On bad acne days when I’m going out, I opt to wear Dr. G’s A-Clear Sensi-AC Sunscreen. This the only lightweight sunscreen with salicylic acid that I have been able to find on the market. It feels heavier than the Innisfree Blueberry Sun Cream but it treats acne while protecting your face from the sun. Also, fragrance free and no white cast.
Hands down, this is the most lightweight sunscreen I have ever used. Apply liberally before going out–the result is soft, fragrance-free, protected skin with no white cast. Feels like water going on and washes off easily with a normal cleanser. Some sunscreens double as makeup primers–this is not one of them. This is perfect for no makeup days (which is about every day for me) and if you do wear makeup over this, give it ample time to dry beforehand.
Innisfree (as well as Nature Republic) is South Korea’s version of Origins. The company prides itself as being a proponent of skincare and makeup made with natural plant-based ingredients.
You can’t buy these (as they come with your purchase of the large-sized SK-II Treatment Essence at the brand’s counters in Seoul) but these are the best facial cotton pads on the market. Soft, lightweight, and anti-pilling–I never thought I’d rave about cotton pads. In addition, unlike using cotton balls, there is very little waste of product. And, rather than using them with quick swipes (as you would with cotton balls), you “pad across” your face using the pads, which can help prep your skin for the next product (i.e, serum, moisturizer, etc.). Don’t use SK-II products? Get a friend who does and offer to pay for the pads–they’re worth it!
So, we arrived in Seoul a couple days ago. (For all my blog followers: We’ll be living in Seoul for the next couple years due to Derrick’s job.) The flight was brutal (6-hour delay–when you’re traveling with two toddlers, that feels like a lifetime!). We’ve been living in hotels for the past two weeks (thankfully, we’re moving into our apartment tomorrow!) and these eBags packing cubes are fantastic.
Up until this past trip, my usual method of packing has been rolling up all of our clothes and putting them into clear trash bags. The reason I’ve done it this way is because I have a theory–the more TSA/luggage handlers can see (at arm’s length), the less likely they are to touch/manhandle your things (goodness knows where their disgusting gloves have been!). And, being the germaphobe that I am, I refuse to use the dressers in hotels–we keep everything in our suitcases (with the exception of our toiletries). The problem with this is that every time we grab something out of the suitcases, things get unrolled and jumbled up. If you’re on a 2-day trip, that’s not a big deal. But any longer than that (and if you’re a family of four), the disorganization becomes ridiculous.
Well, color-coded packing cubes to the rescue. With the four of us, each person was assigned a color. And with the see-through mesh, it makes it easy to see the contents of each cube. These things were a godsend–they helped keep us well-organized and, hopefully, will help you, too!
Happy and Healthy New Year! As a new mommy of two, I’ve learned quite a lot this past year and my favorite thing to ask myself has been, “How will this save me time (and energy)?” So, in the spirit of new year’s resolutions, here are my top mommy time savers:
(1) Electric Pressure Cooker–This thing is amazing and I don’t know what I would ever do without it. I use it primarily for meats, stews, and soups. A dish that would ordinarily take at least a couple hours to make with my standing at the stove (what mother has time for that?) now takes an hour with my not even being in the kitchen. I just toss everything into the pot, push a button, and go about my day.
(2) Rice Cooker–I adore my rice cooker and use it just about every day. Many people don’t realize that you can do quite a lot with a good rice cooker. Not only do I use it to make rice, I also use it to steam vegetables (as a matter of fact, since I use it primarily to cook our veggies, I often call it “the steamer”). And, like the electric pressure cooker, you set the timer and you’re free as a bird.
(3) Grocery Delivery Service–Depending on where you live, delivery fees can range from reasonable to pricey. It all comes down to how much your time is worth. Being parents of a 2-year-old and 6-month-old, Derrick and I rely heavily on this service. Sure, we’ll occasionally do the shop ourselves (if we forget to add on a few items to our weekly delivery) but we have the same reaction after every trip: “Geez, that took a whole hour?” (if one of us goes to the store) or “We are NOT going to forget to put this on the list next week!” (if the entire family goes–and, yes, it takes longer for us to get the kids ready to go out than the time we spend at the grocery store)
(4) Product Subscriptions–If you use any skincare products, I highly recommend this. Many online stores offer a subscription service where they’ll send your products to you at regular intervals. This not only saves you time but helps you to avoid the annoying situation of being in the shower and realizing all of a sudden that you’re out of your favorite facial scrub.
