Friday, January 27, 2012

This was going to be a list of awesome things, but I got tangentially ranty

Ok, so very few people have acutally seen my "shocked face." This is not because I am somehow un-shockable. I'm quite shockable due to a delightful combination of not knowing very much about the world at large and my general trust of people I like which sometimes leads to some leg-pulling. I'm serious. One time, after an uncomfortable medical procedure, my husband was driving me home from the hospital and I said that I really wanted ice cream. Comfort food. Fat and sugar because it tastes good and if I was going to be hurting, I at least wanted my mouth to be happy. Darling husband did volunteer to drive to the 24 hr Baskin Robins/Dunkin Donuts* for me, and said, quite calmly, that it made sense that I was craving ice cream, because it had natural muscle relaxant properties. My eyes got wide. I thought this was like that "turkey makes you sleepy" thing or the reason that I would crave giant steaks once a month. "Reeeeally?!?" I asked, all full of hope. Then he laughed at me. Jerk (whom I love & adore).

But that's not what I was trying to get at. So, my "shocked face" is a running gag because frequently, my friends & I make very obvious statements in a pseudo-sarcastic way, at which point I try to put on my "shocked face" but inevitably fail, because... well, OF COURSE you want to do a punk-polka-whatever Ms. Gruss. Of  course you do. Most of the time I just leave my shocked face at home. It's too much to lug around with me everywhere.

I do have a point here somewhere, I swear.

So, this weekend, I was feeling a little down. On Friday, I attended a friend's baby shower and it was lovely... except (there's always an except, isn't there?)... some of her friends were... rude. I was going to try to find a nicer way of saying that, but there isn't one. They were just rude--condescending & dismissive of her desire to cloth diaper. They laughed in her face when she tried to answer the questions THEY asked about how the cloth diapers worked. It made my blood boil. They mean well. They're moms and have kids of their own, so know more about the reality of baby butts than we first-time mom-to-bes do, but... um... RUDE! So, I came home and thanked Twitter for being supportive and awesome of our desire to try cloth diapers. People in the real world are rude. I've had people laugh in my face too. It makes me get a little... honey badger.

I mean, I get it. I've never done this before. Cloth isn't normal anymore. It's a lot of work. I have no idea what I'm really getting in to. I get it. I really don't have much of an idea about any of this infant business, even after my classes at the hospital, nieces, nephews, friends, etc. I get it. I know nothing. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT? I have FRIENDS! Friends who are right now, this moment, sucessfully cloth diapering their kids. More than one! They're not crazy or uber-hippy or whatever else you think. They're awesome and frugal and environmentally sound and all that. Everything I "know" about cloth diapering has come from the mouths of moms who've done it. All the diapers I've purchased are recommendations from those moms. Because they KNOW! And maybe my baby will be different. Maybe the styles that worked on their tiny-people butts won't work on my tiny person's butt. Ok. Trial and error. Maybe my baby will inherit my uber-finicky skin and will get 14 kinds of rashy and need monster strength creams that aren't compatible with cloth diapers. Maybe I will suck at doing laundry and this whole experiment will fail. I admit that all of that is a possibility, but please, for the love of decency, could you give me a fighting chance here people? (Not YOU people. You people are awesome. It's the real life skeptics that are bringing me down, like Gruss would never do.**)

Ok, that is a completely different tangent that I didn't mean to have, but there it is. I'm trying stuff and might fail and if you "told me so" I will stab you with daggers from my eyes because SHUT UP! It could work. Just as much as it could NOT work, so... grr... anyway

ANYWAY! This weekend I was feeling down because I found out that of the 6 other ladies in my small group/Bible study/Nebraska girls only 1 was going to be able to make it to my shower. Now, let's be fair--they all had totally reasonable and pretty awesome reasons not to be there. A dad's 60th birthday party, a trip to London, England with boyfriend & boyfriend's mom!, a childbirth class at the hospital, a conference previously paid for... all good stuff! None of which I would ever, in a MEEELLLLION years ask them to ditch to come sit around with me and scrapbook while talking about pink baby things and eat finger foods and drink punch. I don't hate them for not being able to come. I just... was sad that these ladies, who are such a big part of my life, wouldn't be able to be there--kind of as a group, you know? Anyway, I was a little bummed. Not that I wouldn't have friends to celebrate with me at my shower (I do). Not that I wouldn't get more presents (I will). Just... that part of my life wasn't going to be represented at the party, and that was a little sad. Ok, so there's that.

