A Random Update on Life, Products, and the Podcast I Can’t Stop Binging
One of my favorite posts to read from bloggers are random life updates. Maybe it’s because I’m nosy or maybe it’s because I weirdly think I’m their actual friend but then in reality I remember I can’t just text them to see what’s new because they are in fact not my actual friend, so I have to rely on “life update” posts to feel “in the know.” Which in itself is very weird when you think about because why do I feel entitled to know things about these internet strangers?? It’s all very weird and if I think about this topic for too long my head hurts, so let’s move on.
Life Update No. 1 - We bought a house and Moved Back to Denver!
In June, Brett and I made an offer on our first home, back at our first “home,” Denver, Colorado. The buying and moving process was looooong, emotional (SO MANY TEARS), but overall exciting! Three years ago we were very blessed to be in a place financially to buy a house, but Brett’s status as a contractor made the loan process almost impossible, so we took that as a sign from God that it just wasn’t the right time for us. Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, and God’s sovereignty and grace is evident, because we didn’t know that soon we’d need our down payment money to live off of while Brett transitioned from contractor to self-employed business owner. With Brett’s business it allowed us to move back to California to be near our families and it’s where we thought we would put down our roots and stay forever. But in true Logan fashion, four weeks into living back in CA my heart screamed for Denver. Yes, I loved living near my friends and family again, but there was something about being back in California that just didn’t feel right. I didn’t want to spend at least half a million dollars to live in an under 1,000 sqft house in the far-away suburbs of Los Angeles. I didn’t want to endure summers that lasted 75% of the year. And even though I wanted to raise a family near my family, I knew deep down I didn’t want to do that in LA. Denver ticked off all the boxes in my head and heart and thankfully Brett came around to the idea. And then, God literally moved mountains in the hearts and minds of Brett’s family, and they all decided Colorado would be their new and forever home too! They even beat us out to Colorado by a few months.
In August we closed and moved to Denver. The two day drive was a literal rollercoaster of emotions. The first time I moved to Denver I did not shed one tear saying goodbye to my family (sorry family, I promise I did miss you), but this time I literally could not stop myself from crying at any given moment the week following up to and especially the day of the move. The first hour of the drive was brutal and honestly I probably shouldn’t have been driving at all since my eyes were in a constant blur of tears, but thankfully with the help of a few family and friend phone calls and binge listening to the Proverbs 31 Podcast I made it safely to our first stop in Cedar City, Utah. The second day was a real beast. I started my period the night before and buckled in, metaphorically and literally, for a long day. The morning drive started out smooth until the cramps kicked in. Ever since coming off birth control two years ago I have sadly returned to junior high level cramps. They come in hot and last for hours and then follow with rampant nausea for the rest of the day - fun! If only my dogs could speak, they could confirm that my literal cries and shrieks were so loud and excruciating someone would have thought I had internal injuries from a mass casualty car accident. Of course our medicine box was packed away like a bottom piece of a Jenga tower, so we had to stop in a small Utah town grocery store for extra strength Tylenol. I threw back four like they were Tic-Tacs and prayed for the next hour for it to kick in. An hour passed and it still felt like a knife that was lit on fire was being pushed into my ovaries and then turned continuously. We had to stop for gas before a 100-mile service free zone began and I almost had to tell Brett that I didn’t think I could make it, but thankfully 1 hour and 49 minutes after administering the Tylenol my cramps disappeared as if they were never there at all - oh sweet, sweet, drugs, how I love you. (Note: Later that week I noticed on the Tylenol wrapper that they were expired over two years!!! So let this be your warning to not rely on small town Utah grocery stores for your over the counter medical needs.)
