Things I love

Things I Love: October 27

Things I Love: October 27 | Writing Between Pauses

Another week, another TiLT! I wrote about turning 30 last week, because I was feeling sad and a bit panicky. But I’m going to return to my original format this week because I have a few things to talk about. (As always, you can read all my past Things I Love posts here.)

Here’s everything I loved this week.

1. New Skincare Products

I swear, I’ve been inundated with skincare products this week. Skincare is one of the hardest things for me to try and review because it takes a long time to get an idea of what the product does. And as someone whose skin is almost entirely controlled by my hormonal cycle, it is just really hard to know if results are because of a product or because of a change in my hormones!

However, I received these products from Influenster, which is very, very exciting. I don’t react very well to vitamin C serums, but hyaluronic acid is my absolute best friend these days. I’ll have a full review of these soon, as well as some other exciting skincare products!

2. Tan France Being Tan France

If you haven’t watched this new clip, a promo for Hasan Minhaj’s new show, then stop everything and watch it. Tan France is such a delight and so is Hasan (who I loved on the Daily Show). Them together is absolutely magical. (And I really need to know who hurt the girl around the 2:30 minute mark! Tell us everything, sweetie!)

3. The Trees Outside My House Are Finally Changing

I remarked on Instagram last week that the leaves still aren’t changing around my house yet. Some trees had already gone and were losing leaves. But the huge maple outside my house was ALL GREEN. Well, finally in the last two days, they started to change. It is finally getting a bit colder here and we had our first rain yesterday. The winter is on its way, but I am soaking up these last days of Oregon’s Autumn. The leaves are all beautiful right now because we haven’t gotten much rain. Everything is lush. I’m in heaven.

What are you loving this week?

Things I Love: October 20

Things I Love: October 20 | Writing Between Pauses

Well, it’s here. It’s arrived.

Today, I’m 30 years old.

When I was a teenager, 30 felt ancient. You always watch movies and it seems like by 30, most people have their shit together—and the people who don’t really, really, really do not have it together, but are actively working to get it together. Prime example? All the FRIENDS characters were in their mid-20s in the pilot episode (25-27, roughly).

Your 20s are supposed to be for finding yourself, getting it together, and setting yourself up for success in your 30s.

But what if you are staring down at being 30 and feel like you don’t have any of the pieces of your life just right?

I realize it sounds a little crazy for a parent to write that. Shouldn’t I, as the keeper of a small child, who depends on me, have it all figured out? Shouldn’t I have a plan?

The other day, I had a moment where I really, truly had a panic attack about turning 30. I can’t really put my finger on why I suddenly felt desperately, horribly afraid of turning 30. Most days, I spend my time on autopilot: I get my work done, I take care of Forrest, I make dinner, I clean the house top to bottom nearly every week. It feels like I’m stuck on a clock.

Writing this blog has been a huge way for me to keep “a bit of myself” as I descended into motherhood. Writing about beauty products and how I use them is freeing. And I want other mothers to feel free as well, to remember that it’s ok to take care of yourself alongside everyone else.

But on Sunday, I looked in the mirror and I thought, “I don’t know this person.”

I started reading blog posts and articles about turning 30, about being a mother, about self-care after 30 and realizing that my crisis isn’t specifically unique. But it is my own.

When I had Forrest, it felt like I was swallowed. Like “motherhood”—the big behemoth of motherhood—swallowed me up whole. For a long time, I didn’t really know who I was outside of being a mother. My days are dominated by Forrest and Forrest’s needs. I’m not resentful about it anymore; I’ve managed to regain a little bit of my foothold and feel like me.

But the woman I see in the mirror isn’t… me anymore. We all change as we age, but there is something about this change that feels particularly unwelcome. I don’t look older necessarily (I can thank my round face for that one), but i just don’t look like myself. I think this said it best, from an article called “What I Learned About Self-Care After 30”:

I was so consumed with being selfless that I never stopped to take care of myself, and it pretty much came to a head all at once.
I was nearing the end of my 20s when I looked in the mirror and barely recognized myself one day as I got out of the shower. I used to love doing face masks, getting my nails done, making sure my hair was cut, but most importantly, feeling good about myself and the way I presented myself to the world. That all had kinda stopped. Instead, I was staring back at a tired, overworked mom who hadn’t gotten a haircut in a whole year and couldn’t remember the last time she had a pedicure or even plucked her eyebrows. I felt horrible, and it pretty much got worse from there.

Remember how I mentioned that I hadn’t gotten a haircut in three whole years?

3 years! I went 3 years without a haircut! Without doing basic maintenance on myself.

I’m not quite as freaked out about turning 30 today as I was a few days ago. I’m still the same person I was then.

