by Ginger on October 23, 2014

in Random

There’s just no chance I’m going to make my original reading goal of 50 books for the year, especially since I’m only on #19. Soooooo with only a couple of months left in the year, I’m going to revise my goal to 25. I feel lame about that, but so be it.

That being said, I’m on an audio book kick, particularly for non-fiction. I’ve realized it’s a great way to make my commute seem like it goes faster. In fact, five of my last seven books have been audio books, and most of those non-fiction. (I think I’m mostly just on a history/informational kick).

Anyone have any audio books I MUST check out? I’ve always been pretty anti-audio book (I can’t process them while I’m doing ANYTHING else besides driving. Same reason I can’t listen to podcasts while I work), but I’ve finally found a way they work for me, so now I want to know what I’ve been missing.


I promise I’m going to get a Hawaii vacation post up soon(ish). But my brain is fried, so it probably won’t be until this weekend. I promise, the photos don’t get any less beautiful from being a few weeks later.


The reason my brain is fried is because I’m serving jury duty. For a trial that will last for 3-4 weeks.

I guess all my years of not ever being called finally REALLY caught up to me. This trial is long, and it’s going to be hard. It already is hard. My brain is tired, from a combo of the volume and type of information thrown at me today. And I have 3-4 more weeks of this to look forward to. Yippee. (Please, let’s all hope for 3.)

That being said, I am taking this seriously. Which means no talking about the case, no writing about the case (beyond this, which isn’t really about the *case* so much as it is about *jury duty*), no looking things up about the case, and giving my utmost attention during the trial. Man, writing that out makes me feel all old and responsible and shit.


One of the things that’s hard about jury duty (besides sitting in ONE place for the entire damn day), is that I don’t have a way to process what I’m taking in. I can’t talk to the other jurors, I can’t talk to my husband, I can’t talk to anyone. I’m writing about it some, privately, but it’s still just…rattling around in my head. It’s tough.


Have I mentioned skin care recently? No? Well, let me remedy that.

A few months ago, I started using a Paula’s Choice (affiliate link heads up, but that link will also get you $10 off your first order) regimen that included face wash, toner, a BHA, a daytime moisturizer & a night time moisturizer. They had recommended a few other products, but this seemed like a good place to start.

Before I started using the stuff, my face was a MESS. I had a couple of breakouts that hadn’t gotten better in *months* and a few just kept getting worse. Add in some sun damage, some overall blah-ness, an impending 35th birthday, and a healthy dose of vanity and I was willing to try something new.

You guys, within, no kidding, 1 day of starting to use the stuff my skin started getting better. Within about 3 days the breakouts were clearing up. And I haven’t had a major breakout since then. In addition, my skin just looks all around better–some of my dark spots have cleared up, my skin seems brighter, my pores seem smaller. It’s kind of unbelievable. Here, let me give you some example: prior to starting using the Paula’s Choice stuff, I pretty much felt like I *needed* foundation most days to even out my skin. Now, though, I feel ok with how my skin looks if I don’t wear foundation. That’s pretty great.

I sound like an ad, I know, but I promise this is all totally unprompted, and I totally paid for all this stuff myself. I am just very happy (finally!) with my skin & thought I’d share.

If you do decide to check it out, I’d recommend doing what I did: go to the site and use their live chat feature to ask for a skin care regimen for your skin & needs. I “talked” to someone, gave them info about my skin & what I’m looking for specifically. Then they emailed me a full list of products they recommend, and also gave me their recommendation for which products to start with if I didn’t want to buy the full list right away. It’s probably not 100% personalized, but it helped me having a starting point–they have a LOT of products.


You’ve seen the Worst Cat tumblr right? How about the Worst Hippo one? Enjoy!

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What I Learned While On Vacation

by Ginger on October 13, 2014

in Downtime, Family

Aloha! So nice to see you on this lovely little island…can I interest you in a Mai Tai?

Wait, what do you mean this isn’t an island? And there’s no Mai Tai? What sort of nonsense is this?


Hey, did I tell you guys we were going to Hawaii? For 6 days? For an actual, honest to goodness vacation? Well, we did! And it was amazing! And seriously, Hawaii is just utterly, almost indescribably, fantastic. But MAN, I did not want to come back. So, yeah, reentry from vacation is still kind of going on. Hard to imagine that coming back from a tropical paradise makes things like “reality” and “responsibility” kind of less interesting than they normally are (and you know, they’re normally SO thrilling).

But oh, vacation. It was…restorative is a good way to put it. For my mental health, for my stress & N.C.’s stress, for my marriage, for my family–it was just all around good for us. Remind me that we need to do that more often.


