A Post Workout friend…

If you have followed my posts for any length of time you will know that Elemis is one of my favorite skincare brands. It is rare though that I will branch out of face products. I have used the muscle relaxion oil, which I really liked. It was an oil that you basically used as a massage oil. I enjoyed it because it reminded me to take the time to massage my legs and arms after a hot post workout shower.

And yes after a workout I really give the water heater a work out. I love hot water on sore muscles and will run out the hot water. Following with the oil was great.

Somehow I thought this would be similar, just in cream form. And it sort of is. This Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel is designed to be massaged into sore muscles. which as I am slowly increasing my workout every week or so I thought this was a great product to try out.

Somehow I didn’t expect it to actually work like a sports cream.

In retrospect, when i look over the description I can sort of see it.

A revitalising body gel formulated with soothing Arnica and Camphor that delivers relief to tired and tense muscles in seconds.

I know, it seems obvious, but somehow I thought it was just like a refreshing body lotion. It isn’t. It is moisturizing and it is hydrating on the skin. However it is very much like putting on a sports cream like BenGay or IcyHot onto your skin. Which you might want to know before applying it. I had a very surprising first application. After the first application, I was expecting the intense cool and tingling of the gel.

It is a clear gel that absorbs very quickly and starts relieving muscle ache almost instantly, just as it claims. It is also hydrating without being greasy. I didn’t need to apply a moisturizer over it. Which was nice. Typically with something like Icy hot, after I apply it my skin dries out a little. the muscles are relieved, but the skin needs some back up. With this Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel I didn’t need a follow up body cream.

It is intensely scented. As you may expect from the inclusion of camphor in the description, it has a scent that I think of as Vicks Adjacent. It is very medicinal. Now in my house we have the great Vicks Vapor Rub debate. Growing up my mother loved it and now my Babydoll adores it. I will tolerate it when i have to. For me this gel works well enough that I will put up with the scent. It also smells very Vicks like so I actually found it disappearing faster than I was using it. My babydoll has been dipping into the tube. I caught him at it when i found the Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel disappeared from my collection of products and was put into his collection. I like this gel, but i have the feeling that I will have to hunt for it when I want to use it and that it will be one of his regular products.

For me the scent is not my favorite. But it works well enough that I am willing to over look the scent in order to get the benefits of the product. My babydoll likes the muscle relief, but he also adores the scent. I suspect this Elemis Instant Refreshing Gel will be around our house for a while.

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The Daily: January 11th, 2023

Good afternoon my darlings. Today there has been no sun and the air is chilly. while this morning started with coffee instead of switching to water when it was done I found myself switching to tea. Actually today I went for the Macha from the Art of Tea. It was one of the teas in the sampler pack that I tried in November and December and I ended up buying the full sized pack. It is one of the better Matchas I have tried and I am really enjoying it. Plus I just needed something warm but not as caffeinated as coffee.

Even though it is warm inside the house, there is just something about a cold gray day in winter that just calls out for a hot beverage. Today, Mine was Matcha.

I did manage a short walk today which was nice. I ended up walking with one eye looking at the sky though. It is cloudy but doesn’t feel like rain, however those clouds kind of looked like it. I made if back still dry, but I don’t think I am going to push ,my luck with a second walk. I’m tempted because a nice leg stretch with a breath of fresh air is awfully tempting. I just don’t trust that sky and don’t want to be cold and soaked. Cold I can handle, but not while dripping wet.

But I do feel good for having gotten in that one walk. So to the makeup!

Today’ Look:

Primer: Stila One Step Color Correcting and brightening Primer

Foundation: Good Apple Cream foundation from KVD Beauty

Bronzer/Highlight: Sun Stalk R palette from Fenty Beauty

Blush: Kaleido Cosmetics Skin Luminate Blush Palette

Eyeshadow: Mischo Beauty Eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Iconic London Triple Threat Mascara

Lips: Mischo Sheer Lip Shine In Madam

Earrings: Shop Miss A Jewelry

In case you hadn’t guessed, My Ipsy Bag came in today. There is a post on Instagram if you want to see the whole bag. As I’m trying to sort out which subscriptions to keep and which to let go I am posting the bags there instead of writing full reviews for a while. That may change, but I’m going to try this for January.

Anyway, this month’s bag was heavily makeup. The only thing that wasn’t makeup was a makeup remover actually. So I decided to tryout the new to me today. I just couldn’t resist. Actually the primer and the lip are the only items not from this month’s Ipsy bag.

To start with the primer I went with the Stila today. It is a good primer but only minor color correcting. I chose it mostly because it was slightly hydrating and from what I have heard about the KVD foundation it can be a bit drying.

The KVD Good Apple foundation balm is one I have been wanting to get my hands on for a while now. Every time I went to look for it, it was either sold out completely or just my shade was gone. So seeing it in an IPSY in my shade was fabulous. I applied it with a sponge and then smoothed out the whole with a brush. A little goes a really long way. I would not start with a brush as that would pick up too much foundation. Start with a damp makeup sponge. It blends well and sits beautifully over the face. It is settling in some of the fine lines around my mouth so i think a pore filling primer is called for. It also feels a little dry on the skin. While I was willing to use a moisturizing primer, I did skip the Embryolisse as my pre makeup base. I think tomorrow I will definitely use that since I think the extra moisture is going to come in handy. This formula does oxidize a bit. I am currently half a shade darker than when I applied it. i am still in my range though so I am okay with that, it is something to note when you pick a shade. I don’t know if it will get darker throughout the day, but that is something I will test for. Over all, despite the slight dryness, it feels amazing on the skin.

