Image

Hiccups

Or is it Hiccoughs I never know. Last week I posted about the struggles I was having with my anxiety and depression which I thought were compounded by the medications they had me on for my cystic acne. 
 We had a birthday party to go to this week, there was a bouncy house that I indulged in. 


Run for your lives little children

There was also silly string. My husband decided when we got home to attack me with it. We have sword fights and nerf wars and silly string battles on a regular basis but that night after spending a day with people I didn’t know well and being very on edge It threw me into a full blown (hyperventilating, sobbing, convulsing, deer in the headlights) panic attack. It’s hilarious in retrospect, it was confusing and frustrating at the time and all I could think of were those stupid “triggered” memes.
Surprizingly after that night I was feeling upbeat enough to work on a project over Memorial Day but… it didn’t cooperate. It’s the tiny rocking chair I got while in Michigan. One of the screw heads broke off while disassembling it. It was rusted through and needed to be replaced anyway unfortunately, now we get to dig a broken screw out of the leg. It isn’t a huge deal but it put the breaks on that. 


It’s going to take some more finagling.

But it’s not all bad 

First look at this face!!! My skin has never looked better. It feels really raw and dry but it looks amazing. 


Ummm #nofilter? And no makeup and if I’m going to toot my own horn the library is looking pretty good too. 

 Secondly  my dermatologist confirmed that either the accutane OR (given that aunt flo decided to visit in the middle of my cycle despite the little pills telling her there’s no room at the inn) the birth control  are compounding my mental health issues and that it’s definitely time to stop. 

And the angels sang

Last I’ve decided to take a huge leap of faith in myself. I’ll have more about that mystery in later posts but I’m already incredibly excited about what is to come. 
Oh… Okay… maybe just a little hint 

Advertisements
Image

Not worth it

In the last few weeks I’ve started and discarded about four blogs. Every time I start one I decide it’s not worth it. My excuse? Accutane.

In case you didn’t know I’ve been on accutane since April of this year to sort out some incredibly painful cystic acne.

How is it going? Great as far as my skin is concerned, everything else? Not so much

Accutane has been known to exacerbate anxiety and depression, both of which I have,  both of which I am unmedicated for. I have absolutely no objections to medication. I have had counseling and have slowly learned to live (cautiously) with my anxiety and recognize my depression and (let’s say) work away from it. 

Unfortunately I’ve been finding that harder and harder to do. Panic attacks are getting more and more frequent. I barely want to leave the house let alone get out of bed and the fear that it’s not just the medicine exacerbating it is overwhealming. 

I went off the medication both when we went to Orlando and for most of the time we were in Michigan but being with close friends or family I tend not to worry about my anxiety as much which in turn makes my anxiety better (if that made sense to you, you might have anxiety) 

So I went off it for a few days this week as well just to see what it’s like at home not surrounded by friends. Actually I primarily did it because I had the worst headache I’ve ever had in my life (that’s saying something) brought on by dehydration which was in turn brought on in part due to the medication. Luckily my husband got me rehydrated relatively quickly and within 12 hours I was feeling quite well again. Within two days of not taking the medicine I was back to rummaging around in my craft room looking for something to do. On day three I had made plans for longer term projects. Something I haven’t done in a while. I’m only retrospectively realizing that it may be due to exacerbated anxiety and depression that I’ve not started any major projects (ok to be fair I took two days off when I did the bathroom too) or finished any small ones (and that bathroom mirror still isn’t hung) even regular household chores which I normally find comfort in the routine of have fallen by and become utterly neglected. 

Unfortunately on the night of day three I dutifully took my dose of medicine. I have yet to be told by my dermatologist when my end date will be. Every time I ask she just avoids direct answers. I cannot go another month on this let alone three. My skin has been wonderful with it but eventually the side effects are simply too much. At this point I don’t care if the cysts come back worse than before, I miss myself more than I like my new skin. 

Here is a cat to cheer you up.

Image

(Parentheticals)

I’m writing this in hopes that I’ll find an Internet connection somewhere out here soon. But for now here are a few updates. We made it to Michigan. Mostly we made it through Ohio because that state always seems never ending. 


(Just waiting for the children of the corn or possibly an old timey baseball team, you just never know in Ohio) 

We’re currently in southern Michigan visiting Mr. Smith’s family. We checked out the Dark Horse Brewery (apparently they’re a big deal) in Marshall Michigan as well as the aforementioned (here) Realm of Creativity. 


