Stuff I put on my face: Winter 2020

February 13, 2020

I am 47 years old (sweet merciful crap I cannot get with this) and my face is, as always, changing. I think I’ve finally found a skin care regimen that works for me and my dry skin that still breaks out from time to time. None of these are affiliate links, nothing here is sponsored because I am an uninfluencer.

It seems like a lot, but it doesn’t take long.

When I get home from work I wash my face with It Cosmetics Confidence in a Cleanser (gentle on eyes), pat it dry with a towel that’s never more then 3 days old, and apply two drops of Buffet by The Ordinary. More than two drops makes my face sticky.

Before bed, I alternate between applying a few drops of The Ordinary Granactive Retinol 2% Emulsion (effective but smelly) or Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Face Oil (effective and smells great). I let that dry for a few minutes (I’ll pee or brush my hair) I top it with a thin coat of Neutrogeena Hydro Boost Face Gel Cream with Hyaluronic Acid for Extra-Dry Skin. I put lip balm on – I was gifted Milk’s Kush Lip Balm in Green Dragon and it works fine. It has cannabis oil in it. Do what you want with that info, it does nothing for me personally. Chapstick works fine too which is great because I have no fewer than 6 sticks in my possession.

We started sleeping with a humidifier in the room, which has been a game changer. By this time of the wretched winter my skin is dry and itchy and my face is flaking off. Not this year. It’s also improved both the canine and human snoring in the bedroom. There is still snoring, but less snoring. We have an ultrasonic humidifier that I bought from QVC (I know) and it does make a watery BLOOP noise every 10 minutes or so. That might not work if you’re a light sleeper. I sleep with earplugs (see: snorers) so it doesn’t bother me at all.

I splash my face with water, apply one drop of Buffet, and then go into makeup.

On an as needed basis, but I need Dark Angels on Friday.

As needed:
On Friday nights I take off my eye makeup with a little Confidence in a Cleanser and then wash my face with Lush Dark Angels charcoal scrub. I let the scrub sit on my face for a few minutes before removing it. It’s my favorite beauty ritual of the week. And then I don’t do anything other than nightly lip balm for the rest of the weekend. I’ll do a light wash if it gets dirty, but I do no serums, no creams, just plain face.

I try my hardest not to wear makeup on the weekends anymore. I’m trying to get used to my actual Kim face again. It’s not a bad face.

If I break out (it’s down to a zit once a month, which wow!) I dab it with Indie Lee’s Banish Stick, which knocks it out in a day or two.

If my eye bags are noticeable, I use It Cosmetics By Bye Under Eye Eye Cream for a few days. I’m still working off of a sample tub from the fall.

No plastic surgery or injectables, although a few years ago my dermatologist pointed out the “elevens” between my eyes and that he could fix them. Now they are all I can see when I look at myself. I’m bothered by them. I’m bothered that I’m bothered by them. It’s a cycle of bother and I haven’t been back to the dermatologist since.

PS: Happy birthday, Mom! 🙂


Show us your books February 2020

February 11, 2020

Missed January but here I am, back in February! I completely missed my 2019 Goodreads goal but you know what? IT’S FINE. It’s an arbitrary number and I missed it and the world still spins. My 2020 goal is 50 books, which is what it was in 2018.

Swing and a miss.

I’m also not going to sabotage my post about these books by trying to make it perfect and witty and then never posting the draft because I feel that it falls flat. Nope. Just gonna barf this post out here because what’s what my personal blogging practice is. It’s a journal.

Onto the books! I use the Goodreads rating system, which is:

  • One star: did not like it
  • Two stars: it was ok
  • Three stars: liked it
  • Four stars: really liked it
  • Five stars: it was amazing

The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal (read in 2019)
Edith and Helen are farmer’s daughters in Minnesota. Edith does everything politely and by the book. Helen takes chances. Inexplicably to Edith, their father leaves Helen the farm upon his death. This book is a beautiful (but slow, very slow) study of three generations of women and their chosen family as they navigate the business of brewing. I liked that the story is narrated by various characters, because you learn that neither Edith nor Helen knew the entire story. Laughs, tears, etc.