The Fenty Beauty Palette is meant for face and eyes. It has two shimmer shades, I used the bronze as a highlight today. I think it is meant as a shimmer shadow. It doesn’t really work as a highlight. So perhaps tomorrow I will try that out. In case you ae wondering Ipsy is doing a beauty boost. You pay an extra $15 per month and they give you one extra full sized item. I believe the value is supposed to be over $65. But I’ll have to check on that. December was the first month they did that and it was a heavily skin care bag, the Boost Item was from Kate Somerville (which I am currently using in the line up) and this month in a heavy makeup bag it is the Fenty Beauty Palette. I am actually quite happy with it. The palette itself is rather hard to get open so packaging needs a bit of a rethink. maybe an indentation for gripping so I don’t break a fingernail. The products were nice to use today,. The range is nice and I like that there are two shimmers. The formula of the bronzer was buildable. The shimmer though I think is more a shadow than a highlight.

This blush palette has three blushes. They are highly pigmented so tread lightly during application. As bright as the one I am wearing looks today, it is the darkest tone in the palette. I tend to drift towards the darker blushes. I will dry them all though. I liked the way the blush turned out but I am not sure how many pans in this trio I will end up using.

The Mischo Eyeshadow Palette was interesting. The Pink shade is a fantastic one and done shade, but I wanted to see how the shadows worked together. The dark brown was the only one I had problems with. It didn’t want to blend like the others and just wanted to stay where i put the shadow down. All of the other shades blended well though. I think this is one of those palettes where the dark brown shade is used more like an eyeliner and the rest of the shades are blended as shadows. I didn’t use all of the shades but other than the on-blending brown, it worked well.

And finally, because I have it and like it I picked out the Mischo lip gloss. It is an easy shade that I really like wearing in the summer for a light wash of color. It isn;t really something I gravitate towards in the winter, but today I figured why not. It is a decent low tint lip gloss and as such it works well. It is better adapted to more natural looks and I usually pair it with my BB creams. It is a little slimy, but it is a lip gloss.

the earrings just felt right today as well. This came as a trio of earrings in a Shop Miss A pack. I actually bout the trio for the studs but I really like these hoops. They are of much better quality than I thought they would be for a dollar. And they give me far more than a dollar’s worth of enjoyment. So I am happy.

And that my darlings is me, and most of my January Ipsy bag actually. I enjoyed using the products and I look forward to testing them out further. But for now, it is back to work for me.

Weekly Weight: 235.3 lbs

I was pleasantly surprised by this morning’s weigh in. I may have gained weight over the holiday but it was only about a pound. Please excuse the hair in the photo by the way. I brushed my hair before pulling the scale out and didn’t realize there was hair on the floor until later. I saw it after I put the scale back in it’s out of the way place and cleaned up the floor but until I sat down to post this I didn’t realize it was in frame. It is the curse of a clear glass scale. well that and the reflection of me taking the photo.

Anyway, while a weight gain isn’t something I would normally celebrate i have to say I am pleasantly surprised that it was only one -ish pounds. I was expecting a lot more actually. Especially after yesterday’s realization. I posted about this on my daily post, but to sum up, I realized that Each time I didn’t really feel like doing my indoor workouts I would lower the reps that I did and then later forget that i lowered them so the lower number became standard. Until the next time I didn’t really feel like doing them and so I’d knock off another couple. It was a bad cycle.

I’ve fixed it by creating a spreadsheet actually. It’s a simple Excel sheet with the numbers clearly marked on the page. Like my food journal it is helpful for me to write everything down. And if I have to see the numbers I can’t fake them to myself. I have the bad habit of thinking, Oh I’m sure I only planned to do twenty of these squats today. If I have marked down on the paper that it was in fact thirty, it is harder to think twenty because I’ll know I am lying to myself. It is the same with food actually. Measuring and weighing are a bit of a pain, but it keeps me from saying things like, sure that looks like only half a cup. And then only counting half a cups worth of calories when i actually consumed a full cup.

Which I actually started recording my food again this week as well. during December I did pretty good with recording the meals I prepared. The problem was that I had a lot of meals that I didn’t prepare. Which is why I was expecting a lot more of a weight gain. So, pleasantly surprised. Let’s get the official stats for the first weigh in for the new year then.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

This week’s weight: 235.3 lbs

Lost thus far: 10.7 lbs

I know there is still a long way to go but I am committed to reaching a healthy weight. And I think I have set myself up with the tools to accomplish this in 2023. At least that is the plan. It is one I hope to stick to. As it is January, hopes are high. I think that if I can stick with the plan, I can manage it. I suppose we have twelve months to figure that out.

yoga gear

The Daily: January 5th, 2023

Oh my darlings today my bones feel like jelly. I am fine when sitting at my desk but once back in motion I can feel the inside of my muscles talking to me. I realized that I haven’t been pushing hard on a lot of my indoor workouts. I had a list of exercises to do but I would vary the number of reps I was doing. So I went back to my beginning list and saw the number of reps I started with. I think what happened was that every time I didn’t really feel like working out but made myself anyway, I shaved off a couple of reps to make myself feel better. And then later I forgot that I shaved them off.

And so I would go with that number until the next time i really wasn’t feeling it and there would be another couple of reps shaved off.

Not a very good spiral.