THEN! On Sunday, my husband was all "Tomorrow, you should come to dinner with me & Doppleganger & her husband (dude... still weird to call him that. I mean, they've been married 2 months, I should adjust soon)" Wait, the parenthetical there is my thoughts, not his. He doesn't think like that. Yeah. I didn't want to go. Bible study was that night, at our house, so I wanted to be there to... stare at the living room before people arrived. I don't know. I just wasn't excited about going out. I didn't really want tacos (which should have been 17 kinds of red flags that there was something SERIOUSLY wrong with me, because when do I ever NOT want tacos?!?), I like our friends a lot, but didn't want to go out. Then Monday came, and I worked and I complained to my husband about still being sad about things that I felt I had no business being sad about (see above paragraph) and kept asking "Do I really need to come to dinner? Can't I just stay home and do dishes instead?" Seriously--I don't know why my husband didn't have a thermometer & a shrink at my side instantly, because I am not the kind of woman who ever says things like that. (Spoiler alert--the very next day I had some random fever crap that was gone as fast as it came. Bizzare.) He just kept repeating that yes, I should be there, it was important, trust him! I thought Doppleganger had NEWS to share, though I couldn't imagine what it would be. They're not planning on hopping on this having-a-baby train any time soon. I'd already seen her new car. In fact, I just saw her on Sunday, so... what's the big deal. I grudgingly went to dinner, tried to put on my best face, despite being tired, not hungry, and generally feeling icky. Thankfully, these are friends who like me even when I'm tired and icky, so I didn't have to try too hard. It was a nice dinner. We sang "soft kitty." Then I left. No NEWS was revealed. I felt cheated and tricked and crankier. I told my husband so in a snippy text on my way home.

I rushed home to get there before people arrived for bible study. Thankfully, because everyone but me lives about 20 miles south, much closer to downtown, in an older and far-too-hip-for-me neighborhood, they're generally late, which was awesome for me on this day. Except when I got home and saw a strange car in front of my house! OH GREAT! Jennifer, our newest member, has probably been waiting outside my house for... like... MINUTES and doesn't know the garage code to let herself in and I'm a horrible hostess and the crank increases.

So, I walk inside with a mouth full of appologies, only, I see this instead:

Yeah, that's right! My husband lured me out of the house so that my bible study ladies could throw me a surprise baby shower since they were all going to be out of town/otherwise busy on the actual day. And my husband didn't put them up to it! Aparently they planned it all when I wasn't around. Because they are sneaky. And my husband kept the secret--which is a pretty big deal for him. I usually get like 4 or 5 presents from him at every gift-giving holiday because he can't wait to give them to me on the day.

Yes. I felt like a giant dork for being all mopey and was totally surprised and shocked. Not that they like me and wanted to celebrate me, but that they would go to all the trouble of putting on a whole shower (with games! and punch! and snacks! and cake balls!) on a Monday night. It was awesome.

Also, I participated in this awesome Scarf-swap thingy that Raven over at Just Expressive organized. The scarf I got from -R- is wonderful! It's the perfect color to go with so many of my peacock-themed things, and! I got bonus matching earrings with it! Score! (Also, I'm wearing jiggaflern in  my hair that I stole of my peacock-themed wreath that I still haven't taken down because I realized it wasn't really all that Christmas-y, so now it hangs in the bedroom because I like it. And I stole a little cluster of appropriately colored stuff & stuck it on my head. Ta-da!)

In summary--things that are awesome: My Twitter friends (more on this later, because I actually do have lots to say about them) and my real life friends. Basically, my friends in general. I'm pretty much the luckiest girl in the world.

*Seriously the best business plan ever invented! 24 hour access to awesome ice cream (Jamoca Almond Fudge please!) and donuts!

**You know that song by ELO? The "Don't bring me dooooooown, Bruce!" song? Well, it's not actually Bruce. It's Gruss. The song is about my friend The Gruss. And when you hear the song on the radio, you must immediately start singing along and call her. No matter where you are in the song when she/her voicemail picks up, you must not stop singing to say any sort of greeting. She's a smart cookie. She'll catch on. She knows the drill. It happens all the time. So... anyway, Gruss won't ever let you down. That's a fact.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The truth in art

Ok, ok, ok.
Here it is:

Me, in some pants that allow me to fake a unified belly at 30 weeks:

Me, in reality, both bellies represented, also my dirty mirror and skeptical face (also at 30 weeks):
So there you have it, Internets. Me, with internal baby. If I ever get around to doing fancy semi-professional pictures, I'll be sure to show those off too.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Almost 30

Weeks, not years. I'm 31 years, for those keeping track at home.

