Category Archives: beauty

Weekly Photo Project: Week 29

Week 29

I took zero photos this week, until I realized it was Thursday and even my iPhone was empty of a single shot. My favorite part of this photo is what is completely out of the frame. I asked Leila if she wanted to join me outside to take some photographs, and she jumped at the invitation. First she wanted to gather some things to take pictures “for the store.” I explained our objective had nothing to do with work and was simply to find something beautiful. And so she abandoned her pile of recent drawings and brought her camera outside. She was so eager to show me her photographs, which included a shot of our deck and one of our fig tree. This project has been a scrappy, solo endeavor thus far. Tonight was a reminder that I should invite Leila into it and make some time to wander with our cameras, even if it’s a few minutes before bedtime.

I created a (weekly) capsule wardrobe for my toddler

Toddler Capsule Wardrobe

Since 18 months, my child has had an opinion about her wardrobe, an opinion that has only grown in strength. Once she could dress herself all bets were off. At first I cared. After picking out all her clothes, I wanted to continue to coordinate her outfits. I very shortly lost that. Now I love her strong sense of style. I would never think to pair gold lame leggings with a fringed suede skirt and a floral tank. I just don’t have that eye. The near-constant wardrobe changes however? They became a source of aggravation. A change after each activity meant it was not unusual for our child to cycle through half a dozen outfits each day. It’s hard enough to get clothes put away after laundry, so suffice it to say there was a perpetual pile of clothes sitting somewhere in the nursery.

When I could not take it any more I would try something even more complicated than simply putting away the clothes – installing new limitations (she could only change twice a day and the second change had to be from the previously worn clothes pile), taking all the clothes out of her room and putting them in my already cramped closet and more. Nothing ever worked because I didn’t really care how frequently Leila changes her clothes. I just wanted to be free of the chaos of clothes.

After a day with a particularly wearisome tantrum regarding a wardrobe change, I had an idea. Why not create a weekly capsule wardrobe. I cleared out all her clothes and sorted through those that were stained and needing attention and those that were clean. Then I picked out 10 outfits – 7 top/bottoms and 3 dresses – and 2 sets of pajamas. It seemed like an ample selection for her to choose from for one week. And displayed them lovingly on the couch.

The next morning when she woke up I brought her to the circumstance with as much pomp and circumstance as I could muster. After she’d picked out her outfit for breakfast, I neatly folded everything else into one drawer. It worked. She loved it. She showed Papa when he got home. She told me she wanted to show her cousin. She could hardly believe her luck that she could change as much as she wanted all day, every day.

Then week two rolled around. She’s appeared a little less enamored by this collection, but the fact that all would change within a week seemed to be comfort enough.

Week 3 starts Friday. I think I might have figured this thing out. (Famous last words)

Here is what I am doing:

  • Picking out 10 outfits and 2 pajamas (and adding a cardigan or two now that the weather is getting “cooler”)

Here is what I am not doing:

  • Coordinating the outfits so everything goes with everything. I love Leila’s style, and I don’t want to hamper it.

I think I might have figured this thing out. (Famous last words)

The (More) Perfect Makeup Bag


I have discussed my makeup routine, or lack thereof, here before. Then I had a baby, and about six months in I walked into Origins and told the woman fated to help me that I wanted to look “not tired” and gave her the short list of things I knew I could manage to put on my face on a regular basis. And it worked. I mean, it worked in my head at least, and that is what matters.

I walked out with an eye cream I loved regardless of its actual ability to brighten underneath my eyes, concealer, tinted moisturizer, mascara, an eye shadow cream thing and a free lip color. I used nearly everything almost daily.

Ben was perplexed. He found me in the bathroom and asked, “Why are you putting on makeup? We’re going to a football game.” “I just want to,” I responded. And I did. After over a decade without, I was enjoying playing with makeup again.

I am still enjoying it. And the more I used it, the easier it became to part with the graveyard of abandoned cosmetics cluttering a small corner of our tiny bathroom. I love that twenty years after I made my first rounds at the drugstore I finally know my style and I’m embracing it. It’s about time.

Here’s my (more) perfect makeup bag:

  • Actual makeup bag that holds it all (Origins, from one of my original purchases)
  • Concealer (I’ve been using the same stick for almost three years, so next time I think I’ll try out this brand, which I think is genius)
  • Foundation / Tinted Moisurizer (I’m in love with Tarte for the winter/when I want to look extra polished and Coola for everyday, especially when it’s hot outside. I’m curious to try out this brand, but I’m really picky about finding the perfect color match and don’t know if I could handle not being able to try it on first.)
  • Blush (Still using my Origins three-plus years later, and I just picked up the Tarte crème blush for summer. This size probably makes more sense for me)
  • Blush brush (I wash it too occasionally with baby soap)
  • Mascara (I finally got wise and switched to using free samples – whatever I can get my hands on – because it would take me a decade to finish an actual tube of mascara)
  • Shea butter (Beats a traditional gloss, hands down)
  • Lip pencil/color (Same as mascara – free samples. Also, I keep it in my bag just to give me the extra nudge to play with wearing a red lip once in a blue moon.)

And that’s it. No eye color, no eyelash curling brush, no brow pencil, no eyeliner and no signature lip color. Everyone once and awhile I’ll read about how one of those things is essential to another woman’s routine and I get a little tempted. Then I have a reality check about what I like and what I wear, and the makeup bag stays (my version of) perfect.

What’s in your perfect makeup bag?