And so we make a spreadsheet. That’s right. Spreadsheet. Since today is Thursday i will call today and tomorrow part of next week’s week 1 and start writing things down. In case you are interested here is a screen shot of both the oddly long week one and week 2. Following weeks will be like week two. Each week I will increase the number done by a small amount I also usually take Saturday and Sunday off. Each time I complete one set I put an x in the box. I usually run through a set each morning (when I haven’t talked myself out of it) and occasionally I will do a second set in the afternoon. At least that is what i was doing when I was losing weight regularly. Which is why I will get back to it. Week one is getting me back into the habit of every day workouts and to make sure I stick to the proper numbers. The plan is this week to once again build the habit. Then next week I will increase the numbers slightly and add in one day where I do the work out’s twice. Once in the morning and once in the evening. Then we will see how it proceeds from there. Here is my preliminary chart.

I am sure things will shift as I get into it, but hopefully they will shift in the right direction. I just used a simple spread sheet. As I fill things In I will add additional weeks. I know that seems a little obsessive, but I generally find that when I write things down or require myself to keep an actual record then I am better able to stick with a schedule of this sort. I don’t suddenly decide that maybe 20 squats instead of thirty feels right today because I can’t put an x by the squats if i don’t complete the numbers. And If I can’t put the x by them then doing twenty isn’t going to be recorded.

I know there are a lot of people out there who start the new year off with plans to get in a better shape either for general health or weightless. if there is one thing I have learned in this entire process it is myself. I have learned more about how i think and how I process things than I ever thought i would. i have learned what motivates me and what will get me to stick to whatever plan I am doing.

i used to marvel that there were so many different systems or ideas about weight loss. And then I was told it was because every body is different. Which is true. however more importantly every mind is different. And it is the mind you have to engage in the process. now I’m surprised that anyone comes up with any weight loss system that works for anyone but themselves. For me part of what helps me out is writing things down, food, exercise, schedules. Seeing it all laid out and then being able to go back through and see the things I have checked off gives me motivation.

I should also mention i told a friend this and they shivered in revulsion and said they would never even start a work out if they had to write something down. it would doom them to failure. To each their own. I need the documents.

I didn’t actually mean to go off into weight loss land, but there we go. it is what is most on my mind today. But here we will leave it and get into today’s look. I went for a softer one today and am quite pleased with myself.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Marc Jacobs Under (cover) Blurfection Primer (discontinued- from the Use Up Box)

Foundation: Beauty Blender Bounce Liquid hip Long Lasting Foundation

Bronzer/Blush/Highlight/powder: Pur 4-in 1 Perfecting Powders palette

Concealer: Trestique Cover and Correct Crayon

Setting Powder: Becca Cosmetics Pink Haze Setting Powder (discontinued – from the Use Up Box)

Eyeshadow: Ciate London The Velvet palette (currently on sale for only $8)

Mascara: Iconic London Triple Threat Mascara

Lips: Revolution Pout Bomb Plumping Lip Gloss with Vitamin E

Setting Spray: Ciate London Watermelon Burst Setting Spray

Okay first I have to do the happy dance. This was the last use of the Becca Pink Haze Setting Powder. It is no more. It is empty. Which means if nothing else I have managed to use up one of the items in my use up box. And considering how large the square powder box is, that is really helpful. i will have to find a pink setting powder to replace it, but it was time to let it go.

I also used the Marc Jacobs Primer from the box and will hopefully be letting that go by the end of the month.

The more i use this Bounce foundation the more I like it. It is very light weight and doesn’t require a lot of product to get the look i want. At the moment I don’t have any break outs so it isn’t really having to cover a lot and I still need to test it over larger blemishes, but it covers redness well and lasts all day long. I am glad they changed the packaging though as if you don’t tilt it just right or press too hard you can end up with foundation on your shirt rather than in the provided dip.

I really like the Pur palette which is odd since in general I am not a huge fan of the products I have tried from the brand. This palette however is an old standby and one that I will repurchase once this one is no longer usable. It is the perfect palette for travel and I really like all of the products in it. which again is odd since I have tried a couple of their products separately and wasn’t a fan. Something about this palette I just like.

I didn’t sleep terribly well and this yo-yo weather has my sinuses going crazy. Over all I don’t get sick much but every year I get a seasonal cold where my internal systems react to the weather changing. Usually it is in the spring or the Autumn. This year it seems to be every few weeks. So I went for the concealer. This color is perfect for me and I like the stick application as i an more easily put it where it needs to go. It is a formula that needs to warm up a little before use as it is a bit stiff. So I just hold it in my hand while I am studying the eyeshadow palette to see what look i want to put together. That generally warms it up enough for me. I have no had issues with it creasing and I need to remember to reach for this more often.

Speaking of eyeshadow. this was my first use of the Ciate Velvet Palette. For me Ciate Shadows are hit or miss. Sometimes I will get a palette and I just won’t like the formula. Other times I will get a palette and fall head over heals in love with the palette. Oh my darlings this is love. I am actually rather surprised by it as I expected this to be a shimmery palette I only occasionally used. It is mostly shimmers but a few shadows apply more matte than they look in the pan. And they applied beautifully. They went on smoothly and while pigmented weren’t over the top with the pigmentation so i was able to build them to what I wanted and the shimmers are stunning. I think I will be playing with this palette for a while.

As usual the Iconic London mascara is great at lengthening but that is about it.

In addition to the eyeshadow i think I am falling in love with the Revolution Pout Bomb. I think there may be a little plumping, I’ll do a photographic time check to be sure but even if it isn’t I really enjoy this formula. It feels a little sticky going on but the stickiness fades away pretty fast and you are just left with a clear gloss. (I’m sure they make other shades but I have clear). The best thing though is the vitamin E. even after the gloss wears off my lips feel nourished. i really like this lip gloss.

And so we will end on a high note. Fantastic shadow and fabulous lip gloss as well as a work out plan I can stick to. To me that makes this feel like a good day. i hope you are having a fantastic one as well.

