“Any time you get a chance to go on an adventure … take it.”
- M to E, Jan. 2014
I’ve long loved coconut oil as a body moisturizer and home remedy, but always balked at the idea of putting actual oil on my face. If you’re a combination or oily-skin gal you’ll get what I mean – the idea of adding oil to your skin just doesn’t compute.
My skin is weird. It’s prone to oil, acne, and dryness. This winter has been extremely cold, and my skin has been unusually dry. No matter what moisturizer I tried – the good stuff from my aesthetician, the cheap stuff from Target – it didn’t matter. I tried washing my face only at night, switched to a gentle cleanser, tried a new moisturizer. Nothing worked.
Recently, a college friend mentioned on Facebook that she uses nothing but coconut oil on her face, and her skin is gorgeous. Still wary, I gave it a try one weekend and am still using it. The results have been great!
My skin is still sensitive, but much less irritated and more clear than usual, while using coconut oil. It looks less tired than usual, too. Coconut oil is the kind of thing you can’t go wrong trying. It’s inexpensive and multi-purpose. If your skin hates it, you can still cook with it.
A few tips if you want to try using coconut oil as your facial moisturizer …
Get the good stuff. I’ve tried a few different brands and the organic virgin coconut oil from Trader Joe’s is the best I’ve found. For $6 a jar it’s cheaper than some of the lower-quality stuff I’ve found at the supermarket. It’s creamy and soft, and it smells delicious.
Melt it down. The oil will be in a semi-solid state in the jar, but should quickly melt once it touches your hands. I take a small scoop and warm it up between my hands so it’s fully melted before applying to my face – this makes it easier to get consistent coverage.
Rub it in. Apply the oil like you would any moisturizer, gently massaging into your face, then let it sit for a few minutes. It probably won’t be fully absorbed at this point the way a regular moisturizer would, so if you’re planning to put makeup on, go back in about 5-10 minutes and massage your face again to rub in any excess. (If your skin still feels oily, blot with a towel and repeat as needed.) If you’re headed to bed, just leave it alone.
What’s your favorite way to use coconut oil? I can’t get enough of it!
// xo Jacki
One week into a shiny new year, how’s 2014 treating you so far?
This is the first year in a while that I didn’t get all emotional and reflective over the new year. No fuss or fanfare online or at home. Although the holidays were lovely, most of 2013 was unexpectedly challenging for me. Some of those challenges were really positive, and some were really – uh, challenging. I learned a lot, fast, and am adjusting to life at a different pace, more responsibility, et cetera.
So, even if the new calendar is just a symbol, with no real difference between life this week and life two weeks ago, I like the symbolic “reset” of January.
I also like horoscopes, even though they’re silly. It isn’t that I give them any real credence. No, I just like the ritual of taking the placebo and smiling at how it applies to my day, or how wildly off-base it is, depending on the luck of the draw. That said, I liked this little “make 2014 rad” blurb that The Frisky sent me last week.
How to get what you really want in life: Allow yourself the quiet time you need to listen to your inner voice. Don’t rush into things without fully feeling them out, and don’t let yourself be swayed by others — deep down, you know what you want.
Obstacle to overcome in order to be your best self: There is a saying, “Let go or you will be dragged,” and this is your life lesson, Taurus. Let go of the things, thought patterns, relationships, and jobs that are dragging you down. Just let go.
The thing I most want to let go in 2014? Stressing out about everything. Are you making any resolutions or goals this year? I don’t typically make resolutions, but I have a couple big goals for the year, including taking a real vacation!
For tonight, I’m practicing two skills that always come in handy during winter: tending a fire and drinking a glass of wine. I’ve always been good with the wine, but lately I’ve been getting pretty good at the fire building, too.
// xo Jacki
We had a merry little Christmas here – how about you?
There was a moment late on Christmas Eve when all the gifts were wrapped, the lights were low and the Christmas tree was twinkling, the latest episode of SNL was playing on Hulu, the fire was burning bright and hot, and I had just pulled a
way too big for two people pan of coffee cake out of the oven … and I thought, this is what that song is talking about. Now, I’ve never actually seen Meet Me in St. Louis, so … maybe it’s not what the song was actually talking about, originally. But for me, that’s always been one of my favorite Christmas songs, and I found myself singing it quietly as I curled up on the couch late on Christmas Eve.
On Christmas day, we had a full schedule, but everything was really happy and relaxed, considering that four separate households had to coordinate plans. The kids had a blast and were so excited about all of their gifts … the grown-ups were all very well spoiled too! I think my favorite thing about the holiday was how much time with both of our families we were able to squeeze into the day, without feeling rushed or stressed at all. It was lovely!
What was your favorite part of Christmas this year?
(Image credit: Sebastian Muller via Unsplash)
// xo Jacki
This Christmas season has been laid back and low key at our house, and I have been really enjoying it. This weekend we finished up most of our shopping, and my Amazon Prime membership paid itself off in last-minute shopper’s peace of mind. For a couple years now we’ve done most of our holiday preparations in one efficient weekend just before Christmas. We throw down, but with realistic expectations. As in – I don’t care that our gift-wrapping sessions aren’t Pinterest-worthy, because they’re fun.
The house isn’t too decked out, but it feels festive, especially when there’s a fire going. Our tree, which E picked after about a minute on the lot a mile from our house, is dressed in a hodgepodge collection of ornaments that is growing a little each year.
The first year I had my own place I didn’t get a tree, but wrapped twinkle lights around a birch tree trunk I had in a corner of my living room and hung my few ornaments from the twinkle light cords. The first year Matt and I were dating, we got a tree and there were maybe half a dozen ornaments on it. I didn’t spend money on ornaments just to fill the branches, because I had this idea that my ornament collection should be full of meaningful selections. And I was broke.
My mom and her friend Julia have a long-standing tradition of exchanging ornaments at Christmas. Now my oldest friend Margaret and I keep up the tradition too (Julia is her mom). We’ve been friends our whole lives, but haven’t lived in the same state for about 10 years as often as I’d like. This year when the ornament Margaret made me arrived, and with it a hand-written letter, in my dear friend’s familiar handwriting, it hit me how cool these traditions are, and how they don’t just happen, they take some effort and that makes them more special.
So, even though I bought a couple packages of shatter-proof sparkly Christmas balls (hee) last year, because E was excited about decorating the tree, most of the ornaments we hung this year are meaningful selections – ornaments we’ve chosen or received as gifts.
Speaking of gifts. Today I decided I’d like to bake some festive deliciousness this week (like this), and that I want this loaf pan, because I have this theory I’ll want to bake things more frequently throughout the year if the pan is pretty. Purple or orange? I can’t decide.
// xo Jacki
Last week I shared a few stocking stuffer gift ideas for the ladies in your life. Here are some ideas for the guys!
A wall-mount bottle opener for the dude who loves his craft beer.
Like my dude, who is getting a wall-mount bottle opener in his stocking and already knows it. Endless choices at Amazon for under $15.
Google Chromecast for the cable-eschewing tech lover in your life. We have a Chromecast named Bob Vance (our wireless network is named Vance Refrigeration). $30 at Amazon.
Beef jerky. Lots of it. (Not pictured)
Beard conditioner. For the gent who embraces cold weather by rocking a beard; $17 at Amazon.
A Google Play gift card. Boom. You’re done.
Happy stocking shopping!
(This post contains some affiliate links, but every product on this list is something I a) have purchased or b) want to/would purchase as a gift for a favorite fella.)
// xo Jacki