Monthly Archives: March 2016

The Man is Right; Less is Definitely More

With the holidays now squarely behind us and my small family back home, life is returning to normal.

It’s been a busy few months here in Chick and Chickadee Land; the wedding, keeping our home running smoothly and the last week, which was spring break for my husband and the week where we made some awesome memories as a family.

Instead of being a letdown to get home and back to business as usual, it has been a tremendous relief; the Chickadee was sick for part of last week and then I got what she had.

I’m still recovering, but I’m older so, you know, it feels like the illness has been less miserable for me (decongestants, man. They are my friend the last few days.)

I started catching up on my reading in the last few days, and one of the things I’ve taken to reading in the last few months has been Rory Feek’s blog entitled This Life I Live.

There isn’t a person on social media who hasn’t at least gained some knowledge of the events that have rocked the Feek household in the last few years, but particularly in the last few months; watching the decline of Joey Feek and her eventual succumbing to cancer has certainly had the public’s attention.

It’s tragic.

It’s hard to put ourselves in Joey Feek’s shoes, and most people don’t want to; she was only 40 years old and left behind a devoted husband and beautiful toddler, the idea of which is heartbreaking and scary to us.

I have talked with people of late who feel horrified and sad at the circumstances.

For myself, I feel humbled.

I knew nothing of Joey or Rory Feek until she was ill and publicly fighting a battle for her life, and I am ashamed to admit that at first I was very hesitant to read about her.

It felt too nosy and voyeuristic to know so much about this woman who had never been on my radar when she was well; to have her grab my attention when she was terminally ill made me feel ghoulish to some extent, as though I was fascinated by her plight, which was never the case at all.

I realized not long ago that she triggers my deepest compassion and empathy, for she went through what would be my greatest fear; waiting until later in life to become a mother and then being separated from my precious daughter by something heinously out of my control.

Where I was humbled and continue to be so is by her grace at every turn in her plight, putting her daughter and husband first and remaining true to her faith until the bittersweet end.

Everyone has different beliefs and I am the first to admit that while I am a Christian I have a long way to go in my faith before I could ever give myself over to that kind of pure trust in my creator; watching a woman so young being called home and still having that sweet trust has made me want to strive for that kind of faith myself.

Which leads me to what I read today;

In a blog entitled “Less is More” Rory Feek addresses what we are all wondering; how is their 2 year old daughter, Indiana, doing less than a month after her mother has passed away?

In his straightforward, unassuming way he answers that question, giving the credit to Joey for stepping back in what would be her last weeks on this Earth and allowing their daughter to fall more in love with her Daddy and less in love with Joey herself.

Knowing her time was short and that if she continued to allow herself to be the focus it would make her absence more difficult for everyone, especially her very small child, she did the unthinkable.

She selflessly distanced herself in order to make the transition as easy as something that absolutely heart-wrenching could be for the people she loved and would leave behind, when that couldn’t have been easy for her.

Odds are she fought with her own desire to wring every moment of time she could with her baby for her child’s own good.

Rory Feek thanks her and gives her the credit she deserves by admitting that he wouldn’t have been able to do the same if the shoe was on the other foot, and that due to her selflessness in letting him become their daughter’s focus their baby hasn’t asked for her Mama at all.

The idea that this was Joey Feek’s intention is just another testament to the kind of person she was and the legacy she left behind; perhaps an extension of her legacy is the people who will try, when they hear her story, to obtain a little of that faith and graciousness themselves.

In these often brash and graceless times, it’s people like this that should take the attention, the faithful, the humble and the unassuming.

In a world full of Kim and Kanyes, be a Joey and Rory.

I know that’s what I want.

You can read Rory Feek’s blog entry here.

Until next time.

Love,

The Chick and her Chickadee

Wait . . . What is My Skin DOING? . . . Is It . . . Oh, Yeah, That’s Right. I’m In My 30s

So, some people will hate me for saying this, but I’ve never had trouble with my skin.

A handful of breakouts scattered through my teen years and a particularly memorable one in my 20s that I’m lucky not to have a scar from, but otherwise, my skin has been relatively chill waters.

I had the occasional misstep with a product here and there, but always being a bit of a skincare and makeup junkie I usually was able to quickly chase any skincare mistakes with a reasonable solution with nothing more to show for my oopsie than a few dollars lost that I wouldn’t get back.

Then I entered my mid-30s.

And had a baby.

Suddenly, I had 2 new unwieldy issues to contend with that I didn’t understand at first;

  1. A very dry head of hair that was formerly so greasy I used to have to wash it religiously every day (this turned out to be a result of medications I was given when I got sick at the end of my pregnancy and bad home dyeing decisions and was remedied by simply cutting of something like 6 inches of hair), and,

2. Skin that was low maintenance and now was sensitive, extremely combination with the dry parts being painfully so and a tendency to burst into red patches when I would exfoliate.

Clearly, I needed to change things up.

So I went on the hunt.

