Summer in the tropics

It’s been a good day today.


Because my Sephora order arrived.

A week ago, Sephora emailed me an advertisement for a travel kit from Drunk Elephant – a brand my kid adores.

So I snapped it up for her.

Naturally, I added a few items for myself.

Because you know. . . I’m a sucker for cosmetics and skin care.

I bought two eyeshadow palettes.

Nevermind that I already have about fifty of them.

Those little pots of pressed color that shimmer and glisten really lure me in.

So I got some.

I must be in a violet mood, because I bought Violet Voss’ fun-sized palette in Sweet Violet and Urban Decay’s Naked Palette in Ultraviolet.

My order came with two samples – one for a face cream and other for a perfume by Sol de Janeiro.

Sol de Janeiro has turned their famous fragrance from their Brazilian Bum Bum Cream into a perfume and IT SMELLS LIKE THE PEAK OF SUMMER IN THE TROPICS.

Vanilla, caramel, pistachio and a hint of jasmine.

It’s just like those sneaky people at Sephora to drop a luscious sample into my order so that I’m forced into trying it and falling in love with it.

I am helpless to resist it.

Mind you, I haven’t bought it yet but I certainly went online and stuck it in my basket to buy at a later date.

It may seem insane in the middle of a pandemic to be shopping online for cosmetics, but hey. . . I’m not feeling my best, I’m a little depressed, and I have a lot of anxiety so I’ll take relief from the daily grind any way I can.

Even if it’s a virtual beach in Brazil that is calling my name.

Mental Health

I just did a DEEP CLEAN of my bathroom and let me tell you this. . .

I am a beauty product HOARDER.

I’m not the only one in my family who does this.

My aunt and my kid are pretty good at stockpiling beauty products as well.

In the middle of a pandemic, more than anything now I think self-care is important.

Taking a ritual bath.

Relaxing in the shower.

Treating yourself to a mud mask.

Or even giving yourself a pedicure.

Suddenly the very simple seems very luxurious.

Elevated beyond its usual status.

California is closing down.


I for one am okay with this.

It doesn’t seem safe to be outside doing anything with anyone right now, given the resurgence of Covid-19 cases.

It seems frivolous to worry about self-care during times like these.

Now is the perfect opportunity to forgo shaving, dying my roots, and getting my toes painted.

No one is going to see me.

All my beauty products could simply go to waste and no one would be the wiser.

There are a lot more important things on people’s plates right now.



The well-being of family and loved ones.

And that’s certainly foremost in my mind.

But since I’m having virtual dates in lieu of in-person dates, it seems to behoove me to stay abreast of my appearance.

And I can’t help but feel like it helps my outlook and psyche to maintain the rituals I’ve had for years.

Mental health is nothing to sneeze at.


Retail therapy is honest-to-goodness therapy, is it not?

It always makes me feel better.

Take for instance my latest foray into online shopping.

I hit up Ulta for all things coconut scented.

Coconut deodorant.

Coconut body spray.

Coconut perfume.

Coconut dry shampoo.

Even a little coconut sponge.

I’m in a coconut mood.

If orange blossom is my winter fragrance, then coconut is definitely my summer fragrance.

I feel all beachy and boho wearing it.

My hair should be splayed around around me in luxurious textured blond waves.

Sure, I have a misbehaving cervix, but who cares?

I smell like a tropical vacation.

Throwback Thursday

One of my favorite beauty bloggers, Milabu, gave birth to a baby boy in June.

She’s been chronicling her pregnancy in addition to the beauty products she tests out and I was anxious to hear how everything went.

Thankfully, besides an unplanned c-section, all is great.

I haven’t really been captured by pregnancy stories until Milabu came along.

Mostly because that chapter of my life is done and over with.

I will not be having any more children, contrary to some family predictions.

It’s just me, my 21-year old son and my 19-year old daughter.

But watching Milabu recount her birth story took me back.

Oh, did it take me back to when I was a young mother.

There’s such a steep learning curve.

Changing diapers.