No, almost 30 weeks (tomorrow). Erica at All Dressed Up suggested that I DRAW a picture of myself, since I wasn't really happy with any of the photos I'd taken. She suggested this almost 2 weeks ago, and I've been MEANING to do it... but kept getting distracted by napping.

So, here you go. A dramatic recreation of me and the bellies. Done to scale, as you can tell by the baby giraffe I'm next to. For reference.

Also pictured, a dramatic recreation of my butt. Giraffe picture from Zooborns

Thursday, January 19, 2012


"Still" is sort of my word of the moment.

Not that I'm good at BEING still, especially with all the work that needs I want to get done in the next 11 weeks, but I find myself saying it frequently.

I'm still pregnant. I'm mostly joking when I say that, but I know enough premie babies that I really am thankful. The "produce of the week" e-mail tells me that this baby is the size of a butternut squash, which is much better than the PUMPKIN pictured over there to the right. Every ache, pain, symptom, complaint, scare, bother, or worry that I've had for the past 6.5 months can all be modified with "mild" and that is something for which I am incredibly grateful. Not that I want to brag that I'm such a pro at being pregnant. I'm not. I'm whiny and nervous and drive my patient, sweet, thoughtful husband right round the bend because there's pretty much nothing to be whiny and nervous about. Except, you know, birth and then caring for an infant. I don't know how to do those things. I took a class. I think I'm a little more nervous now, because I have a better idea of just how much I don't know.

I'm still thinking about natural childbirth. I hesitate to say that on the internet, because everyone has OPINIONS and I thought I was always a "drugs now, yes please!" kind of girl. This isn't something I ever THOUGHT I'd be considering, and yet... here I am. I'm not scared of unnecessary medical intervention. I'm doing this whole thing in a hospital, with a doctor I trust not to cut me in anyway unless it really is necessary, and who is sympathetic, understanding, and willing to listen to me--which might be a little crazy, because I feel like I know NOTHING, but I hope that I'll know what I want when I get there. I'm not afraid of epidurals (except the thought of a needle in my spine, but from what I hear, since you can't see it, it's not that big a deal) or pain medication. I just don't know how I'm going to react and respond to labor. I've never done it before. I'm not really sure what my pain-tolerance is like.  I'm taking a Lamaze class, which really surprises me, because I kinda mocked the whole breathing thing for a long time. I mean, my dad thinks that giving birth without pain medication (initially typed "paid" which, while also true and possibly a Freudian slip, isn't what I meant) is akin to going back to the dark ages... but he's a pharmacist, so drugs are sort of his thing. He also had to watch my mom give birth to me without any pain medication, and it made a lasting impression on him. Of course, it made a lasting impression on her, too, and she's all for doing without the drugs if you can. IF YOU CAN. No stigma, shame, guilt, or other bad feelings if you can't, or don't want to. She is (awesome? yes!) totally supportive either way. So, since I know that birth isn't something you can plan (unless you're MBFJC and having a scheduled c-section), I have... preferences. #1-I'd like a live, external baby at the end of it. #2- I can change my mind at any time, except once it's too late to get the drugs in me and then I just have to suck it up and have the baby. That's what I've got. I won't feel bad if I decide to get drugs in any form (well, the LEGAL kind, at the hospital, from my doctor). I won't feel smug if I do this without, because... dude, there is no judging birth. Every BODY is different & you gotta do what is best for you and so do I.
I still have two bellies. I always sort of assumed that pregnancy would be the time when my bellies would unite.* So there's that assumption, which makes an ass out of you and mption, but it's there. What I didn't realize was that the ACTUAL assumption I had was that through the miracle of life going on in my innards, I would magically start to look like women in the advertisements. (I'll give you time to laugh, because, yes, it's laughable). Because all pregnant woman look the same! At least, all the pregnant women I'd ever known all looked the same. They looked like themselves, with this big, round belly that just sort of showed up. Well, I've got "big"** but not really "round." It's causing me to shy away from things I always thought I would want--like a maternity photo shoot. While I do want some record that this kid was actually inside me***, I can't really look at the examples out there of "maternity photos" and picture myself in them. First of all, there will be no naked belly. Nope. Not happening. Not this belly... these bellies, whatever. Secondly, if there's no big round belly to hold, then the pictures just don't seem right. I'm still trying to remind myself to focus on the fact that everything is going REALLY WELL. I'm healthy. The baby is healthy. Everything is WONDERFUL.

