April Beauty Balance

My boxycharm box came in the mail, so I get to do another beauty balance post and then toss a couple empties. This is a much preferable way of approaching my empties as opposed to saving my trash for the end of the month.

We’ll just start where I was last time. 2 items leaving my collection above what entered my collection.

Now, on to April’s boxycharm box. Here’s what I received:


So, I’d been happy because there were some brushes which don’t count toward totals. But then I realized we got a sample eye primer, so it’s 5 items entering my collection anyhow. Except for this. When I opened the eyeliner, the product was broken off at the base and there was no product in there. So that was massively disappointing. I had really been looking forward to a light colored eyeliner. In the end, because the eyeliner is not usable, it’s 4 items entering my collection.

I did contact boxycharm about the eyeliner so we’ll see what happens next. To be honest, I was most excited about it as I love a light colored or colorful eyeliner more than anything else. As for the rest of the box, the lipstick turned out to be a pretty fantastic nude color, so I am surprisingly happy with that, and the artist couture highlighter turned out to be quite nice. The palette? I could take it or leave it, with a lean toward leave it. I am wearing it today but it’s just so basic and the quality isn’t anything fantastic at all.

Anyhow, after that off the cuff box review, let’s get to the balancing part of this post.


The shower gel I received in a fabfitfun box and I finally used it up. I think that Miss Butterfly also used it from time to time. It’s nothing to write home about, so I’ll not be tring to purchase it. The tiny vial is a kora face oil which I am glad to have used but I don’t feel the need to have it in my life in the future. And, the saddest one. A tin of balm brought to me from a trip to prince edward island as a gift for caring for a friend’s cat while he was on vacation. I loved this balm. I kept it at work as that’s where my hands get the dryest. A little went a long way and it is just the type of product I enjoy having on hand at work. I am sad to see it go and I am not sure how I will replace it. It had a completely unoffensive scent which is something I look for with a heavy duty product like this and I am just not sure when and how I’ll find something similar.

Anyhow, in the end this leaves me at one product leaving my collection above and beyond what has entered my collection. I’ve got two items very close to being finished. But, I needed to replace one of those items with something that is currently on its way. We’ll see how the rest of the month goes.

Time is Strange

It’s Wednesday, 11 days before the big day. I was going to come here to talk about knitting, and I’ll get to that. But, I am having a morning of feeling really odd. In one week, we’ll be at madness level 5, barrelling toward the big day and it’ll likely feel like I can’t catch a break or a breath.

So, I am breathing this week. The week is flying by while simultaneously time feels suspended. We are moving too fast toward big day when I really want to take in what is now. The enjoyment of anticipation, the enjoyment of having done most of what needs doing and knowing that whatever happens next is ok with me. The suspension of time where I enjoy all that has been with my relationship with Mr. Ink. This almost 6-year relationship has been nothing but good. I didn’t know that a relationship with another person could just be good and uncomplicated and comfortable while also being the best thing that ever happens. So I have this idea this week that I want to treasure that. The big day changes everything and nothing at all. Once the big day happens, Mr. Ink will still be planting trees and gardening. I’ll still be knitting and spinning and messing around with makeup. We’ll still be parenting a teenager, going on bike rides, taking the dogs to the dog park, and planning our next big adventure together. This is my week to remember and appreciate how we got here, close to the big day.

I feel like it doesn’t take a leap to understand that all these feelings are kind of leading me to not get quite as much done this week as I had anticipated. I am hopeful that I’ll be able to change that dynamic yet this week. Those bathrooms didn’t get deep cleaned yet. I blame the still slightly bum knee which was acting up after I walked the dogs yesterday. And a headache. And a myriad of other excuses. I did get Mr. Ink to work on the slow running bathroom sink drain though, so it’s ready to be cleaned.

