SELF CARE: SKINCARE

Self care skincare | denmother blog

I love skincare and beauty products. And I love hearing about what other people are using in the hopes of discovering something new...so I thought I'd share what is in my skincare regimen currently. For me, the main result I am always after is preventing aging naturally. I am not looking to stop the clock, but I do want my skin to look healthy (and BE healthy) for as long as possible. Also, I just had a baby and am still trying to look after myself in small ways that I can squeeze in here and there. I am in my late 30's and whether it's age, post pregnancy, or lack of sleep, my skin was feeling pretty lackluster until I got back into my skincare routine.

My appreciation for skincare products really hit its stride when I had a short stint working as a salesperson for a major eco-friendly skincare brand after college. This company was BIG on educating its customers on the science behind their products, which opened up a whole world for me in terms of really understanding skin and how to care for it in order to achieve results.

My skincare routine does change and evolve, but a few things remain the same: moisture, moisture, moisture, always some type of exfoliation process, and sunscreen. I have dryish, fair skin (thanks Irish ancestors!) and moisture + sun exposure are the mortal enemies of any attempt at keeping it youthful.

Where I splurge: serums and eye cream, daytime moisturizer, glycolic pads

Where I save: facial sunscreen, cleanser

The products I am currently using:

Target brand (Up and Up) daytime SPF moisturizer (similar to CeraVe moisturizer) : lightweight and scentless...perfect facial spf.

Dr. Haushka Revitalizing Day Cream : Been using this for years...really moisturizing but lightweight. I usually use in Spring and Summer and switch to something heavier in Winter.

Herbivore Rose Hibiscus Coconut Water : makeup setter/intermittent hydration. I love hydrating mists for setting makeup and keeping my face moisturized throughout the day. This company also makes an amazing beard oil for the lumberjack in your life (my husband is addicted).

Dr. Haushka Daily Hydrating eye cream

Avenue Gentle Toner: I go back and forth on toners, but I love this one, which doesn't dry out my skin. It also makes me keenly aware of how much yuck there is still in my pores after cleansing.

Ren Radiance Perfection Serum: Visibly brighter skin...really works for me.

Kiehl's Hydro-plumping Retexturizing Serum Concentrate: Plumps up my cells and makes my skin feel really moisturized.

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate : My nightly oil serum that hydrates and softens my skin while I sleep. The large bottle lasts me for the year.

Dermatologic Cosmetic Laboratories DCL Glycolic Acid Pads 20% : an aesthetician changed my life when she recommended these. I do a face treatment once a month or so...wipe on, leave for a few minutes, rinse off. And by all means, don't rub your eyes before washing your hands. This is an amazing exfoliating treatment.

 

 

REVIEW: RUGVISTA.COM

RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG
RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG
RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG
RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG
RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG
RUGVISTA | DEN MOTHER BLOG

After Z was born, I started realizing very quickly that our pre-baby furniture, while "cool" and "vintagey", was very uncomfortable. We had converted our dining room into a den, where we sat and watched movies on an old Scandinavian leather couch I found on Craigslist for $100. After baby, getting up off of cool, but low-to-the-ground furniture seemed like torture...not only for us, as parents, but for grandparents who have a primary role in caretaking as well.

So, we decided to give our living room a re-do and invest in a solid, huge couch and go from there. It's a work in progress for sure, but one thing that I knew I needed right away was a rug to lighten some of the earth tones in the room. I have a jute rug, wood floors, and lots of basketry, and bark planters (doesn't everyone?). While white/ cream may not be the first instinct for anyone with kids, I have the benefit of "ignorance is bliss" on my side...my kid isn't a toddler yet, so I get to ignore all practical advice and cling to my can of scotchguard instead.

I had seen a striped dhurrie rug in a design on Pinterest and started researching them. I wanted wool for its durability, but the inexpensive options I was seeing were all synthetic. Somehow, while googling like a mad design person, I came across rugvista.com and couldn't believe the prices. My 8x10' dream, hand woven WOOL rug was $271. Free shipping.

I purchased the rug, neglecting to realize until after I clicked "submit payment" that the company is based in Sweden. I imagined a month long wait for my carpet and resigned myself to my fate of a wait. Four days later (!!!) my rug arrived, via Fedex, beautifully packaged in a box, complete with guarantee as to its handmade-ness.

The rug itself is just what I wanted. It's thick and wellmade, the perfect design, and is ready to trap all the fur from my long-haired black cat.

Check out rugvista.com... I highly recommend them!

