Summer 2018

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. 

Have the Perfect Summer!: 10 Posts to Prep for Summer

Have the Perfect Summer! 10 Posts to Prep for Summer | Writing Between Pauses

Ahhh, summer! As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in the Great Gatsby, "And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

For many, summer is the best season out of all of them. And while it's pretty pointless to argue with people about their favorite things, I've often found that difficult to wrap my head around. As a relatively high-strung individual, I find the prospect of having nothing to do overwhelming--which is probably why I both looked forward to and dreaded summer as a kid. (I wanted to be done with school, but summer was a long time.) 

I've gathered up a list of my best summer posts, as well as some posts from others, to help us prepare for summer. Whether that means getting your skincare in order, finding the perfect sunscreen, or gathering up supplies so your kids don't get hopelessly bored, I'm hoping these will be helpful! 

Summer 1
Summer 2

1. Actually, You Don't Need a Summer Detox

A reminder: a summer detox is just another diet and trust me when I say you don't need one. Every body is a bikini body, so instead of stressing about losing weight before your big vacation, treat yourself to an amazing new swimsuit, a cute sunhat, and anything else that makes you feel like the bombshell you are. 

2. How to Plan Summer Lessons for Your Preschooler

Have a preschooler? Well, the summer days can be long. My husband & I are already writing up some lesson plans for Forrest this summer, as my husband will be the one at home with him most of the day. 

Summer 3
Summer 4

3. Need Nail Inspiration? Check Essie's Summer 2018 Collection

Even though I can't wear nail polish anymore, I still love checking out Essie's seasonal collection. The summer one this year is giving me some major summer palette inspiration. 

4. Summer Boredom Busters for Kids

Is this the perfect blog post? A round up of summer activities for all ages of kid. 

5. 4 Summer Toddler Essentials

Wondering just what your young toddler will play with most this summer? Don't worry, I've got a grab bag of the essentials you'll need for a fun, safe summer. 

Summer 6

6. How to Make Your Summer Better (Even If You Hate Summer) 

I'm not a huge fan of summer, a sentence I have written way too many times already, but this post last year is still true. Make summer your own, instead of having expectations based on other people. Eat what you want, wear what you want, and have fun. That's all that matters! 

7. 5 Skincare Tips from Korean Beauty

I've learned a ton from K Beauty routines in the last year, so I'm dying over these skincare tips, especially for summer. Basically: SPF, SPF, SPF! 

8. Summer Skincare Essentials

Here are my summer skincare essentials, including my favorite SPFs for daywear and more. 

Summer 7
Summer 8

9. 5 Tips for Staying Cool This Summer

Don't have A/C? Don't worry. I survived a summer in Idaho; I can survive anything! These are my tips for cooling down your house if you don't have an air conditioner. You're welcome in advance. 

10. Learn about Multi Misting from Pixibeauty

Another way to beat the heat and improve your skin? Misting. Pixibeauty makes some of my favorite toners (their Summer Mist is to die for) and this blog post covers how to mist in style. (My tip: keep a bottle of body spray, or your favorite toner, in the fridge. When you come inside after working out, working in your yard, or whatever, spritz yourself to cool down.) 

How I'm Getting Ready for Summer

How Im Getting Ready for Summer | Writing Between Pauses

Summer is rapidly approaching. Are you excited? Are you ready

I've written pretty extensively about how summer isn't my favorite season--but in my attempt to be the best mom for Forrest, I'm really trying to embrace summer. Spending time outside, doing all the things that he's never gotten to do before, and more. And to make those fun for me, I know I need to prepare myself for summer so I can feel happy & confident, even when I wish I was inside with the air conditioning! 

1. Getting my scalp healthy (finally). 

As you probably remember, I switched to sulfate-free shampoo back in April. (You can read my post about sulfate-free shampoo here.) It minutely helped my scalp, but I don't think the Kristen Ess shampoo was exactly right for my hair. I recently started using OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo & Conditioner and I have found it has helped my scalp much more, while also being sulfate-free.

I visited another dermatologist a few weeks ago and got the official stamp that my scalp is just dry--no dandruff, no seborrheic dermatitis, nothing wrong other than somehow my face is super oily and my scalp is super dry. A lot of it has to do with having longer hair, according to my dermatologist. So for now, the routine of oiling my scalp with a mix of my hated coconut oil & my favorite jojoba oil, plus washing with the OGX Coconut Milk Shampoo and following with a heavy hand of conditioner keeps my scalp good for about 2-3 days. 

