Watch “3 December Beauty and Lifestyle Favorites (ft. Ugg, Maison Margela, and Eucerin)” on YouTube
Watch “Quick chat (Pizza, soup, MAC satin eyeshadows, and tea mixing)” on YouTube
Watch “Hello again. GRWM (no foundation, ft. Natasha Denona, MAC, Covergirl, etc.) plummy autumn look” on YouTube
Am I really a Dinosaur?
(This was a bit stream of consciousness and therefore a tad rambly, apologies for this!)
I was late to the blogging game, I fully admit. By the time I got here the days of high profile blogging were already long gone. Meaning that today, in order to get “seen”, you have to exceedingly special or, in some cases, brave, in order to be heard above the crowd. Is it OK to be average? Is that allowed?
I once worked for a woman who constantly reminded me that it was alright to be ordinary. In her view, to underachieve was disrespectful to one’s self, while overreaching expectations could be disrespectful to one’s colleagues. This was difficult for a here-to-fore overachiever to wrap her head around. Wasn’t perfection always the goal? Since when was mediocre ever OK?
While I still don’t fully agree with this “tall-poppy”-ish, zero-sum type stance, I will concede that age has taught me a few things about perfectionism and persistence. Mainly that they are relative to your particular situation, and a few other things:
- Perfection does not exist. Full Stop.
- Comparison is everyone’s Achilles Heel. Even if it’s comparison with yourself in a different time span.
- Persistence will be exhausting. Expect it.
- Persistence will (almost) always pay off.
- Being “average” but persistent, will usually yield better results than being “perfect” but lethargic.
So here I am, hanging on. In a sea of bloggers, all vying for our voices to be heard. Me, without any videos or fancy fonts. Thinking average thoughts and writing about mediocre things. An average middle aged woman with an average day job and an average family.
And I am SO grateful for all of these things (including my lovely readers)!
Am I really a dinosaur (i.e. old and irrelevant)? Probably, but I am learning to see these wrinkles as the reward for a life of effort.
Thanks for listening, stay cozy!
Cha-Cha-Cha-Changes… (School & Side Hustles)
Hi all! To say that I’ve been away for awhile is a bit of an understatement. I’m afraid that my family and I have had a lot going on lately and blogging had to take a major backseat. I apologize for being gone without an explanation…so here goes!
My son started (and is in the middle of) first grade…and several clubs…and several other groups. Our schedule is a bit ridiculous, and there’s been more than one occasion that we have been double booked. There’s also nothing like finding out that your little one has an assignment due in less than 24 hours that requires both work and supplies that you have not yet acquired. In all honesty, it’s great fun watching a little one navigate school and social situations, if not a little nerve wracking.
I have been doing quite a bit of experimentation in the kitchen and you can expect to see some new recipes coming soon! My focus lately has been on whole foods, i.e. trying to reduce the processed stuff. I have tended to enjoy recipes that are simple to cook and fewer than 7 or so ingredients lately. More to come on that!
I have been working my day job a lot. Probably too much. I have started a few new hobbies because I needed more to do *chuckle*. I have been dabbling a lot in graphic design and photography over the last year. This has lead to the opening of my new Etsy shop. Feel free to take a look, if you’re curious.
Oh, and it’s been snowing here….
How have you been? Has it been a crazy year for you, too?
Hope things are evening out! Stay cozy!
My Life Has Become a Wes Anderson Movie
Greetings blogging friends! My sincere apologies for my internet hiatus. I’m afraid I’ll be away awhile longer, but I hope to be back in full force by the middle of April. Things have gone (quite) a bit Wes Anderson-ish around here and the Cozy and Sage family have some hurdles to tackle before we expect to be back to normal.
Wish us luck?
Best to all of you! And stay cozy!
Tuesday Thoughts: To Makeup or Not to Makeup?
As I sit here with my coffee and one of my favorite YouTube channels blaring in the background, I shop through some online makeup shops while simultaneously checking for blog reviews. After an hour or so of this (having filled my Nordstrom’s cart to over $200), I pause to think about how much I will actually use these products.
Do I love eyeshadow? Absolutely!
Will I actually wear it? To be honest, most mornings are consumed by coffee and making myself look vaguely presentable for work. Of course, I do usually wear makeup, but only two or three products, and nothing that would require wielding a brush in any kind of precise manner (although my reliance upon concealer borders on addiction).
It feels weird to state that makeup fills any sort of utilitarian purpose in my life, that idea makes my life seem so trivial. However, having said that, the manner in which I actually use makeup IS quite utilitarian.
Am I trying to be artistic or relax myself every morning, hunched over my makeup mirror, attempting to apply products in a pleasing, yet mostly undetectable manner? No, I’m just trying not to look too sick or tired to work. That’s the truth of it, no matter how I attempt to delude myself.
Which brings me to the next logical questions…Am I uncomfortable with how I look? Am I not able to accept myself as I am? Why is that?
