How to Maintain Your Skincare Routine While Traveling

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I know I'm not the only one who feels like traveling does an absolute number on my skin. Switching between different time zones, climates, and more can make my skin go absolutely haywire. Case in point: I spent a week in Idaho this month and even though I kept up my skincare routine, I was left with rough, bumpy, red, dehydrated skin by the end of the week. *Cut to me whining here.* 

Skin is a delicate thing. Sometimes, I wish I worried just a little bit less about my skin--but I've been chasing "perfect skin" for a long time. I know it's not going to be attainable; skin is supposed to have texture, pores, and more. But dryness? Redness? Irritated bumps? No thanks. 

Without further ado, let's talk about how to maintain your skincare routine while you're traveling--and that includes packing everything up. 

1. Narrow down what you need to bring. 

I think most people with serious skincare routines experience that our routines are changeable, depending on what's going on. A prime example, for me, is that if I'm noticing a lot of dryness, I'll use a hyaluronic acid mask or serum; if I'm breaking out, I'll stop using whatever foundation is hurting me and start using a little extra jojoba oil. It's a balance and unfortunately, on vacation, you're stuck with the bare essentials of your routine. So narrow everything down: what is the order of things you do every single night? For me, it includes: 

  • Make up remover: jojoba oil 
  • Face wash: The Body Shop Tea Tree Face Wash
  • Toner: Mario Badescu Rose Toner
  • Moisturizer: Pacifica Crystal Youth moisturizer

That's just the barebones essentials, the things I know will keep my skin as good as it can, even in dry, super hot weather. 

2. Packing it up. 

Now, how do you pack all things? Personally, I do not like traveling with my giant bottle of jojoba oil and face wash. I try to keep my packing to a minimum. So here's what I do: I put dollops of everything I need in contact cases. You heard me: those little wells are perfect for packing two or three days worth of oil, moisturizer, and face wash. I usually use one case per item. You can buy a value pack of contact cases that are color coded at Target. Then, I just pack those contact cases into a makeup bag, along with a few other essentials. They are less likely to leak and help you stay organized. 

3. Making time. 

This is the hardest bit on vacation, isn't it? Making time to actually wash your face at the end of the day instead of collapsing into bed with some room service or snacks. The way I do this is that it gives me about 10 or 15 minutes to decompress every evening of vacation. I find traveling very stressful (I'm actually not a huge fan!) and so those 15 minutes are my life blood; I need them in order to sleep well and make it through the next day. It also helps ground me and make me feel a little bit more at home. And if my skin is going haywire from the weather or a different climate, well, it makes me feel like I'm doing a little something that makes a difference. 

4. Correcting when you get home. 

Maintaining your routine while traveling can go a long way towards ensuring that your skin keeps looking great. But a lot of things are out of our control on vacation. As I mentioned, my skin got incredibly dehydrated while I was in Idaho: not dry, but I started noticing bumps and redness that is typical of when my skin is in need of some major TLC. Once I got home, I started using rosehips oil (great for when your skin needs extra moisture, as well as to reduce redness) and my hyaluronic acid mask. If your skin decides to go off the rails while you're on vacation, you can always pop into a drug store for a mask or add an extra moisturizer to your routine; and when you get home, you can take steps to baby your skin and give it that extra TLC. 

5 Tips for Shopping at TJ Maxx

5 Tips for Shopping at TJ Maxx | Writing Between Pauses

If you had asked me two years ago if I would prefer shopping at TJ Maxx, Marshall's, HomeGoods, and all similar and associated stores, I would have told you you were out of your mind. I've always avoided these stores like the plague; in my mind, they were disorganized and a little gross. 

Friends, I was wrong. 

I've recently converted my mom to a TJ Maxx and Marshall's fan. And just the other day, I found myself in a conversation about getting the best deals in these stores. As it turns out, I've gone enough that I've developed a system, without even realizing it. I've gotten a lot of great deals, especially on beauty and makeup items, and I decided it was time to share the secret to my success. 

1. Go in the morning on a weekday. 

This one is not super possible for a lot of people, which I totally realize. However, I've always had my best luck at TJ Maxx and Marshall's on Thursday mornings, as opposed to Saturdays. The store tends to be more organized and clean on Thursday mornings and my local stores stock on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

2. Check everything before you buy it. 

It goes without saying: some people are absolute animals in TJ Maxx and Marshall's. The number of times I've found a great find (like a Stila lipstick or a MAC lipstick), only to open it and find it completely destroyed, used, or gouged... it's too much. But I've learned to religiously check everything I find at TJ Maxx and Marshall's just so I don't end up with something I have to end up throwing away. 