(The Dark Horse’s mug club)

We wandered around their quaint (that sounds sardonic, it’s not, it really is quaint and wonderful) downtown area and Boardwalk. We caught a lot (I mean a lot) of Pokemon.


See, quaint…

I (as predicted) got sunburnt but my accutane treatment is progressing wonderfully. 

Texture, swelling, redness, swelling, scaring, swelling, pain caused by the swelling and inflammation…really just the swelling is disappearing and it’s so nice. 

Today we’re headed to the little town of Battle Creek to check out their down town and yet another brewery (apparently Michigan has over 300) then maybe Kalamazoo and Bell’s or maybe the Binder park zoo… We’re going to see how the grass grows, it’s vacation we do what we want. 

Later this week we’re headed to the Fred Meijer gardens in Grand Rapids to wander around and attend a wedding then it’s farther north to see my family and hit the lake shore. In this case The Lake is Lake Michigan and the dunes at silver lake. Our summer of traveling is winding down but this trip has just begun. 

Image

A long absence, and a long post

Well it’s been a while.

I have several ongoing projects that are currently on hold either due to upcoming plans, budget restrictions or,  the weather (and by weather I mean 95+ temperatures)

But I might as well do an update on my accutane experiences. So it’s been about 7weeks since I started and so far relatively good. 

My skin feels amazing by comparison to how it used to. No inflammation. No pain. Very few cysts, and the ones I do have are small and pretty painless. 

It’s taking a bit of getting used to. I’ve always had combination skin verging on oily, particularly in the summer. This summer it’s nothing but dry. All of my usual products which generally have some kind of gentle resurfacing acid in them (glycolic, lactic, mandelic, ascorbic) absolutely burn my skin. 

I’ve had to completely overhaul my skin care routine. It’s actually kind of fun considering I do this for a living yet I am generally stuck in my ways and will only ever change out one thing in my routine at a time, and rarely at that. So here are some things I’ve found particularly helpful.  

First The Essentials


Even if I don’t put anything else on after washing I mist my skin with Jurlique’s rose water balancing skin mist, and put on generous amounts of First Aid Beauty’s (F.A.B.) Ultra Repair Cream. Even before I started accutane I adored the rose water mist for its soothing quality, but now it’s an absolute essential. Ultra repair cream which I have recomended to countless people with dry and irritated skin has been a life saver for both my face and body. 

The Cleansing Essentials


Now that my skin is dry not only do I have to hydrate it more but I have to be more meticulous with exfoliation. Unfortunately because it’s sensitive on top of that I can’t go my usual route of chemical exfoliation. For my face I’ve been using a gentle powder exfoliate from Farmacy it’s a combination of enzyme exfoliate with gentle physical exfoliation. Gentle enough to use weekly without any irritation to my newly sensitive skin. For every day makeup cleansing I’ve been using F.A.B.’s Milk oil cleanser. 

The skin on my body has always been a bit on the dry side it’s just a bit dryer now, but I’ve not had the sensitivity I’ve experienced on my face. So I don’t have to worry as much about over exfoliation. I’ve been using a scrub from target. It isn’t foamy but does have little exfoliation grains in it, and in conjunction with an exfoliating glove from eco tools it works great for everyday cleansing. If I need an extra scrub I’ll use (not pictured) Peter Thomas  Roth’s Irish Moor Mud cleanser. I can’t use it for my face anymore but it gives an excellent chemical exfoliation to the body when used in conjunction with the glove. 

As noted by the presence of Dry Bar’s Sake Bomb nourishing shampoo and conditioner even my hair and scalp have been dry. This is the first set of hair products I’ve tried so the verdict is still out on it.

Pampering


 I might have a slight mask addiction. I always liked sheet masks. But as you can probably tell I am now obsessed. My all time favorites are Farmacy, Dr.Jart water replenishment as well as Sephora’s lip masks. They are all made of this hydrogel material that is absolutely amazing. 

The Splurge


Tatcha is hella expensive. But oh my gosh does my skin love it now. Their luminous dewy skin mist is something I never thought I would like. Dewy was like a dirty word when I had oily skin. Now spraying that on my face feels like taking a dunk in a pool. It feels absolutely marvelous. And their Indigo soothing triple  Recovery cream I can’t say enough about it… 

Anyway… Sorry I took a long absence… Then I wrote a really long post, I’m actually going to be out of town this coming weekend so I likely won’t get a post up then either… But I’ll give you a hint where I’ll be 


I’ve got a train to catch…


Clearing things up

I’ve been working a lot of nights so I haven’t had the chance to do many projects around the house, nights throw my whole game off. 

