September Ramble

Hi everyone! Hope September is treating you well so far. Most folks I know are back to school or their kids are back to school, and the hype for Halloween is in full swing.

This semester is a particularly strange semester for me as its my last semester of university, and all of my classes are either online or at night. I’ve already finished the English major and Psychology minor requirements for my degree, so I’m filling my last few elective spaces with some Public Relations courses for my certificate and a Cree language course. It’s been a really nice change, and I’m finding that I’m really liking my Ethics in Public Relations course so far. I’ve been lucky to have more time for self-care so far this semester as well. Even though I’m working more days than I previously have during the school year, I find that because I only have classes three nights a week, I can sleep in on those three days and then get a lot of stuff done throughout the day. I’m not constantly running to different classes spread throughout the day for once, which is so nice. I can spend the day with my tortoise and get a nap or two in, but still get the rest of my responsibilities done. It’s strange to think that I’ll be looking for another job in a few months if all goes as planned, and then moving, and lord knows what other changes, but I’m trying to just take each change as it presents itself and not worry myself sick over it.

Lately going to makeup school has been something I have looked into more seriously. I looked into a local school a few minutes drive from my place, and it looked promising. The property is very current and new, and the class sizes are cozy and small. Unfortunately, tuition is rather expensive, and just finishing up an undergraduate degree, it is not something I can make work for the moment. I’ve slapped it up on my dreamboard though, as it is something I’d really like to do, even if just for the sake of the hobby or as a part time gig on the side. It’s intimidating though, because even though I live in a very low-populated area of the country that is more so rural and agriculture based, there are so many incredible makeup artists who reside in the South Saskatchewan area. I follow close to two dozen of them on Instagram, or have had makeup lessons by them, and there’s far more out there who I’m sure I haven’t followed yet. The makeup industry is growing at a ridiculous rate even when so many other industries are slowing or failing, but I still worry that there would not be room for me in it.

My tortoise, Nugget, is his usual cranky self. He’s slowly getting used to the fact that I am home a lot more than I used to be. I think he got used to having the whole place to himself when I worked full time day time hours during the summer, so he seems a little miffed that I’m suddenly here during the day when he’s awake. He just sits in his enclosure, watching me run around the apartment, with the weirdest look on his face. Nugget finally met my step-kiddo the other week, and was even more confused! He pretty much ran towards the glass and just stared at her. She of course, is only two, so she was just shouting, “Tort! Tort!”, and I had to stop her from touching the glass. Eventually Nugget came to the conclusion that this tiny human was too hyped for his liking, and promptly went to bed in his log.

Hope y’all have a lovely September!

My ridiculous acne: what helped, what didn’t, what it’s like now

I used to have miserable acne, and still do have breakouts, usually during my breakdown points of the school year. I wish I had some before pictures to show you to contrast with how my skin is now, but I have very few pictures of myself from 5th to 11th grade because I was so embarrassed of my acne, and the internet does not need to get its hands on that! 

In brief, what didn’t help:

  • ProActive. It helped for awhile until it completely dried out and destroyed my combination skin!
  • Stress. This is a no-brainer, I think. Stress aggravates hormonal acne like nothing else.
  • Puberty, periods, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Again, all of the above messed (and continue to mess) with my hormones. 
  • Neutrogena, Clean and Clear, and every other super drying drugstore acne product out there.
  • Seeing my family doctor. I would get put on antibiotics that would help for a bit, but the acne would come back immediately after I ended the prescription. She also insisted all I needed to use was Dove soap, and bless her heart for trying, but that wreaked havoc on my skin. 
  • Not moisturizing! I thought that because my skin was so oily, that I didn’t need to moisturize. In reality, my skin was beyond dehydrated from all of the acne treatments and was overproducing oil to try and compensate.

What did help:

  • Getting ahold of my stress levels as best as I could. Once I started journaling, seeing a counsellor, getting massages at the spa I work at, walking more, and cutting out negative commitments in my life, I was much less stressed. 
  • Staying hydrated. People always flip flop back and forth between saying water helps and water does nothing. For me, my whole body feels like crap when I don’t get enough water. Drinking a decent amount of water each day helped.
  • Changing my pillow cases every week or two. I used to neeevvverrrrr change my bed sheets and pillow cases because I hated doing laundry and I didn’t know how to adult. Now I do my best to change my pillow cases every week, so I’m rubbing my face in fewer germs and less drool each night. 
  • Aloe Vera! I religiously used aloe vera for a few months and it helped immensely. I would wash my face, dab on some liquid aloe vera (that I think was actually meant for smoothies but yolo) and then wash it off after a few minutes in the shower. 
  • Hydrating my skin. Hydrating my skin has so much to balance out oil production. My skin used to feel like an oil slick, yet somehow itchy underneath the oil slick. That itchy discomfort for me is a sign that I need more hydration. My favourite moisturizers for my combo skin are Moisturizing Factors + HA by The Ordinary and Tatcha’s Water Cream. They’re hefty enough to deliver what I need but don’t feel creamy, oily, or heavy.
  • Getting older. I’m fairly sure growing up and growing out of it helped a bit too. 
  • Controlling what touches my face. I broke my habits of touching my face to some degree, and started sanitizing items like my phone and glasses, which often touch my face, a lot more. 
  • Gel cleansers, gentle toners, and serums. The Ordinary’s Niacinamide (dear god I hope I spelled that right) and Touche’s Oxygen Serum are still my go to’s.

Currently my skin is in a place where I am happy with it. It doesn’t physically hurt, like my acne used to, and I feel confident. I do have a lot of acne scarring and deep blackheads, and that’s what I’m hoping to treat next, as well as keeping the breakouts away during school year stress. I just watched Gothamista’s new video on the impact of green tea and spearmint tea on androgens and hormonal acne, so I’m going to try and make tea a more regular occurrence! I’m still doing my own little research on reducing acne scarring. It sounds like there are many products out there, as well as the option of microdermabrasion, so I’m sure I’ll find something that works for me. 

How have y’all coped with acne, or embraced your acne? Any tips for acne scars? 

Cheers ❤️

A smell…a smelly smell

For the past few weeks in my apartment there has been this strange smell, off and on. It smelled vaguely of rotting vegetables, so I thought that perhaps I was leaving Nugget’s (my tortoise) uneaten food in his enclosure under the heat lamp for too long, or that my garborator in my sink had become clogged. I’ve spent so many hours cleaning Nugget’s enclosure, cleaning my sink, cleaning out where my garbage is stored under the sink, etc. etc. BUT still, the smell would not go away.

Finally this morning, I was walking to the fridge and spotted the bottom drawer of one of my kitchen and it hit me. THE POTATOES.

I’d been driving myself mad for months only to discover I’d left a freaking bag of potatoes in my drawer to ROT and grow BUGS for lord knows how long. I spent half an hour gagging and pulling out potatoes that had rotted and managed to EAT THROUGH THE PLASTIC BAG CONTAINING THEM and removing live bugs and baby bugs and all sorts of nasty crud.

Holy moly. Never again. Moral of the story: don’t forget about your potatoes.