My Brand New Nose

The past week has been a whirlwind and last Thursday marked the end of a long and painful saga that began when I was very young. I have come a long way, but have a lot more healing to do.

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When I was 13 and working as part of a youth volunteer program at my local YMCA, I was put in charge of the moon bounce/bouncing castle.. I was alone for a while and decided to jump around. I crushed my nose with my knee during a flip and became Voldemort’s long lost twin.

In middle school, surgeon number one operated once and later attempted to open me up in his office to make an alteration that never should have been attempted in an office setting.

Horrified and very disappointed, my mother started doing her homework and found a truly wonderful ENT who also happened to be a Plastic Surgeon.

In high school, wonderful surgeon number 2 repaired my sinuses and my nose and the procedures went very well and we expected a spectacular outcome. One week after surgery I became light headed and passed out. I fell out of a chair in my bathroom and hit my nose against the bathtub on the way down. I was rushed in for emergency surgery that day and the surgeon did what he could knowing that ultimately I would need to come back for another round.

Now, a decade later, I finally bit the bullet and decided to put this mess to rest. I returned to wonderful surgeon number 2 and the moment he stepped in to the exam room he could see I couldn’t breathe. Significant scar tissue had developed and my nostrils had collapsed. I just couldn’t breathe through my nose and all of the mouth breathing had made my teeth very sensitive. We booked a date in January for surgery but due to the devastation in Puerto Rico, certain products and tools he needed to operate were in short supply and we had to push the date.

March 22nd became the big day. My surgery ended up being more difficult than expected due to the scar tissue that had developed over a decade since crush injury #2. My nose was such a mess, surgery took an hour longer than expected. Thanks to an organ donor, my surgeon had the best and strongest spare parts (that’s what I’m calling them) he needed to reinforce my nose and complete this final repair.

It’s not going to be a perfect looking nose. Given how much this honker has been through, it’s just not a realistic expectation to achieve the aesthetic ideal. It will, however, be FULLY FUNCTIONAL and I am so grateful that I would cry if it didn’t hurt to do so right now.

I will look a bit different when everything heals and it will take some getting used to. I will certainly be doing my fair share of staring at it so don’t feel bad if you catch yourself staring too. Given how many times I have had my nose worked on, I’m no stranger to close inspection. In fact, after how much time, effort and money has gone in to this bad boy, staring is encouraged. Get a good look everybody. This nose is the finished product and it’s here to stay!

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Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant

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I have been embarrassed by my skin since I started having issues with acne in middle/high school. My mom took me to dermatologists, we bought the fancy potions and I had the expensive treatments. Nothing really worked. If I am to be truly honest, I have to admit that I was a “picker.” If there was something on my face, I was going to mess with it and make it worse. I was so embarrassed by my skin that I convinced my grandmother to buy Photoshop for my computer and I learned to erase my skin issues in photographs. (This was before the days of Facetune.)

Though my skin improved over time, I still struggled with acne and allergy related blemishes. I didn’t feel comfortable going to the pool or beach without makeup and worrying about it was exhausting. I wanted a solution and had heard about Rodan + Fields, but was hesitant to give it a try.

My sister’s engagement is what pushed me to try it. Weddings are highly photographed events and I wanted to go into the wedding season without worrying about my skin.
I have been using Rodan + Fields products for almost a year now and have been so thrilled with the results that I signed up to sell the stuff!

Rodan + Fields is the fasted growing skincare brand in the US and it’s obvious why. These products deliver results. I went from having irritated face craters to clear, smooth skin. For the first time in my life I don’t have to worry about my skin. I don’t even need makeup. Yes. You read that correctly.

I only knew one person who sold Rodan + Fields and I didn’t know anyone else who had tried their products. If that was my experience, then many of you may not have heard of Rodan + Fields either. Because my own results have been so transformative, I feel compelled to take the leap and share my story with you. I never thought I would be passionate about skincare. I certainly never thought I would be selling skincare products to my friends and family, but here I am!

Take a look at the before and after photos.
If you have skin concerns and have been frustrated by series after series of ineffective products, I’m begging you to give Rodan + Fields a try. If you aren’t satisfied with your R+F regimen within 60 days, you can return it for a full refund. What is there to lose?
Comment below if you would like to know more!

Awesome Product or Torture Device

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I recently purchased an epilator and I can’t decide if I think it’s great or if it’s a device of torture. It really doesn’t hurt too much, but it sure isn’t pleasant.

PROS
No shaving
Smooth skin
No irritation from shaving

CONS
Time consuming
Some patchiness
Kind of painful

This product works really well so if you are looking for an epilator, this is great.
I’m still interested in finding out if waxing is less painful so later this spring I’m going to get a wax for the first time. My sister is going with me and we are going to bite the bullet together. I’m already terrified. If you have any tips for first timers let me know!

Here Comes the Sun: The Sequal

And now for the arms….

