March 7, 2013

Sunday spa day

So, I have a little bit of a problem. I've become very a little obsessed with things that smell nice. I mean, yes, I've always liked going into the duty free sections at the airport to sniff at all the fragrances (DKNY Be Delicious is still one of my all-time favorites), but my recent obsession with home fragrances and candles has brought my sniffing to an all-time high.

Sunday has been deemed my "spa day" and I've been using Sunday evenings as a good time to destress, prep my skin for the week ahead, and just basically relax in my bed while watching beauty Youtube videos. Here are my recent favorite candle + face mask combos, featuring candles from Anthropologie (those apothecary buyers can do no wrong)!

candles + face masks

Illume for Anthropologie candle in Guava Nectar ($20) + Boscia Intensifying Moisture Pack ($30)
Dan bought me this candle for Christmas and oh my word, it is absolutely delicious. It's sweet without being too cloying, and reminds me of a being in a tropical forest.
Full disclosure on the Boscia Moisture Pack - I only have a (well-loved) sample from Sephora for this, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to bite the bullet and purchase it soon. I leave a thin layer on for about an hour or so (this is completely ignoring the instructions to wash it off after 5 minutes) and when I finally drag myself to wash it off, my face is smooth, incredibly moisturized, and does that little bounce thing when you ping your finger against it. My skin is super parched so I'm really loving this mask for an extra pick-me-up in this cold weather.

Voluspa candle in Goji Berry ($26) + Aesop Parsley Seed Mask ($50)
This candle is my all-time favorite. I actually held out for the Anthro sale last year to purchase this and then bought it in the largest size possible. It has such a multi-dimensional smell to it and it really powers the entire room (even my large, porous living room). Complete and absolute love. Am such a fan of all the Voluspa candles.
Already talked about my love for the Aesop Parsley Seed Mask. But it must be said - gentlest clay deep-cleansing mask. It calms my breakouts, my skin doesn't feel tight and dry (and believe me, my skin is VERY dry), face just feels softly rebalanced (is this a thing?? Am I just imagining it??)

Capri Blue candle in Volcano ($14) + Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask ($88)
Clean, fresh scent. Am in love and very depressed that I'm almost through with this candle. Burns cleanly and makes my room smell like yummy laundry.
This Fresh mask, like all their masks, is pricey (I bought mine with my corporate discount last summer). But it is also AMAZING. The first time I used this mask, my skin let out a chorus of hallelujahs. It has a weird mashed potato-like texture, but smells absolutely phenomenal and makes my skin feel super refreshed and ready to start the week ahead.

OH. And I usually have a cup of hot tea at the same time. My favorites are the Trader Joe's Green Tea, Trader Joe's Spicy Chai Latte, and (for the UK folks) Whittard's Dreamtime tea. Truly living the life! I'm also on a huge red lipstick kick at the moment... so stay tuned.

March 3, 2013

Resolution check in

How is it March already?? Where is this year going? Since coming back to the US approximately 2 weeks ago, I've been settling into my new amazing internship in San Francisco, interviewing like crazy for full-time positions, getting rejected like crazy for those same positions, having good cries and generally feeling sorry for myself, bouncing back and getting excited about life again... rinse and repeat. Being resilient and determined takes a toll on your soul, you guys. But I just wanted to do a quick resolution check in so that I could hold myself accountable to the 3 things I set out to do earlier this year.

1. Learn something creative every month
Quick background: I felt like I had lost a part of myself in college because so much of my "creating" was through a computer (creating Powerpoint decks, fiddling around with Excel, interneting) and I had become more of a consumer rather than a creator. I've always been very creative and did a lot of crafting, especially in elementary and middle school, and I wanted to reclaim that part of myself again.

In January, I learned how to knit. I'll put up pictures soon, but it was a great experience. I'm almost through with an initial ball of wool; I knit about 12 rows a week while catching up on TV shows. I LOVE knitting.

In February, things were a little hectic, but I'm starting to get into the habit of journalling and illustrating. I'm doing quick line drawings (I'm trying to do one every day to practice - that's not going too well but I'm trying!) and writing things down. I feel like I've forgotten how to WRITE properly because I've trained myself how to think better while typing out papers on the computer. But so far that's going well.

I've also hosted a dinner party with some friends where we worked on friendship bracelets - that was a beautiful night, I had so much fun, and just bought a couple of yards of fold-over elastic to make hair ties a la Emi-Jay. Super excited about the colors I got and it'll be such an easy project, especially because I'm running out of hair ties. And I'm starting Copperplate calligraphy classes this Wednesday! Whoo!

2. Start treating my body as a priority
Definitely something I've worked on this past 2 months. I've hiked the Fire Trail and the Quarry Trail at Tilden Park; we're planning on hiking Mission Peak and doing a half-day waterfall hike down in Santa Cruz sometime this month. Yesterday I ran the Color Run! Not all 5km (I think I ran about half of it though), but it was a LOT of fun. So yes, am on track with this :)

I'm planning on running more frequently (1-2 times a week), and am going on a snowboarding weekend trip to Tahoe next weekend, so I'm super excited.

3. Say YES!
This has been hard for me to do. I've pretty much said yes to everything people have invited me to, and I have no regrets, but I still feel a little inside-out. I don't quite know how to put it, but I'm being wrung a little dry I think. Today was a fairly good balance - I spent the day in bed, went to church in the evening, and had dinner with a visiting friend.

How have you been doing on your resolutions? I really tried to streamline it this year to make it stick, and I'll probably do a check-in every 3 months or so!