Thursday, January 28, 2010

FLYlady update, week 2

I am so proud, this is the best I've EVER done starting this!  My sink is STILL shining (or, it will be before we go to bed tonight, dinner dishes are still there at the moment), I've picked up the swish and swipe in the bathrooms again and those sinks look awesome, I'm laying out my clothes, putting out hot spots (decluttering), and even trying to focus on putting out those negative thoughts and replacing them with positive ones.  What a difference a week makes! 

My confession is that I can't always get dressed to shoes first thing in the morning because I have a baby!  and she is demanding spirited, and I can't very well make her wait 20 minutes while I get out of bed, get dressed, brush teeth/hair and slap a little moisturizer, concealer, mascara, and cheek glow on  (and that's if I don't need a shower).  Since she is still not STTN I refuse to get out of bed before she does--I'm frankly too exhausted with the 5.5-6 hours of sleep I'm getting (on a GOOD night).  BUT I'm doing the best I can and I DO get around to this every day!  Even if it's not till after the morning nap (that's not just Staci's naptime!). 

I'm a bit behind, but I am on day 8 and today's task is to start the control journal.  This is where I keep track of all the new routines I am creating--kind of like a check list so if someone needed to take over for me for a day, they'd be able to and know how to keep the house running. 

Gotta keep FLYing--First Love Yourself.  workin' on it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Chemistry of Skin Care: Why pH Matters

Ahhhh one of my absolute favorite skin care topics.  YAY!  Ok, first off, let's talk about what pH is.  PH stands for 'potential of hydrogen' and, simply, is a scale to measure the strength of an acid or a base (base=alkaline).  The midway point, 7, is considered neutral.  Water is a 7.  Anything below 7 is an acid, and anything above it is a base, or an alkaline.  The further away from 7 you move in either direction, the more potent the acidity or the alkilinity of the substance. 

What does ph have to do with your skin?  Your skin has a protective barrier, called the acid mantle made up of sweat and sebum.  This barrier is good for lots of things, including keeping bacteria out of your pores.  It's called the acid mantle because, you guessed it, it has an acidic pH.  Your skin has a pH ranging from 4.5-5.5. See? smaller than 7.  At least last time I checked.

I wish I could say that all product companies pH test their products before sending them off to store shelves, but the fact of the matter is this doesn't happen like it should.  The best way for you to find out if your products are pH appropriate for your skin is to test them yourself with pH strips--like the ones you used in middle school when you learned about pH.  I will say you won't (shouldn't at least!) need to worry about this with *professional* grade products.  In school, we got to experiment with products from home.  We found that even expensive products from beauty counters like Lancome and Clinique are not alwasy pH approprate.  Also, drug store brands such as Neutrogena and Purpose are actually alkaline--which causes holes in the acid mantle allowing bacteria into your pores and ultimately causing breakouts and breeding bacteria.  Not. Good.

It's important to note that a pH that is too low is also bad--if a product is too acidic it can cause serious irritation in the skin which can also lead to breakouts, redness, and a general uncomfy feeling. 

How do you know if your product is professional grade?  If you bought it at a spa or know the Esthetician uses the brand or products in her/his line of work, it's a profesisonal product.  Some of my favorite professional grade lines include Aveda, Skinceuticals, MD Formulations, Dermalogica, and PCA skincare. 

pH is not the only important factor when choosing skin care products, but it does go a long way.  It's probably the most important factor, followed closely by ingredients.  Cheers to happy, healthy, glowy, dewy, lovely skin!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

skin care, simplified.

I mentioned a few posts back that I'm an esthetician.  In short, I LOVE all things skin care.  I enjoy discussing products, but with SO many out there to choose from I'm only really familiar with a fraction of them.  What I love most is to keep things simple, so over the past year I have really simplified my skin care routine and have been able to achieve the relatively good skin I strive for.  Here is what works for me:

I chose a ph appropriate cleanser that I use morning and night (Peter Thomas Roth foaming cleanser).  In the AM I only wash from the top of my nose, down around my mouth, and my chin.  This is the area I'm most prone to blackheads and cystic acne so I take care to get that area clean.  I just splash water on my forehead and cheeks because these areas tend to get dry.  I follow with an antioxidant packed day cream with an SPF of 25 and a good eye cream.

In the PM, if I am wearing makeup, I wash my face twice.  Yup, twice.  No matter what cleanser you are using, if you have product on your face, you are going to need to wash it twice.  The first cleanse is just breaking up the makeup and not getting into those pores.  If you have a precleanser like the one by Dermalogica, you can use that and then follow with your cleanser but I choose to use my cleanser twice.  I follow with a good rich night cream packed with antioxidants and AHA's to keep my skin glowing.  If you are concerned about pigmentation, choose a night cream with kojic acid as well to help lighten those spots.  And don't forget eye cream!

Did you get that? I just cleanse and moisturize.  If I went somewhere for a week, I'd only need 4 products.  For the girl who's cabinet under the sink is literally overflowing SO much I had to add shelving on the outside this is a HUGE step. 

Well, now you know what I do to keep my skin in shape.  I am going to be adding a series of posts as we go along to help you understand why good skin care is so important--and how neglecting it can be hazardous to your health.  Your skin is your largest organ, so take care of it!

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My New Year's is Finally Starting!

I have been avoiding this post for only one reason: I am a little bit lazy. And distracted. And over-tired. You get the drift.  But as January draws to a close, I am beginning to feel antsy to get started.  My new year's resolution is to begin the Fly Lady program (for the five-hundred-and-eighty-sixth time) and actually stick with it!

