Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hi there!

It's been a while since I've blogged. It's been awhile since I've written anything, actually. I have this problem where I create projects upon projects for myself, and even though they are self-imposed projects, I feel this sense of obligation to finish them, all the while thinking of more and more projects, until I get crushed by a sense of imaginary obligation and vegetate under countless episodes of Parks and Recreation and eating Cookies and Cream Cookie Butter out of the jar with a spoon.

I need healthier coping mechanisms.

All that to say, I got overwhelmed with blogging and Happiness Projects and plans for writing three interconnected novellas and planning parties and making Halloween costumes and I didn't do anything for a while. Except, you know, take care of a crazy toddler and working full-time in a high acuity unit. Which apparently isn't enough for the little voice in my head that suggests all these projects.

Anyway, all this to say, I miss blogging, and I am slowly dipping my toes back in to see if I can do it for relaxation instead of getting crazy. I have all these ideas of what a blog "should" be -- organized, polished, about family, about crafts, about recipes, whatever. When in reality for me it is a dumping ground for assorted ideas suggested by the crazed project-voice in my head or found on the internets.

Anyway, I'm just going to let it be what it is. And I made a little discovery today that I wanted to share with whoever still reads this. :)

Have any of you ever been to BYU Women's Conference? I always thought it would be a good idea when I was at BYU, but I always had some kind of other obligation. Anyway, yesterday I got an email from Deseret Book saying that all of their Women's Conference e-books were $34.99. Usually it is $49.99 for the whole bundle and I made an impulse purchase.

Today, I was thinking, "I'd better start reading all these talks since I spent a bunch of money on them." I read the first talk in the 2013 book and it was amazing. I don't know how to convey inspired I felt after reading that talk. Inspired enough to blog, obviously.

It's still on sale. Go buy it.

That's all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

October/Happiness Project

One of my favorite books by one of my favorite authors (Attachments by Rainbow Rowell) has a whole chapter about how wonderful October is. (And you can read the chapter online here, because Rainbow Rowell is a lovely and generous person). "It's October at last! Callooh, Callay!" Silly words, but they define how I feel. In this heat-wave besieged California metropolis, my soul is grasping at every little hint of autumn it can find. A few scarlet leaves littered the sidewalk when I took a walk with Cal, and earlier this week we practiced jumping on the crunchy leaves at the playground. Trader Joe's is already a pumpkin lover's paradise, and so far I have sampled pumpkin cranberry pita crisps, pumpkin mochi ice cream, pumpkin spice pumpkin seeds, the "this pumpkin walked into a bar" cereal bars, and pumpkin body butter (not in my mouth, that one). I am dying to try the pumpkin sea salt caramels, the pumpkin Joe-Joe cookies, the pumpkin ice cream, and several other things I currently can't remember because I've been denying myself in order to decrease my sugar intake. (Just remembered. Not pumpkin, but speculoos chocolate cups. Om nom nom). (October is heaven. October in Trader Joe's is paradise. Cal agrees. He told me the other day, "Pumpkin say... yum!!")

I love October for more than the sights and tastes. I love the spooky atmosphere, diving into eerie novels and losing myself in mysteries. I love the sense of magic that purveys the world, the excitement about turning into someone else for a night. I love the color orange. I love the World Series. I love making soups and putting on sweaters (please, LA? Please can I wear a sweater?) and my spider scrubs top. I even love when it gets dark earlier... in October. In December it gets too dark, but October gives you just enough to see the stars.

Anyway, enough rhapsodizing about October. (You can never rhapsodize enough about October.) I'm not going to recap September's Happiness Project, because my marriage is too sacred and private to be entangled in my stunt blogging, but I am looking forward to October's theme. I am going to focus on Beauty.

Before you write me off as being shallow, allow me to explain. Initially, my plan was to solely focus on working on my own, physical beauty this month, not because my appearance is so important to me, but because I've never really learned how to put on makeup, or what products work for me (I often just take my mom's rejects), or how to do my hair properly (scrunch gel and hairspray, every day of my life since 6th grade). I never feel like taking the time to watch tutorials. And no, I don't want to become a glamour queen, but I do think it would be good for me to take a little time and learn what works for me. And I thought October would be the perfect month for it, because October is all about dressing up.

As I thought about the concept of Beauty more, I also started thinking about it in a less superficial sense. As in, what brings beauty to my life? What do I find inherently beautiful? I started thinking about art, and nature, and sweet little smiles on a sweet little boy's face. It made me want to thick more about beautifying this world, not with my face (although I hope to do that a little better) but with my actions, my creativity, and sharing beautiful things others have done as well.

So October's Happiness Project is twofold. First of all, I am going to try to be an adult and figure out my style. To that end, I am going to:

:: Clean out my bathroom, which is full of half-used makeup containers and lotions and potions. Get rid of what I don't use, and make a list of what I do or would like to try.

:: Maybe get my makeup done at Bare Escentuals.

:: Watch at least 3 makeup and 3 hair youtube tutorials. Maybe if I'm feeling bold I'll blog about it.

:: Watch the free Dressing Your Truth videos. I've heard raves about them.

:: Get a new makeup bag. Mine is so sick-nasty because I use Bare Escentuals and the powder gets all over everything. I think six years later I'm okay to get myself a new bag.

:: Clean my brushes. Because I don't want to tell you how long it's been since I've done that.

And then, on the other side of the beauty spectrum:

:: Instagram something I find beautiful every day. I will try to take pictures of things other than my son. But I do think he is pretty beautiful.

Also, while we're on the subject of beauty, Kaytie of the Be-YOU-ty Bureau has been doing a lovely, lovely video series for the last several weeks about women finding their beauty. It is super amazing. Go watch it. (They're the ones marked Finding My Beauty).

Anyone else love October? Also, GO GIANTS!

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