It is hard to compartmentalize my life: to be a blogger, a writer, a professional, and a mother. I am all of those things at once, but sometimes… well, most of the time, being a mother trumps them all. I will abandon blog posts, I will leave work early, all for my child. Because that’s my job. But is leaving myself last on the list—running myself ragged, not taking time to see my friends or do things I enjoy—part of that too?

It’s not. My goal for turning 30 is this: to start taking time to really focus on myself, to let myself become a person I recognize again, and to dedicate time to being the best mother, professional, and blogger I can be. Not just one.

Things I Want to Stop Doing

This is a bit of a different Things I Love isn’t it? I started out writing it fully intending to transition to my usual TiLT posts… but I’d rather leave it at this. I hope you all have a wonderful Saturday!

Things I Love: October 13

Things I Love: October 13 | Writing Between Pauses

You know what I love most about these posts? Being able to look back and see what was going on in my life this time last year. (You can read all my past Things I Love posts here.) It’s funny to imagine a year from now remembering this week through this very post.

It’s been a big week here! Danny’s parents are visiting, Forrest has had a third cold, and Danny had a day off yesterday. I’ve been working nonstop it feels like, plus I’ve been deep cleaning just about everything in my house. (Is this, perhaps, the Mrs. Hinch effect?) I have a lot of things on my list this week, but as usual, I’ve narrowed my TiLT to just three.

1. Fall Leaves

TiLT 1
TiLT 2

It’s so funny that some trees are already completely gone over to yellow, orange, or red; some trees are still half-and-half; and some trees, like the gigantic cedar just outside Danny & I’s house, are still completely green! I’m so thankful this year that the changing leaves is less all-at-once and more one-at-a-time. It gives me a little bit more time to enjoy those leaves (and take photos like these ones).

2. Spooky Season Is Here

Danny and I have a rule that we don’t watch certain movies outside of October. They are specifically for the run up to Halloween. This includes the Saw series, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Coraline, and a few more. Every night for the past week, we’ve been picking one of our scary movies from our collection and watching it. I don’t mention this much, but Danny is a movie collector, so we have a ton of movies—and I’m really grateful for it this time of year! I love finishing my workout, then going home to cross stitch and watch a classic scary movie!

3. Early Birthday Treats

Birthday Gift to Myself
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores Loose Powder

My birthday is the 20th and I may or may not be turning 30 years old. I’m trying not to actively freak out about it because 30 feels very big. I don’t remember being freaked out by turning 20, but I do sometimes wish I’d been a more teenager-y teenager instead of the anxiety monster I was! Anyway, it’s a big birthday, obviously, and I’m easing myself into it by getting myself a few treats.

And surprise, Danny gave me some early birthday presents this week too. He got me a new deck of Tarot cards, as well as a book on witchcraft that I’ve been wanting. I treated myself to the Too Faced Dew You foundation, as well as a new pot of It Cosmetics Bye Bye Pores, my favorite setting powder of all time. I’ll have a full review of the foundation next month, but gosh, I love it already; it smells like watermelon!

Well, that’s it for this week. What have you been loving?

Things I Love: October 6

Things I Love: October 6 | Writing Between Pauses

Welcome back to another edition of Things I Love (or TiLT)! If you’d like to read past TiLTs, click here.

How is your October going so far? If you’re doing Blogtober, are you drowning yet? I swear, the past week has been the fastest of my life. I really thought I’d have more time with Forrest in preschool, but I feel like I somehow have even less time.

Thankfully, it’s the best time of the year! I love, love, love October. Danny and I are on a little vacation this weekend (oh la la) so he can attend a teacher’s union event; Forrest and I are therefore having a little mommy-son bonding time. You can follow me on Instagram for photos from our little trip. MAKE SURE TO LINK.

Without further ado, here’s everything I’ve loved from the first week of October.

1. Happy Birthday, Forrest

Sunday was Forrest’s birthday. It’s hard to believe that I’m the parent of a 3-year-old and not a baby anymore. And each day, I am consistently impressed with the wonderful, kind, caring, gentle boy he is. He loves nothing more than reading books, coloring, and playing with blocks. He loves school in the way that I loved school (which makes me so so proud). There are a million and one perfect, wonderful things I could write about Forrest, but I’ll keep this short: celebrating my boy is always going to be one of the best parts of my week.

2. Apple Picking & Assorted Apple Desserts

Technically, I went apple picking last week. However, I’ve been making apple everything because I have about 10 pounds of apples in my house right now! I’ve made apple strudel, apple pie, apple hand pies, applesauce, and, of course, caramel apples. It’s a nonstop apple party at our house and it’s so, so worth it. (And if you don’t go apple picking, I highly recommend it! Support your local orchards!)