While it would be nice to have a better idea of why my scalp is so dry, it's at least nice to find a routine that is working for longer than a week! 

2. Finding the perfect SPF. 

Wearing SPF on your face is important for throughout the year, because sun protection doesn't start at summer and end when the leaves change. I've written about protecting your skin from the sun before, but to reiterate, here are my tips. 

  • Wear at least SPF 30 on your face every single day, even if you don't plan to be in the sun. 
  • Wear at least SPF 30 on your body if you plan to be outside, even if it is not particularly sunny. (Remember, sun damage can happen year round!) You can mix your favorite SPF into your daily body lotion. 
  • SPF needs to be reapplied every 45-60 minutes if you are outside and especially if you are in intense sunlight. If you aren't outside very much, you don't necessarily need to reapply sunscreen this much. Remember: a full day in the sun means you should use at least an entire bottle of sunscreen. You read that right: an entire bottle. 
  • Use physical barriers to protect your skin. Wear a hat, wear long sleeves, or sit underneath an umbrella if you are particularly sensitive to the sun. 
  • Remember to stay hydrated & don't fall asleep in the sun. 

3. Getting a subtle summer glow. 

If you're used to getting a summer tan, don't worry. You can still get a summer glow without sun damage. I recently shared my tips for getting a good tan using sunless tanners. (And remember, base tans are a myth and just increase your chances of developing skin cancer! Tanning is not safer or less damaging than a sunburn.) 

4. ...And adjusting my foundation accordingly. 

The first day after I did a full body sunless tan, I was applying my foundation and realizing... my foundation does not match my neck and chest anymore. Oops! This video has some great tips for matching your foundation. I've also been having good lucky by doing a little extra bronzing to help match up a bit better. 

5. Adding moisture to my routine. 

Dry summer weather, plus spending time in lakes or pools, in air conditioned houses, and other dry conditions, can lead to parched, dehydrated skin. I've bumped up my routine to including a hyaluronic acid mask to help my skin better absorb moisturizer. I've also reduced my exfoliating to once a week (instead of 2-3 times) to help my skin better hold on to moisture. 

My May 2018 Review: Hello Summer!

may 2018 review.png

Remember how I mentioned that April was kind of a doozy? I feel like I've been saying this every month since January and it just keeps... going. How do I stop the dooziness? How can I make each month just, like, 25% more boring? 

May was a good month, though. Not as stressful as March, which truly took the care in terms of "how can all these bad things happen in one month", and at least we had better weather than April. Just like last month, I'm going to do something a bit different and just talk about how my life has been--something I don't do a lot here on my blog in between all the "business", you know! 

1. Enjoying (All My) Work Again

I think like most people, I tend to wax and wane in terms of enthusiasm for basically everything. Or maybe that's just a me thing, but it seems a little universal sometimes. For example, some days, I love this blog. I think about how much I enjoy it, how I've enjoyed improving my photography these last few months, and how good it feels to really be seeing growth in my blog. I've been feeling that way about everything in my life lately. Recently, I've been feeling a major slump with just about everything: at my day job, I felt uninspired and like I wasn't doing a good job (a byproduct of imposter syndrome, probably); at home, I couldn't find the motivation to clean or cook. It was just a bit of a slump. But in May, I felt like everything clicked back into place. Was it the nice weather? All I know is I've been loving working out lately, loving going to work, loving researching blog post topics. 

2. Confronting Our Fears

I am by nature a scaredy-cat. I'm scared of pretty much everything. Heights, flying, bugs of all kinds (yes, even ladybugs), the dark, heavily wooded areas. I went through the car wash recently and nearly had a panic attack. 

After Forrest's almost-broke-his-arm incident last month, I found myself afraid to take him to the park again. I was afraid he would fall. Or that he'd get pushed again and really break his arm this time (and, in the spiral of fear there, I'd take him to the pediatrician and they'd side eye my story of him being pushed again). He loves going to the park. He loves playing outside and exploring. But I found myself very nervous about taking him. What if something happened? 

But one thing I want for Forrest is for him to not have my anxiety. I've been trying hard not to express my anxiety around him, so that he doesn't see it and internalize having those kind of fears. I realized that if I don't want him to be afraid of the park for the rest of his life, we need to replace that memory of being pushed and getting hurt with memories of playing. 

So, we went to the park. He has developed a minor fear of going down slides, but he had fun running around and playing with two other kids his age we met there. He was brave. I was brave. 