Figuring out what cry means what.

Doctors visits.

Nursing (enough said).

So much goes into becoming a new mom and every thing you learn you’re learning while being severely sleep deprived.

You can imagine some internet trolls have come out of the woodwork, to criticize Milabu’s mothering.

I say to hell with all the haters.

Raising another human being is the toughest job out there and every mom out there deserves credit for taking on the huge task of bringing another life into the world.

Way to go, Milabu!

Egyptian princess

I have a beautiful Egyptian collar that I bought for roughly $25 in 2016.

I have never worn it, but I love it and REFUSE to donate it, even though all it does is take up space in my jewelry cabinet.

So I’m thinking the perfect thing to do is to build an outfit around it, maybe even a burner outfit.

I got inspired by THIS photo on Pinterest:

Turn the white dress into a white bathing suit and add a gold belt (preferably not beaded so that it doesn’t MOOP) and you’ve got a LEWK!

But it doesn’t stop there.

Oh no!

Because I also fell in love with this gold and turquoise Egyptian look:

I think it’d be fabulous to take a diaphanous white or gold fabric and make those arm bands with them.

For makeup, I’m loving the look on this model:

And there you have it, everything I need for my Egyptian princess look.

I have only one hesitation.

Is it culturally appropriate for a Nordic woman to wear an Egyptian style costume or will I catch hell for wearing it?

I have a problem

I have a problem.

I’m just going to go ahead and admit it.


As part of my shelter in place homesteading experience, I am slowly going through all my cabinet drawers and bookshelves and reorganizing everything.

I have a BUNCH OF CRAP that I need to throw away or donate.

Anyway, part of the reorganization process involves going though (I KID YOU NOT) six storage boxes of makeup and eliminating what is useless.

I’m not even counting the suitcase that I keep most of my makeup in.

Sadly if I’m honest, most of it is useless.


Because I have SO MUCH MAKEUP I don’t even know what I have!

How can you use something you don’t even know exists?

I am tempted to throw a socially distanced makeup party and invite all my friends and family who would like to check it out to come by and take whatever they want.

After all, most of the makeup has never even been opened!

I know, I know!

It’s an illness.

And I am trying to overcome it.

I’ve gotten much better at restraining myself when it comes to shopping at Ulta and Sephora.

Just so you know, my kids REFUSE to let me set foot inside cosmetic stores if they are with me, THAT’S HOW BAD IT IS!

The irony in all this is that I have a daughter.

I could share (dump) all this makeup on her.


She prefers the natural look – chapstick is about as much makeup as she puts on.

I guess God decided to play a joke on me and give me an obsession I can’t share with either of my children.

So, if any of my friends are interested in makeup, hit me up.

You know who you are!

Age like Christie Brinkley

I went to a party this week and talked to a bunch of people.

As is typical for me, I tended to hang out with my friends instead of meeting new people, which is the WHOLE POINT of a party.

[No wonder I’m single.]

While I was there, an older woman approached me and gave me a lovely compliment.

She told me I had great skin.

I thanked her and told her my secret: SUNBLOCK and YOUTH.

I grew up in California.

I remember being a teenager and slathering myself with baby oil while laying out in the backyard.

But ever since I worked in a spa in my 20s, I’ve religiously applied sunblock every day.

I don’t avoid the sun though.

I go to Burning Man, after all.

It’s nothing but sun and dust.

When it comes to my youthful appearance, I like to quote Carrie Fisher:

It’s just a matter of time until I look older.

I miss my 19-year old EVERYTHING!

And although I’m quite pleased with what my DNA has made me into, it’s impossible to ignore that I’m not going to age like Christie Brinkley.

Standing next to supermodels

It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?

Having to stand next to a supermodel.

What could be worse that being side by side with a leggy blond or brunette with perfectly symmetrical features and cheekbones that could cut wood?

I personally try not to follow too many fashion models on Instagram because it’s bad for my mental health and self image.

I try to follow curve models.

They have curvy butts and thighs and sometimes even a soft belly.

