Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sonoma Weekend

We live a good life. And anytime I need to remind myself of that, I just have to look back through any posts I've labeled "California." The Golden State has blessed us with landscape, sun and fruits of the vine.  This is a quick snapshot of a little jaunt we all took up to wine country.  We even found a Beyonce chicken at Kaz!

Making friends with the staff at VJB - and handsome to boot!

The grill was open for the weekend and with a gorgeous glass of red, this prosciutto flat bread was close to heaven from the brick oven.

Gelato? Why not? We're on a mini-vacation!

As if the wine, pizza and gelato weren't enough, the Good Lord saw fit to throw in some blue sky.

What's your favorite pick-me-up?

Monday, April 29, 2013

Returning to the proactiv Routine

The short history of my skin goes something like this:

Clearasil>>OxyClean>>Differin>>Doxycycline>>RetinA>>Accutane>>Accutane>>Accutane>>ProActiv>>Drug store ProActiv alternative>>Covering it with makeup>>ProActiv+

For half my life, I've either had painful (physical and emotional) acne or been on treatments for it.  I was hopeful in college that Accutane would cure me forever, but three rounds later and the effects only lasted a few months after each round, I felt defeated.  I nearly gave up.

I used proactiv when my Sister-in-Law gave me some travel  bottles she hadn't used.  It worked where Accutane failed.  My skin was the clearest it has been in my adult life and I was actually getting compliments! But the cost.  But the bleached towels.  But the hassle of ordering.

For the past several years I tried a litany of drug store remedies trying to recreate proctiv's effects.  Witch Hazel toner, Apricot Scrub, Clean & Clear, Neutrogena, Cetaphil - nothing worked.  Witch Hazel felt great but I wasn't seeing my skin clear.  Neutrogena stung like a mother-you-know-what. Cetaphil made me feel the most natural and yet my skin was only marginally better.

So I gave in last week.  I ordered proactiv again.  I'm too old for this horse hockey acne and I'm ready to commit to taking  care of my skin even if it means ongoing maintenance for the rest of my life. I used to think there was a cure, and now I know the only thing I can do is manage the symptoms. Turns out they came out with *new and improved* proactiv+ so I'm giving it a whirl.

Neither proactiv or proactiv+ knows who I am, and I paid for my own products. This is not a sponsored post. They do encourage taking pictures though and I wanted documented evidence of how it helped me so that when I get lazy and want to give up, I can remind myself why I need to cleanse, tone and moisturize. And cleanse, tone and moisturize. 

Here's where I started one week ago with a clean face before starting any proactiv+ treatments:

And here I am one week later after a full week's worth treatment including 5 Mark Reducing Pads and the Under Eye Brightening Serum.

I think I look a little more red in the second picture, but I had gotten some sun over the weekend.  I think where you can really tell the difference is in closeups on my forehead and chin.

Have you had a long skin care journey? What are your favorite products?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ollie in a Box

There's a ton of fun right at the 1:11 mark.  If you watch the whole minute and thirty seconds, you'll see how we entertain ourselves on a week night and why animals/babies only ever need cardboard boxes for toys.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kevin Pollak and the Punchline

I can devour hours upon hours of media from the comfort of my couch. I binge on Netflix series, my Google reader, and e-reader.  I've lost several hours of my life to You Tube cat clips.

And yet, there's something about live entertainment.  The tangible presence of the artist making the entertainment right before your very eyes. You can't pause it, rewind it, skip ahead. You must be in the moment and experience it as it comes. You become the impressed upon, rather than the remote god impressing the entertainment with your perception of value and time.

That's an awfully philosophical way to say that while I'm a couch potato consuming entirely too much media, I also really enjoy live entertainment.  With the terrible news week (though let's face it, every week is a terrible news week, sometimes it's just more terrible closer to home), I was watching a few clips of Kevin Pollak's impersonations.  We saw him perform live at the Punchline (great, intimate SF comedy venue!) a few nights before the Marathon Bombings.  It reminded me that there are times to laugh and cry.  And by golly will he make it a time to laugh.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Napping on the Job

The biggest perk of working from home in my book:

I adore my furry space heater office mate!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Dining Room Progress

In the musical number Be Our Guest from the beloved Beauty and the Beast, Lumiere croons about life being so unnerving for a servant who isn't serving.  Whether its because I actually identify with my furniture, or because I went a Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long at the Castro theater, I believe the same to be true of my dining room table.  It was just sitting there sad and lonely in a room not fit for purpose.

Then the figurative Belle walked into our lives.  Stools, a rug and tulips transformed the dining room and I started to see a little something there that wasn't there before.

It may also have something to do with getting better at the white balance on my camera.

The table was joined by a pair of World Market bar stools that I found on Craigslist.  I love the feminine, antique feel to juxtapose the modern table design.

They also echo the patterns in the rug, something I didn't realize until I was editing the photos.

The rug is from Ikea and something I hemmed and hawed about for some time.  It was actually hard to convince Mr. P about it because I was so back and forth on it. We decided to give it a try.  We could always take it back.

But now the flat weave southwest feel has grown on me faster than the hairy Beast grew on Belle.

The wood, oh the glorious slices of trees, will always be first in my heart though.  The room really is being designed to let the wood sing.

Our extended plan is to move the two World Market stools to the table ends and fill in the middle with four Ikea Ingolf stools in black.  Until then, a pair of Ikea stools I Craigslisted for $30 are holding it's place and we can bring them out if we're squeezing a large dinner party around.

More to come on the commissioning process and why I have to withold my wholehearted recommendation.

Monday, April 1, 2013

And Now for the Front

It's been nearly a month since the haircut that made me feel like a boy and I think I've come to terms with it more fully.  That I've been asked for stylist recommendations certainly helps with my overall outlook.  Though, of course, I cannot recommend this stylist when a trim turned into a six inch chop involving buzz clippers.

The number one thing I have grown to love is the 15 minute blow dry/style routine.  Easy peasy.

Or maybe it's wearing dangly earrings that get top billing.  Earrings tend to drown in longer locks, but with this short do, they're a ton of fun.

While I was at it, I figured a fresh social media profile picture might be nice too. A little crippety crop later of my favorite selfie and presto chango.