I’ve been thinking about the idea of self-care a lot lately. There are a lot of superficial (but still important IMO!) ways that I’m fairly good at it–I make time/money to get my hair done (which makes me feel awesome), I take time to experiment with & use makeup (which makes me feel awesome), I’m first in line for doctors & dentists (which don’t always make me feel awesome, but the point stands about taking care of myself). But there are a lot of ways I’m still not very good at self-care–I tend to take on emotional responsibility for the emotions and problems of those around me, I am a people pleaser to my detriment, I’m bad about speaking up about things that are bothering me, I’m not good at taking chances and risks for myself because of what others might think/my responsibility/my family needs/fear/etc.

A few days away from real life though, was like a bit of a reset button on my worst tendencies. Taking those days to recharge reminds me that self-care sometimes means more than just giving myself a manicure. It means treating ME, not my physical body but my emotional and mental self, with care and respect. It’s amazing to me how clear that becomes with a few days away.


Vacationing with your family can mean…compromising. With a five year old along, there were some things we just couldn’t do, and frankly, even the two adults weren’t always on the same page about how to spend our time. But that’s ok. That was another good reminder while we were there–there’s usually a middle ground between what I want/think, and what others want/think, we just need to take the time to find it. In the day to day of life, sometimes it feels easier to not take that time, to just do whatever to make life easier. Over time though, that can create frustration and bitterness, which just so happen to be those things that just slowly erode your relationships with your family, not to mention increase your own stress. But on vacation, we were in a special place, and so we made sure to take the time to figure out what we all really wanted/needed to be happy when we got back on the plane to come home. The extra little time to find that middle ground sometimes feels like too much in the real world, but how much better would we all be in the long run if we took that extra bit of time?


Hmmm. Maybe there were more things I took away from my vacation than just an appreciation for garlic shrimp & Portuguese sausage and an overwhelming desire to go back & see every island. This? Just another reason vacation is important.

(I’m going to do a post on what we did, where we ate, what we saw. But I needed to get this out of my head first).

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A Boy of Five

by Ginger on September 30, 2014

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

Standing next to me, he fits right up under my ribs. It occurs to me that the last time that was true was a little over 5 years ago, but then it was more his feet bruising my ribs from the inside. Five years was forever ago, five years was just yesterday.

Beach boys


He is so full of personality* these days.

“OF COURSE we’re not going to have donuts for breakfast today Mommy, OF COURSE.”

“Mommy, I just can’t talk about that right now.”

“In a MINUTE Mommy. I’m busy with this.”

“NO. I said NO.”

*Personality, attitude, same difference some days.

Little Hulk


He is also full of sweetness.  He is free with hugs and kisses, for friends and family, and mommy and daddy. He loves to cuzzle at the end of the night, asking me “Mommy, let’s talk about our day.”

His smile and laugh are infectious. His joy is radiant. He is a bright sparkling star, bigger and brighter than anything I could have imagined.

Smiling School Day


I sometimes think, even five years in, that I don’t have what it takes to parent this vibrant ball of energy. He tests me, almost daily–tests my patience, tests my smarts, tests my energy, tests my compassion and what I think I know about parenting. He is my opposite in so many ways, and I don’t always know what to do with that.

And yet, I also know that I am perfect for him. Even when I’m not perfect. Even when I screw up. Even when I’m sure that something wasn’t my finest parenting moment. I’m still his mommy, and the perfect mommy for him.

Me & my boy


Sometimes I look at him, at his smile and exuberance, and my heart catches in my throat. Parenting him is not easy, no. The challenges are real, and hard, and I can only hope I screw up less than I succeed. But the rewards? Oh man, the rewards are just breathtaking.

Holding Hands

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Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on September 24, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

Someday maybe *I’ll* actually write something with one of these prompts, but my boss is out on medical leave, I’m going on vacation in a week and a half, and my kid is basically taking up pretty much all of my evening time, so….that time is probably not right now. BUT! I’ve had a request for more prompts, and I live to serve!

1.What’s something about you today that would totally shock 10 year old you? Why the change?

2. Highs & lows (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Alright, now do it to it!

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Bring Back the Words

by Ginger on September 9, 2014

in Blogging & Social Media

I’m falling down on the job over here. Let’s get some prompts up, shall we? And don’t forget you can write about any prior prompt at any time!

1. Tell us about a product you’ve been loving or hating lately.

2. Sunset (whatever that makes you think of/want to write about)

Now get to writing!

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