I'm still cleaning out every closet, drawer and cabinet in the house, throwing away, giving away, and getting rid of anything we don't actually use RIGHT NOW (except the gifted baby stuff, of course). This is cathartic and wonderful, but being stuck in the in-between part is sometimes disheartening. Things look worse when I'm only halfway done than they did before I started, so I have to keep reminding myself that we really are making progress. The fact that I have a dedicated linen closet is proof! All my table linens are stored in the hutch that goes with our dining room table, along with our wedding china. That's such a grown-up feeling accomplishment. My next task is to get my jewelry organized. The makeup purge/organization was so successful that I feel I can tackle the endless piles of earrings that may or may not have mates.

I guess the real point is that there isn't a whole lot of new stuff going on. New year and all... same old us.

*There's still time for that to happen. Now that I'm in the "growing an inch & a pound per week" phase, that might be the next big development, but so far the Union of my Fat Belly remains high & lofty, while the Confederate States of my Fat Belly remain right where they've always been, and the Mason-Dixon line of my belly button is as deep and cavernous as ever. Will it pop out and form a belly-truce? Only time will tell.
**I understand that what I think of as big now is laughable when compared to the end result, but it is still the biggest I've ever been, so we'll go with that for now
***I have several photos taken with my cellphone, so I'm not bereft of proof, but... to me, they just look like fat pictures, not pregnant pictures. My eyes are crazy and my brain isn't too sane either

Monday, January 16, 2012

Christmas Dinner... sort of

Remember way back when I said I was going to cook for my family? Specifically my mom & brother, two of my favorite cooks in existance? Well I did. It didn't suck. We didn't call out for pizza or sushi. The directions were a bit... vague at parts, so there was some improvising. It wasn't as gloriously delicious as I remember it being, but that might be a trick of memory or due to my own improvisation. Either way, it was a presentable and pleasant meal, so I'm going to count that as a win.

Should you decide you would like to attempt this vague recipe, I will tell you what I did, and show you pictures I took of the process. That's how this works, right? Alright then, here goes! Christmas Dinner for my immediate family was "Beef with scallion and Mushroom Sauce." Sounds fancy, right? I served it on Dec 30th, but that's when we were celebrating, so it counts as Christmas dinner. Because I said so.
The recipe from some ex-boyfriend. I really only have 2, so yes I know which one it was, I'm just not going to tell YOU. Because it doesn't matter.

The Ingredients:

1/4 lb butter
1 lb mushrooms (fresh, wiped clean & cut in half)*
1 cup chopped scallions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 TBSP tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon thyme, crumbled
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup Burgandy (wine)
1 cup tomato puree
salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 1/2-2 lbs cooked beef, in bite-sized pieces
Melt butter in large saucepan. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often until soft.
I cheated a little bit with the mushrooms. I bought them pre-cut and just washed them and dumped them in the pan. I also used about 2 lbs because while the recipe says it feeds 6, and I was only having 6 people to feed... I'm always doubtful that there will be enough food, so I added more.

2 cups-ish of scallions--green onions, whatever. It was most of 2 bunches and what I didn't put in the pot, I tossed on the salad, so that was a win-win.

I didn't have any true Burgundy, so I used this lovely Cab Sav that my folks gave me.

Add the scallions, garlic, tomato paste, thyme, bay leaves, broth, wine, tomato puree, salt and pepper. I find it difficult to salt-to-taste mid-cooking, so I just put a little bit of salt (equal to the amount of pepper) and figured I could always add more later, or you know, put some on the table for other folks to salt it up as necessary.  Mix well, turn heat to low and simmer for an hour. (I did increase the amount of spices since I was increasing the amount of veggies & meat, but I don't have acutal meausurements for you because I didn't measure.)
While that's simmering, you could cook that beef that you're supposed to have cooked and in bite-sized pieces. I took some serloin, chopped it up, browned it a bit in this pan, then poured some more wine in and let it simmer a bit too. There was a lot of simmering going on.
Final step--Stir in the beef and cook until just hot through. While that was doing THAT, I boiled up some egg noodles to serve this beef stuff on, tossed the salad together, set the table (complete with FANCY bottles of salad dressing straight from the fridge!) and steamed some green beans.