Five stars and I am so impressed with how Stradal writes his female characters.

Cold Storage by David Koepp (read in 2019)
I chose this one because it was recommended by multiple book nerds and because it was a little out of my comfort zone. I’m not a suspense person and this is a suspenseful book about an organism that comes to earth via the shattered pieces of Skylab.

Effing Skylab! I was a six when Skylab fell and every night there would be news broadcasts of potential doom – that one paper clip sized chunk of Skylab would bash your head in or a brick sized piece could destroy your house. I, and many my age, was convinced we were going to die. I still hate any mention of Skylab.

Anyway, this organism is discovered in the Australian outback, where it mutated enough to kill an entire small town. Roberto Diaz and his coworker Trini manage to contain it and bury it way under the ground in a frozen chamber. Decades later, the land is sold and a storage facility is built above it. And global warming causes all of the safety functions to fail.

This story was very compelling and fun to read (although not really wise when you are already sick and have a headache) but really really really unrealistic. But fun.

Three stars, and it would make a hell of a summer movie. Minus the terrifying Skylab part.

Reaper Man (Discworld #11) by Terry Pratchett
I’m reading through this series slowly — one book every few months — because I know there is an end and I want to draw the series out as much as possible. I was a little skittish abut #11 because I really didn’t enjoy Moving Pictures (#10) and I was worried Pratchett was going to become a caricature of himself, cleverness on top of cleverness. (For an example of a personality who became a caricature of himself, see Emeril Lagasse. Once a innovative chef who ended up a BAM! machine.) Instead, we get this rollicking story about Death (a favorite character of mine) and how he acts when he, himself, is running out of time to live. It was hilarious up until it became touching. The tears were rolling down my face at the end. Pratchett’s writings do that to me.

Five stars and a box of tissues.

The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
On a scorching New York City summer day in 1969, four siblings (Varya, 13; Daniel, 11; Klara, 9; Simon, 7) go to a fortune teller who is purported to be able to tell people the dates they’ll die. What they learn inform the decisions they make for the rest of their lives and each of them tries to become their own definition of ‘immortal’.

If you were alive during the 80s, you pretty much understand how the first sibling dies as soon as you being reading the first few lines of their story. The rest of them weren’t as predictable, thank goodness.

Trigger warnings for suicide, gun violence, lab animals (not overt cruelty, but a, ‘geez, really?’ instance), and a whole lotta death.

Four stars — While reading this book I had a dream that I only had six months to live; that’s how powerful it was for me.

The Floating Feldmans by Elyssa Friedland
I have a weakness for books about wholly unlikable, privileged families. Meet the Feldmans, the latest installment in this genre. Annette Feldman is turning 70 and decides to take her entire family on a cruise to celebrate. This includes her husband David, her ne’er do well son Freddy and his much-younger girlfriend, her never-good-enough-daughter Elise, her husband Mitch, and their two crummy teenagers. Every person has a secret that could RUIN EVERYTHING but not really. There’s also a vague subplot about the Cruise Director which doesn’t seem to go anywhere.

Three stars, and did you know that babies fix everything and if you’re not a parent you’ve never understood the true meaning of anything? Also, cruises can be fun.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
Wow. This is a hell of a magical-realism, Southern Gothic book about family and the results of generations of violence against African-Americans in the South. It was beautifully written and so, so, brutal. There is love, too.

Trigger warnings for drug use, child abuse and neglect, violent whippings, murder, torture, lynching, asshole white-on-black mob violence, ghosts, police brutality, and a metric ton of vomit.

Four stars.