3. Ask the employees if something hasn't been stocked yet. 

A few months ago, I was on a quest to find one of the Kat Von D Light & Shade palettes (this is before Kat really went off the rails), as a few of my friends in a beauty group had found them. I was searching the beauty section in my local Marshall's and an employee asked if she could help. I mentioned that I'd seen Kat Von D palettes online and she replied, "Well, let me go back and check." She did! They didn't have any (and they ended up not receiving any), but she did tell me that if you see something online that others have found at TJ Maxx and/or Marshall's, don't be afraid to ask employees; sometimes they get things and don't stock them for a long time. 

4. Set a limit. 

A time limit, a spend limit, some kind of limit. My limit is usually $20, sometimes $50 if I'm looking for something for my house (like a shelf that I still haven't found). Having a limit helps keep me in check and keeps me from just buying everything

5. Go frequently. 

Right now, I've been searching for a rope basket to use as a laundry hamper in my bathroom, as well as a ladder shelf to add a bit of extra storage in there too. I know I've seen both at TJ Maxx before, but right now, they just aren't there. So I've been going nearly every weekend, just to check. So far, I haven't found what I'm looking for, but I know if I check often enough, I'll find it. If you're really in the market for a specific piece, going back often will make you more likely to spot it at a great price. 

Why All the Advice on Potty Training is Actually the Worst

Why All the Advice on Potty Training is Actually the Worst | Writing Between Pauses

We started potty training in May 2017. Yes, you read that right: May 2017. Forrest was just over 18 months old and I had started to get panicked because other babies in my due date group were either already working on potty training, or were completely out of diapers. "Oh god," I thought, "he's behind." So we bought a potty seat, a small plastic potty, and the Elmo potty training DVD, as well as about 400 books on the subject. 

We watched the Elmo DVD repeatedly. Forrest sat on the potty. We had staring contests over the potty training books. And all the while, he never actually peed in the potty once. We kept trying. I had read advice that told me not to take it too seriously, to let him learn, but also I had to be in control, but also not to give him anxiety about it, but also he needed to be potty trained and it has to happen eventually, right, and how does it happen, guys?! 

I was stressed out by September when he turned 2 and was no closer to using a potty than I was to achieving time travel. I gave up. Over the holidays, I just let bygones be bygones; I didn't have the time or mental capacity to do it. 

Then, in February, we started over again. As I've said several times, March through May were very difficult months for us. And in February, we started having some potty training success (thank goodness), only to have Forrest develop pretty severe anxiety about the potty. The sound of the water would often make him panic and stop peeing, so we were still changing a lot of diapers. I was exhausted. I felt like it would never happen. In fact, I started to wonder if he would ever be potty trained at all. 

If you've ever potty trained a toddler, you know that it can feel like it's just never going to happen. 

Diapers are safe. Even for parents, they are safe: you know when you're out and about with your kid that they have a diaper and nothing bad will happen. Blowouts happen, sure, but that often (at least in our case and, truly, condolences to those parents out there who deal with blowouts multiple times a day). I started to get as stressed as Forrest, which surely wasn't helping things. 

I read all the advice. Anxiety for toddlers trying to potty train? Pour water into the potty to help them get used to the noise. Did it. Didn't help. A toddler who refuses to try? Either give them space,., or just refuse to give them a diaper. If they pee on the floor, they pee on the floor. (Listen, it's a no from me in that regard.) 

I read every solution about potty training out there. I read all the books, all the blog posts, all the parenting articles. Some suggested just waiting, deadlines for preschool be damned. Some suggested forcing the issue and spending three days in one room with a potty and a lot of juice, which truly sounds like some version of torture cooked up by parent blogs, honestly. 

In the end, do you know what happened? 

One day, he just did it. He was at my mom's house, he asked to use the potty, and he did. Then he did it every single time after that. Then, three days later, he was wearing underpants. It felt like it happened at warp speed: one day I was lamenting on Instagram that he would never be potty trained and the next day, he just was

It's been a few weeks now and I'm honestly still in shock a little bit. All that time, all that struggling, and you know what? All the advice I read was absolute garbage.

