What in god’s name is going on with my skin?

How does my skin know when summer’s over?

Why is my skin FLAWLESS all summer long, and then the second the leaves start to turn, I look like a pox has been thrust upon me by some type of evil witch?

At first, I figured it had something to do with the temperature – that was the only thing that made sense, but I always had a nagging doubt in the back of mind mind, because I actively moisturize all year round and my skin isn’t any drier or less dry in the winter than it is in the summer. BUT, this year the acne came back before the temperature changed AT ALL. What IS that? I always thought it was strictly hormonal (and it probably is, judging by the type/location of said acne), but then, like…why was my skin perfect all summer? Was I not a woman this summer? Did my hormones take a summer vacation?

Diet? I think not…my diet isn’t the best (nor is it the worst), but either way, it’s relatively consistent. No changes there.

When I say my skin was perfect this summer, I assure you that I am not exaggerating. Nary a blemish to be found. Acne scars disappeared as if by magic. I’m a lifelong faithful foundation wearer, and I considered many days going completely makeup-free (and some days I did just that)!! While my skin usually clears up incrementally during the summer months, this year it was better than it’s been since I was (miraculously) a totally fresh-faced teen. I experienced a brief glimmer of hope that this would be the year – that somehow, 32 and a half was the magical age at which acne would cease to kiss my face and from this moment on I’d have clear skin forevermore. But no. Practically the second October hit, my skin went back to normal. And normal sucks.

I know what you’re thinking – “Go to a dermatologist, ya turkey!” but you guys…I’m JUST NOW working up the courage to go to a normal doctor for the first time in my adult life (other than emergencies)…you’ll need to give me a moment to incorporate specialty medical professionals into my situation. So…I don’t know. I’d ask what miracle products everyone uses, but I’m skeptical regarding their effectiveness for my particular situation (as am I weary of being offered various MLM products) – I’ve tried most types of treatments, and nothing topical will cure this if it’s hormonal anyway. Birth control isn’t an option because of the whole possibly making a baby situation, so…I guess this is just my skin. Cool. Wish for a miracle for me? (Not really – don’t waste your miracle wishing on my dumb skin which is mostly fine save for some relatively mild annoying monthly acne. Use it for something cooler.) Okay bye.

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Stuff That Makes My Life Easier

Hey friends. Life is hard, yes? Therefore, I enjoy things that make said life easier. Let’s discuss, shall we?

  1. Wine Stoppers – I’ve been a hefty drinker of wine for many years, but for some reason I just started using a wine stopper like a month ago. Previously, I’d try to stuff the cork back in, which was a pain and didn’t work very well, and I’d often forget and then fruit flies would drink all of my precious wine. Well, no more! I can’t find the one I have since I bought it on clearance at Target, but here’s a cute monogram one, or a pretty set of agate ones.
  2. Garbage Can Bungee Thingies – Don’t you hate when your garbage bag slips inside of your garbage can and makes a huge mess? I do. These help.
  3. S’well Water Bottle – I know everyone has these already, but if you don’t, get one. They legit keep your water cold for unfathomable amounts of time. One time I left my water bottle in my car in 90 degree weather, and it was still cold when I came back 8 hours later. No joke.
  4. Duvet Clips – I don’t have these yet, but I’m getting some. My most recent duvet cover doesn’t have ties for reasons unbeknownst to me, and it’s basically a nightmare. These seem better than ties. Win.
  5. Apple TV – Honestly, I don’t remember life before Apple TV. Was it fine? Probably. Was it worse? Almost undoubtedly. If I’m being frank, we probably have too many streaming option type things (we have a smart TV, two TiVos – yes, actual TiVo, Apple TV, we still for some reason possess a DVR from our cable company which we pay for monthly and do not use, an Xbox 360 or whatever the most recent iteration is, plus we subscribe to Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, I think all the premium channels and their streaming counterparts…it’s a lot, guys) um but anyway, it makes life easier.
  6. Hair Pins – Up until my wedding, I only used one type of hair pin (the flat kind), regardless of the type of hairstyle I was using them for. But then! The night of my wedding, I was taking out the 50 thousand hair pins holding my ‘do up, and I noticed that they were different – instead of being flat, they were open, and I realized that these are probably what you’re supposed to use for topknots and buns and such. Lo and behold, they work WAY better. You’re probably not stupid like me and already know this, but if not, you’re welcome.

Okay, this post was supposed to be helpful bordering on genius, but it got dumb really fast…my apologies, guys. Here’s a pic of my dog in a party hat to make up for it.

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Forgive me.

 

Happy Friday!

What do you have going on this weekend? For us, it’s a rare weekend without any plans at all and not much desperately needing to get done, which feels like such a treat! I’m looking forward to finishing Mindhunter (so good!) and switching out my Halloween decorations for a more general autumn/Thanksgiving feel…speaking of which, I should probably start planning my Thanksgiving menu! Our guest list this year is looking pretty meager – and by meager, I’m talking it might only be me and Jeff. I’m still going to cook enough food for 20 people though, and I’m determined to make the best of what could otherwise be a kind of lonely holiday. Have a fantastic weekend, friends – I’ll probably pop in tomorrow to finish the last day of the photo challenge, but if not I’ll post it on Monday!

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Black & White Photo Challenge

The other day, I was bemoaning the fact that I hopped on the Instagram train a bit late and missed most of those photo challenges everyone used to do – I’m always talking about how I don’t take pictures enough, and a photo challenge would be the perfect thing to encourage me to snap more pics. Then, as if by magic, this black & white photo challenge started popping up all over the place (although this one seems to be mostly on Facebook, which…lame). So, I decided to participate…except I’m going to participate in blog form, instead of on Instagram (or more weirdly, Facebook).

