A Few Cute Things

These are random things I stumbled upon this weekend, as I alternated between cable news  (Ugh) and escapist TV.

Temps were -7 without windchill on Saturday.

These Fabletics leggings feature Powerhold technology (whatever it is, I want it), trendy rose gold and back zippers on the lower leg, which is a feature I love.

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They would look great with this jacket:

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And this gym bag:

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Sadly, these cozy slipper are sold out in my size:

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But this cute tee from J. Crew Factory isn’t! It’s called “Party Animals.”

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Lastly, this is a huge splurge. I was lucky enough to get this completely frivolous item for Christmas, and it was perfect – something I loved but even I wouldn’t spring for it.

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The scent is nice, the texture is perfect and the container is oddly satisfying to hold in your hand. What a treat to use. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Boring Tasks of the Weekend

Yesterday I did some boring but satisfying tasks, perfect for a cold Sunday.

These included:

  • Writing down birthdays, vacations and important dates (like when Trixie needs to be picked up from camp 400 miles away) in the Lilly Pulitzer 2018 agenda I received for Christmas
  • Meal prep for the week. I roasted red/yellow/orange peppers, as well as two heads of cauliflower. I baked tofu and garbanzo beans to make vegetarian bowls. I hard boiled eggs for the fridge. I made a quick Mexican street corn salad with frozen corn, jalapeños, lime juice and zest, red bell peppers, cilantro and a small amount of nonfat Greek yogurt. This was a lot of cooking for me.
  • Sorted through a huge pile of papers on the kitchen counter, tossing half a garbage bag’s worth of unimportant stuff. Organized tax materials. 
  • Collected all of the holiday cards we received and looked at them again. Updated any new addresses for people who moved over the last year. Ugh. This caused huge guilt because we did not get around to sending cards this year.
  • Filled out school forms for MGM.
  • Communicated with our realtor about our home search.
  • And the usual suspects: Target run, laundry, gym.

I also pre-ordered this book this weekend, “The Year of Less.”  The tagline is this:

How I Stopped Shopping, Gave Away My Belongings, and Discovered Life Is Worth More Than Anything You Can Buy in a Store

I can get behind that sentiment right now. Looking forward to getting it on January 16th!

Beauty Pie Review #2

I ordered another round of products from Beauty Pie over the weekend and was surprised when they showed up a few days later.

This time I included a mix of skin care products and cosmetics.

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The skin care products are yet to be proven, but on first glance they all seem nice. I ordered an eye cream, face serum and night moisturizer. The texture is light, almost gel-like. I couldn’t detect any scent. Application was smooth and they were not sticky. All are from their Super Retinol line. While there was a retinol set on the website (advertised as “Coming Soon” here), it is inexplicably more expensive to buy the set than the individual products. The set includes a clear bag to hold the products, so that may account for the price difference (about $34 to buy the individual products versus $41.12 for all of them). The set isn’t currently available and while it includes four products (not just the three I ordered), the fourth is a retinol hand cream that didn’t seem appealing. That made it easy to save a bit and just order what I liked and as a plus, those items were already in stock.

On the cosmetics side, I ordered a set of five gel eyeliners, another cream eyeshadow stick (Wild Violet), and a Futurelipstick Luxe Shine lipstick (Naked Pink).

Here they are swatched on my arm:

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Ok, a couple of things here. This is my right arm and I am right handed, hence the wavy lines with the gel eyeliners that were applied by my left hand. From top to bottom, the colors are Stargazer (metallic gray), Turkish coffee, Envy, Deep Blue Sea, Very Pretty Plum, Wild Violet (the shadow stick), and Naked Pink.

The gel eyeliner set is a huge bargain. The colors are creamy and even when applied by a non-dominant hand, they swatched with zero tug. I like all of the colors. Trixie picked Deep Blue Sea as her favorite.

The Wild Violet shadow stick is also quite pretty and manages to straddle the line between purple and copper. This is very appealing.

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The Futurelipstick was also a winner. Not only is the color right up my alley, the texture is creamy and there is perhaps a very faint vanilla taste. I am definitely going to order more of these.

The prices stacked up as follows (listed as suggested retail/member cost):

  • Gel eyeliner set: $35/$11.79
  • Cream eyeshadow stick: $26/$2.88
  • Lipstick: $25/$3.56
  • Face serum: $100/$11.09
  • Night renewal moisturizer: $95/$9.28
  • Eye cream: $85/$7.17

All told, this was about $47 for the products (member cost here) and $8 for shipping, so for bought $55 I was able to get a lot.

Beauty Pie continues to win me over.

2018 *Must* Be Better

Last night – a few hours before the calendar turned – I posted the following on Facebook:

2017 was a shitshow. 2018 *must* be better.

Over 40 people instantly agreed. 

2017 was such a hard, hard year.