But much like last week I have some skin stuff to go over. 

This week I started on accutane. I’ve struggled with deep, cystic, nodule, acne for a very long time. I thought “well maybe I’ll grow out of it.” “Maybe it will at least get better.” But I won’t (my father still struggles with it) and it hasn’t, if anything it’s gotten worse.

I’m sure that has to do with genetics and the hormonal changes that have come with age. 

Luckily I’ve never been self conscious about my acne. I was never bullied, I’m perfectly fine going out without any makeup on. For me   the main problem isn’t the way it looks or emotionally feels , it’s the way it physically feels. Anyone who has had cystic acne knows what I mean. It’s a terrible inflammatory response. I’ve had ones swell to the point I couldn’t move my lips properly and I’ve been getting really annoyed at being so reliant on anti-inflamatories. 


This is before birth control or accutane 


5 days into accutane 1 1/2 months into birth control 

So on to accutane. I’ve only been on it for 5 days and I’m already starting to feel the effects. 

It started the other night when I absent mindedly scratched my arm in my sleep, just the act of doing so woke me up and my arm continued to burn for the next half hour 

That’s how dry and sensitive my skin has become in such a short period of time. Since then I’ve had to completely reassess my skin care routine which is both strange and oddly satisfying. Strange because I’ve only ever had one skin type and that’s combination-oily. I have dryer areas of my skin but for the most part it’s pretty normal verging on oil prone,  at least my face is. My body has always leaned towards the dry side which is probably why I felt the effects more quickly there. 

And it’s satisfying because this is what I do for a living. I’ve had a pretty set skin care routine for a good long while now, and though I’ve introduced a few new things here and there and eliminated others I’ve never had to start from scratch. 

It’s going to take me a while to figure out exactly what will work but luckily there are lots of resources open to me from the blogging community, my dermotologist and of course my coworkers and other peers in the world of skincare. 

It’s not all itchiness and cracked lips and dry skin though. Even though I’ve only been on it a few days I’ve had a few little pimples appear overnight and be gone within a few hours. I’m not prone to little pimples all I get are gigantic deep ones that bever come to a head  so apparently  it’s clearing something out. And I’m already discovering that my inflammation has lessened. 

One thing is for sure I will definitely be taking the advice  I gave myself last week and slathering on the sun screen. 

Also I’ll be sure to give you guys updates of my progress. 

Image

Sunshine 

I hadn’t intended to do a blog this week, I have two furniture projects in the works but wanted to wait til they were done to post but I thought I might do a little life update. 

  
(Sneak peak, I’ve also had a couple updates on my Facebook if you want to follow me there) 

I don’t really talk much about work on here. I had started this blog to talk a bit about skin care and beauty but I get enough of it in my job So I’ve avoided it to focus on projects around the house.  But today I was reminded that I probably should talk about it occasionally. 

My top inquiry is always, and has always been hyper pigmentation. And here I was outside, with fresh scars, and no sunscreen.

This is what I got in return for that 

   
  

Hyper pigmentation can come in many forms but it all has the same cause; malanocytes. Those are the cells in your body that produce melanin which is the substance in your body that gives your hair,  skin, and eyes their color. Melanocytes are “activated” by ultraviolet light and basically act as a natural sun block. You can see in the picture above how my sunburn is concentrated around the areas where my scars are, these are the melanocytes in action producing melanin to protect that new skin. 

Some times these melanocytes get all clumped together for no reason at all, because of scaring, or because of hormones in the case of a “pregnancy mask”and create hyper pigmentation. Sometimes they clump by genetics and you get freckles or birth marks. 

In the case of scaring you are exposing new skin to the sun and your melanocytes are running to the rescue to protect it from harsh UV rays. Yay for melanin, boo for cancer causing UV rays. In fact some forms of skin cancer occur when your malanocytes become mutated due to those UV rays. 

 I was only in direct sunlight for maybe 10minutes and not all at once. However I spent a good two hours in the shade. Yes you can get a sunburn in the shade, you can get a sunburn in winter, you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day. 

So. Wear sunscreen. And listen to your own good advice. 