Data and Goliath: The Hidden Battles to Collect Your Data and Control Your World by Bruce Schneier
This is a good telling of how data used to be collected versus how (and how much) is collected now. Or, rather, in 2015 when it was published. It’s probably worse now. But it’s a good primer on privacy and surveillance, how much our government does, and some steps we can take to counter it.

Three stars.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
My mom recommended this book to me, and I should have said no because she’s a fan of dire “until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow” World War II books. This book is about two French sisters and the parts they played in the French Resistance. The first three chapters had me all, “you’re going to die. you’re going to die, oh you are TOTALLY going to die.” I was only wrong once.

Trigger warnings for war, murder, rape, torture, THE HOLOCAUST and all the horror that comes with, family separation, you know, World War II.

Four stars. It was beautifully written but oh my geez war books are not my jam.

Currently reading: The Satapur Moonstone (Perveen Mistry #2) by Sujata Massey

All of my book lists and reviews are on Goodreads.

This a part of the Show us Your Books linkup from Jana Says and Life According to Steph. If you want to read more bloggers gush about the books they’ve read this month, click the button below and have fun!

Life According to Steph

January | February | March |April | June | July | August | December
January | February | March | April | May | June | July | August | September | October | November | December

Home and Family, I live in New Jersey

Adventure Aquarium!

February 9, 2020

The last time I was at the aquarium in Camden it was early 2000 and I was there for an event the C-P threw for its readers to mark the new millennium. That was before Gannett ruined it and all of its other local newspapers. Yesterday I took Nephew A, who will be SIX in April (and Mom, who had never been there before) and we had a great time!

Although A is one of the two cutest children in existence, I keep his face off of the blog, hence the weird photos. If you want to see an actual photo of him, email me and I will call you a sick freak and call the police.

I wanted the day to be all about him, so I didn’t plan a thing. The only thing I told him was that I wanted to find purple fish because purple is my favorite color. Then we let him lead the way.


I’m pretty sure he said hello to every fish (Kindergarten teaches kindness) except the yellow moray eel, which was mildly terrifying. He wanted to play the crane machine and I said, “YES” and gave him a dollar. It was a play-until-you-win game but his first win didn’t register. He got to continue playing!

When I was a kid you played until you lost, then you paid again and played again and lost again, etc.

Six hours later he won the second plastic frog, and we moved on. I wanted to try the hurricane simulator and he agreed. He’s a very brave kid when it comes to rides and danger. For the reasonable cost of $3, we were buffeted by category-one winds.

fat fish
Even though it wasn’t purple, this was my favorite fish. So fat!

We compared how large our mouths were next to shark jaws.

And we walked a rope bridge over the shark tank (Mom too!) and none of us fell in. Normally, I’d have a feeling of unease doing something like that but given that Billy Joel could rewrite the entire “We Didn’t Start the Fire” about the world events of the last 5 years alone, what the hell, let’s walk over some sharks.

We found Nemo!

When we went to the gift shop I told A that I would spend up to $30 (tax not included) on whatever the heck he wanted. Aunt Kim says YES to everything. He picked this shark research action set that I learned just this moment was marked up $10 over Amazon’s price.

He also wanted the ability to fill a crappy, tiny drawstring bag up with rocks. You know the bag of rocks. The bag of rocks that is at every attraction and amusement park? The bag of rocks that has nothing to do with any attraction and amusement park? That bag of rocks. THAT BAG. But Aunt Kim says YES so sure, kid, have a bag of rocks.

The food court was a hellscape but Aunt Kim always says YES so I asked him, “A. We can eat lunch here or we can eat lunch at any restaurant in the entire UNIVERSE. Anywhere you’d want to go. Here or ANYWHERE.”
“Friendly’s!” he replied.

Mom picked up bill for lunch! Mom also always says YES!

We made sure to have ice cream, too.

It was a fantastic day with a fantastic kid.

I forgot to take the booster seat out of Molly after dropping him off, but I put it to use today for other precious cargo.

The shoulder belt isn’t in the correct spot, go ahead, report me to the carseat police.