It took almost a year of trial and error before I got a handle on my skin, but I finally got a skincare arsenal of go to products that work well for me and I love.

skin therapy cleansing oil aveeno cleanser

The first thing I went in search of was an effective 2 step cleansing system (I figured this may help me eliminate the need to exfoliate altogether- more on how that worked out for me in just a minute); I had gotten a catalog in the mail for a company called DHC and decided to try their deep cleansing oil as a first step, chased with Say Yes to Carrots Cream Face Wash. It alleviated the dryness some, and I LOVED the cleansing oil- but it’s pricey, at almost 30 dollars a bottle. Luckily, there are plenty of new formulas being introduced all the time at various price points (Burt’s Bees, Eclos (a subsidiary of Freeman), Neutrogena and Garnier all have a version) but my best formula so far has been the one from Palmers. A delicious smelling mix of Rosehip, Jojoba and Grapeseed oils with a big dose of Vitamin C, this oil has been a wonderful addition to my skincare routine that settles my sometimes moody skin right down and makes it less dull (ah, 30s you are fun. And mean.) Followed by the soap-free, soy enriched goodness that is Aveeno’s Positively Radiant cleanser, this was the first development that got my skin back on the road to happiness. As an extra boost you can get both on drugstore.com for under 20 bucks! Such a steal.

thayers witch hazel

For a toner I was on the quest for something a little more on the gentle side; I actually was so oily for so many years that I used Sea Breeze much longer than most people are able to, only stopping when redness and flakiness became a huge issue. I have always loved witch hazel as a more natural alternative, but if you go this route read your label carefully; quite a few formulas of witch hazel contain alcohol which countermands all the efforts I’m making to get my skin to mellow out and can cause your skin to grease up when it overreacts to being stripped of it’s natural oils. Luckily, Thayers makes a few different formulas that are alcohol free, enriched with aloe and either smell like rose petals or lavender. I have the rose petal right now and it tones and preps my skin for moisturizer without any redness or resulting greasiness from swiping alcohol across your face (and smells soooo good). I think when I reorder (also on drugstore.com) I will grab the lavender and see how I like it.

simple rich moisture aveeno ultra calming

At night, when I want a little extra dewiness (and needing an SPF isn’t an issue) I love to cap my skin routine off with Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturizer; it’s thick so a little bit goes a long way, and it absorbs quickly. It also has no fragrance and is nice and gentle. For daytime I like my Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizer as it is formulated specifically to ease any redness; the miracle in this formula that aids this is something called fever few, which is in the same family as chamomile. It’s been my go to since 2005, I love it!

I was on my way, and things were looking up on the skin care front!

My skin was dewier and less red,¬† BUT here’s the thing; when I would go to apply my makeup it wasn’t going on as smoothly as I knew it could.

It was flaky in spots or clumpy in others.

There was no avoiding it.

I had to crack the code on what kind of exfoliant would work on skin as touchy as mine, since the traditional scrub type wasn’t working anymore.

Then a friend of mine (you know who you are, woman) told me about this amazing product from Japan that she thought would be perfect for me.

It was a chemical exfoliant, very gentle, that should work great for me since scrubs left me red-faced and unhappy, and even if it was pricier than I would have liked I needed to give it a shot.

cure aqua gel

I scoured online and quickly found that you can buy this on amazon.com for about 28 dollars, so I went for it.

Oh.

My.

GOODNESS.

It begins to work immediately when you apply it to dry skin and instead of having to scrub at dead, dry skin it just kind of . . . rolls OFF when you rinse it, like a really cool (and slightly icky) science experiment.

No scrubbing.

No redness.

Just soft, miraculously exfoliated skin that is a smooth canvas on which to paint how you like.

What are some of your skincare go-tos?

Let me know in the comments here or on our FB page!

Until next time, all!

Love,

The Chick and her Chickadee

 

Laundry Wars Part II . . . Baby PJs and The Dingy Bots

Hey there, world- it’s been awhile.

In the time since we last chatted, much has happened;

I got married to the love of my life, The Chickadee’s Dada a little over a month ago and we have been settling into life as an official family (not that we haven’t been, always- my husband and I have been a family since the day we got together, but I’ll stop that gush before I have to mop it up).

One thing that has been consistent every day before and since the wedding has been the constant ebb and flow of laundry; if it’s not my clothes, it’s towels and sheets, if it’s not that it’s baby clothes and pajamas.

Oh, goodness, baby pajamas.

Anybody who has little ones can tell you, modern baby pajamas are the biggest mystery.

You can wash and wash and if you don’t understand what you’re dealing with 2 things will still be true fresh out of the dryer;

  1. They will still be dingy, and,
  2.  They will smell like anything that might have dripped on them, like milk, only old and mixed with detergent.

In an effort to understand this phenomenon I trolled the internet (in the interest of not throwing away a pair of the Chickadee’s pajamas that she loves), and finally found the reason why baby and toddler pajamas tend to be difficult, and what we can do to rectify that.

I found the answer through Martha Stewart’s website; apparently, federal law dictates that all baby and toddler pajamas be treated with flame retardant chemicals, and it’s that addition to the fabric that leaves them looking dingy and dirty even after a wash.

Martha’s solution was stupid simple and has become a staple in my laundry game, and it’s this;

vinegar

That’s right, folks; simple, distilled white vinegar added to the wash, or in the case of dingy baby pajamas added to the wash and left to soak for 30 minutes resolved the issue.

The pajamas all emerged from the wash sparkling clean and looking brand new!

I never thought I would say this, but thank you, Martha Stewart!

Vinegar is a laundry wonder drug and has become a staple of my laundry game due to it’s inexpensive cost and versatility; it can be used to combat hard water stains on clothes, stinky socks and dabbed on a paper towel can be used while ironing to make the creases on the arms of dress shirts and Chef coats razor sharp (that last tip came from my Gigi, not Martha Stewart. Thanks, Gigi!)

Give it a try if even to just freshen up a load of laundry, and let me know what you think!

What are your laundry tips and hacks?

Until next time!

Love,

The Chick and her Chickadee