05 March 2013

My Favorite Things: February edition

Today in STL it’s supposed to snow. Snow. in March. Let that sink in for a moment.

I am very much not happy about this, partly because it is March but also because it snowed for like four days straight last week. It’s warm enough that it didn’t accumulate on the streets, but there are still piles of snow on the grass. IN MARCH.

When we moved out of the south, I braced myself for a frigid winter, one where I’d feel like I could never get warm. And that wasn’t the case at all! I had a toasty warm winter, thanks to my super warm coat and scarf collection and discovery that socks with ballet flats isn’t verboten up here. So the temperature of winter wasn’t so bad. What’s killing me is the length. I need me some daffodils up in here.

And that’s why I should be forgiven for telling you about my favorite things from February nearly a week into March. Because... it still feels like February? Eh? Ehh?

Let’s get on with it.

Philosophy Hope in a Jar

I’ve actually used this for years, but lately my enthusiasm for this moisturizer was reinvigorated. See, I realized in my mid-twenties that maybe the reason my skin was so blotchy and blemish-y and generally unhappy was because I was being mean to it. I was over-scrubbing it and then slathering it with cheap face lotion full of chemicals. Turns out... I have sensitive skin. It took me a long time to realize it because I didn’t know it didn’t have to be that way.

So when I was in full-on make-myself-pretty-for-the-wedding mode, I gave the expensive Philosophy face products a try. And oh LAWDY did my skin respond. It was softer, less dry and scaly, less prone to breakouts. It was happy. My favorite? The Hope in a Jar moisturizer.


Over time, I’ve phased out most of the pricey Philosophy products to save some dollars (Purity Made Simple is great, but Cetaphil is a quarter of the cost). But recently, when I gave up my Hope in a Jar for some store brand Oil-of-Olay-esque face lotion, my skin FLIPPED THE HECK OUT. Okay! Okay, you win! Hope in a Jar it is. I can’t say I blame my face, it is pretty amazing stuff. If you have sensitive skin and don’t realize it... maybe you should give this stuff a try. (PS: The image from Sephora I used is titled “main-hero.jpg”. Main hero! If that doesn’t convince you, what will?)

Smoky eyes

Some Sunday morning at the end of January, I spied some dark eyeshadow and a small brow brush in my makeup bag and got an idea. A few minutes later, I’d managed to create my first fairly successful set of “smoky eyes” – at least, a lightweight version. For someone who wore only mascara for years, this was a LOT of makeup. (Well, eye makeup. I forgot to put on lipstick before taking this photo, but when I did, it was pale and glossy. Smoky eyes requires sedated lips.)


It’s been a nice change for the winter season, so I’ve been playing with it over the last month. And I figure if I can master a smoky eye, anyone can. I don’t want to create a tutorial (not really my jam) but if you’re interested, I use this eyeliner, this eyeshadow (applied with this brush over the eyeliner), and this mascara. Once it gets warmer and I’m back in my mascara-and-lip-gloss-only habit, I’ll drop the raccoon eyes, but they’re fun for now.

Okay, that’s enough girly products. Let’s get back to the DIY basics of this blog with...

This midpoint-finding trick

This link, with directions to quickly and accurately find the midpoint of anything you’re measuring, is absolute genius. Genius, I say! I haven’t had the need for it recently, and I couldn’t keep it to myself until I used it in a project. So, there. Enjoy.

Also perhaps not-universally-useful is this recommendation:

Tortillaria on Euclid

I try to limit the items on these My Favorite Things lists to things that everyone, anywhere can find and enjoy. But I’d be lying to you and to myself if I didn’t admit that takeout from Tortillaria on Euclid Avenue, here in St. Louis, wasn’t one of my absolute favorite things this past month.


If you ever find yourself in the CWE (adjacent to Forest Park in STL), you need to go there. Have the guacamole, the black bean empanadas, and the shrimp tempura tacos. I mean, good gracious. When it’s summertime and they open the sidewalk patio and serve pitchers of margaritas? You’ll know where to find me.

Commander Hadfield’s Twitter stream

Now, this is something everyone on the planet can enjoy. Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield is aboard the ISS (like right now as you’re reading this) and he’s tweeting his view of Earth.


It’s pretty incredible. But better yet, he sprinkles his photos with random comments about geography (“Lake Baikal, Siberia. Immensely old and deep, it holds one-fifth of all the Earth's fresh water”) and shots of their work about the ISS. Couple all that with his personal notes and immensely upbeat attitude, and you’ve got my newest addition to the Dream Dinner Party Invitee list.

WTF Evolution

Continuing with the science theme, you should probably also check out this tumblr. The photos of the animals (mostly, also plants and such) are ridiculous, but the commentary is what really makes me laugh out loud. You really must check it out for yourself.


Go home, evolution, you are drunk.

Finally, let’s wrap this up with a few videos.

Thrift Shop covers

Remember my obsession with Thrift Shop last month? Macklemore was on SNL last weekend, which means it’s officially run its course, I think. Except for... the remixes. Yes!



Pentatonix is always my fave, but bassist Avi singing about popping tags wins the internet.

And this group didn’t just wear your grandpa’s clothes, they totally took your grandpa’s style.



I want to be them, somehow.

And just in case you were under a metaphorical cyber-rock and missed it, you must watch this:

Michelle Obama and Jimmy Fallon’s Evolution of Mom Dancing



I’m sure Mrs. O will get along so well with Commander Hadfield when I finally convince them to come hang out with me. And she will teach me how to Dougie.

What have you loved this month, dear readers?

2 comments:

Rachel C said...

Thank you thank you for letting me start my day with the Fab Mrs O and her dancing. I've watched the video 900 times and it never gets old. And, may I please come to your dinner party? I'll be a server. I'll wash the dishes. I just want to be there.

Oh, and I love Hope in a Jar. It was my go to for dry sensitive skin for years.

Miranda said...

I love smokey eyes! That's pretty much my everyday look, too. :)