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The Daily: January 4th, 2023

I don’t know if you have noticed but as soon as it goes dark and rainy in the winter it feels much colder than it actually is. The temperature hasn’t really dropped that far, but it feels so much colder than it did before the rains came yesterday. Perhaps it is the damp, perhaps it is just the lack of sun. Admittedly bright sun in the winter always makes things look a lot colder as well. Something about the quality of the winter sun makes the air feel brittle, like a thin sheet of ice ready to shatter.

Or maybe that is just me.

Today is rainy and not likely to get much brighter. I always feel vaguely out of sorts when I have to get up without the sun. I like seeing it peeping over the horizon as I get out of bed. I like the thought that if I am getting up at least the sun is having to get up too. It some how makes me feel better about mornings. Not fabulous about mornings as I will never be a morning person, but better. when I get up and the sun still stays nestled behind clouds I feel rather tricked.

Again, that is probably just me.

But with yesterday’s deluge inspiring thoughts of Ark building in the backyard and rain likely to continue throughout the day, the park is, as one would expect from a walking trail built in a flood plain, flooded. I love that they found a way to use very unusable land without doing much more than putting a path through it, but it does make my out door exercise weather dependent. However, as cold as it feels, the out door temps are not in the single digits, which means my sunroom does not feel like a frigid icebox. So I was able to get in my morning exercises without too much trouble. I really just don’t like sweating when it is cold. Unless I am walking through the world and there is a line of sweat under my knitted hat or around my writs where the gloved hold my hands tightly. My hands never get sweaty in the gloves, just the wrist area where the gloves are held tight and the coat is pulled over the end of the gloves so there is no gap of exposed skin.

Not that wrist sweat is something many people complain about. So perhaps that is just me too. I know, I am feeling just a bit out of sorts today, let’s just jump into the makeup.

Today’s Look

Primer: Stila One Step Color Correcting Primer

Foundation: Bite Beauty Changemaker (discontinued – from the Use Up Box)

Bronzer: Kim Chi Chic Beauty Thailor Bronzer

Blush: Benefit Cosmetics Georgia Golden Peach Blush

Highlight: Jazmine Beauty Coastin Highlighter

Setting Powder: Pink Haze by Becca Cosmetics (Discontinued and from the January Use up box)

Eyeshadow: Luvia Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Iconic London Triple Threat Mascara

Lipstick: Josephine Cosmetics Liquid lip In Tiphaine

I was feeling a little on the red side today. I’m also a little stuffy from the up and down weather patterns, but that is another tale. I figured that meant today was a good day for the color correcting primer. There is something appealing about the twisted ropes of color inside the tube. They look like marshmallow ropes and probably why Stila opted for a clear container to show them off. What comes out is a little grayish with green streaks. Less appealing, but it did even out my skin tone. If redness or uneven skin tone is your thing i think this could be good for you. It doesn’t do a lot to fill or blur pores (which is more my thing) but as I was red today it helped. It is a wet formula and needs a little time to dry down a bit and settle into place before you apply your other makeup. It is also a less is more product. start with a little on your reddest areas and blend out. Then apply more if you need it. It won’t blur pores no matter how much you use so just think of it in terms of color. But start with a small amount.

Bite Beauty is gone, but i love this foundation and will be using it up until it is gone. It is no longer being made so I won’t dwell on it, but it was fabulous.

The Kim Chi bronzer is a soft formula and highly pigmented so dip cautiously into that pan, especially if you are winter pale. It does blend well so it is pretty forgiving, just know it goes on highly pigmented-ly and you will do well. I like it, mostly because it does blend well and if I move cautiously I can use it for a more natural look (due to blending) but if I want something more dramatic then I can go a little deeper. The under tones in this shade really match well with my skin and for me that is what allows the shifting use. The collection has a wide enough range that I think a wide range of people can find their undertone pretty easily. I really like that I can use it light or heavy for a variety of looks. Clearly i went a bit light today, mostly due to winter.

This is actually the last Benefit blush I have in my collection It is showing signs of wear and I do want to reach for it more. Partially because I just love Benefit’s blushes, but also because I want to use it and then go with a Blush Palette from Benefit. while I adore their primers and mascaras, they do a really good blush formula. The problem though is that any blush I try tends to lean itself more to a season. I’ll use them out of season of course, but the Gold Rush Blush was amazing on my skin when I had a summer tan and just a good blush in other seasons. This Georgia tends to look amazing in the spring and just like a decent blush the rest of the year. Because of that i do want to keep multiple blushes from benefit around, I just don’t want the bixes taking up so much space, hence the blush palette. Although i do have to admit that as they released a new line of blushes I will probably end up picking up a few singles as well. What can i say, they just make a really good blush. I am just holding off until I get a bit more wear on this one.

This is my first use of anything from Jaszmine Cosmetics. It came in a Kinder Beauty Box and I just didn’t get around to trying it. Although I do know that it is a clean beauty product, which I love. The gold tones are a little on the pink toned side for this highlighter. It goes on brightly and it is buildable. It was a good first use, but i think I am going to have to try it some more to decide how I feel about it. At the moment though it is quite lovely.

I went with the Becca Setting powder because I am trying to use it up. slowly but surely it is emptying. It is good while it lasts though.

This Luvia Cosmetics Eyeshadow Palette is a Two pan palette i received in an advent calendar this year. It is a clean and vegan beauty product and as I love the highlighter they make I was excited to try out the eyeshadow. This has one brown matte and one gold shimmer in it. The shadows are billed as highly pigmented and boy are they not kidding. Exercise caution my darlings. One dip with each shade was enough for my eyes and I spent the rest of the time with a clean brush blending everything in. Interestingly Where the gold overlaps the brown it goes to my favorite bronzy gold. Where it isn’t over the brown it is a reddish rose gold color. There really are just two shades on my eyes but the shift makes it look a bit like three.

