Friday, April 8, 2016

Alison's Favorite Things: Springtime Edition

So I've been posting some heavy posts lately, and while topics about mental health and my kiddos growing up way too fast (sob) are certainly a big part of my life lately, so are some other things. Some might even call these things trivial or frivolous, but phooey on those people. I say the art of happiness is finding small treats for yourself on a regular basis.

I love Donna Meagle and Tom Haverford!
So here are some things I'm treating myself to/enjoying lately.

1.  The perfect jeans (for me). Y'all. You have NO IDEA how much I hate jeans shopping (probably the same amount that you hate jeans shopping.) I've bought so many pairs that "fit OK" only to end up hating them within a week. I'd obsessively read any article titled "Your Perfect Jeans" only to apathetically forget to shop for them. They didn't seem perfect, anyway.

The problem is the Gap. No, not the elusive Thigh Gap or the clothing store. I have a smaller waist-to-hip ratio than average, I guess. Pants that fit my hips often don't fit my waist. (Although aging is thickening my waist. Thanks, perimenopause!) Anybody know why even skirts with a zipper aren't as problematic? It probably has to do with rise over run or something. (I know that's a math thing, not a pants thing. I was trying to be funny. Be kind.)

Old Navy rockstar skinnies are good for me--although I had to size up to a number I'd never been before--as are any skinnies with stretch, so that trend has been nice. But I found the BEST everyday jeans that are more comfy than the Old Navy ones: Denizen from Levi's, found at Target.

Target! How do they manage to find the best things for us middle-aged moms at a great price point? It's a mystery.

DENIZEN® from Levi's - Women's Curvy Skinny Jeans Crisp NightI get the Curvy Skinny jeans. (I need these darker ones for dressier outfits; mine are more of a faded wash.) They don't stretch out over multiple wearings and the waistband never gaps. They have a Short for shrimps like me and a Long for you tall gals. I got the boot cut ones too, and they're a little more like a flare than a subtle boot cut, plus I need a slight heel with them, so I'm not gonna wear them as often.

But if you have the Gap (or even if you don't--they have a Modern Skinny fit for less curvy women) check them out. At 29.99, they can't be beaten!

2. Man, I'm gonna have to shorten my rave reviews or this post will take forever. Another thing I'm enjoying: tinted lip balm. When I see myself in pictures I always think my face is so "blah"...unless I have a little lip color on. And this winter I needed lip balm constantly, so it made sense to try a tinted one. I had one by NYX that was fine, but I wanted a smaller tube that was easier to apply without a mirror, so I went with the tried-and-true Burt's Bees and I love it.

I got the Lip Shimmer. It provides sheer yet noticeable color that stays put for a good amount of time and has a nice minty tingly feeling on my lips. It's definitely my everyday go-to now. I'm also going to try their gloss and maybe even (gasp!) their lipstick in the hopes that they will be more moisturizing than the ones I've tried.

3. Yoga. I've found my favorite exercise for life. No, yoga isn't just stretching with a nap at the end (though the relaxation benefits are significant for a stressball like me.) The research undeniably shows that a regular yoga practice is as effective as medication for treating anxiety and depression. (So is cardio, so I [reluctantly] alternate that into the mix.) Unlike other exercise, I actually look forward to doing yoga. I haven't done a class yet, but am planning to try one at our gym that meets mid-morning a couple of days a week. (I'm not doing anything at 5 a.m.)

I would have been intimidated to start with a class, so I'm glad I started where I did--free YouTube videos. I love Sara Beth of SaraBeth Yoga--her voice is soothing as is her background music (although she has some music-free videos as well--and she is excellent at explaining exactly what to do. I rarely even have to peek at the screen. Plus, she's not overly chatty like some of the yoga teachers on YouTube.

Even if I only have 15 minutes at the end of the day, I know I'll end up feeling more relaxed and refreshed after I do my yoga routine, and therefore I willingly do it...every day. I've never been able to say that about any other exercise routine.

Along those lines, I'm reading Yoga and the Pursuit of Happiness by Sam Chase, which I picked up on a whim at the library. Turns out it delves into why a yoga practice works, using both ancient Eastern wisdom and modern Western science, which is right up in my wheelhouse. I'm taking notes on it (which I do with nonfiction books I really want to learn from) and doing the "Inquiries" in my journal. I actually meditated for 15 minutes this morning--a new personal best!

Now it's time for me to stop going on about my favorites. What are you loving these days?


1 comment:

  1. Oooh, I like all of this! We don't have Target up here anymore but I do love a good pair of jeans.