For those of you that have never heard of it, go and check out  It's a step-by-baby-step program to get lazies easily distracted people, like me, into a routine of keeping the house clean and orderly.  I honestly thought that once I had my own place I would keep it clean.  I moved off to college and that didn't happen.  Then I thought when I wasn't working or in school full time THEN I could keep up with house work.  Nope.  The house really benefited from the nesting phase of pregnancy, but since I gave birth this house has taken a beating.  I'm so overwhelmed with the clutter it puts me in a bad mood.  I don't want that anymore! I don't want to rush around cleaning before people come over so I'm not embarrassed at the state of my house.  I'm sick of fur-tumble weeds.  I'm tired of not knowing where anything is.  It's time to get busy!

Step one of the Fly Lady program is to shine your kitchen sink.  I did this today, and at potentially great peril to my cat I'll have you know--he smelled mysteriously like bleach water at one point today.  So, you can see I'm dedicated. 

In proof I'm posting a picture!  Here is my nice, shiny sink!

Tomorrow's step is to get dressed to lace up shoes.  There are some days  I don't even get out of my pj's, so this is a good step for me!  I probably won't take a picture, so you'll just have to trust me.  That and keep the sink clean.  Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Updates and developments!

It's been a pretty exciting start to the year at our house.  Last week, we found out that Max passed his most recent actuarial exam with flying colors.  This is excellent news for us, because with each exam he passes he gets a raise at work.  It's not monumental or anything, but every little bit counts! Now, he just has some 'VEE' requirements (I have no idea what that stands for, sorry) to fulfill, which mostly entails the grown up version of worksheets and take-home tests, to earn his ASA (Associate of the Society of Actuaries). 

Other exciting news is that Staci has learned to open and close her hand along with her 'wave', so it's a REAL wave now, not just a greeting.  She throws her arm up into the air, opens and closes her hand with a GIANT smile. She is SO awesome! She has also learned to 'Hi-five'.  This is such a funny thing, too, because Shania (the dog) gets jealous and wants to hi-five me for treats whenever Staci and I do it.  I indulge her, who wouldn't?

In other news, I received a surprise phone call from a local spa who saved my resume from way back when I was looking for work outside the home--before I found out I was pregnant.  I was so flattered they kept my information and wanted me to come in for an interview.  I went, of course, who could turn that down? But not without great anxiety at even the thought of leaving my sweet girl.  I know she is nine months old, and lots of moms go back to work at 12 weeks or, sadly, some far before that.  I decided the most I'm willing to work right now is one day every other week.  We don't have any daycares looked at and since we're still nursing 6-7 times per day and a few times at night I can't imagine working more than that.  Plus, we really don't have 'Grandma Day Care' as an option since both Grandmas work full time.  The spa was beautiful and I just love the idea of getting back into the business, so I do hope they call. 

Which brings me to one more thing--have I mentioned on here that I'm an esthetician? I have a few skin care posts planned so stay tuned!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

9 month stats

Height: 27.5in (50%)
Weight: 18lbs even (30%)
Head size: 42cms (15%)

The doc said she has a minor double ear infection but wants to give her a chance to heal on her own before starting antibiotics.  I have the script in case things get worse at night.  I hope you start feeling better soon, sweet girl!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

9 months! really? Where has the time gone?

Nine months and 2 days ago I had the pleasure of meeting my daughter for the very first time.  Funny enough, in just a few days, on the 6th, Staci will turn 40 weeks old.  She will have been out as long as she was in! I must say time moves MUCH faster now than it did when I was pregnant--full of so much anticipation and anxiety about becoming a mother.  Somehow we made it here, and it's a wonderful place to be!

Dear Anastasia,
  At nine months old, you are scooting yourself everywhere and you get into everything!  I just went to BRU and picked up some baby gates to keep you from trying to scoot down the stairs.  You are fearless!  Your most favorite game to play is to chase the animals.  I always know when you have Rascal or Shania as your goal because you immediately pick up speed and start giggling like a maniac.  It kills me every time!  Rascal will indulge you in the game--the second you get an arm's length away, he will get up and walk a few feet further from you.  It's as if he's saying, "catch me if you can!"  Shania, on the other hand, would really prefer not to have her fur and tail pulled.  So when she sees you coming, she gets up and moves clear across the room.  You look at me like, "Hey!  I was trying to get her!" LOL.  Both animals are very good with you and when you do get a fistful of fur, they somehow manage to just sit there and take it, and then leave at the next available opportunity.  We are certainly blessed with compassionate animals who I'm certain will be among your very first friends.

--You are still wearing 9 month clothes in most brands.  You have outgrown a few things but aren't quite into the 12 month stuff yet
--You are hovering right around 18lbs.  Stats from your 9mo checkup on Monday to come!
--Yup, still in the middle snap of your one sized diaper.
--You are finally starting to eat some solid food.  You love oatmeal with pears,and you also love avacados.  Sweet potato fries are a favorite but everything else you could pretty much take or leave.  Nursing is your most preferred from of nourishment--as it should be!
--You really raked it in for Christmas this year and we are both enjoying the new toys.  You were getting a bit bored with your old stuff (or wait, was that Mommy?).
--You are really for real waving now!  before you would wag your arm occasionally at me and I took it as waving, but now when you are scooting about and I call your name, you turn around, grin, and throw your arm up in the air.  You don't wag your hand or open and close it, but it's undeniably a greeting.  my heart melts every time
--You are still waking a few times a night, but our nights have been MUCH better recently.  You have only needed me about 2 times a night for the past week or so.  Keep it up!

I love you, Anastasia.  Thanks for choosing us to be your parents!