Misguided Musical Ambitions & Completely Rational Musical Love

Once upon a time, around the age of 11 to be precise, I thought I was a lyrical genius. Despite not playing an instrument of any kind or the ability to read music, I thought that my mildly good voice and affinity for writing were the essential ingredients to making me a musical sensation. I will not out the friend who supported this unattainable dream that she and I could be the new M2M (yes, I understand that knowing what we know now that was not a very high musical aspiration; but at the time, M2M was pretty freaking cool). I kept our song lyrics in my binder in the hopes that people at my new school would somehow happen to notice and I would be able to humbly explain how cool I was. HA!

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This passion for music, although it led to some misguided notions, also led me to be that person who (when she finally got an iPod c. 2009) constantly had head phones in her ears. In college, I would listen to my iPod (RIP) all day long while riding my bicycle to and from class, singing (albeit quietly) “Put Your Records On” by Corinne Bailey Rae and “Bicycle Race” by Queen shamelessly. In public. Totally fine admitting that now.

I used music to get in to character for plays and rehearsals and block out the world. I use music to take me back in time to happy moments of my life like in my carpool where we would sing all the way to school and all the way home. My friend and I would even harmonize and sing duets. There were no musical boundaries. Music takes me back to the heartbreaks where I would listen to one song on repeat over and over again and make it my anthem. To this day, “Gravity” by Sara Bareilles induces feelings of embarrassment at just how heartbroken I was over someone who did not care a lick about me. If you are not familiar with it, “Gravity” is a horribly heart-wrenching, beautiful masterpiece and I highly recommend it.

Because I now work in an office job where I have little to no privacy, but get phone calls fairly frequently so I can’t always be plugged into headphones. I have gotten into a habit of not listening to music, which quite honestly, depresses me a little. Then one day, I’ll turn on Pandora stations and find music I’ve never heard before. Or Brandi Carlisle comes out with the new album, By the Way, I Forgive You that I listen to while getting two fillings at the dentists office. My love resurrects from the pit of silence and all the obsession bubbles up to the surface and asks me how I ever survived silence. This has happened more than once now, so I’m sure it will happen again, but at this moment, I am blissfully enveloped by The Wailin’ Jennys “By Way of Sorrow” on their Pandora station.

Now that I have less time to discover new music, I wonder how you are discovering new artists and music. The radio only seems to play the same 100 songs over and over again and most of them sound the same. What are your anthems? What song has touched your soul?

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Fall Declutter

When I lived in Los Angeles, space constraints and frequent moves made it impossible to hang onto things I didn’t care about. Since coming home to San Diego, I have more space. Not only do I have more space, but I am reminded every week at family dinner that I actually have two spaces because my childhood bedroom is still not cleaned out. Does anyone else have this problem?
So, I’m working towards the declutter. Here are my steps towards a clutter free closet.
1.) Recycle anything that is too destroyed to wear.
  • Denim can go to Blue Jeans Go Green. Bonded Logic turns denim into insulation for homes and they, in turn, donate a portion of their products to build homes for those in need for charities such as Habitat For Humanity. You can donate at Madewell or send in your items.
  • Cut up t-shirts, ratty towels and sweatshirts into cleaning fabrics. This will allow you to get the most out of the fabric and use fewer paper towels!

2.) Sell anything that is in excellent condition, high quality, or high-end label to a thrift store or online.

3.) Anything that can’t be sold that is in good condition, donate!
  • Salvation Army
  • Goodwill
  • Father Joe’s Village
  • San Diego Rescue Mission
  • Women’s shelters
  • Animal shelters (they need towels and blankets the most, but sometimes have thrift stores of their own)
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Image courtesy of Audible.
I’m hoping that once the clutter is gone, it will become clearer what I’d like to do with this space and how I’d like to change things around to feel more like my own space. I recently read Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, which has really helped to inspire me. It’s also really helped me to realize that some of my sentimental habits are a littttttle overboard. For example, all those tchotchkes I have from Bar Mitzvahs and Sweet Sixteens and college: why do I have them?
However, Kondo emphasizes strict adherence to all of her rules. I’m really not going to do that. I am going to have more stuff than Marie Kondo and that is ok with me.
How about you? Have you read Kondo’s book? Are you an organization maniac or a hoarder? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
PS. Kondo’s book is now available as a manga, which sounds like so much more fun.

Easy Ways to Enjoy the Sun More this Labor Day Weekend

Summer in San Diego is one of my favorite seasons. While it’s perfect year round (yes, we’re spoiled), summer is when people sit out on their patios, have barbecues and soak up the delicious sunshine. Growing up and living in San Diego, I am a verifiable sunshine addict and I always loved that last weekend of summer: Labor Day. In honor of this joyous end to the season, here are some of my favorite tips for soaking in that vitamin D.