It's incredibly easy to write about parenting. In hindsight, it can sometimes feel like you put all the pieces together right. I have no idea if I did the right thing with Forrest. Is he permanently scarred from those two months he spent anxiously sitting on a potty? Could he have been potty trained at 2 if I'd just tried harder? Who knows!? I sure don't. And for everyone out there who claims they have the answers--of what is easiest, of what works immediately--I can't help but think that either 1) the days of actually being in the trenches of potty training, or breastfeeding, or whatever are so far behind them that they've literally forgotten or 2) they're so caught up in appearing perfect that they need to make it seem like they have the answers to everything. And that's not a judgemental thing: it's just the truth and I know I've probably done it myself. 

What else have I learned from this potty training journey? Well, for the sake of all the other moms in the trenches right now, sitting with their kids on potties in living rooms or cooped up in the bathroom for 20 minutes or watching that Elmo potty training DVD for the 500th time, here's a list of everything I learned from potty training: 

1. It doesn't happen overnight. 

First on my list of "things that are absolute lies" are those articles, books, and methods devoted to potty training your child in three days. Not only do those methods make all parents feel like absolute crap for thinking being closed up in a room with your naked toddler and a pile of juice boxes sounds like absolute hell and the last thing we want to do, they're also completely misguided. Those methods don't teach kids to actually learn to follow the rules of their body; they're just being shoved onto the potty by their parents for 3 days until eventually, they get used to sitting on the potty in intervals set by, guess who, the parents

The thing about parenting is that almost nothing happens on the schedule you think it will. Their development, growth, interests, and more happen sporadically, randomly, almost impulsively. And in a time of instant gratification, taking on something like potty training, which is about teaching a skill, can feel incredibly daunting. We want it to happen overnight because we are ready, we are tired of buying diapers... but we don't think about what our little person is learning. And really, it's not about making them do something: it's about teaching them a skill that lasts their entire lives. You can't rush it. 

2. Introducing concepts is important. 

As I said, we've been talking about potty training for over a year. So, even if you don't plan to potty train until after two, or closer to three, or you just want to let them lead... introduce those ideas. Start watching the Elmo potty training DVD (as much as I complain about it, it really was the best) or the Daniel Tiger potty training episode early--like at 18 months to 2 years. Introducing those concepts, even if you don't plan to act on them, helps them develop skills around language. 

3. It's not always about what is easiest for you. 

I'll be honest: sometimes, I feel really selfish because I struggle to set aside my needs for Forrest's. I've definitely gotten better at it. But with potty training, I think it goes without saying that sometimes what seems like it will be easiest won't be what works. Prime example: I did not want Forrest to use a little plastic potty that I had to empty. So messy! But you know what? He just did better with the thing I hated. That's fine. It's fine. There is no point in pressing the issue though. 

4. Stop freaking Googling. 

At a certain point, I just had to stop reading about what to do. It was driving me crazy not having the answer that worked for us. And all the advice, as I've said a few times now, felt conflicting, overly simplistic, or just plain wrong. And it didn't work! So if you're struggling, if you're not sure what to do, here's my advice: stop Googling, let your kid wear a diaper, and give yourself a week to just have fun and not worry about it. 

My Anti-Haul: 5 Things I Just Won't Buy

My Anti-Haul: 5 Things I Just Won't Buy | Writing Between Pauses

You might be wondering: what is an anti-haul?

If you aren't tuned in to beauty gurus on YouTube, you'd be forgiven for not knowing what an anti-haul is. Started by Kimberly Clark, an anti-haul is basically a list of things you won't buy for various reasons: ethical issues with the company or individual who makes the product, bad packaging or design, or some other issue. Sometimes, they can be petty. But sometimes, they can be really fun. 

I really enjoy anti-haul videos. And while some people might think they are needlessly negative, I completely disagree. Sometimes, there is value in admitting that, even if you love makeup, you don't need to buy every single product. At their heart, anti-hauls are anti-consumerism--and if you know me, you know that one thing I really struggle with, in being a lifestyle blogger, is ensuring that I'm not recommending aimless or needless spending. The idea of collecting merely to collect, or to have without using, is pretty repulsive (and stressful) to me. By watching anti-hauls, I feel like I get a better list to narrow down products that are worth purchasing. 