Side note: Is it weird that these things are referred to as “challenges”? I think so; yes. Taking 7 photos in 7 days is hardly a challenge…anyway, I digress.

Here’s the challenge: “Seven days. Seven black and white photos of your life. No people. No explanation.” Okay…so it’s a wee bit pretentious, and not the most exciting “challenge” I’ve seen…those themed picture every day challenges were a lot more interesting (and actually somewhat of a challenge, I suppose). But I’ll take it…plus, since it’s so easy, I should be able to handle it without dropping out 3 days in. Here goes – I’ll be posting two photos today (one for yesterday, and one for today).

An ode to Delaware (and southeastern PA)

It may be the fact that this time of year is breathtakingly beautiful around these parts, but I’ve been feeling especially in love with my little corner of the planet recently.

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My very favorite house at the top of my street.

As many of you know, I grew up in Western New York (the Buffalo area). I often miss lots of things about it – all the lakes (GOD I miss the lakes), ski resorts every 5 steps (I don’t really even ski – there’s just something about resort life that feels really cozy and special), snow on Christmas (we rarely get snow around here until at least mid-January)…there’s a lot to miss. But now that I’ve been in Delaware for almost 9 years, it truly feels like home…and I honestly never want to leave (for full disclosure, when I refer to “Delaware” moving forward, I’m also referring to Delaware and Chester Counties in Pennsylvania…my house is about 5 minutes from the PA line, so we spend a lot of time just outside of the state). I’ve liked Delaware ever since I moved here, but since settling in North Wilmington, I sometimes get overwhelmed with love for my neighborhood just driving to the grocery store. It sounds totally goofy and a little nuts, but it’s true.

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I can see these trees from my living room window, and I wait every year for them to turn the most vivid, firey red.

Sure, there are things about certain parts of Delaware I don’t love, but the good FAR outweighs the bad for me:

  1. Let’s start with the most obvious and most practical: the proximity to not one, not two, not three, but FOUR major cities (New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and DC). People like to complain about how there’s “nothing to do” in Delaware (I beg to differ; more on that later), but you really can’t complain when you can drive to Philly in 15 minutes (well…if there happens to be no traffic somehow, haha), or hop on a train and arrive in New York in 2 hours.
  2. Let’s move on to the food scene. You guys, there are SO MANY good restaurants within 30 (really, 10-15) minutes from my house. So many that it’s difficult to decide where to eat, and we can never choose between revisiting a favorite (Harvest, Terrain, Il Graniao, Massamoto, the list goes on…) or checking out something new. And if we were ever to get bored of the selection in our immediate area, we can take a short drive or train ride to Philly and the options become literally countless.
  3. Now, to the people who complain there’s nothing to do…I say you crazy. Aside from all the restaurants (and we all know eating is my favorite hobby), there are tons of options to cure boredom. Sure, if you’re into clubbing and are looking for crazy nightlife you’ll have to go elsewhere, but even the bar scene is pretty large and varied. Aside from that, though, you have Longwood Gardens, tons of parks and nature for hiking or exploring, about a million wineries, beaches, a freaking ZIP-LINE COURSE, the riverfront, plenty of nice movie theaters with reclining chairs and alcohol (at least one of which will serve you food without leaving your seat), theater, live music, plenty of shopping, museums, a zoo, a beer garden (or outdoor ice rink in the winter), kayaking in the summer, tons of orchards/pumpkin patches in the fall…I could go on, but I think I’ve proved my point. If you truly think there’s nothing to do in Delaware, you’re not looking very hard.
  4. And then, there’s just the general gorgeousness of the area. My brother once told me he thinks he’d like to live here someday, and when I asked him why, he said “it’s just so green!” I thought he was a little crazy at the time (my hometown is pretty small, and is not lacking in, well, “green-ness”), but my mom agreed and I’ve been noticing recently that they’re right. It’s not just that there’s a lot of nature nearby, but my actual neighborhood really is green ALL OVER. There are tons of mature trees that explode with color this time of year, and if you drive 10 minutes into PA, forget about it. The trees combined with the beautiful, stately homes and 100 year old stone walls is really unlike anything else. Right next to any modern amenity you could ask for, there’s tons and tons of history and craftsmanship everywhere you look. AND, you might casually run into Joe Biden on any given day! Can you beat that? No, you can not.
  5. Uh…no sales tax, anyone?
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The cutest little creek a few blocks from my house where I walk Grooby.

I’ll stop babbling now, but I could keep going. All in all, I consider myself pretty damn lucky to have ended up settling where I did…thanks, Jeffrey!

My Weekend in Pictures

This past weekend felt like THAT weekend…that one perfect fall weekend when the air is crisp, the sun is shining, and the leaves are the most beautiful bright shade of red. We managed to pack a lot of fun into the three-day weekend: a night out on the town seeing some live music with friends Thursday evening, a haircut and trip to Wegman’s for me on Friday afternoon, a visit to Bates Motel on Saturday night, and a relaxing, slow Sunday.

 

Clockwise, from top left:

1. Fun with friends at the Queen.

2. Wegman’s haul!

3. Maple sugar cookies with some festive sprinkle action.

4. Sunday soup: roasted butternut squash with apple.

5. I went a little crazy in the bulk candy section…

6. Best place on Earth.

7. Waiting room with a view.