After finally making it to our HOME (insert crying emoji and blushing with hands by cheeks emoji), the real work began. While the house was technically move in ready, it is by no mean Logan and Brett’s taste move in ready (ie. tan everything, brown mosaic tiles, and cherry cabinets). To give you a peak into our ultra-glamorous homeownership, we’ve lived in the house for almost two months and we are still sleeping on our mattress on the floor with our two nightstands next to it. But the first changes are coming in the next two weeks. New carpet is being installed (Farewell stained, not quite tan, but not quite grey carpet. I will not miss you!) in the bedrooms. Fresh new paint is coming over the next two weekends (Brett and I are doing it ourselves to please pray we do it well.), and our new West Elm guest bed is being delivered! All of this home progress will be shared here on the blog, just please don’t expect it to be very often, we aren’t HGTV over here! The first post going up in the next two weeks will be of our awkwardly shaped laundry room (honestly it’s more like a closet) and how I transformed it from looking like Monica’s secretly messy hallway closet to a space that doesn’t require me to keep the door shut permanently.
To end this life update: What I’ve learned so far from homeownership is that almost everything will take forever to get done and you have to force yourself to be okay with it.
Life Update No. 2 - I Went Back to Work at the Studio!
I went back to work at RTR Pilates! In California, I tried to teach at local pilates studios in town but they either required new certifications, to which I didn’t think spending thousands of dollars to relearn exercised I already knew was worth it, or I didn’t love their teaching style overall. I did eventually become a client at a studio down the street from our house and while I liked it, I never felt as strong or flexible as I did when I was at RTR. RTR’s classes are unlike any I’ve tried. They are form-focused, challenging, creative, and actually deliver results! I still remember the day I was sitting in class and realized I could actually see muscle definition in my deltoids for the first time in my entire life — talk about motivation to keep at it! Sadly at the studio in CA I never noticed any new results in muscle definition or my stamina in classes, and I actually felt less strong than before. When we made the final decision to move, RTR was one of the things I was most looking forward to.
Over a year and half off made me wary that I wouldn’t be hired back immediately to the studio, but thankfully when I spoke to my manager she was so happy to have me back and extended a job to me. Starting again was a bit nerve-wracking. Building classes and then vocalizing them while keeping track of time, transitions, and each clients’ form is a lot for a brain to do for 55 minutes, but by the end of the first week I felt a little more at ease and now I’m excited to get more creative in my classes. I knew I missed teaching but I didn’t realize just how much until I was back at the studio. It’s been so nice having a routine again and putting my love for pilates to use.
Product Review - Glossier BubbleWrap Eye and Lip Plumping Cream
It shouldn’t be a shock to anyone that I love Glossier products (evidenced here, here, and here, just to name a few). Eye cream is something Glossier devotees have been asking HQ for years and they finally granted our wish! As an obsessive person does, I ordered Bubblewrap the morning it launched and then impatiently awaited its pink bubble wrapped pouch arrival.
Bubblewrap is all about hydration and plumping, and is uniquely formulated for use on the eyes and lips. Since it’s not marketed as an anti-aging product, Bubblewrap is better suited for a younger crowd looking to add eye cream into their skincare regime for the first time. Even though this is targeted for a younger demographic, a lot of research went into the product. On the product’s page they link to their clinical trial and make it known that Bubblewrap is hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested, ophthalmologist-tested, safe for contact wearers, sensitive eyes, paraben-free, cruelty-free, and vegan!! With a lineup like that where could one go wrong?
Well folks things went terribly wrong.
The first week was fine. I immediately loved the packaging (one of Glossier’s strong suits) and one pump was the perfect amount for each eye. It was light and moisturizing, but not life-changing. Maybe I’m in the minority or maybe it’s because I'm not 18 anymore, but I like my eye creams thick but able to fully absorb. Even though it wasn’t impressing me I didn’t want my $26 to go to waste, so on I went. Week two is where trouble crept in. My upper eyelids started to get dry, itchy, red. I chocked it up to seasonal allergies, until it just kept getting worse and worse with each use. Bubblewrap was the only new product I had added to my skincare routine so I went digging into its reviews starting with the lowest ratings. There I found girls just like me complaining of dry, flaky, and red eyelids after about a week or two of use. One girl said her dermatologist said she had a chemical burn on her eyelids!!! I immediately stopped use of Bubblewrap and contacted customer service. Not to my surprise Glossier customer service was stellar. They completely understood my problem (and didn’t make me feel bad!), refunded my money, and told me to not even send the product back. Customer service like that is what keeps me coming back even if I’ve not gotten on with a product.