Also get a good blender… This is why I’m getting nothing done this week, because it’s strawberry season and I have a new blender. Behold… 

  

Image

Friday (Kinda) Favorites

This has been one of the most chaotic weeks of my life… (Said the woman with no kids) So instead of some fancy tutorial or renovation blog I’m just going to show you what things have been making my crazy life a little easier and more relaxing of late.

I’ll start with what helped me out a bit with my (thank goodness it’s over) bathroom remodel

This marvelous triangular brush is Ah-May-Zing. I (and my cat strangely) have a thing for brushes. If you have the right one it does most of the work for you. This is true with makeup and painting, and this brush was excellent for getting tight edges around tile work and molding.

Can I just say “Why didn’t I think of this?” These shower curtain hooks are genius. I love the little metal hooks with the rolling cylinders at the top but I hate the way they pinch shut. I also hate trying to get a liner and a curtain on them, especially when the curtain doesn’t have grommets. Enter a sturdy metal double hook. One side for the liner one side for the fabric shower curtain.

Ok on to pampering awesomeness, I’ve needed this as stressed out as my week has been.

I’ve been trying out some new cleansers, and new cleansing methods, I’ve used a Clarisonic and purity face wash as my evening cleanse for the last year and a half but with everything in my bathroom being packed away in boxes I downsized to these little sample sizes and a Konjac sponge. The sponge has been absolutely amazing, especially in the morning for a quick cleanse/rinse and the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is wonderful once you get used to the somewhat odd smell. Dr. Brandt’s Microdermabrasion is absolutely wonderful as well. I generally steer clear of microderm partly because my skin is very sensitive and because with a Clairisonic I’m getting manual exfoliation on a regular basis already. Unlike most microdermabrasion washes this has a very creamy and hydrating effect and is not at all drying or irritating even on very sensitive skin like mine.

My everyday makeup drawer (which you may have seen here) got an overhaul as well. I managed to weed out some product and find room for my everyday skin care, which is nice because it gets used even on days when I don’t use makeup.

First off is my Mario Badescu Rosewater spray, I use that after every wash simply because it’s very soothing. Then in the mornings I just pop on some Renewed Hope in a Jar from Philosophy and call it good. It works great as a standalone moisturizer and works wonderfully under makeup. As you can tell by the amount of product in there, my night time routine is a little more extensive. After my rosewater spray I go in with Clinique Smart Serum… I’m not a big fan of Clinique skin care, it’s always been very harsh on my skin but I absolutely adore this serum. Then I go in with my all-time favorite night cream Korres Wild Rose Night time Brightening Sleeping Facial (Believe it or not that name used to be longer). Those two things have been really great at helping my acne scars to fade, helping minimize pore size and improve tone and texture. Just as a testament this is about my 5th jar of Korres and my 2nd bottle of smart serum. They are definitely repurchasing products.

I do have a couple of new things in there one is Dr Brandts Needles No More… OMG!… It works… It possible works to well. I put it on my smile lines a couple nights in a row I went to work and low and behold, I had no little makeup creases in my smile lines anymore. So maybe it doesn’t work to well, but frankly I like my smile lines, those are the good kind of wrinkles. It shows that I don’t always have resting bitch face.

I’ve also been trying out Nars latest foundation … this is supposed to be a post about favorites… so I’m not going to talk about Nars latest foundation

A few new things in the makeup department too, Urban Decay’s Naked Flushed in Native. I know I’ve bashed UD before… and I stand by not liking their eye shadow pallets. But this face trio is actually pretty wonderful. As is the wonderful Stila Window to the soul pallet that my bf got me (because he is just that amazing)

And if you were wondering The necklace in my featured image is from Etsy Shop owner VintageWonderlandGA who makes custom jewelry from vintage pieces. And of course the display piece was made by me a couple of weeks ago for this post here. 

Let’s move on to my favorite things that I don’t have. Like for example ….

this ENTIRE ISLE at target… I mean really, have you been there lately? They have chalk paint!!!! Target needs to pay me (in product) for marketing… OMG pillow forms, seriously I just noticed that, I legitimately need those. Going grocery shopping is so hazardous to my wallet now.

Also my new bathroom needs a mascot and I think it shall be this little guy

He can be found at ModCloth if you were wondering.

Ok thank you for reading my random ramblings, I’m hoping to have something closer to my usual up some time next week (an excuse to go to target?) since I’ll have a more manageable schedule.