(5) USPS Package Pickup–Because we do most of our non-grocery-related shopping online, we also make quite a few returns via mail. If you’re like us, here’s a tip: you’re eligible for free USPS pickup service if you’re mailing at least one Priority Mail package. Just schedule your pickup online at www.usps.com.
(6) Multiple Stations–Our home has two levels and when we brought our baby girl home, we decided that we needed at least one diaper changing station on each level to save us the hassle of running up and down the stairs with every diaper change (and if you’re parents of two or multiples under the age of 2, you understand the value of this). So, we converted one of our loveseats into a changing station complete with a diaper pad, a month’s supply of diapers/wipes/baby powder, and a diaper pail. To protect the loveseat, we draped it with flat bed sheet (but you can also use a sofa slip cover). The key takeaway here is to have at least a couple “stations” for something you do often during the course of the day easily accessible to you (because minutes add up to hours and hours add up to days!).
(7) One Size Ahead–If you have small children, you know that shopping ahead can save you the aggravation of impulse buying and/or having your child(ren) go without something for a certain period of time (and when you have kids, two days without gloves in the winter can seem like an eternity!). This is why I always try to buy at least one size ahead for my children. And it’s a great system.
(8) Cook in Bulk and Freeze–This is quite common and self-explanatory.
(9) No Holiday Cards–Before we had kids, I was the stationery queen. Cards for everyone and for every occasion. No more. Other than handwritten thank-you and sympathy notes, we now use e-mail and social media to send birthday/congratulatory/holiday greetings via e-cards.
Hope you’ve found these tips to be useful–please feel free to share this post to anyone and everyone who would find it helpful!
The blood ran so fast
How long would it last?
Rushed to the hospital
Hope little by little
Then you out you came
And I cried your name
Esther, the Queen
My pretty little bean
Soon you shall be
An admirable lady
Into a woman you will grow
You’ll avoid all my mistakes
Not to mention headaches
You’ll steer clear of bullshit
Tell jerks to go suck it
Know life is too short
To hang with dolt sorts
But like me, you’ll find
A man who is kind
With whom you’ll have children
In a loving pavilion
And have grandchildren galore
What a life to adore
And remember your dear mother
Who loved you like no other
I’ve been a huge fan of aromatherapy since my first pregnancy. These days, I can’t seem to get enough of rose and eucalyptus scents. Since our master bathroom has been transformed into my spa at home, the skincare fiend in me has been trying a whirlwind of products. Here are my current favorites (and, yes, Chantecaille’s the key word here):
(1). Chantecaille Rose de Mai Oil–What I love about this face oil is that it’s a dry oil. It moisturizes without clogging pores and/or leaving your face sticky. Rose oil also has antiseptic properties (which is good news for those prone to acne).
(2). Chantecaille Rose de Mai Cream–The scent is delicious. Again, with similar properties as the oil, it’s worked beautifully with my acne-prone and combination skin. I layer this on top of the oil during daytime for extra nourishment
(3). Chantecaille Vital Essence with Arbutin–One of the reasons why I love this line so much is because, unlike many of the other brands, I see results with this one. This serum is fantastic. As with all Chantecaille products, its base is rose water. I love the retinol and arbutin combo to exfoliate and brighten skintone. After the age of 30, (forget diamonds,) retinol is a girl’s best friend!
(4). Chantecaille Gardenia Emulsion–I layer this lightweight brightening lotion on top of the arbutin serum at night and the two have yielded great results for me. What I like best about this emulsion is that it’s lightweight and non-sticky.
(5). Chantecaille Rose, Rentinol & Vitamin C Hand Cream–This hand treatment yielded INSTANT results. Since I’m rather OCD about washing my hands (having two small children will do that do you), I have stocked up on this miracle worker. This item was my entree into the Chantecaille line and it was only because of this cream that I decided to give the rest of the line a try. And what a pleasant surprise!
(6). Phyto Clarifying Detox Shampoo–For some reason, I tend to associate the smell of eucalyptus with spas. I love a good clarifying shampoo and have tried several. This is as good as any but I am absolutely in love with the scent!