In the end, I am here and so are the people I love, and that is the most important thing.

But it took a lot to make it so.

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I don’t think I handled 2017 with particular grace, but there were some wins, particularly professionally. Personally, I have a long way to go.

My goals for 2018, in no particular order:

  • Train for and successfully complete races. I’m leaving the exact races and distances vague, but I want 2018 to be a better running year. I only did one race in 2017 (a half marathon) and while it turned out ok in the end, I was woefully undertrained and the whole thing did not feel good. I also set a goal to get a PR in a fall marathon and dropped out of training two months before the planned race. That felt like a failure. By “successfully complete races” I mean that I want to confidently step up to the starting line and finish strong.
  • Appreciate and encourage the unique qualities of MGM (10) and Trixie (8).
  • Be well. Eat healthy food. Exercise. Spend time outdoors. Take some time off.
  • Get taxes done prior to April 15th.
  • Find a suitable new home for all of us. Move. 
  • Celebrate 20th anniversary with Spouse. I tend to downplay birthdays and anniversaries, sometimes nearly forgetting them. I know. Bad. Our 20th anniversary is in early June, and I plan to celebrate all summer long. I already have two trips planned (one for just the two of us, one for our whole family) to bookend the summer. Considering that my wedding ring took an accidental spin in the garbage disposal over a year ago, a new ring would also be icing on the cake.
  • Continue to grow our medical practice. Practice medicine to the best of my ability.
  • Cultivate friendships, old and new.

Cheers, 2018.

Beauty Pie Review

Beauty Pie launched a year ago to great fanfare.

Founded by Marcia Kilgore – of Bliss Spa fame – the ostensible goal of Beauty Pie is for members to buy luxury grade beauty products at cost, which means that a lipstick that would normally retail for $25 is only $3.10 at Beauty Pie.

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Of course there is a catch.

For one, membership will cost you a minimum of $10 per month. Memberships are typically a minimum of 3 months and automatically renew.

The basic membership gives you the opportunity to buy $100 worth of products per month, but the next catch is that when you tally up the cost of your selections, you have to use the “suggested retail price” and not the member price, meaning that the above lipstick will eat up 25% of your monthly budget.

On top of this, you still need to pay $3.10 for the lipstick (member price here), plus shipping. Doing the math, that means that if you bought 4 lipsticks to utilize all of your $100 monthly budget, you would pay $10 (membership) + 4 x $3.10 + roughly $8 for shipping = over $30 for 4 lipsticks. While this is still cheaper than, say, four Chanel lipsticks, the extra costs add up.

I’ve been intrigued by Beauty Pie for a while and finally gave it a shot last month. I signed up for the basic membership and then quickly figured out that I would run out of my monthly allotment with just a few products. In theory, if you don’t spend it all in a month the allotment will roll over to the next month, meaning if you spend only $75 one month you would have $125 the next. When I signed up Beauty Pie was offering a special for new members to get $150 worth of products for the first month, and I also opted for a “top up” allowance (supposedly a one time thing, but I am suspicious that this offer will come around again) of $500 extra spending power for $50 real dollars.

With that in hand, I started by making a wishlist of what I wanted. It was quickly over my $150 budget (the $500 extra didn’t kick in until the following month since I hadn’t paid yet). In the end, I ordered four products: two lip glosses (Hello Petal and Brown Sugar), a cream eyeshadow stick in a metallic taupe called “Brazillionaire” and something called Fruitizyme Five Minute Facial. 

The retail/member prices for these were as follows:

  • Lip gloss – $25/$2.78 (x 2)
  • Eyeshadow stick- $26/$2.88
  • Fruitizyme – $70/$8.37

These four products used up almost all of my $150 allowance for the first month. By the time I paid shipping, membership, member prices for the product and then had the $50 top up, I was about $85 poorer.

Shipping was surprisingly quick, even during the holiday rush. I’ve read other reviews complaining about the packaging, but I didn’t mind it.

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Here are swatches:

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In order they are the Brazillionaire shadow stick, Brown Sugar gloss and Hello Petal gloss.

I was really happy with all of these. The Brazillionaire stick reminded me of a metallic taupe limited edition Bobbi Brown shadow stick that I used until it was a nub and have been searching for ever since. It hits the right mark between gray and brown and would be flattering for any eye color.

The glosses have a great feel (not too sticky, not too thin) and a subtle, pleasant vanilla taste. I am definitely going to order more.

Full disclosure, I did not try the Fruitizyme facial yet. The same week that I ordered these, I did a prescription strength chemical peel (this one) and my whole face peeled off for days. Spouse said it looked like a snake had been sleeping in our bed. 

Current verdict on Beauty Pie: I’m still intrigued. There are enough products on my wishlist to use up my $500 top up allowance plus three months (minimum membership length) of buying. I’ll keep posting what I get.