Instead, I worked on the normal day to day house chores and some additional packing up items which will be used at the wedding. Then, I also got some knitting done. Let’s talk about that knitting now. I mentioned that I had started two new projects. The first was a cowl, and as it turns out, I forgot to check and twisted my cast on. Didn’t notice for a while, and it was too late to fix so that got ripped back out and I don’t have the heart to cast on again right now. The other thing is another Lintilla shawl. I have often found that the Lintilla shawl is my perfect no brainer knitting. I adore it. It provides interest while still being garter stitch and the pattern is easily memorized. Here’s the handspun I am using:

I had created this last summer when I did a craft room clean out and declutter. One ply is silk hankies and the other ply is crampot dyed locks. I loved the finished yarn so much that I was saving it for a special occasion, knowing full well it would become a Lintilla shawl but also knowing I wasn’t ready to crack into the skein. Turns out, now is a good time.


The colors here are a little funny, they don’t blend nicely into one another. It’s more like color blocks. But, this is also a ridiculously soft yarn with a ton of interesting texture and those color changes are going to make me very happy during the knitting of this shawl. It is a little jarring to not have it look like I am accustomed to having handspun look.

I got the flight details this morning for Mr. Ink’s sister in law. She’s…great. She takes care of things. Knowing that she’ll arrive on Wednesday and just help take over whatever needs taking over is really a relief. Knowing that I’ve done MY part to be as prepared as possible will help her not feel overwhelmed as well. It’s a good relationship. My parents arrive the day before that, and it’ll be nice to have a little time with them before the insanity of additional family company begins. Work is the oddest thing since I’ve told very few people what I’ll be out for, it just continues on as normal with the same types of stress we always have and nothing slowing down for anyone. When it comes to work, nothing is feeling suspended at all, in fact, I’d venture a guess that work is what has me feeling like we are barreling through the week.  I will be pulling together a bunch of tasks and deadlines for my boss this week as she’s eager to make sure I TRULY do not need to worry about anything at work while I am out of the office. So eager that she’s agreed to sit in my office half the time to make sure everything stays on track. She doesn’t work in my building so it’ll be a good opportunity for her to get a handle on what is happening in my building, a benefit to her as well.

Anyhow, that’s about a long enough blog post for now, too long really. But it’s a good description of where I am at the moment. 🙂


Another Finished Object

This weekend was a two finished object weekend, which is really fun when I have tended to feel like I am not getting very far with knitting due to time constraints.


This is the Levity Shawl and it is done! It is such a pretty piece and I enjoyed knitting immensely. The handspun yarn looks as good as I imagined. And with this finished object, I have made it to 43% of my yearly goal. This was also some of the oldest handspun in my stash so it was fun to get it used up and moved out of the yarn stash, as is another goal of mine this year.

Speaking of which-I am now at 110 yarns in stash so also well on my way to my goal of getting this number under 100 this year. I began two new projects over the weekend, one intended for my lunch breaks at work, and another intended to be nice and mindless for the upcoming couple of weeks. I’ll show those off shortly.

Miss Butterfly and I worked very hard over the weekend. While there were points where I got the typical teen attitude and so on, for the most part she’s been extremely eager to help out around the house while we prep for company. We did do a deep cleaning of the living room on Sunday and also completely rearranged it since we wanted to open it up a bit to accommodate all the company coming in. We still don’t know what kind of weather we will be dealing with so it is entirely possible that we’ll be mostly indoors. That’s a lot of people indoors! Anyhow, you can see that the couch is covered in towels and sheets. This is because Rose’s fur sticks to that couch so badly. We are trying to minimize that at this time. Miss Butterfly and I did a vacuuming of the couch cushions and so on, but we are really going to have to go in there pretty hard to de-hair the couch and don’t want to make more work for ourselves. Anyhow, the couch is now in front of the living room windows, which has basically provided Rose with panoramic dog TV. She thinks this is a wonderful turn of events. If she sees humans, she gives out one big woof. Then Miss Lizzie who doesn’t care a bit about staring out windows begins to bark. She doesn’t like to quit. Even when I tell her to knock it off, she lays around growling under her breath. She has no clue what is even going on, but she’s definitely got something to say about it!