3. October Traditions

Do you have a very specific October tradition? Mine is these cookies. In the first week of October, I have to buy and bake a box. It’s just the way I start the month! I got these ones mid-September to bake with Forrest before his birthday, but during the week, I definitely picked up a new box to make! They’re the perfect little cookie. Yes, I know they are processed as hell. Yes, I know they aren’t really that good as far as cookies go. But I love them. They are nostalgia in a box!

Things I Love: October 28

Things I Love: October 28 | Writing Between Pauses

It's my last Things I Love for the foreseeable future (I might bring it back for Blogmas)! I thought I'd do a round up from my favorite things from the month. The last week I've been working on preparing for November, NaNoWriMo, and of course, getting ready for another month of daily blogging during December. I am really questioning why I took on three month-long writing challenges in a row, but c'est la vie! I think it's been really good for me so far. I love having goals to hit and staying motivated!

So let's get into the things I loved throughout October.

1. Just Peachy Velvet Mattes palette from Too Faced 

Just Peachy Mattes | Writing Between Pauses

I treated myself to this palette for my birthday. Technically, it's from my husband, but I bought it... and I used a Sephora friends & family coupon on it, so I got it for 20% off! It is absolutely gorgeous. At first, I was worried that using only matte shadows would be limiting, but I really love the vibe and how easy it is to add a shimmer from another palette... or just keep it matte for day. I find these shadows really blendable and lovely, and I love a warmy, peachy eye look, of course. 

2. My Halloween costume from 1990 

My mom posted this photo of me on my birthday, for good reason. This costume was iconic in my family: I was well known for being obsessed with pumpkins. Clearly, Forrest took after me in that regard; he's going to be wearing this same costume on Tuesday! I'm so excited to get a photo of him wearing it. 

3. Jojoba Oil 

I've written before, but it's worth explaining again: when I was 12, I started getting acne and it literally never cleared up. Never. From the age of 12 to two months ago, I had acne every single day. Nothing I did worked; your girl tried EVERYTHING. When I was 20, I started getting cystic acne and from that point on, I had 3-5 cysts on my face at all times, worse when I was on my period. Nothing worked on my acne. It was awful. Two months ago, I made the choice to start washing my face with jojoba oil (I double cleanse and follow it with Soap & Glory's Peaches & Clean face wash) and adding 2-3 drops to my moisturizer day and night. Since then, my acne has cleared up significantly. I also haven't been getting hormonal outbreaks. It's truly amazing how much having good skin has impacted my attitude and outlook. I'll write a full post on my acne journey & jojoba oil soon, but I had to share this in my Things I Love! 

Things I Love: October 21

Things I Love: October 21 | Writing Between Pauses

I have written this post three times, thanks to my fabulous internet. For real though, it's getting obnoxious to write the same thing over and over again! However, I can't believe I'm on the downhill slide of Blogtober; this month has gone by surprisingly fast, but I've been loving getting in the groove of writing one or two blog posts a day! It's definitely going to help once NaNoWriMo is here. 

As a brief shout out, I have to mention Sian at Rebel Angel for her recent Reading, Watching, Listening, Doing post. I love reading what other's are up to (hello, I'm permanently nosy) and I love getting recommendations from my fellow bloggers. 

Without further ado, here's what I'm loving this week. 

1. Dirty John

Guys. I'm so sorry. But I'm starting with another podcast recommendation. I listen to a lot of podcasts, ok? I love podcasts! This one was really interesting. It's about a guy named John Meehan who is known as, you guessed it, Dirty John. Long story short, he's a conman. The podcast is gripping, start to finish, and the last episode literally shocked me so much, I had to pause it to collect myself. You can listen to the podcast on your fave podcasting app, but you can also read the entire thing on the LA Times website, here

2. My birthday

For the last few years, I've fallen into the habit of seeing my birthday as a non-day. I found (ok, I still find) it really obnoxious when people made a big hubbub about their birthdays, especially after the age of about 24. As someone who is constantly working, my birthday was usually just another workday or, if it fell on a weekend, a chance to get more things done. I hate taking breaks, after all. But this year, I really tried to let myself enjoy it, especially since it fell on one of my husband's rare days off! We went shopping, we got lunch, we had the kind of day together that we used to have. It was really lovely. 

3. This article from the Atlantic 

Do you ever read something that renews a tiny sliver of your faith in humanity? The last two weeks have been rough; I've been trying to keep up with all the Harvey Weinstein news, while also seeing nearly every single person I know post a #MeToo status. It is stressful and heartbreaking. When I was feeling overwhelmed, a story came along just when I needed it: this story of catfishing from the AtlanticNow I love the MTV show, Catfish; I can watch it on repeat for actual hours. But this article really changed the game. Summary: girl meets boy, girl falls in love, girl discovers boy is not who he said he was, girl tracks down boy who was in the actual photos, girl falls in love with that model. It's... the absolute best. Read it and feel good.