It’s been almost two months since I’ve stopped using Bubblewrap and unfortunately my eyes are still quite dry and red. Whenever this happens I switch to CeraVe cleanser and moisturizer for it’s eczema relief. I was able to wear makeup (i.e. more than mascara) and return to my usual skincare routine for about a week until me eyes flared up again. Hopefully soon they’ll go back to normal, because I really miss my 15-step nighttime skincare routine — and I’m being serious about that.
Bottom line: While I’m only part of a small group of negative reviews, I would not recommend this product because I believe it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Product Review - Blueland Non-Toxic Cleaners
Over the past few years I’ve dabbled more and more into non-toxic living. I whole-heartedly believe that knowledge is power and the more I learn about the effects of the toxic chemicals that are normal for our household cleaners, the more I want to stay away from them. Say hello to Blueland.
I discovered Blueland through an Instagram ad and was immediately drawn to their aesthetically simple reusable bottles, non-toxic ingredients, and their $2 refill tabs. Household cleaning products are probably one of the biggest plastic abusing categories. Even if you buy refill packs for your soap or other cleaning agents, those packs are usually in a large plastic bags. Blueland’s ingredients are all inside a little Alka-Seltzer looking effervescent tab, so you only have to have one forever bottle and refills are packed in a tiny recyclable paper pouch. Each of their three tabs is formulated for three different purposes. The pink tab is for the bathroom, yellow for multi-surface, and blue for glass and mirrors.
It was so fun filling up my forever bottles and then dropping in the tab and seeing science at work! The first cleaner I used was the bathroom and was SOOOO impressed. It cut through soap scum (with some elbow grease), left my faucets water stain free, and smelled faintly of earl grey tea. The multi-surface and glass and mirror cleaners took a few times to get used to. I found that I encountered a lot of streaks, but once I switched to a micro-fiber cloth instead of paper towels the streaks were gone!
This week I’m going to tackle the dark abyss that is under my kitchen sink and clear out any cleaners that my Blueland can replace! If you’re looking to take your house to the next non-toxic level, check out Blueland. Their essential set of cleaners (plus the newly launched hand foaming wash) are only $38 and refill tabs are only $2!!! But act quick because they were just on Shark Tank this week, so their stock is already low!
New Favorite Podcast - Be There In Five Podcast
I love podcasts, but I also find them a bit overwhelming with the amount of episodes, so I only try and subscribe to a handful. I was very content with my roundup of regulars but then I was introduced to the Be There In Five podcast, and I think this podcast was made for me. Kate Kennedy, the host, is a pop culture junkie who loves to take deep dives into celebrity news, 90s nostalgia (Disney Channel movies are referenced often and I’ve never felt more understood.), and reality tv.
What I love the most, aside from the topics that are discussed, is the style that Kate records in. Instead of clear cut topics and moving on to a new one, she pretty much just speaks in a stream of consciousness. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I LOVE IT, mostly because the rabbit holes she goes on are the same ones my brain does. She’s incredibly witty and I’ve yet to listen to an episode without bursting out laughing.
Kate’s opinion and “research” on influencers and the blogging community is also fascinating. Her most listened to episodes are a deep dive into Mormon Mommy Bloggers (ie. Rachel Parcell of Pink Peonies, Amber Fillerup Clark of Barefoot Blonde, and more). They are a MUST listen! Over the past month I’ve been trying to get through her entire library of episodes, so much so that I’ve been neglecting my regulars! If you are at all into pop culture you need this podcast in your lineup. They are longform (sometimes even 2 hours!), so they are best for long commutes, exercising, or doing mindless household tasks. To be honest there have been many times I’ve taken the extra long way home or created needless errands just to listen to more episodes. Now if this podcast seems like too much for you, at least give Kate a follow on Instagram, her stories are hilarious and a must watch!
Well there’s your random life update from me! Head back to the blog on Thursday for September’s Book Review post.