Now Rose, being a nervous girl, really struggled with the deep cleaning and furniture rearrangement initially. Plus Mr. Ink was hanging pictures again, so that was loud. She didn’t appreciate it and really was on edge there for a while. Finally, we decided to take her to the dog park. It was a stunningly beautiful day. There were tons of dogs. It wasn’t muddy. It was the perfect day to find a spot on the grass and sit so that Rose could play. Sitting on the grass at the dog park is one of my absolute favorite things. It’s so unusual that dogs have to come up and investigate, sometimes get right in your face or crawl all over you. It’s super cute. We meet a lot more dogs that way than we would if we were standing around. So, because of this, we stayed much longer than normal. When Rose ends up laying down playing with a ball near us, we know we’ve truly worn her out. This was a really good reset for her and she came home much less stressed and ready to explore the new furniture arrangement.

While Miss Butterfly and I did get a ton accomplished, we didn’t get all accomplished that we had wanted to this weekend. As such, we’ll be working on deep cleaning the bathrooms this week in the evenings. That being said, we both agreed that while it’s not that fun, deep cleaning the bathrooms tends to be easy. And really, fairly quick. The biggest problem is getting down to business in the first place. That being said, one of the reasons we haven’t gotten down to business yet is because the main bathroom sink drain needs to be unclogged again. It’s pointless to deep clean if the drain isn’t running that well. We are waiting on Mr. Ink for that task to be completed. I think we’ll do a little nagging tonight to get there.

Anyhow, that’s a nice long update of what is going on around here! Prepping, as usual, but not feeling too stressed anymore. It’s more of a prepping in order to pass the time in a productive fashion right now. I think that’s why Miss Butterfly is so eager to help.


April Beauty Balance

As anticipated, Miss Butterfly and I went shopping on Saturday. I had been seeing if I could find something I wanted to wear to our rehearsal dinner. It’s not an emergency, I am sure I could find something in my closet to wear. But we thought we’d give it a try. We completely struck out. But, we did manage to pick up that which I wanted to get at ulta.


I am a few uses away from being finished with my night cream. I wanted a less expensive alternative so I am giving the cerave a try. I need a hairspray in my life, so I got one of those. And, I picked up shade 1 and shade 3 of gimme brow. I wasn’t sure which would be best, but figured that shade 1, if it didn’t work for me, would work for Miss Butterfly. I have decided that a brow gel really is my absolute favorite way of doing my brows and I’ll move to that exclusively once I’ve used up all other brow products in my collection.

I was three items up in the products leaving category from last post. This is 4 items in, so I need to make that up.


Here’s what I’ve gotten finished since last beauty balance post. One Brigeo deep conditioning mask which I used as a regular hair conditioner, one lush superbalm scalp treatment which I will likely replace in the near future, and one sample size of Viktor and Rolf flower bomb nectar which I LOVED.

That puts us at two items leaving my collection over what has entered it this month. I know I’ve got more that are pretty close to being done as well. Despite the large amount of lip items that I purchased, this month is still shaping up to be a good one for finishing products.

Knitting Related

It’s often so much easier to figure out what to post regarding beauty these days. But I do knit, even though it’s lessened somewhat this season. Anyhow, I finished up a honey cowl out of handspun yarn. This is the project I finished to give to Miss Marja’s mother for allowing us to use her home to get ready in less than 2 weeks from today.


It’s a really nice pattern and yarn pairing, I really love it! The colors are so beautiful and intense.

We’ve been hard at work getting the house prepared for company. I love to do a deep clean before we have visitors. Well, I love to do a deep clean full stop. But, having visitors makes it all the more enjoyable. Miss Butterfly and I deep cleaned the dining room yesterday. Mr. Ink went out shopping. He bought a suit for the wedding, finally. He also bought a new rug.


During the time which we attempted to allow Rose to be out of her kennel but contained to one room, she shredded the rug in Mr. Ink’s den. The den was on the list of places that needed a deep cleaning but it is technically Mr. Ink’s responsibility. That being said, the shredded carpet pieces have been migrating all over the house. So, as soon as that new rug arrived, Miss Butterfly and I tore up the den to remove the old carpet and then did a bunch of work on the floor and edges. There’s still cleaning to be done in there but we are pleased with the progress we made. This morning Rose decided to go grab herself a rag to shred rather than shred the carpet, so that’s a win.