DIY: SHIBORI CURTAINS + POUF

INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG
INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG
INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG
INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG
INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG
INDIGO DYED CURTAINS | DEN MOTHER BLOG

I wanted to share my process for creating the indigo dyed curtains and pouf  in Z's room. I DIY out of necessity, not pleasure-- these are pieces that can be made on a budget with a little elbow grease!

I knew I wanted to design a nursery around an indigo palette...blue is not only for boys. To me, this ancient pigment is gender neutral and really satisfying in design. I had seen beautiful indigo tie-dyed curtains all over pinterest, but was on a budget...so decided to try to replicate them myself. The pouf came about after I had excess fabric and wanted a versatile piece that would be kid friendly in the nursery.

The curtains and pouf are made with cotton drop-cloth and Indigo dye. You can buy any cotton drop-cloth, just make sure they are long enough and wide enough for your window measurements. You do need to pre-wash the drop cloths, so give yourself extra yardage (1 foot) to accommodate any shrinkage.

I purchased 9x12' drop cloths (found at the local hardware store)...knowing that I wanted to make 4' wide curtain panels and unsure of how much drape I would end up liking. The 12' gave me plenty of extra fabric, which I ended up recyclng into the pouf.

To dye the cotton, I first pre-washed the drop cloths. Then, I sewed up the raw edges (I cut the 9' piece in half for the 4' wide panels) and created a pocket for the curtain rod. This was all done by sewing machine.

I followed the instructions on the box of dye- you need a large bucket and a few tools, like a stirring stick. Then, I placed wide and thin rubber bands along the panels (see above). This is a classic shibori technique also used when tie-dying.

You dip and let dry. Dip and let dry. The more layers of dye, the darker it gets. I had originally envisioned a really dark indigo, but am happy with the aqua color I achieved. I think it actually works better for a kid's room...so, recognize that with natural processes, results do vary. 

For the pouf, I looked up "pouf patterns" on pinterest and selected one that seemed really easy-- you can find it here. There are many patterns that yield the same result. Once I sewed the pouf, I ordered bean bag beads from amazon to fill it. I had to order them twice because you need a deceptively large amount to fill a medium pouf.

All in all, I am really happy with the result! Curtains can be so pricey...drop-cloth fabric makes custom drapery really budget friendly.

 

PLANT STYLE: STAGHORN FERNS

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Pondering adding green to the homefront and immediately thought of staghorn ferns. I had staghorns in bowl/planters on my dining room table and then bedside (in the above photos) for quite some time, until one of them died. I'd like to experiment with some of the wall hanging styles and think that they would make quite an impact above our mantle or covering a bathroom wall (where they will also get plenty of fern-loving moisture). They are surprisingly easy to care for and do not need bright light, which is a boon for most home owners. They also LOVE banana peels as food-- so if you are the composting/recycling type, this can be an added benefit! There are tons of tutorials on pinterest for mounting and planting these sculptural beauties. These images are getting my green wheels turning!

MY NEW LIFE + BABY Z

HAVE BABY WILL TRAVEL | DEN MOTHER BLOG

So, my last post was on October 16, 2015...I was busy making easy apple tarts in the October heat and later that evening went into labor. Zachary Leo was born the following day and has consumed my entire life. There are so many things I've learned  since (not that I remember any of them due to lack of sleep) and we are still figuring out the mechanics of this new life. What I am up to now:

After months upon months of bedrest (due to an incompetent cervix... you can read about our previous pregnancy loss here), and then weeks upon weeks of figuring out a newborn, homebody life has been the main theme around here. This worked for a time...because A: I love my home and B: I can be content watching Netflix and doing home projects. But, almost 1 year of this has me craving the natural world (I love to hike), travelling to far off locales, and generally being outside more. 

Adam and I challenged ourselves to take a mini-vacay with Z and went to Santa Barbara for a wine-tasting weekend. We were and are determined not to fall into the "we have a baby so we can't do it" trap. Whether this is ambition at its finest or naiveté at its worst...we shall see. The weekend was hard and fun and so needed. We discovered we can get out, albeit with a ton more "stuff", we can have fun, though more comfort makes that easier these days (we stayed at our favorite Santa Barbara hotel), and that the effort is worth it.

On the homefront, I've decided to continue this idea, getting out with Z as much as possible. We live in a very culturally diverse city with tons to do and lots within walking distance (yes, LA has walkable neighborhoods). It's good for my psyche and happy mama equals happy baby. Life is very different now, but I am looking forward to exploring and reimagining it with my son.

You can follow along on instagram as I document Z's adventures with #whereintheworldisbabyZ