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If you have been following along, you will have seen the results I posted on the Nivea’s Sun-Kissed Radiance Fair to Medium Gradual Tanning Lotion on my post Here Comes The Sun. I figured if my legs were going to have color, then I had probably better apply some to the other limbs that are often exposed too. I applied the lotion three days in a row to try and catch up to my legs a bit and I’m pleased with how it turned out.

It is worth mentioning again that my walls are wood paneled and it makes everything look orange so the results aren’t orange in real life. It’s also difficult to get the lighting conditions to be the same photo to photo.

The underbelly of my arms (the whitest part) now has a nice subtle golden tone where it was super white before and I love how even the color is across the board. I’m still glad I got the light to medium versus the medium to dark version of the lotion. I very much doubt that I would have liked the results as much if I had gone with the darker version.

If you are looking to get ahead of the warm weather and build your sun free tan now, give Nivea’s lotion a try. It’s pretty great.

Changing Things Up

As you may have noticed, I changed the name of this blog.

When I started this blog, it was the next chapter in a shopping blog I kept on Blogspot called Armoire of a Reverie. Dumb name…I know. I had a descent following on that site. Elizabeth McKay actually followed me. I was finishing up college and had loads of time and energy to put into mixing and matching things that I was wearing. It didn’t hurt that I had loads and loads of clothes back then.

Fast forward five years: I have moved 3 times and have taken on some pretty difficult jobs. With each move, I left things behind and changed what I was wearing to better fit what I was doing. It became exhausting to keep up the parade of outfits and accessories. It was exhausting to pack and unpack all of that mess every time I moved. I’m tired just thinking about packing all of that mess. (I’m still selling stuff, if you’re interested)
Game over.

When I moved to this blog, I intended to focus on my gift for seeking out sales. I am signed up for just about every newsletter out there and I can almost feel it in my bones when a good sale is about to hit. I published notices about sales and posted show and tell pieces after I had shopped the sales myself. This was tough to keep up.

My shopping habits changed in a pretty noticeable way in the past year. Instead of mopping up at every great sale, I would pick up a few staple pieces. Plain stuff. Boring stuff. Bread and butter stuff. Stuff that doesn’t get readers excited. Basically… I got boring.

Sorry I’m not sorry!

I find myself gravitating towards more plain items now. I love items that can be worn with anything and I LOVE being able to grab something simple and not think too much about it. It is a pretty interesting change from what I was into only a few years ago. Layering necklaces and an abundance of color are just not my deal anymore.

So about the name…
What’s the deal?
What is my deal?
What’s the deal with this blog?

I don’t know.
Won’t you stick around to find out?

Here Comes The Sun

I was in high school when Jergens came out with their gradual tanning lotion. It was kind of a big deal. All of us lily white girls bought and used the stuff as we tried to get color before prom. I will never forget the smell and how orange everyone became. Obviously there were some kinks to be worked out. Anyone not using the Jergens method, were getting spray tans and looked equally as orange. We were all new to this and it showed.

It has been about twelve years since I tried, and subsequently ditched, my first tanning lotion. I figured it was time to give it another go. Surely a decade was long enough for improvements to be made.

I recently purchased Nivea’s Sun-Kissed Radiance Fair to Medium Gradual Tanning Lotion and gave it a whirl. I love Nivea products and had high hopes for this lotion and I was not at all disappointed. The lotion feels great, as all Nivea lotions do, and the smell is very mild. But the big question stands: How well does it work?

As you can see by the photo below, this lotion works surprisingly well!

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The photo on the left was taken before the first application. The second photo was taken in the evening after two applications; one the night the first photo was taken and another the following morning. I didn’t realize how effective the lotion was until I put the photographs together. It seems more subtle in person. I’m glad I took the pictures because I probably would have over done it in a hurry with two applications a day. I’m going to dial it back to one application every other day.

My purpose for trying this new tanning lotion was to get a little color on my legs before it’s time to wear skirts and dresses without black stockings. I also want to have some base color before I go to the beach in a couple of months. Ideally I plan to get some real sun on my legs to help deepen the color provided by the lotion. The lotion is great, but I can see how without real sun the lotion will begin to appear orange from use over time.

In summary, I really like the lotion. It provides gradual  and even color, feels great, and doesn’t stink! That is a substancial improvement over the old Jergens product. Nice job Nivea. Two thumbs up!

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FENTY BEAUTY

Rihanna’s beauty line is blowing up in print and online. Her products are so popular that a person has to be stationed next to the display at Sephora to thwart theft. That’s pretty major.

I decided to get a little something from her line for myself and purchased the Gloss Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer.

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It’s really really pretty y’all.

At only $18.00, this lip gloss much more affordable than the other popular and coveted brands out there. Rhianna has created an extremely desirable product line that is meant for ALL skin tones and she has priced it within reach. Mad respect Rhi Rhi.