Rose has been doing far better in her kennel with the new set up. She happily runs in there to eat, she goes in there just to check it out, and she’s most insistent that Lizzie doesn’t go anywhere near her kennel. This is good, it’s major progress. We had one drooling day while we were gone but overall she’s far better adjusted to it than she had been.

More dog stuff, Rose and Lizzie have been playing lots of hide and seek with Miss Butterfly. They love it, and Rose is now the clear winner. Her thoughtful intelligent nature paired with her nose finds Miss Butterfly far faster than Lizzie’s over the top flying through the rooms seeking but often overlooking Miss Butterfly because she’s moving too fast nature.

Today we are hoping to get the living room deep cleaned and rearranged. It’s the largest space in the house with the most surfaces to dust and clean and it can be a real pain in the butt. That being said, it’ll feel much better when it is done. We will rearrange the furniture to work better for lots of guests since we need to gather as much space as possible for the upcoming event. I had really wanted the bathrooms deep cleaned today as well, but we’ll see how we go.

2019 First Quarter Product Love

We’ve just finished up the first quarter of the year. With that, I just finished up concentrating on certain items in my makeup collection. I’ve also discovered new things during this first quarter of the year.

I decided it might be fun and even helpful for me to go through some of the things that truly stood out to me during this busy first quarter.

I am going to start with foundation. During this first quarter I had been on the hunt for a long wearing foundation that matched nicely to test out for my wedding. You may remember the bit of drama that happened when I decided I wanted to try a mac product. The salesperson slipped a foundation that wasn’t what I wanted in my bag and I paid for it, left the shop, and got annoyed when I looked at it when I got home. But, that salesperson whether being tricksy or not understanding my wants ended up doing something so extremely amazing for me. She picked a foundation that I adore. It truly sticks to my face. Even my nose! All day! Even if I wipe my nose! I can’t get over it. I love it, I’ve tested it well, and I know it’ll perform well for my wedding day.


It turns out that the Mac Pro Longwear foundation is my perfect foundation. After the wedding, I’ll be working through ALL my other foundations and then only using this one forever and always. NW15 in the winter and NW18 in the summer. Good to go. I have LOVED trying foundations over the past year and thought I’d always be a bit of a foundation junkie. But as it turns out now that I found the perfect one all desire to be a foundation junkie is gone.


The next product I am going to touch on is Lancome Cils Booster mascara primer. It’s a pricey product I got half off. It has changed my mascara game completely. When I am out of this one I plan to try L’Oreal voluminous primer but I don’t hold out high hopes for that since many of the voluminous products irritate my eyes. I have to admit, if that’s the case, I’ll be purchasing this pricey one again. I just love it so much!


Over top of that primer I’ve been using the Too Faced better than sex mascara. I’ve avoided trying this mascara for more than a year. I hate the name. It’s dumb. I didn’t want to spend the money on it. And, since there are so many “dupes” and I’ve tried those and they always flaked, I assumed this one would flake too. I figured why bother trying it out when it’s just going to do what all other mascaras do. But, I got it in a boxy charm box and it’s wonderful. It’s a great mascara for me, it does NOT flake, one of the first! It’s so pretty and paired with the primer my eyelashes look so full and thick.


I would be remiss if I did not talk about the MoroccanOil dry texture spray. The amount of volume, grit, and staying power this product gives me is amazing. I don’t use this on the first wash day. On day 2 or 3 I begin to use it to give volume and hold to an updo. I add this and then throw my hair in a bun or a gibson tuck. I can get two or three days of updos out of my hair with this product and a little dry shampoo prolonging the time between washes significantly. While I may try other dry texture sprays in the future if I come across them, for now, this is a permanent item in my collection.