The matte and shimmer worked well together, but as there was only one matte and one shimmer I don’t know how well they play together in a full palette. These two layered well and blended decently but not fabulously well. The brown is just so highly pigmented that it just wants to be what it is. i will still play around with it, but I think this would be an interesting formula to try in a lighter shade.

the Iconic London triple threat mascara lengthens well. Everything else is just okay, which I guess makes it a single threat instead of a triple one. i will use it and enjoy it, but it wont be one I repurchase.

I put this in my use up box this month not because i wanted to use it up but because i couldn’t remember using it. I kept getting it out when i did my lipstick declutters, swatching it and loving the red but never remembering to use it. So I figured if it was in the box I would remember to use it. I am actually quite impressed with this. It is a bright red and I love the tones. Reds can also get messy in liquid form, but this is helped by the well defined point on the end of the wand. It allowed me to outline my lips and then fill them in. The lipstick doesn’t dry down all the way so there is a shadow of a lip print once it ‘dries’ but it is really just a shadow. There aren’t trails of red lipstick all over my coffee cup and water glass. The fact that it doesn’t dry down all the way makes it very comfortable to wear. I am actually really enjoying the formula if I am honest. I am very glad it is in my January Use box and i will be reaching for it often as I move forward.

And that my darlings is me today. I kind of like the way things turned out, even if my brain feels a little bent today. And i will admit, the bold red lip did make me feel just a little bit better. And so this is where I leave you. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday and I hope you find all of the balance you need, red lip or not.

The Daily: January 3rd, 2023

Well I seem to be recovering from the holiday fairly well but the weather it seems is in for a relapse. The sun started out late as though it too wanted to sleep through the alarm and then it rallied for a bit. Now, clouds are moving in and the sun is nowhere to be found. It is days like this that make me just want to crawl back into bed. However I actually had my eyes flutter open around three am this morning and refuse to shut again. They would blink but as for actual sleep, that was a no go.

I am still oddly awake and not the slightest bit sleepy now even though it is mid afternoon. I thought that lunch time would see me start to drowse, which is why I went in hard this morning on all the things I needed to do. . I figured there might be an urgent nap time in the afternoon. Thus far, no call for napping. Which I am okay with. If I can stay awake and non drowsy for the rest of the day there is a good chance that I will sleep well tonight. I know, a bit more than you probably care to know, but i find it a bit strange.

Between the weather and the sleep it is throwing off my exercise game though.

I think that has been heavily on my mind since I got back. December was filled with more gatherings than I think we have had in the past few years. I think part of it is that most of my friends are extra cautious and so any get togethers have been very much social distanced. I think there is also a desire to get together and I think there were also family issues this year. Some people weren’t traveling for various reasons but still wanted to get together. Or maybe I am just more aware of it this year. My mother declared this was a minimum Christmas this year. My brother’s birthday was on December 29th and so his birthday and Christmas were always linked and the first year after his death was hard on all of us. It is also why we made such a big deal about Thanksgiving this year. No one was going to be in the mood for a big Christmas. And if there weren’t little kids to celebrate i think my mother would have called the entire Holiday off this year.

Food wise I was okay with the snacking. I managed to limit myself. But i also noticed that as the month went on and more and more non-standard affairs went on, the less I kept track of things. i also took time out for doing the extra holiday things. I have no complaints about that. I enjoy wrapping presents and decorating for the holiday and all the other things that have to do with the holidays but there is no denying that they do take time. And if work still has to be done then it is exercise time that gets shorted.

It also didn’t help that when the temps dropped to single digits, the sunroom where I do my indoor workouts became positively frigid so several of those workouts got skipped. And on the 29th I celebrated (if that is the right term) my brother’s birthday with Pizza and the WWE’s Royal Rumble. As did all of the family actually. I think a couple of people deliberately signed onto a streaming service to be able to see it. My brother adored both the WWE and pizza so it seemed a fitting thing to do. I am glad I did it. There was laughter as well as tears and it was good.

It has also been a really long time since I mindlessly ate in front of the television. Usually i separate food and TV. I ate far more than I needed to.

All of this means i am pretty sure i gained weight over the holiday. I will find out Friday morning, but I wanted to put this here. It is sort of to brace myself. I have already admitted to myself that I gained weight and acknowledged why. I know it isn;t a normal thing and can thus move on, accepting what Friday’s scale tells me.

I know, sorry to pull you into my personal therapy but I am guessing that in this wide world I am not the only one who is facing January realizing that the indulgences of December did not magically disappear when the calendar turned on New Year’s. For me it always helps to sort of sit down, face what I did and why I stepped out of my plan. It helps me let it go so that when I step on the scale Friday morning i can face the numbers knowing that I have already addressed the issue. I find separating the addressing the issue and the stepping on the scale helps me out. Perhaps it will help you too.

Which was heavier than I planned to get on a Tuesday. We’ll chalk it up to low sleep and move into something lighter.

Today’s Look

Primer: Marc Jacobs Under (cover) primer (discontinued- from the January Use Up Box)

Foundation: Yensa Skin on Skin BC Full Coverage Foundation

Bronzer/Blush/Highlighter: Realher Ultimate Glow Getter Cheek Trio

Setting Powder: Becca Pink Haze Setting powder (discontinued)

Eyeshadow Primer: Pretty Vulgar Eyeshadow Primer

Eyeshadow: Urban Decay Naked honey Eyeshadow Palette

Mascara: Iconic London Triple Threat Mascara

Brows: GrandeBrow Fill Volumizing Brow Gel

Lips: Colourpop Ultra Matte Lip in Tulle

Setting Spray: Ciate London Watermelon Burst Setting Spray

The Mar Jacobs Primer is from my use up box and is discontinued. I’m hoping to use it up this month and clear it out. I really like it but alas, it is no longer being made.