  1. Get outside and into the water! Find something new ! I am a personal fan of sitting by the pool, kayaking and paddle boarding.
  2. Protect your hair! Too much sun can turn your hair dry and brittle and damage the color. Wear a hat and/or use a leave in conditioner with UV protection. Here are some of my favorite picks:
  3. Slather on that SPF! Going back to school or work is a lot less fun if you’ve been burned. My favorite sunscreen this summer is another pick from Sun Bum, their Original 30 SPF Lotion.I used it while I was in Arizona and I can honestly tell you, I have never found a better sunscreen. It’s my favorite because it doesn’t feel like sunscreen, but like a lotion. None of the oily mess I’ve experienced with so many alternatives! Plus this one is BPA & paraben free, vegan, and Made in the USA.
  4. Sunglasses- I haven’t always been good about this one, but as I’ve gotten older, my eyes have gotten more and more sensitive and I find myself buying more sunglasses. Try this pair from Maven in San Diego.

Sunglasses from Maven SD

Love that sun and embrace your Labor Day Weekend, but make sure to take breaks from the heat! No matter how you protect yourself, too much sun can be damaging!

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Exfoliating with Trish McEvoy

Hello hello!

I am sitting here, close to but not in, a super sunny window that faces the sea, just dying to be outside in the sun. The sky is an epic shade of blue today and I can see the trees rustles in the ocean breeze, no rhyme intended.
And while I’m dying to be out in the water, I’m reminded of what I’m here to talk to you about! Sometimes exfoliators are a little harsh and sandy, so I tend to be pretty picky. One that I can recommend for sensitive skin is the Trish McEvoy’s Beta Hydroxy Pads Daily Exfoliator.
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These pads gently exfoliate your skin, so this is a perfect solution for people with more sensitive skin that don’t want a harsh exfoliating wash or have trouble with redness after exfoliating. This product is refreshing and easy to use on the daily. I swipe across my face and neck in the morning after cleansing and before makeup.
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However, I would like to include that this product doesn’t replace my cleansing exfoliator that I use once a week. It doesn’t quite have the exfoliating power I feel I need on a weekly basis, but it’s a good supplement for daily use without hurting my skin. I also love these when my skin is acting up. If I’m having an issue with a breakout or some problem spots, these are the perfect addition to my routine to help exfoliate the problem area without damaging the skin.
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So, while I recommend these for problem or sensitive skin, I’m not sure that I would invest in having them for the every day if your skin is generally normal. I keep them on hand for when I’m having skin issues or for convenience when I travel.
What’s your favorite exfoliator?

Learning to Love my Hair with Aveda

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Oh, hair. I do love you. But I want to change you. I want you to look amazing and perfect and I know I’m constantly trying to alter you, but I’m going to try to take better care of you.

How am I going to do this? Here are my commitments to my hair: first, I’m drinking more water. Drinking 8 cups of water a day will help your hair to grow stronger and longer faster. Hydration is key to a healthy body. Next up, biotin supplements. This vitamin is supposed to help your hair, skin and nails grow healthily! Other elements I’m looking into and will let you know about: collagen supplements and lavender. Both are supposed to help hair growth.

And for my outside hair health, I’m washing my hair less frequently with better quality products. Washing your hair less frequently not only saves water, but helps keep the natural healthy oils on your scalp. Also, if you color your hair, it helps your color to last so much longer.

For products, I’m using Aveda. I was turned in to Aveda by my amazing stylist. I’ve been with her for nearly a year now, so she’s gotten to know my hair and how I treat it. The last time I saw her, we talked about how I’m trying to grow my hair long again, but also how I would like to pump up my hair health and volume. She had one recommendation: Aveda Pure Abundance.

Since I’ve added the Aveda Pure Abundance shampoo and conditioner and Aveda Thickening Tonic, my hair not only looks and feels fuller, but when I brush my hair, I’m coming away with far fewer strands on the brush. This means less shedding. Girls, you know what I’m talking about. When you leave long strands of your own hair on your jacket, pillow, fella, etc. The worst.  



How I Use Aveda

I try to only wash my hair every few days, which typically amounts to 3 times a week (yes, I shower in between).  I do brush my hair everyday to make sure it doesn’t tangle and to keep the oils in line.

I apply the Aveda Pure Abundance to my roots only and lather it up. I love massaging this into my hair because FYI everything Aveda makes smells like Heaven in a bottle. Pure Abundance smells like jasmine, ylang ylang and peppermint. I want to live in these scents. And the key ingredients are natural too, acacia gum and kaolin clay.

Rinse and follow with the Aveda Pure Abundance Conditioner. This one I apply opposite the shampoo and only apply to the length of my hair (unless my roots are really tangled, e.g. I’ve used hair spray).

*there is a different feel to Aveda’s Pure Abundance hair system in that you don’t get the detergent type clean some non-natural cleansers will give you. It may take a little time to adjust.