Another reason I love anti-hauls is because they allow us (bloggers and vloggers) opportunities to explain how and why we vote with our wallets. My favorite beauty podcast, Natch Beaut, talks about this a lot: when you purchase a product, you're effectively endorsing that company. And if you don't agree with what that company does, you don't give them money, you don't endorse them. I believe in this wholeheartedly. And there are times where I purchase or review things that make me feel bad (like Maybelline or any company that tests on animals), but it's often because other options just aren't working for me. Overwhelmingly, however, I try to only purchase from ethical companies, and anti-hauls, especially from other influencers, allow me to learn more about the people behind the brands. 

So without further ado, here are 5 things I just won't be buying. 

1. Flesh

When I first started seeing ads for Flesh on my Facebook and Instagram, I got excited. A brand, called Flesh, that features a huge array of shades and challenges what the color "flesh tone" realy is. Baby, I'm interesting. And then, I found out they are owned by Revlon. Yeah, you heard me: Flesh the brand is owned by Revlon. Here is a good Twitter thread on why this is problematic, especially as Flesh has poised itself as a "woke" and inclusive brand. I'm disappointed, but guess what? They're not getting my money. 

2. Kat Von D

I don't know if I really need to wax poetic about this one, but I've long been suspicious of Kat Von D because of some poor choices for lipstick colors, including "Underage Red" (YIKES) and "Selektion" (a German word that refers to the selection process during the Holocaust, extreme YIKES). She has some pretty serious ties to antisemitic people and has been caught up in some antisemitic actions herself. But what sealed the deal for me was her anti-vaccine posts on Instagram. And I know what people are going to say: it's her choice and she's allowed to make it. Yes and no. I won't get into it here, but vaccination is an issue of public health; it's not just about her and her baby. And it's my choice to not give money to someone who believes that immunocompromised people can just bite it because they did 5 minutes of Google research. Also, her husband uses swastikas in his artwork and is probably not the father of the year based on this interview. (And yes, it sucks that Kat is such a prominent vegan and behaves this way.) 

3. Any brand by any beauty guru

Every time a beauty guru launches a new brand, I feel a little bit like I'm suffocating. The careers of YouTube beauty gurus stress me out as it is (I really, really would like to see them diversify their business and also, they need to be collecting their sub list somewhere OFF of YouTube just in case the platform dies overnight), so to see them sink money into a brand that will most likely wither and die in the next 5 years really stresses me out. And add to that: most guru brand launches are lackluster. A set of nude lipsticks. A palette with the same dry, warm-toned neutrals. Yawn. Wake me up when it gets interesting, ok? 

4. Warm-toned neutral eye palettes

If I see another copper-toned eye palette, I'm actually just going to throw myself into the sea. Every palette has the same warm, neutral transition shades. The same copper. The same pumpkin orange. The same white. The same shades, over and over again. I'm tired. I'm bored. Make a cool-toned palette PLEASE. 

5. Your MLM

I think every blogger has had a moment where they get a DM from someone in a MLM, admiring our "hustle" and asking if we want to "bump up our business." It's exhausting. I've recommended a few MLM products in my day and while some things I like individually, the pushy nature of those in MLMs, and the feeling that my friendships are withering because all my friends now only want to see me in order to sell me gross oils or something else, really turn me off. No, I don't want to try a waist wrap or some kind of powder to replace my morning coffee or any essential oils. I just want to Instagram in peace. Thank you. 

Everything I Used in June

Everything I Used In June 2018 | Writing Between Pauses

I definitely didn't go through as much stuff in June as I did in May. But I think it's important for me, as a consumer, to keep up on my empties posts so I can chronicle what I use and hopefully that will help me reducing my spending (and plastic use) in 2019. 

I apologize right now for these photos. I have a maybe 2 hour window to take photos and sometimes I don't have the best light. Not proud of them, but they're what I've got! C'est la vie and all day. I don't usually use stock photos for posts like this, but in this case, I felt I needed to, as these photos required so much editing to make them not look dark brown... it was honestly like I went back into a 1970s photograph, honestly. 

Anyway, let's jump in! 

June 2018 Empties 2
empties June 2018

1. Biobelle #UnicornGlow Mask

I got this Biobelle mask in my June ipsy bag, and I quite like it! It didn't smell as sweet as I thought it would, as I mentioned, but it did leave my skin very soft. I have one more of it to use, then I'll have to decide how much I really love them. 

