Category: new things

New Thing: Be In My Life

be in my life
Every year I make a list of new things to try. These New Things are a pretty predictable mix of physical challenges, weird foods, and books/movies that everyone-other-than-me is familiar with.


But this year, I’m trying something different. Something that’s, honestly, probably a lot more challenging than running a 5k or taking a trapeze class.

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New Thing: Read East of Eden

east-of-eden-book-cover
I always thought that I hated Steinbeck.

His books seemed to be a never-ending parade of men and farms and depression and desperation. I remember dragging myself through Grapes of Wrath in 11th grade English, staring into the middle distance with bone-shaking boredom as we worked our way around the room, reading passages. Everyone was sad. Everything was covered in dust. Some smart, kind person was always failing and floundering, despite their best intentions.

These were not the novels that self-absorbed 17-year-old girls connected with. (P.S. spoilers below) (more…)

New Thing: Attempt contouring makeup

contouring for beginners
Each year I make a list of new things I want to try; it’s part of how I live my life on purpose. Some of these new things are exciting, many are terribly mundane.

While the good Lord/DNA blessed me with some pretty amazing stuff – great hair, big lips, a Scandinavian lack of body hair – cheekbones didn’t make the cut. When Amy Schumer said that she had an ‘at risk chin‘ I laaaaaughed because I get it. Turkey neck is coming for me.

So when I added ‘contouring’ to my New Things list, I did it for three reasons.

1. It’s nice to learn new things! I’d like to add another skill to my beautifying tool box!

2. Contouring is a pop culture phenomenon. Do we even know what the Kardashians would look like without it? Is my ladyhood badge going to be revoked if I don’t know how to do it?

3. I was quietly hoping I could somehow draw cheekbones and a jawline onto my face because that’s a lot easier than dieting and/or plastic surgery – neither of which I’m particularly into. #guac4eva

If you’ve never heard of contouring, it’s the practice of using different colored makeup to accentuate the angles of your face. When done correctly, it can slim noses, emphasize jawlines, or create the illusion of cheekbones where previously none existed.

To me – someone who applies $6 bb cream with her hands – contouring is some Next Level Makeupry. I mean, look at this business:

advanced contouring

While I am totally committed to trying new things, I am less committed to investing $45 in contouring makeup that I might never use again. A bit of googling suggested this little beauty for beginner contour-ers, and what luck! It cost $12, wasn’t tested on animals, and was on the shelf at my local Target. Sold.

Let’s talk about the five stages of contouring

1. Denial
“This is what my face really looks like without makeup? I THOUGHT I WAS SO MUCH CUTER THAN THIS.”

2. Bargaining
“Please, NYX Wonder stick, I swear I’ll keep buying you if you can make me look awake. Or least slightly less flu-ish.”

3. Confusion
“And then I draw a line down the middle of my nose? Do I rub this into my hairline? When I draw a white line on top of my cheekbone and a dark line under my cheekbone … which way do I blend them? Into each other? Away from each other? Where is my cheekbone I can’t find it.

4. Acceptance
“Okay! Well, that doesn’t look terrible! It also doesn’t really look that different from what I normally do. Hmmm. Mostly it just looks like I got a tan along my hairline.”

5. Neglect
(perfectly useful makeup tool + skill gathers dust till I remember it before a fancy party and half-heartedly use it again.)

Maybe if I’d gone all out with super opaque concealer and a multi-color contouring kit, I could have coaxed a more dramatic result out of my face. But honestly? I’m pretty happy with my five-minute makeup routine and my pretty average cheekbones.

But I want to know about you! Have you ever tried contouring? What products do you use?

P.S. If you’re curious about my ‘normal’ makeup, I wear this $6 bb cream, this $6 mascara, and this $2 brow pencil. I will talk your ear off about Revlon Lip Butter (I’m wearing Candy Apple in the above photos) and if I’m feeling ambitious, I’ll wear this liquid eyeliner.

photo credit: sabrina // youtube

New Thing: Watch ‘The Sandlot’

watch-the-sandlot

Each year I make a list of new things I want to try; it’s part of how I live my life on purpose. Some of these new things are exciting, many are terribly mundane.

Apparently, I spent most of my childhood living under a rock.

It was a PBS, “go-play-outside”- shaped rock, but a rock nonetheless.

This means that when you try to talk to me about mid-90s Nickelodeon programming, I’ll just stare into the middle distance. The Simpsons? I wasn’t allowed to watch it because Bart was “a smart aleck.” I saw The Goonies for the first time at age 22 and – let me tell you – that skeleton piano does not play well to English majors who take themselves very seriously.

All this is to say: I was not expecting much from The Sandlot.

If it was anything like my viewing of The Goonies, I anticipated rolling my eyes a lot, cringing at racist jokes, and annoying my fellow viewers by pointing out holes in the plot.

Instead, I was charmed and endeared and found myself getting a teeny, tiny bit misty-eyed.

If you’re unfamiliar with The Sandlot, the plot is super simple and a straight forward. A sweet, nerdy boy named Scotty Smalls moves to a new neighborhood with his mom and newly minted step-dad. Stepdad promises to teach boy to catch but is usually too busy. Boy discovers group of neighborhood kids who play baseball every day in a nearby sandlot. Bonding and coming of age ensue, as well as hijinks involving lost baseballs, a terrifying dog, and an assumed-to-be-mean-and-creepy neighbor.

Of course, our young hero makes friends and becomes slightly less nerdy. Our scrappy sandlot team beats the snotty, established baseball team who wear uniforms. The terrifying dog is just a St. Bernard who likes to stockpile the balls that come over the fence and the Boo Radley-ish neighbor is none other than James Earl Jones! And he was a famous baseball player before he went blind! And he just wants to be buddies and talk about baseball and give our heroes a priceless baseball signed by “Murderers’ Row,” several of the best Yankee hitters in the late 1920s!

Here’s the thing about watching a decently-made kids movie as an adult:
the things you’d fail to notice as a child get you in The Feels this time around.

When Smalls awkwardly asked his stepdad (a young Dennis Leery?!!) to play catch? OH LITTLE BUDDY YOU’RE GETTING ME IN MY STEPMOM HEART.

When he made his list of “Things I need to learn about baseball? I FEEL YOU FELLOW SCHOOL NERD AND LIST MAKER.

And the bit at the end? Where the narrator updated us on the adult lives of each character? And Benny and Smalls are still friends? Well, as someone who’s known her best friend since fifth grade, I get it Smalls. I get it.

So if you haven’t seen The Sandlot yet, go watch it.

Even if you didn’t spend your childhood living under a PBS-shaped rock.

What are childhood movies do you love? Which ones do you think can stand up to an adult viewing?