3. Embracing Summer

I say this a lot, but I've always really disliked summer. Growing up with body image issues, summer always made me feel like I couldn't enjoy myself; I don't like wearing shorts and I definitely didn't like wearing bikinis. I also grew up 40 miles away from all my friends, so summers were often quite lonely for me. As I got older, I spent most of my summers working and saving money. And then, obviously, once I graduated college, summer meant just about the same thing as the rest of the year--just with hotter weather! 

This year, however, I'm trying to keep myself from being a grump about summer. I have a lot of negative energy surrounding summer (obviously)... but the best part about having a 2-year-old is that everything becomes super fun. I've bought Forrest some new outdoor toys. I have plans to build him a sandbox. And I find myself excitedly waiting for the weather to really stay nice so we can get out our outdoor furniture. 

What was your favorite part of May? 

Actually, You Don't Need a Summer Detox

Actually, You Don't Need a Summer Detox | Writing Between Pauses

The worst part of summer is not the sticky, hot weather that starts to get oppressive around, say, late August; it's not the sunburns, or bug bites, or having to work when the weather is absolutely splendid outside. No, the worst part of summer is the diet industry. 

If you read my blog, you know that I've struggled with body image for a long time. It's what made me stop taking outfit photos. And it's why I don't really photograph myself for this blog still. Trust me, I'd love to--but it's just not something I can do right at this moment. 

And you know what absolutely doesn't help? Summer and the rapid influx of blog posts, Tweets, and Instagram posts about doing a detox. More than 10 people I follow have mentioned their recent juice detox (ugh), or their extremely pared down diet that is little more than socially acceptable anorexia (double ugh). Having to mute everyone who mentions doing a summer detox is exhausting, so let me be the one to say: y'all, we don't need detoxes. 

If you have a functioning liver, you don't need to detox. Your organs do that for you. 

You also don't need to drink special tea to help you lose weight. And you also don't need appetite suppressant lollipops. 

That's right, Kim Kardashian, I'm talking to you. Instagram is often rife with diet culture, repeating absolutely false and quite frankly dangerous information. (Does anyone else get those awful weight loss accounts in their Explore section of Instagram? I swear, it's the worst part of the Instagram algorithm.) It's not just poor, misinformed Kim K whose doing it. She's in good company, of course. Every single one of her sisters (minus Kendall, bless) has posted a misguided ad for some kind of weight loss product. 

Khloe K
Kourtney Kardashian
Kylie Jenner

In case you don't know, Fit Tea (and Fit Coffee and Lyfe Tea) is a tea that acts as a laxative. That's all these products are: expensive, repackaged laxatives. Not only is it dangerous to take them as weight loss products (and not just for your dignity and outfit if you dare venture out of the house after drinking one), it's incredibly irresponsible. Laxatives are not a way to lose weight. They are a way to damage your body. Just like detoxes. 

Appetite suppressant lollipops aren't just meaningless marketing tactics (most likely, they're about as effective as eating a real lollipop); they're dangerous as well. Encouraging people to "eat a lollipop" to "suppress their appetite" presumably when they are actually hungry... is encouraging people to starve themselves. Plain and simple.

Just like these teas aren't designed to make you actively lose weight (but rather to become addicted to a mindset and product that benefits only the person who sells the tea), this isn't a lollipop designed to help curve overeating or boredom eating (two things that can be helped more effectively buy body positivity, rejecting diet culture, and intuitive eating); this is a lollipop that encourages you to starve yourself and not eat, period. But the truth is, it won't work; if you try to use it that way, you'll end up eating, which makes you feel ashamed of yourself; you'll buy more lollipops, you'll try hard. And now you're stuck in a negative binge-and-restrict diet culture induced cycle. This is the damage that ads like this cause. 

Summer detoxes are the same thing. Juice cleanses don't actually cleanse any part of you. They starve you. You'll lose weight, of course, because you aren't eating food or any fiber at all. You're just drinking empty calories, sugar, and water. This is dangerous. Your body needs food to survive. As long as you are in reasonably good health (and many people with chronic illnesses are not--and they deserve to love their bodies too), you don't need to detox yourself. If you do need to detox for a medical issue, that's something you discuss with your doctor--not with some charlatan who survives off of carrot juice on the internet. 

So as June approaches, remember: you don't need that detox. Even if your sister in law is doing one and won't stop posting about it on Instagram. Even if your friends are work mention that they want to start drinking smoothies for every meal. You don't need to detox. Your body is good enough, and beautiful enough, as it is, right at this very moment.