2. Mickey Mouse Charcoal Face Mask

I kind of impulse bought two of these Mickey Mouse masks from Target a few weeks ago and decided to use this charcoal one first. I was pretty disappointed. This mask is quite dry, first of all, and the mask itself was very small and oddly shaped. It did make my skin feel quite soft, but given the price and the dryness of the mask, it definitely wasn't worth $3. 

3. Purlisse Coconut Oil & Coffee Body Scrub

If you remember, I received this in my April ipsy bag. I originally liked it quite a bit, but found myself never reaching for it as I found it quite messy to use in the shower! However, it was really nice to use after I use fake tan, as it helps get any orange bits off my ankles or knees. 

4. Tony Moly Painting Therapy Pack 

I received this tube of mask in my May ipsy bag and, ugh, it's one of my favorite masks I've ever received! It also had a ton of uses in this little tube, which is probably why I like it so much--more bang for my buck! I was sad to use up the last little bit, but I'm trying to have less teeny tiny tubes floating around. 

5. Clear Skin Nose Strip (from TJ Maxx) 

Listen: I know these aren't good for my skin. However, I have found that if I do a pore strip on my chin about 2 weeks before my cycle starts, I get less breakouts. I've been experimenting with how to help my face get less congested, especially throughout my cycle, and this is one step that surprised me, but also made total sense. I'll have a post on this later, but for now: these aren't very good for your skin, but I've found a place for them in my routine. 

June 2018 Wrap Up: Summer's Here!

June 2018 Wrap Up | Writing Between Pauses

Tomorrow is the last day of June. I can't believe I'm writing that sentence to be perfectly honest. It doesn't feel like we should be here yet. Danny is on summer break (teacher life) and I'm trying to work while he gets to relax with Forrest (it's fine, I'm not jealous). The weather is great. 

We're prepping for our big vacation of the summer (we're just going to Idaho), but there are a few things I wanted to write about on this post. I love writing these wrap ups because it's nice to look at the month and really talk about how it was. 

1. My 5-year wedding anniversary

My anniversary is June 23. It feels so strange that 2013 was only 5 years--and also, 5 years ago. 5 years is a long time. It's also weird to think that Forrest is almost 3. At the time when I got pregnant, it felt like we had waited a long time to get pregnant after getting married. But not really! I've learned a lot about relationships over the past 5 years. Sometimes, things are really good; and sometimes, things are really difficult. It's not always perfect and I don't think there is any value at pretending otherwise. Marriages don't have to be constant drama to be good, but they also don't have to be perfect 24/7 to be good either. 

2. A month with no surprises

Can I tell you guys something great? In June, we didn't have any major expenses. I wrote before about how from January to May, we had a major expense almost every single month, rarely under $500. It was rough. That's a lot of money, y'all! It felt like we were really drowning for a while and it was very stressful. But thank goodness, nothing happened in June and, fingers crossed, July will be the same. I'd love another month without me crying over a checkbook, thanks. 

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3. Promising more adventures

Danny and I are homebodies, by nature, but in the past few weeks, we decided that we didn't want Forrest to be bored all summer. We drove to the coast spontaneously the day before our anniversary. And we have a few other day trips planned for this summer. I'm a planner by nature, so it's hard for me to let go and not plan everything down to every single minute detail. But it was really fun to just explore, drive, and talk as a family. 

4. Potty training success

We've been potty training for exactly a year now that it's June. And finally, finally, Forrest has it. In February, I thought we might be successful in watching the Elmo potty training DVD around the clock and talking about potties nonstop--but no dice. At the beginning of June, I told Forrest he couldn't go to preschool if he didn't start wearing underpants and using the potty. And guess what? A few days later, he started wearing underpants and going in the potty almost every time. I mean, seriously. That's all it took? Preschool? 

Beauty Review: OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo

Beauty Review: OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo | Writing Between Pauses

If you've been reading my blog for the last year or so, you know that I've been trying just about every shampoo under the sun to help my scalp.

Around November, I started developing some scalp dryness that left me feeling very itchy. Visits to the dermatologist confirmed that it wasn't dandruff or seborrheic dermatitis, or anything medical; I just had dry skin on my scalp. Which is so odd because I have very oily skin otherwise. How can one half of my head be oily and the other half barely produce any oil? 

I've tried every tea tree oil shampoo under the sun, alongside everything from Head & Shoulders to T-Sal. 