So, total prep time before simmering: about 20 mins. If you do all the other dinner prep stuff while it's simmering for that hour, you can be ready to serve pretty quickly after that. I mean, if you're cooking the meat right then, it's already hot, so you're just really letting things sort of get friendly with one another, and that can take as much or as little time as you want it to.


* So some parts of the recipe, like this, are quite specific. Others (beef, cooked) are... less specific

Friday, January 6, 2012

One-Woman Cosmetics Counter

So I mentioned the ridiculous amount of makeup that I own in my last post and talked about the "I can do anything" completeness of the stuff I carry in my purse, and it just so happens that I locked myself out of my car the other day, or at least I thought I did... well I DID, but I didn't lock my keys in my car. I dropped my keys just outside my car when I got out, and by the time I needed them again, it was dark and I couldn't find them in my purse and didn't see them next to my car, so I called J to come let me into my car, and in the meantime decided to clean out my purse, which led to the realization that I have too much makeup in my purse. And most of it fits in that little pink bag!

Here's everything, all laid out by my keyboard. This is when I started to suspect that there was a problem and maybe I should think about streamlining my cosmetics!

1. Clinique eyeshadow trio in colors of awesome. Seriously, this little thing is probably all I need for 75% of my days. It has highlight and shadow colors that are perfect for my skin and look totally natural on me. These are the rosy colors that I am.
2. Physicians Formula Healthy Wear SPF 50 Powder Foundation-- Color Translucent Light (pasty white girl who burns at the mention of sun)
3. Revlon Colorstay 12 Hour Eyeshadow--Color Berry Bloom. This doesn't need to live in my purse, but it's been there for a while and I can't be bothered to move it. I love this 12 Hr stuff. Love it. I've had 3 different sets of these in 3 different color sets and I've loved them all.
4. Philosophy Hope Oil Free SPF 30 Daily Moisturizer for normal-to-oily skin. Man, do I love this stuff. I try really hard to have sunscreen on every day because I've seen where my skin is going. I take after my grandma and have pretty classic Worley skin, which bruises, breaks, tears and as it gets older gets thinner and more delicate. It does not remain firm and smooth, so minimizing sun damage is pretty much my number one beauty goal. If I had a beauty goal it would be to look my age, not any other age.
5. Make Up Forever Full Coverage Extreme Camouflage Cream--Color 4 This stuff is the jam too! Thankfully I don't have to use it much except for under my eyes and it blends really well, stays put, and lasts as long as I need it to. Considering the wear & tear I put on my face during the spring (Texas, outside for 12+ hrs a day), I love anything that can keep up with me.
6. L'oreal Eyeshadow Quad--Color Hopeful Wishes. This doesn't need to live in my purse either, but again--it got put there one time and I've never taken the time to take it out. Fun colors. The darkest one looks grey, but people tell me it's actually dark green.
7.Sonia Kashuk mini brush set from Target. 4 brushes to do... whatever needs to be done with whatever makeup I've got
8. Urban Decay Brow Box--Color Honey Pot Another thing that I never knew I needed until I had it. I frequently need to augment my pale eyebrows so that I look like I have an expression, and this little thingy is the best! It has a tiny brush & tweezers inside, 2 colors of powder (which is so soft and velvety, I use it as eyeshadow on the regular) and underneath that, a secret compartment for clear wax, so if I'm serious about it, I can set my eyebrows in place. I find powder so much easier to work with than a pencil and looks more natural on me when I'm done.
9. Sugar Tinted Lip Treatment, SPF 15--Color Rose. Got it as part of a set that I picked up with my "you spend lots of money here, have some free stuff" points at Sephora. I like that for having sunscreen in it, it neither tastes nor smells like sunscreen. It's kind of citrusy and the color is super sheer and almost the same color as me, so it's really just fancy chapstick for me. Probably wouldn't have bought it on my own, but as a freebie, I like it.
10. Urban Decay eyeliners in Perversion (blackest black) and Corrupt (brown with a little bit of silvery sparkle). Urban Decay is one brand that will always suck me in because they have beautiful, vibrant colors with awesome names. As an added bonus, I really like the stuff once I get it on my face. These eyeliners are part of the 15th anniversary limited edition set of eyeliners that I got as a prize that I really enjoy and will probably last me for the rest of time.
