Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Quick Tip - Use What You Have - Expired Products

During a recent purge, I discovered that my beloved Josie Maran Argan Balm had expired in early December 2014! Even though I had been using without incident, I thought it wise to cease doing so. Given that more than 1/3 of the product remained, I felt a pang of guilt when faced with tossing it.

Quite often, we discover expired products in our home. It is sad because we are looking at waste: wasted money, wasted product, and wasted time (the time spent purchasing the product). Thankfully, some expired beauty products can enjoy a second life. For instance, I tested the expired balm as both furniture polish and shoe polish.

Is there an expired product for which you found a second and/or alternative use?

Empties | April 2015

I can't contain my excitement! There aren't many, but it's time for April empties!  

April 2015 empties:
bareMinerals Frame & Define Brow Styler, Universal Light - I'd buy this again, but I'm on the hunt for an eye shadow palette that includes a brown that I can use for lining and for brows.

DeVita Solar Protective Moisturizer SPF 30 - This natural sunscreen is a potential repurchase. Unless you have normal or oilier skin, this isn't a good stand-alone moisturizer. This blends well, and it doesn't leave me with kabuki face.

Gold Bond Ultimate Skin Therapy Cream Healing with Aloe - This isn't a clean product, but it was a good handbag sized product that I stole from my mother. I can't say that I won't steal another; I'll do what's necessary to protect my lobster claws.

Jordan Samuel Skin Water You Waiting For? Face and Body Mist - Don't be fooled by the punny name. This is a great skin soother, and it's a skin care staple. I use it as a toner to prep my skin for my serum step. I've also used this to add some glow to powder foundation.

Tatcha INDIGO soothing silk body butter (sample) - Lovely stuff, but as it's preserved with phenoxyethanol, I will not purchase the full size.

Tatcha INDIGO soothing silk hand cream (sample) - Lovely stuff, but as it's preserved with phenoxyethanol, I will not purchase the full size.

Expired products:
Eminence Organic Hibiscus Calendula Recovery Masque (Sun Care Starter Set) I ordered the set on Amazon.com in June 2014, and while Eminence claims a one year shelf life, this was the second product that seemed a bit off. This was hard, and there were stringy things throughout. As I don't sun myself, I don't see myself purchasing a full size of this product.

Josie Maran Argan Balm - The expiry date was 12/02/2014, so I misspoke in the video. I will repurchase this product once I use the various body butters and oils in my stash. This is a winter staple!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Simplifying & De-Cluttering - Getting Started

Start Small
I am fully invested in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, but if the idea of gathering ALL of your clothing and sorting it in one go is too daunting, start with your socks. 

Perfection Paralysis
Sometimes, it isn't feeling overwhelmed that stops us in our tracks, but perfectionism. Do not allow the desire for perfection to paralyze you and to keep you from starting the process. Seeking perfection is an exercise in frustration, and it immobilizes you. It keeps you from trying something new or from starting on a new path.

Crush Compromise
While you don't want to be a perfectionist, you don't want to abandon your ideals and desires completely.If you have a very specific idea of the type of bookshelf that you want to buy, wait for it. The books can remain boxed up for another month or two. Just don't let those boxes hang around forever.

Stop Storage
How many areas of your home serve as a storage unit? Attic? Garage? Basement? 
Do you know or need what is in those boxes? What binds you to the contents? If it's guilt or fear that you'll need it someday, forget it. I've been donating and de-cluttering for 20 years, and in that time, I've regretted purging ONE item. One.

Is your house a home, or is it a storage unit for you, your kids, or your friends? If so, give them the incentive to remove their possessions: a deadline to retrieve or an invoice. Assuming that it is wanted, saving grandma's vintage vanity until your child finds her/his first home is fine, but storing 15,000 albums for a child is another story.

Double Duty
Recently, I read Skin Cleanse, and it made me re-think my relatively streamlined skin care regime. Why not use extra virgin olive oil to remove my mascara? One product, two uses! Think about secondary and tertiary uses for products that you already own. Use an expired lip balm to soften your cuticles and to polish leather shoes and handbags.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up - Tiny Tweaks #1

What do you do when you have finished -- or nearly finished -- with tidying up?

You make tiny tweaks!

This past weekend, I discovered an expired face mask in my small bath and beauty product collection. This prompted a full-on investigation of the expiration situation of my bath and beauty products.

One small tweak: For sanitary reasons, set up a review schedule for the perishable items in your home. Review pantry and refrigerated items at least once a month. Review bath and beauty products on a quarterly basis.

If you have streamlined your possessions, this review should be rather quick and painless. Pitch anything that has expired. If an item seems "funky" in spite of its expiration date, pitch it!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

House Tour - 2nd floor

In January, John and I downsized from a three-bedroom, 1.5-bath townhouse in a county north of the city to a smaller place in the city. Our current place is a 986 sf (91.6024 sm) townhouse with two bedrooms and one bathroom. It was built in 1944, and is perfect for us!

We love city living, and we love simple living. Because we have so diligently streamlined our possessions, what you see is the second floor "as-is." I did not tidy or hide things prior to filming.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Empties | March 2015

It is time for this month's empties! Most of my items are natural and/or non-toxic, but there are always those few random items that are not. As I streamline my beauty routine, I expect to see less "toxic" products in the mix.

Complete List of Products (alpha order)
Aēsop Avail Lip Balm with Sunscreen SPF 30
Aura Cacia Natural Skin Care Oil Grapeseed
Celtic Complexion Calming Serum
Celtic Complexion Tinted Moisturizer SPF 31, Light 1
Dr. Dennis Gross alpha beta peel extra strength formula (sample)
Eminence Organic Skin Care Bright Skin Cleanser
Gemstone Organic Gold Créme   
JBS Farms Soaps shower steamer, Shalimar
Jordan Samuel Skin HydrOasis Face and Eye Serum
Life-Flo Organic Pure Rosehip Seed Oil
Prana Natural Defense SPF 25
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil (sample)