Sunday, November 10, 2013

Winter Skin and Hair routine

Since winter is rearing its blustery head yet again, I'm changing up a lot of things to accommodate. First things first you've got your gingerbread lattes, peppermint mochas, creme brûlée lattes and salted caramel mochas…mmm..then of course it's soup and stew season. I'm also going into full blown textile mode where I buy every warm sweater, pillow or blanket I can find. I should be banned from Homegoods until January because every adorable holiday themed item makes it's way into my cart until I'm literally holding things down with one hand and trying to maneuver with another.

The other thing that changes up a lot is the weather (duh). With winter comes cool, dry air, hot air blowing in the car and the fireplace. All things that make it way dryer than the summer time. Because of this I have to change up the beauty routine a little bit and add some things to keep my hair and skin from drying out. Some of these things I use throughout the year anyway but I may repurpose them during this season to make sure I don't shrivel up like Spongebob out of water.

1. Gingerlilly Body Wash from Molton Brown
I had a mini sample of this at Keswick and I've been in love ever since. It's not so much a winter themed smell or particularly moisturizing but it smells great, makes me feel clean and is a great base with a gentle scent that isn't too overpowering for:

2. Ro's Argan body conditioner from Lush

Ro's Argan is supposed to be used like an in body moisturizer after you've sudsed up and rinsed off. In the winter time I use it just like a lotion all over my body. Not only does it keep me nice and moisturized but it smells like heaven. I sometimes find myself reapplying every now and then just because it smells that great.

3.  Obliphica Nourishing Mask from Amika

I got this one day in my birch box and it first hit me with how wonderful it smelled. It is a pretty strong scent but I find it nice because I always feel like my hair smells burnt and frizzled after I straighten it. This one is also supposed to be used as a rinse out mask in the shower. However, in the dryer months I take a tiny bit and smith it through the ends of my hair so they stay nice and shiny and conditioned.

4. Peppermint Foot Repair Salve from J.R. Watkins

Finally something seasonally appropriate! I love the fresh peppermint smell of this foot salve. It smells like a package of peppermint gum. It also has a thick consistency much like vaseline. I like to put this on before some big cozy socks after I get out of the shower. Bear agrees that this stuff is great as I have to jump on top of the bed to get away from him so he doesn't lick my feet!

another Birchbox treasure. Aside from the funny name this stuff is serious at what it claims to do. I use it on my lips when I'm having a particularly chapped day or even add a tiny bit to my hand lotion if I notice my skin getting very dry. It's scent-free and 100% natural. The best part about it is it's great for lips, elbows, or anywhere else your skin suffers from being exposed to the elements every day. The other great thing is your hair doesn't stick to it if you do happen to drive with your windows down even in sub-freezing temperatures.

6. Olive Oil Conditioner from Palmers

This is the cheapest and least yummy smelling thing in my winter hair routine. But it really does the trick. I love this stuff because, well, at $6 a bottle I can be very liberal with it's usage. But also because it's light enough to use as an every day conditioner but also works wonders for my hair if I use it even one day a week.

There you have it! These are my lotions and potions that I use to keep me from shriveling up and crunching like all the leaves Bear loves to eat. I would have also added hot chocolate and mulled cider to the list but I'm sure you already know those are a winter tradition around here since you'll soon find me shoving a mug of it in anyones face who comes to visit our home!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Keswick Retreat

Shaun and I haven't gone on a vacation yet this year. With summer being over I was pretty bummed about the fact that I never went to the beach since I grew up so close to the water and was so used to a quick day trip down to lay on the sand and run from the waves. However, buying a home and having so much to explore in my new little town and the nearby mountains, main streets and shops has kept me quite busy and satisfied and dulled the pain that the sorrow of missing the beach had brought.

Just a few weeks ago, however, we went on a mini retreat to Keswick in Charlottesville for Shauns work and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed just getting away and pretty much doing nothing for a while.

The first thing I adored about Keswick was the beautiful setting. We went through farms for several miles before reaching our destination and even passed an absolutely breathtaking little stone house by the side of the road with a fully functioning water mill outside. It was a few more miles before I picked my jaw up off of the jaw floor after passing that.

When we arrived we were greeted by the most beautiful entry hall that looked like a Country Living spread on steroids. Beautiful grandiose furniture. Antiques everywhere and a calm, warm feeling color palette throughout. I was in total vintage heaven.

 Shaun was so embarrassed walking around with me snapping pictures everywhere but I just couldn't help myself.  It was too pretty to put into words so I had to capture it. Our room was equally as adorable with a fun country cottage feel and a big comfy bed.

Of course web ad to take our traditional vacay selfie picture. You can tell how much Shaun is loving this right now, right?

This was sort of an accidental selfie as I wanted to get a picture of this huge, beautiful dresser.

I was tempted to steal the art off the walls and smuggle back in my suitcase. However, Shaun already scoffed at me for taking a magazine and the rubber ducky. You can't give me a rubber ducky and expect me to abandon it?!

Here is said magazine. It was chock full of beautiful little shops in downtown Charlottesville that I hope to revisit one day when we have a bit more time!

I actually loved the Molton Brown ginger lily body wash so much that I ordered a full size version while I was there. It arrived 2 days after we got home and I was thrilled because it felt like I was extending the vacation a little bit whenever I take a shower!

I can't explain to you the sheer beauty and coolness of this desk. It had a whole separate part that rolled out with a bunch of tiny compartments, then some additional slabs that slid out on the sides. You can't tell in the picture but that middle section top has an etched leather inlay and that entire piece slid back to show the compartments below.

I mean…seriously? I was even envious of the trash can. Where can I find one of these? I'm gonna need one in every bedroom.

After lounging and taking a nap in our adorable room we decided to hit the town after Shauns meetings.  We went to downtown Charlottesville and explored the little main street shops and had lunch at Orzo wine bar, neither one of us had wine…go figure!

If I was the owner of this civic I would park just like this every day and play some awesome action movie type music every time I got out.

 This amazing little pho place was a refabbed Transmission parts and service building! How cool is that? Ridiculously cool that's how.
Unfortunately Shaun does not care for pho. Nor does he really care for Meatballs. So I never got the chance to try either of these yummy looking places

We ended up not realizing there was an entire "pedestrian mall" area of Charlottesville (even though I insisted on the map it was totally a thing *ahem*) so to burn the extra daylight we drove down to the Michie Tavern and mill. It was a really cute little cluster of historic buildings dating back to the late 1700s with people in period costumes trying to sell you overpriced knick knacks. I didn't buy any knick knacks. I did however buy some rock candy, a cow tale, a bottle of coke and a slingshot. Shaun remarked how much it looked like he was accompanying Bart Simpson and I told him to eat my shorts.

Seriously regretting not purchasing the tea brick!

It was pretty much the perfect day to be out and about exploring. We ended up heading back to Keswick and touring the grounds by ourselves before we had to get dressed for dinner.

This charming little garden cottage was the most perfect little fall setting. 

These gorgeous purple flowers wrapped around the spa. I ended up getting a deep tissue massage and reflexology. It was goooood.

The dinners were classy and wonderful just like all events thrown by Shauns work. He joked with me a little bit when I ordered a bloody mary at the cocktail reception around 9PM but the bartender reassured me it was totally normal so I ended up sitting with the bartender most of the time.

All in all it was a wonderful quick 3 day trip to a place we never would have been before. We got the chance to relax, refresh and the morning before we left I caught up on a Law & Order: SVU marathon in the room. I was actually supposed to go on a garden tour bright and early but I ended up sleeping through it and getting room service instead. It's my mini vacation I can be lazy if I want to, right?