*Please understand that this is not in reference to clinical depression. Focusing on blessings, while always an excellent idea, does not take the place of professional help.
It seems to me that I should have stopped struggling with acne about fifteen years ago. I’m in my mid-thirties, for crying in the sink! And yet in the past few years, I’ve suffered some of the worst, most painful breakouts of my life.
Like 90% of Americans, I’ve given Proactiv a try. Maybe even two or three tries. It works for a while, but then my skin ends up dried out and all my favorite shirts and towels get bleached out. I’ve lost more tops to Proactiv than I care to number.
But alas, last spring I had again reached the point of desperation and decided to give Proactiv one last try. My finger was poised over the “submit order” button when I decided to do a quick search to see if I had any other affordable options.
Exposed Skincare immediately popped up. Even better, there were charts comparing the two products. I love charts! No, seriously, I L-O-V-E charts. After looking over the comparisons, the ingredient lists, and the refund and cancellation policy, I switched screens and ordered Exposed.
Please understand, I’m usually an optimist. It’s a fight for me to expect the worst of a product, a person, or an event. I want to believe everything is rosy. So I kept telling myself that it was just a fluke that my skin looked so healthy. First I told myself to wait for PMS to make my judgment. Then until I was eating more junk food. Then until I was farther into my pregnancy.
My skin condition just kept improving. Not just my acne—my skin. I started liking myself without makeup. Not that you’ll probably ever see me that way in real life, because that is not the American way, but still—it’s nice to be at peace with my naked face.
Oh, and did I mention that I haven’t bleached out a single thing? Not a one.
Exposed Skincare is delivered bi-monthly, and you’ll probably still have a little bit to a lot of everything left over when your second box arrives. I get the expanded kit, because it includes moisturizer and I definitely need that. The cost is $59.95 per shipment, which comes to about $34 per month when you add in shipping. This is just about $6 a month less than Proactiv, but you’re still saving on a superior product.
You can order Exposed directly from the company here. I received no compensation for this review–I just feel passionate about this product and think everyone who suffers from acne needs to know about it.
Last week I was shocked to receive an incredible job offer. This arrived in my in-box completely out of the blue. I’m not looking for work—I love my roles as jeweler, trainer, teacher, and stay-at-home-mom.
The friend sending the offer my way prefaced it by saying, “Your sister and I think you’re probably not interested, but…” Simply brilliant, for those of you in sales. Because he offered me an immediate out, I began to mull the offer over.
To discuss it with My Guy.
With my best friend and sisters.
With my dad.
And to mull some more.
Yet every time I thought of taking the job, I wanted to cry. You see, this job would require me to be in DC at a government agency five days a week. After my commute, that would put me leaving home before my babies woke up and returning after they were in bed. Even if we opted for My Guy to quit his job so I could pursue mine, I would only get to see my kiddos on Saturdays and Sundays.
The offer tempted me.
A quick call to my dad helped clarify the decision most.
He asked me, “What do you want?”
Thankfully, I know exactly what I want, and My Guy wants the same things. We want to raise happy, healthy (emotionally, physically, spiritually, and relationally) children. And I can’t do that in two days a week.
Over the past few weeks I’ve seen a lot of posts reacting to the president’s sideways slam against stay-at-home moms, and I’ve felt my own simmering anger. Now, this is not because I think the only right thing to do is be a stay-at-home mom. Everyone has a different life to live, and not every woman is lucky enough to have that option. My personal reaction is based in the fact that that decision is an American right, and we should not be belittled for that choice.
With a twinge of sadness and a great sense of flattery, I turned down the job offer. Why? Because I choose to put time with my kids over a bigger paycheck, a bigger house, better cars, and prestige. Because I choose to spend my days with an energetic two-year-old who wears me down to the point of a migraine, all because I believe God put me in his life as one of his most vital teachers. Because I choose to take my kid on field trips and do silly crafts with him rather than go on exotic vacations or do extreme decorating, knowing that he will remember these moments more than the color of our living room or a world tour. We can afford to live with less, and so we do.
This reminds me of something a therapist friend of mine told me back around my 30th birthday.
Every change in life—good or bad—signifies some sense of loss, as well. Mourning that loss is okay and healthy.