I love this Yensa Foundation. I enjoy their other foundations, but this is my favorite. in fact at the moment it is my hands down favorite foundation in my collection It is half empty at the moment and I am trying to hold up repurchasing it. i think that I might have to make a deal with myself. If I clear out two foundations from my collection I can repurchase this one. It is just my favorite go to foundation and it always looks good on my skin.

This Real Her Cheek Trio I actually took with me traveling. It is slim and compact and the product work really well. I tend to lean more heavily on this in the summer because of the shades but if I dip lightly into the pan it works well in the winter time as well. The highlighter is the one product I don’t like in the winter. In the summer when i am tanned it blends really well with my skin but in the winter when i am a bit pale it tends to look a little brassy on the skin. So I avoided the highlighter. As I like the natural glow of the Yensa foundation it worked out well.

I went for the Becca powder today because I am so close to using it up. It is part of my use up box and I actually think that with this week and possibly next weeks worth of use I can actually use it all the way up. It is a great powder but discontinued and the packaging is quite bulky. I know I won’t reach for it once i order a new pink powder (and will probably end up trying out several pink powders to find one I like which will also take up space) so I want to clear it out before i look for a replacement. So for the next week or so, I will be using it a lot.

I tend to forget eyelid primers a lot and so this one is getting a little on the old side which is why I put it in my use up box. It is my favorite eyeshadow primer though so once it is used up I will probably reorder it. I have a few shadows that really need a primer underneath. The Urban Decay isn’t one of them, but it didn’t hurt anything and I am trying to get in the habit of using it. It works well and creates a nice even colored canvas for the shadow.

I love this Naked Honey eyeshadow palette. It is easy to work with and instead of just slapping on a shade (which I can do with this palette) it always calls me to play. which is fun with eyeshadow. I just really like playing with this palette. i know i have several palettes i need to test out (and am looking forward to testing out) but this is just one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes and I figured if i was using one of my favorite foundations then i might as well use one of my favorite eyeshadow palettes. It is just such a fantastic palette. I just couldn’t resist it today.

This is a brand new tube of mascara opened for the first time today. However the name sounds familiar and makes me feel like I have tried it as a sample at some point. However I can’t recall it at the moment. The wand is thin and I usually prefer thicker wands. It works well. It is supposed to volumize, lengthen and lift if you are wondering the three threats. There is no volumizing but it lengthens pretty decently and it lifts well. The lifting is it’s strong suit. It is a decent mascara but it is one i will use and let go of not one I will repurchase. I am happy to use it though.

This year seemed to be the brow gel invasion. I tried not to take it as a personal commentary, but I do have a lot of brow gels to try out. In general I love Grande cosmetics. when my ill fated attempts to use false lashes ended up ripping out most of my natural lashes I turned to them and they did an amazing repair job with their lash serum (Highly recommend, btw). I tried their liner yesterday and need to practice and continue using it as it went on really well and lasted all day. it is just my application of a liquid liner that needs to improve. So I ad no trouble deciding to pick this out of my stack of brow gels to try first. This is a clear gel which I like and it locks my brows into place without feeling like I have superglue on my eyebrows. Thus far I am rather enjoying it. The volumizing did have me worried I would end up looking a bit Neanderthal but thus far we are doing just fine. We’ll see how I feel as use continues.

This is one of the two lipsticks in my use up box, mostly because there is not a lot of product left in the tube and the tube is aging. I love the color but it is a little bit of a drying formula. It does cause it to crumble a little after mid day, but for a morning meting it is really good. I just add lip balm over it post lunch.

I will be honest i do tend to forget to use setting sprays. I have a bunch of them I need to use so I chose the Ciate to start with. Mostly because it came in a Boxycharm recently (December I think) and it was at the front of the shelf. It has a nice mist to it and a nice watermelon scent which is kind of nice and summery. I figure if the weather can forget the seasons so can my setting spray. It works well and I will be using it every day in January. At the end of the month I will see how i feel about it and if it is worth repurchasing. For the moment though I really like it. The scent is really not much of an issue. It is the spray that gets me. this has a fine mister which is what I look for as it means fewer chances of splotches of wet on my makeup. Thus far it is also locking in the makeup well so that is also a good thing. I am more than happy to use this setting spray for the month. Plus in winter a good setting spray helps me from looking dry and powdery as the day wears on.

And that my darlings is me today. I started with a fabulous foundation and used my favorite eyeshadows so personally I am happy. And now, it is back to work for me. I’m doing my best to stay a head of things this year. It’s not exactly a new year’s resolution, just an understanding that things happen and if I am always a little ahead, the things that happen might not take as dramatic a chunk out of my schedule. I know it is a vain hope but as I spent the last few months trying desperately to catch up after my schedule was torpedoed, I rather enjoy the thought of actually being slightly ahead. It makes me happy.

The Daily: December 8th, 2022

Good afternoon my darlings and welcome to Thursday. I don’t now about you but this week seems to have been a lot longer than I planned. For me I think my eyes had something to do with it. I always feel exhausted when ever i have any eye problems. Maybe it is the eye watering. Crying also makes me feel exhausted too. Perhaps that is why this week has felt just extra long for some reason.

