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Ciao bella

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Winter Life Hacks: Stay Well Read and Hydrated

Winter Life Hacks: Stay Well Read and Hydrated

Polar Vortex more like schmolar vortex

Yeah, I went there. It looks like we are going to have one of those winters where it snows all the time and it’s too cold to enjoy the snow. I struggle with the winter blahs. It’s a huge reason I got married in January. I wanted an excuse to celebrate and something to look forward to during this time. Here are some winter life hacks that I’m using to get through this time.

These contain affiliate links. I may receive some compensation if you purchase from them. All opinions are my own.

To Read

I decided to read a bunch of nineteenth-century books in 2019. I went to the Goodreads Best Books of the Nineteenth Century list and I’m going through them. I was reading a bunch of Dickensian novels and really, why read an imitator when you can just read Dickens. I’m not saying people who are influenced by these writers are bad. But straight up copying his style, not good. I have read The Count of Monte Cristo and Great Expectations. Both were phenomenal and beyond relevant for today. I am currently reading Jane Eyre and I can’t stop thinking about it. I read it when I was 11 and I didn’t understand sexual tension at all back then. I didn’t understand the power of personality. I kept on thinking that Mr. Rochester was like Mr. Darcy, ha! Not at all. I also like how both characters aren’t traditionally good looking but are obsessed with each other. To quote the sage Paris Hilton, that’s hot. There is also a lot of French in the book and there is no way I had any idea what was going on. It’s an interesting book because the personalities are so strong. It’s also really funny in parts. The Count of Monte Cristo was really funny too. As much as I love early modern times, I feel like I can relate to a lot of what was happening in the nineteenth century. Mainly the power of ideas, the economy completely changing, and huge existential questions we are just beginning to understand. Jane Eyre describes the lives of women with such introspection. I’ve been enjoying this list and re-reading books I thought that I knew the plot of and digging deeper. Let’s hear it for a romantic fantasy with a Byronic hero! Bestill my bookish heart.

Warm up buttercup!

If you live in the midwest, like me, this weather is going to wreak havoc on your skin. Not a clinician but I will tell you I’ve had eczema for about 20 years. I have tried EVERYTHING for my skin. I always have moisturizing lotion on me and I can tell you what works, what doesn’t, is the greasy feeling worth it (this kind of weather yes), and it has made my skin better. While I have flare ups I do have soft skin. You can’t just wish for hydrated skin you have to work for it. It’s an investment that I feel pays off.


I went through a long time where I stopped wearing makeup every day. Mainly because I was so exhausted from having a kid and I just ran out of time. Sleep was more important. Then I had a convo with my mother about her skin and she is dealing with basal cell skin cancer. She made the point that you need to protect your face from the sun. As you can see from my profile picture, I am extremely fair skinned. I literally glow in the dark. There’s a picture of my parents when they are dating and my Dad is all tanned and my mother is wearing a tube top and she’s alabaster. Guess who got whose skin type? Sidenote-all skin types are beautiful but when you are extremely pale you are at risk for sunburns and you need to watch your skin. My husband is swarthy AF and doesn’t always wear sunscreen. He gets burnt and tans. I do not. The point is, protect your skin with moisturizer and sunscreen. I have found mineral sunscreen to be the best and in my experience, it works without adding too many bleaching chemicals to the water supply.

To cover and protect my skin I like tinted moisturizer. I like it better than foundation because it doesn’t cause my skin to break out. You can layer as needed and it protects your skin. I’m currently using Beauty Counter Dew Skin. I really love BeautyCounter but their price point is a little high. It’s definitely a splurge but my skin loves it. I also worried about the MLM thing but I think the creator of this, which is a B Corporation, has worked to be transparent about what is in beauty products makes up for it. I repeat, my skin loves it and it feels good to wear it. The link leads to the person I use for my consultant (kind of an affiliate so she might get a commission if you purchase from this link).

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My other favorite tinted moisturizer is Bare Minerals Complexion Rescue Tinted Hydrating Gel Cream. This is gorgeous and you can layer the coverage.

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How did I live without sheet masks?

Seriously, they are amazing. I like to wear them on Sunday nights as a way of prepping for the week. I like to pack them on trips because it’s a nice little break. For some reason they are calming and you feeling like you are treating yourself. Yes, you look like you are in a horror movie and it is fun to scare your partner with them. They are an indulgent way to moisturize.

Burt’s Bees makes my favorite:

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Serum Love

Since I’m 33 and I wanted to up my skincare game, I have invested in serums. Ru Paul claims they are a beauty must have and I generally listen to Mama Ru. My favorite serum is from a local to Columbus company called “Savage Glow Skin Care Co.” These are made by hand and it is a woman-owned company. The stuff works. The scents are light, the formula is nongreasy, and my skin just drinks it up. Seriously, shut up and take my money.

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Hand Salve

In the winter when you go to bed, you need a hand salve. These are greasy and you can’t go too nuts with them but they work. I put mine on after I turn off my light and my phone is good. I also like to put this on right before I put on my gloves to drive to work. It keeps your hands hydrated and it tends to be absorbed by the time you get to work.
I like Burt’s Bees again. Ha! I like the fact they don’t use petroleum. This hand salve works Y'all.

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Another good moisturizer for the night, since it’s greasier, is just straight up Almond Oil. One of my girlfriends told me about this in grad school and it was affordable to way to hydrate. Sidenote, I lived in Wisconsin for grad school and those winters were no joke. You also smell like a doughnut. It was win-win.

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I just want your extra time and your...kiss *smooches*

Since I’ve tried to clean up my beauty routine and get rid of petroleum-based products, the hardest sacrifice has been chapstick. It’s hard enough to get a good chapstick and some work worse than others. Let’s be real. This is one time I’m not going to recommend Burt’s Bees. Sorry guys. I like to put on chapstick before I go to bed. In the winter your lips get to be a mess and sometimes a chapstick routine doesn’t work as well as it should. Lip scrubs to the rescue. It exfoliates the dry skin and keeps your lips supple. With matte lipsticks being in, we need all the help we can get. I’ve been using Handmade Heroes.

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Stay moisturized loves!

I hope these help. Do you have surefire moisturizing secrets? How are you prepping for this brutal winter? I’m bundling up with leggings, my blanket scarf, and warm thoughts. Stay safe. Love to you.

book, latte, white sheet
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