Keeping organizing, interior decorating and bedmaking. Strategies to de-stress and de-clutter your life!

The Golden Rule

Never go to sleep without washing your face.

I know this may seem obvious to most people, but never have I believed in this rule more since moving to a tropical island in the Pacific Ocean. Let me give you the low down:

  1. I’m here for medical school. That means that I am stressed, spend a lot of nights awake and don’t necessarily eat three square meals a day. Problems.
  2. There are only two seasons here: Hot/Wet and Hot/Dry.
  3. The humidity here is unreal. It feels like it literally slaps you in the face. On a GOOD day, it’s 90% humidity. On a regular day, it’s 96% humidity. That, coupled with the actual temperature, means it’s hot and constantly feels like you’re in the triple-degrees Fahrenheit range.
  4. I spend a lot of time outside. I walk to school, I use public transportation – everything here is open air and that means the dust and smoke are real. You don’t want those bad boys in your pores.
  5. Heat means oil and sweat are magnified times 100.

NOT washing your face means that you break out – without fail – the next day. It’s instantaneous. And so, I’ve discovered that a few tweaks to my previous skincare regimen have helped a lot! Here’s my newest take on the nighttime routine:

  1. Pull my hair up into a small ponytail and out of my face with a wide elastic headband.
  2. CeraVe hydrating cleanser with some cool water (because warm sink water is not a thing in my apartment, sadly)
  3. Pat dry with a towel, and allow to air dry further.
  4. Apply acne treatment (AcZone gel is my current medication of choice)
  5. SLEEP as much as possible!

The only thing stopping me from bright, beautiful skin is…well, me! Happy adventuring, friends!

Love, PB


The Island Life

Since we last spoke, life (and my daily skincare routine) have changed drastically. 

For one thing, I received a Mary Kay facial which lead to my subsequent Mary Kay party and a complete overhaul of many of my favorite every day items. 

And the other thing?  I moved to the other side of the world. So my climate has basically gone from four seasons to two seasons: tropical wet and tropical dry. That’s right. I moved to a tropical island. No big deal. 

Any way, here’s the word on my skincare! Just before I left, I finally worked up the nerve to see a dermatologist about my acne (I break out a lot) and eczema (since childhood). My dermatologist completely blew my mind. First of all, the amount of product I was using to maintain what I thought was the ideal skincare regimen proved to be extraordinary amounts of the wrong thing.  I also found out that my skin is much more sensitive than I thought, which is why it often reacted so harshly to products that it found unfavorable. Hence the need to change what I was doing and change it fast. I set out from the office with two lists in my hand. One for the acne issues and the other for the eczema and was met with quite an amazing realization. My doctor literally changed everything from the soap that I use on a regular basis to what I use to moisturizer and wash my face to what I put on my body. 

Here goes, the new and improved skincare routine! 

  1. Facial Cleanser: CeraVe Hydrating Cleanser, twice a day 
  2. Facial Moisturizer: Neutrogena Oil-Free Moisturizer for Sensitive Skin
  3. Sunscreen: (depending on my mood) Neutrogena Sensitive Skin SPF 60 or La Roche Posay Sunscreen Fluid SPF 60 for Face
  4. Bar Soap: Dove Sensitive Skin 
  5. Moisturizer: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream
  6. Acne Treatment: Aczone gel

And there we have it! What products do you all use every day? Let me know in the comments section below and as always, Happy Adventuring! 

Skincare Sunday: Microdermabrasion at Home 

On a recent trip to The Body Shop, I was introduced to their Vitamin C Microdermabrasion exfoliator. At-home microdermabrasion is something I have been interested in since hearing about a PMD (personal microdermabrasion) and the DermaE microdermabrasion scrub. These two initial introductions to this world of at-home microdermabrasion, however, proved to be a little bit too much for my budget, which led me on this quest to find an affordable, yet effective way to microderm at home. 

The premise behind microdermabrasion is that it is a type of what I like to call “fine exfoliation.” Generally, when one thinks of exfoliating (or when I do, at least), they think of the traditional St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub kind of exfoliation, a gritty medium mixed with some goop in order to make your skin feel soft and smooth. Microdermabrasion has a similar effect except for the fact that particles used in microderm are much finer and smaller, therefore allowing you to exfoliate only the superficial layer of the skin rather than going deeper like coarser grains do. This removal of the top layer of dead skin cells leaves the smooth, soft underbelly of young, fresh skin; exactly what you want when you are ready for a night out on the town. 