It’s true that over the course of history both men and women have worn makeup for a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, status, class, culture, etc. The practice of painting our faces is in no way anything new. However, in this day and age of barefaced models posting selfies on Instagram and everywhere else, one would think that going “un-made” might be more the norm.
The thing that perplexes me the most is that while I desperately want to accept my face as it is and bear it to the world, I am also concerned about the perception it gives. Wearing makeup does give me confidence (by helping me not look dead), and yet it simultaneously saddens me that I can’t allow myself to go to work without it.
It seems like such a *ahem* superficial thing, but my internal conflict about the status of my makeup dependence can get rather deep at times.
There are so many folks I see everyday with beautiful faces, made up and not. I often wonder to myself why or why don’t they wear makeup. It’s one of those questions I wish I could pose to the masses.
Hey, maybe that’s what Twitter is for…
I’d love to hear from you about what your feelings are about wearing makeup; stay cozy!
Three (Almost) No Prep Vegetarian Dinners
Sometimes life just feels as though it is moving too fast. Well, ok . . . maybe that’s most of the time (to me, anyway). On those weeks when I have not been a dutiful meal planner and have not created a detailed list of groceries, dinners can become quite chaotic in the Cozy and Sage household. I am a diehard believer in the power of planning (meals and everything else), but when I do fall off the wagon, these are some of the meals that save our family dinners.
Note: One challenge in preparing vegetarian meals for my family is ensuring the meal contains enough protein. Canned beans have become an easy, healthy go-to solution for us; thus, all of the recipes below use some form of canned bean.
- 2-4+ baking potatoes (depending on the number of individuals you are feeding)
- 1 can black beans (mostly drained)
- shredded cheese
- chopped tomatoes
- sour cream
- Adobo seasoning
- chopped onions (if desired)
When I’m running late and dinner needs to be fast, I love to throw a few washed and pricked baking potatoes in the microwave. After those are done, I microwave the black beans for about 2 minutes with some of the Adobo seasoning and about a quarter of a cup of chopped onions (optional) stirred in. Then I simply set the potatoes and the toppings out on the table and allow folks to dig in!
(Simple) Red Beans and Rice
- 1 bag frozen rice steamer bag (I use frozen brown rice steamer bags from my local Kroger)
- 1 can dark red kidney beans (drained)
- 1 can diced tomatoes (half-drained…leave a little juice)
- salt, pepper, cumin, onion powder (or garlic powder) to taste
First, I toss my bag of frozen brown rice into the microwave and cook. (Sometimes I am super ambitious and make my own frozen bags of rice ahead of time, but I usually resort to store-bought. Just being honest.) After the rice is done, I combine the beans, tomatoes (with a little of the fluid), and my desired spices, then microwave the beans for about 2 minutes. When done, stir the rice and beans together in a large bowl and serve. Et Viola! Dinner is served!
(Effortless) Chickpea Salad
- 1 can of chickpeas (drained)
- 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cucumber, chopped
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 6 ounces crumbled feta or goat cheese (goat cheese makes for a creamier dressing)
- favorite Italian dressing, added to taste (our favorite is the Kraft Tuscan House Italian)
Chop, chop, chop! Toss everything in a bowl, stir, and serve. It doesn’t get any easier than this, folks! This is an especially nice dinner for hot summer evenings (and a handy side dish for other meals, too).
While it’s true I use a microwave to cook most of these meals (because I am almost always in a rush), they can be prepared in an oven/on a stove top as well. Just FYI.
I hope this post is helpful and thanks so much for stopping by! Stay cozy!
Review: Laura Mercier Crème Cheek Colour
The first thing to say is that, used with discretion, this is arguably the most natural looking blush that I have ever used.I am still perfecting the precise movements of my application method, and so far I am preferring fingers to brushes. I know that many prefer to use brushes with cream products, however, I think this cream lends itself to the cheek better with the aid of the warmth and pressure of finger tips.
This product DOES NOT accentuate any dryness in my skin whatsoever, as I suppose could be expected from a cream product. I was surprised, however, by its lack of greasiness (we’ll see how it fares in the heat of summer).
The color is well concentrated, so not much is needed per use which means that this tiny container should last me at least six months. Also, its dainty size means that this product can fit into any makeup bag and would make a wonderful travel companion!
Speaking of colors, although the selection is small, the colors seem to be both powerful and versatile for most skin tones. I chose oleander, the lightest pink, to match my ghostly skin tone after this long winter. It can also be applied in varied amounts to give more or less color as desired.
This product lasts all day on my skin, without accentuating texture or dehydration. Although I do not have oily skin per se, sometimes my cheeks can go a bit greasy and this blush still seemed to work well, not concentrating shine or oil. Therefore, I think most skin types, except perhaps the oiliest, could use this product with ease.
I am in love with the tiny, yet sturdy compact, and have been using this product with gusto over the last few weeks! Highly recommend!