It’s comforting to me to see women with body types like my own.

It makes me feel like less of an unlovable freak and more like a beautiful woman.

I’m not sure beauty magazines understand the impact they have on young women growing up when all they promote within their pages are size 0 models.

It’s a 445 BILLION dollar industry based on convincing women that they need this lipstick, dress, purse, face cream, etc, in order to be beautiful.

I am reminded of a line in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” that goes something like this:


Beauty magazines are in the business of making beautiful women feel ugly.

When I was younger I loved beauty magazines.

I used to subscribe to several of them and I’d comb through the pages of the magazine picking out makeup, clothes, and accessories that I really wanted.

It gave me a little thrill.

Now, it makes me shudder.

And yet, I am a beauty consumer of the first water.

A VIB Sephora member.

A Platinum member of ULTA.

And I’ll be damned if I don’t also buy makeup from Milani, Beautylish, and elf.

If the amount of makeup we buy is proportional to how ugly we feel inside, then what do my spending habits say about me????

God, there’s a frightening thought.

Butt cracks and snot rockets

michelleI went to the Korean Spa with my girlfriend this past weekend.

Once again, I was reminded of how fabulous their body treatments are:

A scrub and a rub (1 hour 15 minutes) for $90.

The technicians are older Korean women who are wearing black bras and underwear. I guess that’s the uniform when you work in a wet spa all day long.

They wear raw silk mitts over their hands and they scrub you down like a rotisserie chicken on a wet vinyl bed.

And I’m not kidding when I tell you that NOODLES OF DEAD SKIN COME OFF YOUR BODY!

This time around there was no belly fat on my forehead.

But I did get taught (firsthand) how to properly wash my butt.

You don’t know sh*t until you’ve been schooled by an old Korean woman wearing nothing but a bra and underwear on how to properly wash your butt crack.

After I was scrubbed raw and pink, my technician massaged me vigorously.

She massaged my face too and it was then that I realized that my forehead was sore.

I didn’t even know a forehead could be sore!

My resting bitch face is exhausting.

So there we were, naked and exposed, laying on a wet vinyl bed, getting scrubbed and rubbed by our technicians – a very basic but essential body treatment – when it happened. . .

My technician put a finger against her nose, and BLEW A SNOT ROCKET TO THE GROUND AT HER FEET.

Yes, this is the woman who clucked at me for not washing my butt thoroughly enough.

Like I’m going to take etiquette lessons from her.

Many snores

I just took a trip to Reno to visit my sister.

We got facials and used the facilities at the Spa Toscano at The Peppermill.

It was ah-mazing!

I actually fell asleep during my facial and woke myself up when I snored.

Yup, I snored in the middle of my facial.


I was obviously SO RELAXED!

In the women’s locker room, there were several spa features:

  1. A hot tub
  2. A cold plunge
  3. A steam room
  4. A sauna

Personally, I stripped naked and jumped in the hot tub.

I was surprised to see all the other women in swimsuits.

Even a bridal party of seven skinny women did not have the balls to strip naked in the ladies locker room.

Given the opportunity to get naked, I ALWAYS get naked.

In fact, hanging out at the spa made me miss Lupin Lodge in the Santa Cruz mountains, where you can walk around naked as they day you were born in the beautiful sunshine.

My sister and I eventually put on swimsuits and went to the Caldarium (an indoor area with a soaking pool and hot tubs where you can eat and drink).

She soaked in the pool while I hung out in the hot tub.

Afterwards, we got to eat at the Bimini Steakhouse at The Peppermill and I KID YOU NOT, we both ordered the filet mignon and the Australian lobster tail and when our food arrived, there were TWO LOBSTER TAILS FOR EACH OF US.

Too much food to eat, so we basically forced ourselves to eat the lobster tails and took most of our filet mignon home.

A dessert of cherries jubilee, and we were finished with our day of pampering.

Reno might not be the city you think of when you think of a weekend of pampering and relaxation, but I’m here to tell you it is.

I wish you all many snores!