When I get out of the shower, I gently brush my hair tips to roots and then towel dry a bit so that strands are loosened and there no dripping. I spray the Thickening Tonic all over and style however I would normally, usually a blow dry.
Why Aveda?

Aveda is committed to using natural and plant based products. So not only do their products work, but they’re far less harmful to your hair than harsh detergents. They also contain no parabens, phthalates or sodium lauryl sulfate.

Aveda is also committed to green initiatives and does not test their products on animals. The company also has several initiatives to help give back to different communities and causes they believe in, like breast cancer research and community partnerships with their growers.

Give it a try, I highly recommend it. What shampoo or collection is your favorite? Why do you use it?

 

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Flawless Skin with Laura Mercier


There’s nothing better than flawless looking skin. Unfortunately my skin is not perfect. I have dark circles under my eyes when I don’t get enough sleep and a few little scars I want to hide, and of course, I feel like I’m always having to hide an irritating blemish. On top of that, my skin is often a little too oily or shiny looking post make-up.

That’s where Laura Mercier comes in, perfecting the appearance of my skin and creating the perfect palette for my makeup. Or, as is often the case, making my face look perfect as if I’m not even wearing any makeup. Laura Mercier is always the beauty counter that is trying to make you look like the best version of yourself, which is what I love so much about the brand.

My two favorite products that I most want to share are the Laura Mercier Secret Concealer and Laura Mercier Invisible Loose Setting Powder.


The Laura Mercier Secret Concealer is my most trusted side kick. I can use it on my trouble spots and feel like I’m not wearing anything on my face.

I’ve tried many different concealers in my life. In fact, concealer was the first makeup product I ever owned (excluding glitter lip gloss: hello, millennial kid). I always found concealers to be heavier than I wanted or not enough coverage, never in between. I also had trouble with knowing my shade and would often end up with something too yellow. I stopped using concealer all together for a while until a Los Angeles makeup artist used this one on me. She applied the tiniest amount to a trouble spot, it was covered and the color was great. Most importantly, it wasn’t cakey and didn’t get cakey later. And it’s not dry but super moisturizing!

I’m sorry to say “cakey,” but really, there is no other way to describe the feeling of a thick, frosting like makeup sitting on your skin. It looks gross, not to mention the fact that it draws attention to the very spots you want ignored!

Laura Mercier Secret Concealer isn’t like that. It seamlessly blends into your skin. And you don’t need very much! I apply the smallest amount after foundation with a clean lipstick brush or my (just washed) ring finger.

Side note: the ring finger part is really important. Don’t use your index fingers!


Next up: Laura Mercier’s Invisible Loose Setting Powder. I have some shine. So when I put on my makeup, I want to soften the appearance of shine and have a matte finish. Once I finish my face base (foundation, concealer, fill in my brows) I add a light brushing of this and I am good to add color and mascara or walk out the door.

Now let me tell you how I found this powder. I saw it on the bathroom counters of two separate, flawlessly beautiful friends who told me they swore by it. These women don’t even know each other. I was slow to pick it up and how I wish I had gotten it earlier! A little tip: this comes in a loose powder and a pressed powder  I prefer the loose powder because a.) you have better control of how much powder you’re picking up with your brush and b.) you never have to deal with a brocken pressed palette. Am I the only one this happens to? Literally, this happens to all my favorite products.

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Product Love: Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion

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When it comes to foundation, my biggest priority is caring for my skin while hiding any imperfections. Anything that is going to sit on my skin all day needs to have SPF, and that’s what brought me to Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion.

I walked up to the Nordstrom beauty counter one day and told the sales associate that I was looking for a light foundation with SPF and she got all fresh eyed and beaming when she told me about this product. Not only does this foundation blend to my exact skin tone, but it also protects and treats my skin. That means, when I put this foundation on, I’m reducing redness, tightening up my pores and reducing the visibility of dark spots.  Not only that, but this cushion is SPF 50.

Come again? Yes, SPF 50.

Now what does this mean: cushion? When you open this blush pink compact, there’s a round flat sponge. You open a separator and there is the cushion. It opens like a powder foundation, but instead it’s a liquid. Dab the sponge on the cushion and gently pat the product into your skin.

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I always notice an immediate reduction in the appearance of oil on my skin, which is HUGE for me. I love love love it. When using Dior Capture Totale Dreamskin Perfect Skin Cushion I always dab a tiny bit of concealer on any trouble spot and on any dark circles, since the coverage is so light and sheer. The texture of it is lovely, though. There’s no heavy cakiness, just sheer, moisturizing coverage.

A couple other details you ought to know: Dior is picking up their game when it comes to reducing waste. So when you buy this product, you’re also buying the compact. However, when you buy  the refills (which come with a new sponge, fyi) it’s about half the price of the first time you purchased it. And pro tip: when you’ve finished with one side of the cushion and think you’re out, flip it over! There’s more product on the other side!

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