I’m sure the rain hasn’t helped. The weather turned and a cold and rainy front blew in and then seemed to squat over us. it is still raining and the park is flooded. It probably will be for the next few days, even i it stopped raining now. We were already pretty saturated before this deluge.

And so it has been indoor workouts for me.

I’m actually starting to enjoy them more. Although i do miss the walking. The problem is that I don’t think that the indoor workouts burn quite the same number of calories. Actually I think part of it is that calculating the number of calories is a little more challenging. With walking it is easy. i know the pace I walk and the length of time so the My fitness pal App is easily able to tell me the number of calories with one click. With the indoor exercises there are no machines so I have to count the number of times I do each exercise and then check each one and add it up. I need to go in and create a work out, the problem is I will change it up a lot.

Some mornings I’ll start an exercise and then my body will just not be feeling it so I’ll tell myself , Well if you don’t do all these reps then you have to add in another couple for that exercise instead of this one. That exercise being the exercise i feel like doing that morning. It is a trade off and probably not what fitness instructors recommend, but it keeps me moving and at the moment it works for me. It does mean that the routine is variable and I have to do math. And I am always convinced something is off with my math.

At the moment though i feel good in my skin. My body feels like it is doing what it needs to do. Except for my eye. it feels better but today is another no makeup day because I just don’t feel like messing with it. It is better but i think just letting it get all the way better is a good idea.

I feel good and because of the rain I am getting in more indoor workouts (let’s hear it for necessity!). It is however the eighth of December. This weekend we have the first of the Holiday parties. most of my friends travel for the actual holidays so all of the gatherings are scheduled to occur before everyone leaves. Except for New Year’s which is after everyone get s back. So I feel good about getting the routine sort of established before the gatherings begin. well maybe it isn’t the routine so much as the habit of the indoor workouts, even if the number of reps for each activity varies and some of the activities vary as well, I have blocked out the time an dam getting in the habit of using it no matter what else is going on and with me, getting something on the schedule is often the hardest part of the battle. once it becomes habit, I can maintain. I just have to build the habit. Hopefully, I have done enough to get that habit set before the parties begin. We shall see.

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Weekly Weight: 234.4 Lbs

It is always a disheartening sight to see any gain, but this week, I kind of knew it was coming. Monday I had my walk in with no problem. Tuesday the rains descended. It is still raining which means that the park is flooded as well as the rain is falling. while I did get some indoor workouts in and I actually feel really good about them, the workouts I do in doors simply don’t burn the same level of calories.

In addition i am getting ready for Thanksgiving travel. This week that meant extending my time at the desk as I try to clear a few days where I am not going to be around next week. And to be honest, I go through this every year. Around Thanksgiving everyone realizes that the holidays aren’t just upcoming, they are neigh. The it seems like everyone looks at the list they want to get through before the end of the year, and then subtracts the number of days everyone will have off for holidays and starts to freak out.

I actually get more work sent my way the week before Thanksgiving than any other week in the year.

After thanksgiving the holiday parties start to take the edge off. Plus everyone feels like they have already assigned everything that is coming up. At least where I am concerned.

Which means basically more desk and telephone time this week than anything else. And no escape into a walk either due to rain.

And while understandable, i am trying not to let it get me down. I know why the gain is there and I know what to do to correct it. I just was hoping it wouldn’t happen before a major feasting holiday. I like to go into the holidays as light as possible and that just wasn’t happening this year with everything that happened in the past few months.

I’m going to try not to let it get me down.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last weeks Weight: 232.8 lbs

This week’s Weight: 234.4 lbs

Change this week: +1.6 lbs

Lost thus far: 11.6 lbs

Not an inspiring sight when you see a plus sigh, but i will live and I will bounce back. Life and my weight loss journey will go on.

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Weekly Weight: 235.7 Lbs

If you are looking at the scale and thinking, wait a minute, that is the same number as last week, I congratulate you on your excellent memory. It is the same number as last week. I suppose after the more than four pounds dropped last week it should be expected that there would be little change this week. That is generally what happens with me.

More than four pounds in one week is a really big number for me, so I wasn’t expecting a big change this week.

This week i kept on keeping on. I missed a few exercises. due to rain early in the week and yesterday my brain was focused on getting a story out of my head so I shorted pretty much everything, including exercise. But I did manage to keep a tight reign on my food.

I am back in the habit of using the free version of My Fitness Pal. I have started remembering to put in my food and exercise on a daily basis and that has really kept me on track. I wanted to get back into the habit of using the free version of the app before I tried out the paid version. Since I am now in the habit I will be starting my paid month long trial (that is me paying for the app instead of the free version, no one is actually paying me to try the app) in November. I think nit will be quite helpful going into the holidays actually and I am kind of excited to get that started.

Today it wasn’t that exciting to see the same number appear on the scale but it is understandable and not something I am overly worried about. I am hoping that if I keep doing what i know I should be doing, that number will change and I will be slowly easing my way into a healthy weight number.

And that is where I really want to be.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

Last Week’s Weight: 235.7 lbs

This Week’s weight: 235.7 lbs

This week’s Change: No Change.

Lost over all: 10.3 lbs

and so we keep on. I know that I am doing the right things, I just need to have faith that the right things will eventually get me where I need to be. And if they don’t then i will go to my doctor and have a conversation about adjusting what is wrong so that I am doing right again. But for now, I understand why the scale didn’t move, even if it was disappointing. So minor disappointment but no anxiety over this week. It’s not fabulous, but it could be worse. have a great Friday everyone.

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The Daily: October 19th, 2022

Today is just a day made to be outside. I’ll admit, I am behind on my task list for the day because i started my morning off with a longer than usual walk. It was so nice not to melt into a puddle of sweat after five paces. In fact I even had to add a sweatshirt in to keep me warm. By the end of the walk I had pushed the sleeves up some because I was warm.