I tried this Vitamin C microdermabrasion scrub and I have to say that I thought it felt great! Not too gritty or so fine that I felt like I was rubbing sand all over my face, but I definitely felt like it was doing something. Furthermore, it felt really moisturizing, thanks to the properties of its other mixtures (includes some great natural moisturizers, awesome!). In addition, I really enjoyed the scent, which I found was uplifting and refreshing. The Body Shop recommends that you use this scrub twice weekly at most, but since my skin is sensitive and prone to dryness, I will probably only use this scrub once a week. This time, I used only my hands but another way they suggest using it is with a facial exfoliating sponge or buffer, for added benefits and an even deeper clean. 

Stay tuned for updates and tidbits on microdermabrasion! Until then, happy beginning of the week and happy adventuring! 

Love, PB

Honestly Abe

With the beginnings of a new school year making an appearance, I wanted to share with everyone one of my favorite websites. 

Most of you, if you haven’t figured it out by now, probably have realized that I am an extreme bookie. I. Love. Books. I have an unhealthy obsession with them, I have a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf in my bedroom and my world (and paycheck) rise and set on what books I can buy with what money. I always have a list of books to read, I dabble in some writing myself (haha, dabble is the appropriate word) and I am so in love with the way books are. Everything about them makes me happy. They are my happy place. 

With that said, books are expensive. Extremely so. Especially when you are dealing with textbooks. Cue my favorite place on the World Wide Web, AbeBooks. The website doesn’t boast about itself, but it’s tagline is Passion for Books. And ladies and gentlemen, that’s what this is. This is a place where you can get all your books from anywhere in the world for insanely small amounts of money. It’s the greatest thing in the world! I have found books I’ve been trying to find for YEARS for $3.47 AND free shipping. That’s the greatest thing about this place; it lists the books that it finds to match your search query in order of lowest TOTAL purchase amount and half the time, you get one with free shipping. 

The only difficulty I’ve found with using this website is that sometimes, you wait for the purchases to come, like anywhere, depending on where they’re shipping from and where they’re shipping to, but if you’re in no rush, it’s a great resource and one that will definitely be used month after month after a month…

If you’re an addict like me, that is :) 

Any experience with internet thrift bookshops? Comment below and let me know! Happy Adventuring! 


Love, PB

Commuter Struggles

So I’m taking a post-baccalaureate summer class. And since it’s post-bacc and I’m no longer living at school, I have the pleasure of being exposed to (for the first time in two years) a daily commute on a local bus through four zones in my lovely state. I forgot how much I disliked the commute and for someone who has motion sickness like me, a bus driver who’s rough with the brake pedal can be a one-way ticket to nausea and vomiting. Not fun.

Some of the things I’ve had to combat on this dust-filled, sweaty, body-odorous journey are things like:

  • hot, dry skin
  • the sun beating down from my bus stop walk to my destination
  • heat, heat, heat
  • stagnant air on the bus
  • body odor (hopefully not my own)


The Morning Multitasker

I know this sounds crazy but bear with me: ever get so tired of your expensive morning routine that you want to just skip all the steps and go right to the part where you’re ready?

I do.

Morning routines can be difficult to keep, especially when they’re complexed and let’s face it, we have morning routines because we want our skin to remain as fresh, youthful and invigorated as possible so, most of our our routines require a level of commitment. I’ll share with you mine:

After jumping into the shower…
Step 1: Exfoliate (Sun+Thurs)/Facial cleansing (all other days)
Step 2: Toner
Step 3: Allow to air dry
Step 4: Moisturizer face, neck and chest area
Step 5: Depending on the day this could include make-up, putting in contacts, etc.

That may not seem like a lot for just my face, but consider the fact that I still have to shampoo and condition, brush my teeth, dry and style my hair and all that good stuff, time can be an important factor, especially when I’m running late! Enter the multitasking. I’ve found that combining a few of these steps helps alleviate some of that added mental stress, especially when on a time crunch

For example, I keep my exfoliating product (St. Ive’s Apricot Scrub) and my facial cleanser (Aveeno Daily Cleanser) in the shower so that I can wash my face and cleanse during the 2-3 minutes that my conditioner is sitting. Following that, immediately after I step out of the tub, I brush my teeth and apply my toner (Dickinson’s Witch Hazel) after which I moisturizer my body while waiting for the toner to air dry. Then, I apply my SPF facial moisturizer (currently Trader Joe’s enrich, SPF 15) and get dressed.

When all’s said and done, I’ve found that incorporating my routine into things I already do cuts my getting ready time in half! If you really pressure me, I can be ready to go, hair done, dressed and walking out the door all in about 15-20 minutes.

What’s your morning routine look like? How do you make it efficient and effective? Leave me a comment to tell me more!

Happy Adventuring!

Love, PB