I went sulfate-free

I've reviewed a ton of shampoos

I realized the other day that this same thing happened the last time I had very long hair. I asked a few friends and some of them expressed the same thing. When my hair is short, my scalp doesn't get dry; when my hair is very long, it's as if my hair steals all the oil from my scalp, leaving it dry. That probably isn't scientifically accurate, but some long hair forums I've been reading suggest the same thing. 

I keep holding out for a Holy Grail product to come along. The closest thing I've found so far is the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo. After my brief success with the Kristen Ess sulfate-free shampoo, I bought this on impulse at Target. It was sulfate-free, check; and it promised to moisturize, check. Here's what it promises: 

This deliciously creamy and nourishing blend, infused with coconut milk, whipped egg proteins and coconut oils, helps to strengthen and hydrate your hair, leaving it softly scented, super soft and glowing.

Upon first wash, it did help my scalp last 2 days before it got very dry and itchy. I'm going to have to give up my lofty dreams of only washing every 3 or 4 days, because I think that's the limit for my poor scalp! Here's the schedule I started following: 

  • In the evening, I apply a mix of coconut oil & jojoba oil to my scalp, then braid my hair. 
  • In the morning, wash my hair and let air dry. 
  • Repeat every 2 days. 

This seems to give me the most moisture for my buck. I added the OGX Coconut Milk Conditioner as well, and that has helped my hair's health a lot. Due to my scalp getting so dry, I found myself with a lot of split ends and hair damage; my hair just wasn't getting enough moisture. 

OGX does have a Coconut Weightless Hydrating Oil Mist, which I'm very interested to try. A friend suggested applying jojoba oil to my roots every day, which I do think would help--but it makes me hair super greasy as a result. Not a great look for going to work or running errands, honestly. I do think on my next trip to Target, I need to grab this just to see if it helps! 

So, what's my final verdict on the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo? It's not really the Holy Grail that I'm looking for (I'm still searching), but it's definitely improved my scalp enough that I don't feel quite so down about it! There is nothing worse than having a problem you just can't find a solution for (besides cutting off all my hair). If you're struggling with dry skin on your scalp, definitely give this shampoo a try. 

My Summer 2018 Wishlist

My Summer 2018 Wishlist | Writing Between Pauses

I don't often write wish list posts on my blog. To be completely honest, day to day, I can't ever really think of anything I wish for or need. I have too much stuff as it is, and sometimes worry about my love of things. Part of running this blog, for me, has been learning to use things multiple ways, trying to spend less money on beauty (I've succeeded in the last year and my blog has not suffered for it!). But sometimes, it's nice to just fantasize about what I would buy if I had all the extra money. 

And to be perfectly honest, even with that caveat... I still found it very hard to compile this list! That's me, absolutely over-practical until the very end. 

Anyway, here's my summer 2018 wish list. Share what you're wishing for in the comments! 

1. Too Faced Peach Perfect Foundation

I'm working on a mega blog post about foundation right now (it has been about a month in the process at the time I'm writing this and it doesn't go up until mid-July). As a result, I have about 100 foundations I just really want to try. Ever since I saw the Peach Perfect foundation, I wanted to try it, but I'm always wary of Too Faced complexion products for some reason. That being said, I got a sample while writing my mega-foundation post... and while I don't want to give my full review here, I really loved it. 

2. These Dresses

It's been a really long time since I bought new clothes that I felt really good in. I primarily live in a wardrobe of leggings, t-shirts, and sweaters. But a few weeks ago, I bought a maxi dress at ROSS for $9 and suddenly, it's like I'm back in the game. I'm ready for a summer wardrobe again, after getting rid of every single one of my dresses over the last two years. 

3. An Instagram-Worthy Sun Hat

Sometimes, it's nice to admit you want something because it will look really good in photos. Case in point: I want one of these hats because they look really cute it Instagram photos. Also, sun protection. But mostly Instagram photos. 


4. A Really Good Vacation

Danny and I have been saying for months that we want to go on a legit vacation soon. A real one. Not one that's about Forrest (although he can have fun too). Not one that is about education. Not one that is about visiting anybody or cramming in activities. A vacation. A real one. Where we lounge around a pool, spend our evenings watching TV or around a fire pit, and generally eat too much, but get lots of exercise. No planned activities. No theme parks. A good vacation. It probably won't happen this summer, but maybe next.