At that point there was even a delicate line of perspirations along my hair line. After the sweat fest this summer, today’s sweat felt like a lady delicately perspiring. Most of the summer I felt like the sweat monster set loose to unleash workout stink upon the neighborhood.

And yes, I am planning on a late afternoon walk even though I did go on a longer walk this morning. It is just that sort of day. The leaves are orange and yellow and spiraling down from the trees and rusting in piles as the wind dances through them. The air smells clean and crisp. the breeze on my face feels brisk and chilly but not skin numbingly cold. There will only be a few days like this. I know with our next rain the leaves will be a soggy sodden mass and given the lateness of it’s arrival, I suspect winter is only allowing Autumn it’s moment on stage before pouncing.

So I feel no guilt about playing truant for a bit today. I’m sure there will be plenty of days inside to come. And after not walking for two weeks it just plain feels good to stretch my legs a bit.

Tomorrow I may moan about the extra work load I have to finish, but for the moment, I regret nothing.

Oh my bangs desperately need a trim. That might be on this weekend’s to do list

Today’s look:

Primer: Figs and Rouge Satin Soft Blurring Primer

Foundation: Yensa Super Serum Silk Foundation

Bronzer: Buxom Staycation Vibes Bronzer

Blush: Illamasqua Colour Veil Gel Blusher

Highlight: Milk and Honey palette from Beauty Bakerie

Eyeshadow: AOA Saturn Palette in the Orbit collection

Mascara: Patrick Ta Major Volume Mascara

Lips: Anastasia Beverly Hills Dead Roses Matte Lipstick

Necklace: AOA Jewelry from their new arrivals collection

I haven’t used this primer in a while and I thought I’d bring it to light to decide if I want to keep it. I remember testing it out and finding it decent but strong scented. I still find it decent at blurring pores and it is still strongly scented. It goes on very wet but dries fairly quickly. The thing I don’t remember from before is how it dried. When it dries it feels oddly like a a crackly layer on the skin. Almost like when I was a kid and would have Elmer’s Glue dry on my fingers. You know that crackly feeling when you bend the finger with the dried glue on it. This primer has that feel on the skin but when you touch it with your fingers it feels soft and smooth. Once the foundation goes on top of the primer that feeling disappears. But it is slightly odd. I don’t mind it, and I like the blurring effects, but I just find that feeling a little strange. I like the serums I’ve tried from Figs&Rouge, but I am not sure I am really thrilled with this primer.

necklace, you know, without my hair covering it

I am really liking this Yensa foundation. It is definitely staying in my collection. Don’t worry, I will start trading it out as I go through the foundations for the December Declutter, but I just had to use it one more time this week. This is a good foundation, but it does need a pore filling primer underneath it to prevent it sinking into fine lines towards the end of the day. And really, with no primer under it, I only had a problem with fine lines after about 10 hours. For me this is a good work day primer. It Does fade a bit towards the end of the day so I wouldn’t expect the longevity of a long wear foundation, but it is a great one to wear all day long.

This Buxom Bronzer is an old favorite and one I reach for quite often. It is buildable and blendable and the shade is one that I can wear all year long. It actually works better in the cooler months when I am pale, but I still like it for a more natural look in summer. While I also love my Illamasqua gel blusher it is more of a summer shade. It blended well for me but I can tell it is already starting to be too deep a tone for winter wear. I may have to put this into the drawer until the summer sun comes out to darken my skin again.

Today I again reached for the pink highlighter in the palette. I planned to try another shade but just didn’t. I like the pink. All summer I reached for golden shades but right now the pink works for me. I also like that it is one of the pink shades that doesn’t have a lot of glitter. Actually it has none. or some reason pink toned highlighters seem to come with more glittery bits than I want.

Today was the fourth of the four AOA Orbit Collection Quads. Thee was a lot of variation in the palettes actually. I liked how this look turned out, but it did require some time to build up. It was not as easy as some of the other palettes in the collection. it was still nice and worked well. I do find it interesting that there was so much variation in the palettes.

the Patrick Ta mascara is, as before, a decent everyday mascara. I had to do several passes to get my lashes where I liked and I think that is why this mascara went fast. I am going to try to use the last of it tomorrow but I suspect that it will be the last day of use as the tube felt very hollow today. The multiple coats cause it to be rapidly used up. it is a mascara that I don;t mind using but that I would not go out of my way to pick up.

Finally the lipstick I would go out of my way to pick up but can never find. The ABH Matte Lipstick in Dead Roses. I’m pretty sure the shade was discontinued, which is a shame as it is one of my favorites. I will keep wearing the lippie I have until it is all gone. It is a good formula though. It is creamy and comfortable as well as long lasting. I just wish this shade hadn’t been let go. I know, I should try outer colors, and I will because it is a good formula. I just have a tendency to always pick the wrong shade of lipstick when i purchase them. Every lipstick I have purchased has been slightly off. At least my first time with the brand. If I like the formula I’ll go back for additional tries until i get the one I actually want. So I get a little salty when my favorites are discontinued. But I’ll get over it, (sob) some day.

I am really enjoying the jewelry I picked up on the Shop Miss A haul as well. This necklace may be one of my favorites. It is a little silver tree with rhinestones. the charm is better quality than the chain, but the chain is still decent. And it hasn’t made my neck break out. So there is no nickel in it. which is always good to see.

And that my darlings is me today. it is a quiet day with walks punctuated by work. I think for me this is a good day because I feel like I am finally getting back to normal. that feels really good.