My children have changed my life, placing limitations on my freedoms, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m choosing to embrace the loss and limitations and to focus on the joy.
Last month I commandeered a small secretary’s desk from my dad for my kitchen. Being a work-at-home-mom with a toddler and having a basement office just don’t seem to mix, so this is my current solution. The beautiful thing is that it’s a roll-top desk, which means I don’t have to move a single thing to hide the mess.
This desk also boasts five separate drawers. When I was in the process of stealing said desk from my brother’s room (he’s away at college, so why would he need a desk?), these drawers excited me with their endless uses. Stamps, post-its, stickers, pens—I knew I had plenty of room for everything I could possible need.
Try pens, pens, post-its, more pens, and finally—wait for it—pens.
But here’s the thing. I don’t even buy half of the pens I’d like to own. And if I have a pen that doesn’t make me happy, I either give it away or trash it. There are no unsavory pens hanging around in these drawers.
According to my Google search, an average pen produces between 1-2 miles of writing, so let’s go with 1.5 miles. That means that my pen collection, if I only count the pens in my actual desk, will write for 117 miles. That’s 7.4 million inches.
That’s a lot of paper.
Now, I write a lot every day. I really do. It starts around 5:30 am with journaling and Bible study. It continues the moment I’m out of the shower and start checking things off my list. I write thank-you notes, lists, copy quotes, Zentangle a bit, doodle some more, do craft projects with my son, and who knows what else. But 117 miles? How many years will it take me to accomplish that?
My choice of pen is based up on my mood. Isn’t everyone’s? This week I’m using a Pilot G-2 07 in blue. Last spring I couldn’t get enough of PaperMate Flairs. Sharpies are always a favorite, but they only work with certain projects. Do you understand my dilemma? Perhaps it’s not an addiction problem but quite literally a need. Plus, I have schizophrenic handwriting. Some days it’s legible. Some days it’s beautiful. Most days it’s a hot mess.
My name is Kendra and I am a pen-aholic.
**Spoiler alert: If you’re on my Christmas card list, this may ruin some of the fun this year. But if you still need ideas for your holiday cards, read on.**
Back when I was single, I didn’t send a lot of holiday cards and photos. This wasn’t for lack of friends, but honestly—who wanted a picture of me and my cat? Everyone already knew what I was up to and looked like, thanks to social media.
(Note to my single friends: Personally, I enjoy your photos and updates. In fact, I save each one every year. Clearly my quirky insecurities were just kicking into gear and paralyzing single ol’ me.)
Even our first year married (two weeks before Christmas—I think we had an excuse that year)…and perhaps our second…I don’t remember sending out cards. But once the Little Butt arrived, I felt like I had something more to share. Again, quirky-crazy, but there you have it.
But this year? This year I couldn’t wait to order my Christmas cards. The stress of finding that perfect family photo? A necessary evil. I had my eyes on the prize.
My momma raised me right, and she taught me that you always include a personal note in each and every holiday card. Now, this was no simple feat. My parents’ address list was upwards of 300 back when Mom was baking 12+ types of Christmas cookies, making handmade gifts for most (if not all) of her eight children, and keeping up with ten crazy lives.
Suffice it to say, I felt a little guilty last year when our card simply carried a message and our names. But a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Not this year, baby! With EC I have the best of all possible worlds: color, class, a personal message, and all on an extra-thick postcard. So I’m saving time and money.
Now, we also exchange holiday cards with all seven of my crazy siblings, my parents, and my in-laws. Do they need to get an update telling them of my guy’s promotion, my activities, and an upcoming baby? Nope. So for them, I splurged. We went with a Z-fold card that includes four photos.
I hope this review was helpful for you! If you’d like to get your cards from Erin Condren, or simply try any one of her fun products, you can use this code to receive $10 off your first purchase. The $10 discount does expire 30 days after activation, so keep that in mind. If you use my discount code, not only will you receive $10 off your next order. I will as well! Then you can get your own code to share with your friends. It’s one of the many things I love about this company. ***Note: You need to click on the link above and create your account through the link in order to receive the $10 discount. The discount code will be sent to your email within a few hours of signing up.***