11. Lip liner in a universally me shade of pink.
12. Benefit High Brow.
13. Kat Von D Tattoo Eraser. I don't use it for erasing tattoos. I use it as a highlighting eyeliner. It's a perfect shade of pale pink for doing such things. Sort of like the High Brow. Only different. And smaller, thus easier to get into small spaces. Ok, so I really don't need both of these things, but I can't figure out which I love more to get rid of one, so I keep both.
14. Revlon Colorstay 12 Hour lipstick--Color Hooker red. (Actually On going flame, but I always call it hooker red, because that's the color my friends & I use to describe a narrow range of reds) If I don't wear the top coat (spoiler: I forget to wear it 95% of the time) it dries my lips out and makes them peely. I still wear it because it lasts through dinner, and with this, the pale pink eyeshadow, mascara and the Perversion eyeliner I can be totally glammed up for whatever in 5 minutes from the contents of my purse. It's pretty awesome.
15. Revlon Double Twist Mascara--waterproof of course. I understand that some people want non-waterproof mascara, I just don't know why. I have yet to find the perfect mascara, but I like this stuff. The brush is big and friendly. It's not too goopy and I don't look like I have spider legs for lashes when I'm done. Win!
16.Covergirl lipstick... I don't know which kind, but #335, Embrace. It's a purply-pink with that blue shimmer. Totally impractical for most days. I bought it for wearing with my overpoweringly pink Faire costume, but it lives in my purse now due to a combination of laziness and for the occasional bad day pick-me-up. It's hard to not feel awesome when wearing rad lipstick. At least, it is for me.
17. Victoria's Secret Beauty Rush lipgloss--Color Cupquake. Ok, it's really pink and really sparkly and it tastes good. It's a very strong gloss though! It broke a hair once. Like, some stray hair blew across my lips when I was wearing it (my #1 complaint against lipgloss by the way) and when I tried to pull the hair off, it BROKE. I still like it. See above: pink, sparkly, tastes good.
18. Kat Von D Saint/Sinner roller ball perfume duo. Because it never hurts to have a quick stink-pretty stashed in your purse, right?
19. Thus begins my Burt's Bees problem. This is the original formula, and the one I use the most frequently. I love it. I have 4 tubes of just this kind stashed in various locations about my house and person.
20. Medicated kind, with eucalyptus, for when I get a fever blister, or have a cold.
21. Ultra Conditioning, with kokum butter... whatever that is. This is the only one that rivals my love of the original. It's smooth and almost gloss-like.
22. With mango butter. Tasty.
23. With Passion Fruit and SPF 8. I guess since I have the Sugar lip stuff that's got SPF, I could get rid of this one.
24.And my MAC/Disney Villain love! This is Lipglass in Hot House, featuring the Evil Queen from Snow White. It's pink & sparkly. Try not to be too surprised.
25. Evil Queen again, with a pretty sheer brown lipstick in color Sinister
26. Cruella de Vil this time. Lipglass Wicked Ways. It should be bold red, but tends to lean more towards pink on my face
27. My favoritest of this line. Lipstick in Heartless. It's the classic red that everyone needs, but this is the one that works with my skin. I love it. It goes on smoothly and lasts pretty well through a meal, so I will cry when it is gone.
28. Maleficent! My favorite Disney Villain! This Lipglass is called Wrong Spell. It's a dark brown that I never thought I would wear, and yet, I wear it the most of the three because while it is quite dramatic when I first put it on, it fades to a very nice neutrally brown after just a few minutes.
29. Then there's Violetta, my Maleficent lipstick. It's purple. Really. But strangely, not in a scary way. I thought I wouldn't like it on me, but it's a pretty purple pink on my face... kind of orchid like.

Now, here's the surprising (at least to me) part: my purse isn't all that big. It's not small by any means since I like to have a book that I can comfortably stuff a paperback into at any given moment, but it's not huge. Here it is, pictured next to my reusable coffee cup for scale reference. For all it's not-super-bigness, it is quite heavy. Imagine what a weight off my shoulders it would be if I could just give up all that makeup! Not gonna happen...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The many colors of kryptonite

So, 2012 is the year of babies. I've said before that I know a 4 brazillion* women who are having babies and eventually, I'm gonna put together a list so I can keep track of all this stuff.