And the last thing I am going to mention from this quarter, though it is now gone, is the NYX intense butter gloss I received in the advent calendar in December. Prior to owning this I kept saying I hated gloss and just handed any gloss that came my way to Miss Butterfly. The intense butter gloss changed all of that completely. Unfortunately, it seems like the only place I can get the intense butter gloss now is off the NYX website itself. It isn’t carried in Ulta. I haven’t seen it in drugstores. It’s a bit disappointing. BUT, it opened me up to the idea of gloss again and I did find that I really enjoy mac’s glosses too. So, I am just going to keep my eyes open for gloss formulas that tend to be highly pigmented with really nice staying power.

My makeup love is strong these days and I could absolutely keep listing product after product that I am really enjoying. But, that really defeats the purpose. The above products are ones that truly stood out. That I’ve loved over everything else. They surprised me, they surpassed my expectations, and at this time, I never really want to be without them (Or an appropriate dupe) in my life.

April Beauty Balance Part 1

Let’s state right up front that I did something crazy and a little panic induced. The wedding is in just over 2 weeks and I still haven’t nailed down “The perfect lipstick.” Part of me says I probably need to let that go, to begin with. The other part of me is the one where I decided that I love ofra’s liquid lipstick formula and bought two collections, giving me 7 nude colors to try from. It’s my last ditch attempt to figure out what to wear for the wedding and it had better work. I can tell you this, I will not be purchasing more. Something in this group needs to work for me or I need to revisit my current collection and call it done.


Now that this explanation is out of the way, let’s move on. First of all, our products out category was up by 14 at the end of March. But, I’ve got 7 new lip products so that number is now down to 7.

Here are the other things which I picked up:



I purchased the elf lip exfoliator as a replacement for one I just finished. I also brought in a shampoo to try because I am completely out.

The next two things I got half price. Now, the white peach eyeshadow palette I’ve had my eye on for a while now. I knew I’d get it if it went half price. I know it doesn’t have the most fantastic ratings out there, but neither did boudoir eyes and I use that palette all the time! Its colors are so soft, so work appropriate (not that I regularly concern myself with that) and so gentle when I want a subtle look. I adore my sweet peach palette and I absolutely want to get just peachy mattes if it ever goes half price. The other item is simply a bite beauty lip pencil. At half price, I decided it was time to give that a try as well.

Naturally, a few samples followed along, a fact I am not the least bit upset about. So, that’s another 7 items in. That breaks me even again.


But, I do have a few things leaving my collection:


As I mentioned, I am out of elf lip exfoliator. The empty is pictured here. I also am out of my morphe brush cleaner. I will absolutely not repurchase this. I didn’t like it, it doesn’t smell great, and my dr. bronners works so well that I’ll be sticking with that from now on. I gave this sample of lipstick transformer to Miss Butterfly, as I really don’t care one bit to use it. I’ve had it for over a year and I haven’t used it and I don’t plan to. So, 3 items up again.

21 days of beauty has been going on, a fact I had not anticipated happening in March/April. I’ve done pretty well though. Every single time I think “Oh that’s a SUPER deal on something I will REALLY use!” I look at how long it will take me to use similar items in my collection. When the answer is basically an entire year, I stand down. For instance, I gave Miss Butterfly my butter bronzer. But then my immediate instinct was to replace it. In my head, I thought “But, I don’t have another shimmery bronzer. Except the hourglass one in a palette. Oh, and also the one that is in my magnetic palette.” And that’s when I realized I was being ridiculous. I do have the same category in my stash so I don’t have to replace it. And if it served such a special place in my collection that I needed to replace it immediately, I shouldn’t have given it away in the first place. So, instead, I am planning to use my other shimmery bronzers and not replace the butter bronzer until those are used up. That could take me a year or more. At that time I’ll evaluate what I’d like to replace that item in my collection with, and it may not be butter bronzer in the first place.

All this is to say that 21 days of beauty is quickly coming to a close but I am planning to pick up a brow gel on Saturday. That’s all I am getting from the sale. But I’ve still got Boxycharm coming in. And I do need a hairspray.  And from then on? I’ll be on a replacements only low buy, with the exclusion of eyeshadows and colorful eyeliners. And perfume. Maybe. Well, no perfume until I move through all my little samples which tend to keep arriving. But, the point being that what leaves my collection should far exceed what enters it after this month.