arbor, mi

brandon and me when we lived in australia for three months
sydney harbour bridge in the background. we look young!

four places i've been:
1. australia (twice, actually)
2. india 
3. costa rica
4. the uk 

four places i'd rather be right now:
1. disney world
2. pretty much anywhere warm, i'm not picky
3. on a massage table getting my back worked on
4. on a lake somewhere

a cute gif of my fam during our disney world trip
for the princess half marathon last year

four things i don't eat:
1. broccoli (trust me, it's better this way)
2. gravy
3. chickpeas (although i wish i could still eat hummus)
4. raw fish (like in sushi, eew)

four of my favorite foods:
1. lasagna
2. sandwiches (reubens in particular)
3. squash (any kind, i'll gobble it up) 
4. burgers

reuben egg rolls. one of the best things i've ever eaten in my
entire life

four tv shows i watch(ed):
1. pretty much anything on food network
2. bob's burgers
3. pretty much anything on hgtv
4. big bang theory (trying to catch up on episodes)

four things i'm looking forward to this year:
1. getting married!
2. the honeymoon!
3. mom's retirement
4. getting back (hopefully) to running

so, so ready for more finish line photos! hope
to be running by late spring/early summer

four things i'm saying:
1. i am so, so, so beyond sick of being in pain :( 
2. is it the weekend yet?
3. when is kate spade going to have their next 75% off sale??? 
4. what to eat for dinner..... 

four people i'm tagging to do this next:
1. paulette @ just keep running
2.  lacey & meranda @ fairytales & fitness
3.  leana @ runner leana
4.  amanda @ there are 2 sides

Friday, January 2, 2015

friday five: 2015 goals

i am linking up with eat pray run dc, you signed up for what?! and mar on the run for the friday five linkup. i'd like to be a more... social blogger, so to speak, so i'm going to try and participate in more link up events. every friday the ladies mentioned above have a linkup for a common theme. this week’s theme is (appropriately) 2015 goals.

to be honest, i haven't felt inspired to think of any 2015 goals before today. being down and out and injured for so long has left me in a serious funk. i'd love to go with my usual goals; lose weight, run faster, figure out how to be happier, etc, but it feels like i need to dig deeper, or at least pick goals that have stronger substance this year. it's hard to have an action plan for a vague goal, but if i can pick something that is specific, it's a bit easier to develop, navigate and stick to a plan to reach said goal.
1) heal my back and continue the work to stay injury free.
pretty self-explanatory but i need to write it down multiple times to stay accountable. getting through this round of PT isn't enough. i need to continue to put in the work, as boring as it may be, so i can prevent further injury and be able to run. whatever at home work the therapist prescribes for me is what i'm committed to doing in 2015.

2) complete my before 30 bucket list.
this year will be my last year in my 20's. i'm currently working on the items on my "before 30 bucket list" and i really want to complete whatever it is i put on that list. i want to leave my 20's knowing i did as much as i could to feel fulfilled and accomplished in my life thus far.

3) tackle my demons head first and don't give up. 
as i'm getting older, my life is changing in many ways; traditions are changing, i'm changing, my family and friends are changing and i'm getting married this year (a big life change). there's a lot going on in my little world and to say the least, it's been overwhelming. it's also caused a lot of my personal demons to roar back into my life with a fury. while i've wanted to crawl and hide many times, i'm really trying to fight these demons head on and learn how to move forward with my life so that i can truly live and love openly, freely and be happy. this is not an easy thing, in fact it's quite terrifying, but i'm focused on 2015 being the year to start facing all these fears head on.

4) some kind of run goal.
okay, i know i said my goals needed to be specific, but without knowing in this moment what my back injury treatment will look like a month from now, i have no idea how soon i will be able to run or how far or how fast - who knows! the one big goal i have in mind for myself is to run my first marathon. it's a big audacious goal coming from someone who is out with a back injury and can barely walk to her car, but i've been wanting to complete a marathon for so long and it's on my before 30 bucket list. if, for some reason, that is out of reach, my runner up goal is to focus on 5k's again. i will likely do a "round two" of the 5k challenge so that i have something to keep me active each month. if it worked before, it will work again.

5) find the energy, bust the excuses.
again, another vague goal, but i have a very specific execution in mind. this past year was my first full year in my new job. it has been a much harder and exhausting transition than i thought it would be. i find that my new job has a totally different level of stress than my previous one did and it takes all of my mental energy to get through the day sometimes. as a result, i come home from work and have no energy, physical or mental, to do anything but morph into a couch potato like state. i want to change that this year. i'm not sure how to do that, but my goal is to figure it out and apply whatever process that is to other areas of my life where i feel i lack energy and excuses tend to take over.

so there you have it. i will print this list and post it in all the important places as a daily reminder. did everyone else set goals for 2015? what are you going to do to hold yourself accountable?