Features + The Weekly Edit

The Weekly Edit: Under the Waves

It has been a frightful four weeks.

Our eight-week remodel is now entering its fifth month (because “it’ll get done” means eventually, not on any specific date).  So we’re both living in my Helena rental, while I work 12-hour days for the Legislature and Kyle takes on all the pup care, cooking, and cleaning.  And I’m trying to figure out what my job is, because no one seems to know and their directions change daily.

Me = Barely Keeping My Head Above Water

I’m terrified for when Kyle heads back to Spokane.  I’m trying not to think about it.  But tomorrow, I just have to get up and go again.  Hopefully, this is just a rocky adjustment period and it will all smooth out soon.

Every January, I declutter my phone and computer.  This article from the BBC explains why eliminating digital clutter is so important to your productivity and mental health.  Here’s how I do it.

Eliminate Old Text Message Threads.  Delete any non-active conversations.  I define an active thread as one that I contribute to at least every other day.  If I’m feeling really motivated, I’ll also clean out LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram messages.

Delete Old Apps. Games I don’t play.  Apps that I no longer use.  Odds and ends, like the photo app I never really learned or the Slack app from an old job, they all go.

Clean Your Photos Out. Screenshots you don’t need, gone.  20 pictures of the same things, delete 18.  Move other photos to a more secure location (the cloud, Dropbox, etc.).

Scrub Your Personal E-mail.  Folder e-mails you want to keep.  Respond to e-mails you’ve been putting off. Delete anything that isn’t critical.

Re-Organize Your Desktop Folders.  Need the document?  Folder it.  Don’t need it?  Bin it.  Not sure? Create a miscellaneous folder on your desktop, store it away, make the decision next year.

This takes most of a lazy Sunday.  I typically curl up on the couch and just purge.  My phone battery is usually trashed by the time that I’m done.  But it feels like such a fresh start, like you can breathe without the weight of digital clutter.

You read about my new, prohibitively expensive hairspray this morning, but that’s not my only recent beauty find.  Luckily, this one is more affordable.

Like many women, my eyelids are much darker than the rest of my skin.  This Makeup Revolution Prime and Lock primer ($9) is a phenomenal eyeshadow base.  It corrects the darkness.  It primes for eye shadow, and holds everything in place without creasing.

I also purchased the Sport Fix Makeup Setting Spray, and it is incredible.  If you work out during the day, give this makeup-setter a try.  It actually kept my makeup flawless during a steamy shower.

Occasionally Eggs is a website that caters to vegetarians, but her Roasted New Potatoes with Lentils and Dill is a crowd pleaser.  It has a tangy mustard sauce and a hearty feel that makes it a great dish for any occasion –semi-casual dinner, potluck, weekly meal prepping.

The fresh herbs make it a little expensive, but I use a mix of dry and fresh in the sauce to save a little money.  And you can use red or Yukon potatoes as long as you chunk them.

Can we talk about undergarments?  Wearing full shape wear every day is just too much for me.  But I own a few suits and dresses that need just a little something — a little smooth, a little shape.

These Spotlight on Lace Briefs ($38) from Spanx are all I need for a hint of tummy smoothing.  They’re not restricting, but they’re slightly slimming.  They don’t poke or squeeze.  I don’t experience VPL with dresses that fit, but if they’re a little snug, you might see a faint lace line.

I talked about this 24/7 Thirdlove Racerback Bra last week, but I just want to sing its praises one more time.  I have never had as much natural lift from a non-padded bra than I get from this one.  And the wider, softer band is just a dream after a long day.  It’s the only bra that I don’t have to chisel off when I get home from a reception at 10:00pm after getting up at 6:00am.

Looking for a similar racerback that’s cheaper?  This Calvin Klein Perfectly Fit Bra is a bit cheaper at $46.  This Memorable Full Coverage Bra from Soma runs $21-$34.

Financial podcasts keep my mind in check.  If I’m worried that my spending is getting away from me, if I’m not sticking to my budget, I put on a financial podcast and it just clears my head.  It helps readjust my priorities.

Some of my favorites right now are Secrets of Wealthy Women and Bad With Money.  If you have any favorites, leave them in the comments.

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  1. Amber says:

    You have my commiseration on the remodel. Big home projects never seem to go as planned, which is so stressful at times! Be kind to yourself

    January 8, 2019/Reply
  2. MK says:

    Thank you for continuing to post during the craziness. You got this!

    Also, I have the same eyelid issue. Can’t wait to try out the primer rec!

    January 8, 2019/Reply
  3. Sarah says:

    If it’s any consolation, when I started my job at the state legislature, it was similar–no one gave me any direction, I was given a desk, and then basically had to fend for myself. For me, it took 6 months to feel comfortable and know what I was doing. Since you’re in a 5 month session (as opposed to a 2 year one), I’m guessing it’ll happen sooner. You’re a pro so you probably don’t need any advice but: 1) find someone experienced, who you trust, and ask them all your questions, 2) get coffee with anyone and everyone–knowing people around the building will make you so much more effective, 3) become a pro at something–I don’t know what your exact role is, but even if you have no idea what’s going on, if you can be the office’s expert on something, it’ll make you invaluable and you’ll get brought in on other things quickly, 4) enjoy it! Staffing a state leg is so much fun (and bonkers) so just enjoy the ride and be kind to yourself 🙂 Good luck!!

    January 8, 2019/Reply
  4. STephanie says:

    So I have the dark eyelid issue, too. I was using all sorts of primers, none of which would last. I happened by the MAC counter at Macy’s for some reason and the salesperson talked me into using their concealer on both my undereye and my eyelids. It totally worked and it’s lasting MUCH better than my combo of Urban Decay and Laura Mercier primers I was using. It’s also way simpler than my set of like 3-4 products I was using.

    January 8, 2019/Reply
    • Alyson says:

      Interesting! My sister who is a makeup artist uses the back of her hand as a pallet, and applies to the face from there. The last time we were playing around, she did concealer, then eye primer, and mentioned that she “does not hate it when the two get mixed together” on her hand. She says she feels like the mix is always the perfect base.

      January 9, 2019/Reply
  5. Pam says:

    Loved all the things you shared. The eye shadow primer, the 3rd love bra (I have two but think i should try this t back style next!) and the pod casts and the “digital decluttering tips”!!

    January 8, 2019/Reply
  6. jlo787 says:

    Although more pricy than the Makeup Revolution, I also recommend the MAC Paint Pot in “painterly” for a primer. No creasing and is a beautiful base for my eyeshadows. It works much better than the Urban Decay primer potion and the product itself lasts forever; I’ve had mine for over a year now!

    January 9, 2019/Reply
  7. BN says:

    Thanks for sharing the podcast recommendation! Are there other podcasts you recommend (does not need to be financial)? I am looking for some interesting things to listen to. TIA!

    January 10, 2019/Reply