That being said, part of our plan for 2012 is to attempt to get ready for said baby of ours before she arrives. This involves a lot long, hard talks with our stuff. We have many closets in this house (though not enough, because when can you ever have enough closets?) and most of them are full of stuff that's just taking up space. I think this is fairly common in most households around these parts. We don't need the vast majority of the stuff that's hanging out in those boxes, but it's hard to get rid of. Some of it is sentimental attachment, but most of it is a product of our upbringing.

"Don't get rid of that! We might need it later! Somebody could use that! It's still good!"

This is how we wind up with 42 tablets of paper that we never touch. 14 clip boards. 27 3-ring binders. Cardstock. Photo paper. Calligraphy pens. 9 drag-queens worth of make-up!

Cleaning out office supplies is a fairly unemotional task. Sure, there's the occasional stack of letters or cards that brings a smile as I look over them again, but unless it's love letters from my husband, they get put in the recycle stack. We managed to combine 3 closets into 1 this weekend by just getting rid of stuff. Some stuff goes to Goodwill, because it's still good and somebody could use that, but most of it went to be recycled or thrown away. It felt amazing! There is still one more closet left to tackle, and of course the garage, but we're making lots of progress! The sunshine room looks less like a place that potential hoarders go to practice piling stuff and more like a room that might someday soon be converted into a nursery! I already have 3 drawers full of tiny clothes!

Cleaning out my bathroom was much harder. I have an irrational attachment to my make-up and skin care. Free samples of things I haven't gotten around to trying in the years they've been sitting around? I don't need those! NO ONE needs those. They're long past their expiration date and any benefits they may have imparted are long gone. I was able to throw those away without issue... well, a little guilt for the amount of crap that I let get into my house that just winds up in the trash.

Then it came time to purge the actual make-up. The old foundation didn't pose a problem. Some of the old lipsticks and lipliners went into the trash without a twinge. Then things got hard. I don't really need all the different colors of lipstick that I own. I hardly ever wear the 6 shades I carry in my purse--3 lipstick, 3 gloss... plus chapstick, and maybe a free sample of some Sugar lip stuff I got at Sephora. You know what, my purse is it's own cosmetics counter these days. I can do pretty much everything from my one little make-up bag. Almost any look from natural to dramatic for a variety of skin tones... unless you need to use powder or concealer, and then it would be helpful if you were as pasty-pink as I am.

The point is, I don't wear makeup often enough to justify the obscene amounts of makeup I own. I need to get back down to the stuff I do wear and let the rest go to a home where it will be better loved! It took a lot of convincing and re-trying of different colors, but I managed to eliminate quite a bit. It's easier to convince yourself to give up YET ANOTHER purple eyeshadow when you know that you've already got 5 different shades of purple to choose from the next time you need purple eyeshadow, and knowing that "next time" could be months away.

There's a pile of things that weren't so old and icky as to be tossed as soon as they were discovered (yes, I had an equally large pile of THAT). It was VERY difficult, because I would look at every color and think "but I don't HAVE that color" and be tempted to keep it. Because I want all the colors--that's my kryptonite. I finally convinced myself that I didn't need 50 different shades of neutral eyeshadow. 5 is more than enough, since I don't go for neutral makeup much anyway. If I want to look neutral, I'll slap on some powder, some mascara and a lip-ish colored gloss and call it good. I don't have the skill or patience to apply 15 colors of eyeshadow, liner, foundation, concealer, blush and mascara only to have the overall effect look like I'm not wearing makeup. I can handle 2-3 products to make me look awake, refreshed and generally un-grump-like.

My bathroom is now much less cluttered. I put up some new stuff on magnets to reduce the amount of counter space I take up on my side of the sink. If it's not on the board, it lives in one small Caboodle. That caboodle is mostly eyeliner and lipstick. I did get rid of a lot of eyeliner, but still have about 25 different colors... but they don't take up too much space, so that's ok.

There's another clothing swap happening near the end of the month, so I have plenty of motivation to go through my closet again and get rid of things. It will be a little harder since things don't fit the same way right now as they might otherwise, and I have NO IDEA what things will fit like after I have an external baby, so... I guess I'll purge things that I always meant to wear but never did--you know, the stuff that's not really quite my style but I somehow convinced myself would get worn? That should make a dent!

*Actually 4 brazillion, not an exaggeration, since a brazillion is 5. Yep--20 women, having a total of 21 babies. I can't wait! 
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