Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Talk About Bath & Body - Kneipp Lavender

In 1891 the brand Kneipp was formed, meaning this brand has been around for over 125 years. You’ll have to click here to learn the full story of Sebastian Kneipp and how the brand began because I can’t do it justice, but very simply put he was a man who believed in the power of embracing plants and nature for good health. Today, Kneipp is a line of products that believes in just that and utilizes different natural ingredients to create health-boosting products.

I’ve been testing out a couple of their relaxing Lavender offerings, which act in a supernatural (for me, anyway) sort of way to promote restful sleep. If you know me at all you probably know I struggle with sleep and although I don’t normally like anything that is strongly scented I am a huge fan of the Lavender line from Kneipp. These powerhouse products are packed with so much lavender they’re bound to knock out the whole house, in a safe and satisfactory kind of way. I live in a 3-story home and when these products are being used you can smell lavender, strongly, in any room of the house but it’s not offensively strong.



I guess I skipped the important part where I tell you which products I’ve been testing and how they work. I was sent the Lavender Mineral Bath Salt and Lavender Shower Foam shortly before Christmas and I’ve been using them regularly to help me sleep. Since they’re so relaxing thanks to their pure, strong lavender scent I only use them at night and they really do help me get to bed sooner and help me sleep much more deeply. I’ve always believed in the power of lavender but these two have so much concentrated lavender power they work well, and quickly.

The Lavender Mineral Bath Salt comes in a large 17.63 oz container that will last a fairly long time since you only need 3/4 of a capful per bath.  The salt, the scent, and the warm water combine to help relax your bath and release tension. The scent is so comforting, and it makes for the perfect way to end any day.

The Lavender Shower Foam has the same gorgeous and relaxing scent but is sort of an odd product. It’s a mousse type of foam, think shave gel, and I just don’t necessarily love the application. It does work great for shaving and since the smell is so lovely it’s still enjoyable to use but it might be better in another scent. Since I only use lavender scented products at night I don’t really have a proper use for this, but I do like it.

Kneipp has a ton of other options, though. They have so many different plants and purposed to choose from like “Stress Free” Orange Blossom and Mandarin, “Joint and Muscle” Anica, “Soft Skin” Almond Oil, “Enjoy Life” May Chang and Lemon, “Back Comfort” Devil’s Claw, just to name a few. There is bound to be something from Kneipp that can benefit you and whatever you may be experiencing at the moment in your life. You can learn more about the brand and their products by visiting their website. You can also find Kneipp USA on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

(FTC: These products were sent to me for free for review consideration by the company. I am not being compensated for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

39 Totally Random and Very Detailed Facts About Me

I started a new medication on Monday and I have been super sleepy. I kept trying to write a beauty review to go up this week but kept failing. I asked on Facebook if you would be okay with/interested in a random facts about me post and many of you said yes, so here we go!

Top Row: All Childhood photos
Middle Row: All high school (Junior Prom, Senior Winter Formal, Senior Photos)
Bottom Row: Age 20 to Age 30


I am disabled and I haven’t worked since I was 22. I worked as a camerawoman in college for a month at the local public broadcast station, a smoothie maker at a juice place for about 6 months, and finally a bank teller for 2 years.

I was born in Westminster, Ca but only lived there until I was 4 because our house burned down.

I have lived in 3 states, 6 cities, 7 houses, and 3 college apartments. I have lived in Klamath Falls (in the same house) for longer than I ever lived anywhere else. We have been here for 16 years.

I grew up in the Southern California desert. I was lucky enough to spend my childhood building forts in the desert and playing in the dirt. I say I grew up in Palm Springs but only because most people don’t know where Cathedral City is (right next door). I loved it there and I miss it often, but I love Oregon.

This is where I grew up. My parents (you can see their shadows) are standing in our yard and the desert you see behind me is the desert I was lucky enough to spend my childhood playing in. And yes, I was a girl scout.

I’m an only child. That’s why the desert was so cool. You can’t be bored by yourself when you’re in the desert. We lived across the street from a vast expanse of open desert. There were mountains and paths and open spaces. It was incredible. No buildings or people. It was so great.

I don't like wearing shoes. In fact, I kind of hate shoes. If I could I would always be barefoot.

I love drinking water but I never drink cold water. In the summer I like room temperature water and in the winter I actually like drinking warm/hot water.

I love water in general, really. I love being in the water, seeing water, being near water. I love lakes, river, oceans, pools. I learned to swim at a very young age and have been part fish ever since.

I love to kayak. We started a couple of years ago and now it’s one of my absolute favorite things to do.

Mine is the beautiful blue one. I got it for my 30th birthday and it's great!

I'm a vegetarian, and I have been for more than half of my life.

I'm a cat mommy, but that's not really a random fact because it's not like I don't tell everyone about my fur baby. He’s my sweetheart.


My fur baby is a Turkish Van, or maybe a Turkish Van mix. His name is Hunter and he’ll be 4 in April. I adopted him from a cat rescue organization. He’s the sweetest. He loves soft blankets, fish-shaped toys, watching TV, cuddles, and bird watching out the window.



I also have a dog, who is tied with Hunter for the title of the sweetest. He’s a Boston Terrier/Chihuahua/Shih Tzu Mix. His name is Cooper and he’ll be 8 in June. He has a huge collection of toys and he loves receiving new ones, preferably wrapped because he loves opening gifts. He also loves walks, naps, treats, and singing. He likes to sing while his Dad plays the harmonica. It's adorable.


I have been lucky enough to love 5 cats (CleoCatra, Sassy, Parker, Finn, and Hunter) and 3 dogs (Sebastian, Meg, and Cooper) in my lifetime. I miss the ones who are no longer here very much.

Top Row: Cleo and Sassy (Sassy was a boy, btw)
Middle row: Sebastian and Meg
Bottom Row: Parker and Finn

I love animals and I pretty much adore all types (although I prefer cats the most and dogs almost as much) but my Dad found a tarantula in the desert when I was around 7 or 8 and brought it home to be a pet and I didn’t love her. In fact, I couldn’t stand her. I’m semi-afraid of spiders (especially big ones like tarantulas) and he thought Lady would help me overcome my fear. Nope. She didn’t. I looked at her once and never again. And my parents thought naming her Lady (like Lady and the Tramp) would make her seem delicate. Again, nope.

I’m also really creeped out by frogs. When I live in Florida there was this bight green, red and yellow frog that kept coming up through the toilet in my bathroom, which was gross enough. I always thought, and still do, that bright frogs are poisonous frogs so I was extra afraid of this one. Every time I went and got my Dad (their room was on the other side of the house) to get rid of it we would come back to find the bathroom devoid of frog life. I stopped using my bathroom but thankfully my Dad eventually saw it after months and months of this happening and it never came back.

I love playing games with my family. We are especially into Monopoly, Rummy, and Yahtzee.

I like making lists. I really like it and I make lists about everything and anything. So, this has been fun.

I’ve only ever broken my arm and my tailbone.


I have, however, gotten hurt many times. Like the time I was rollerblading and ended up going down a mountain on my face and ended up needing stitches in my chin or the time I was tubing on the lake with my best friend and we hit some wake and bounced off. I ended up getting caught up in the rope and dragged under the water for what seemed like minutes, but was probably only really seconds. I thought I was going to drown to death but I ended up above water before that could happen. I was left with some wounds that healed and some permanent muscle damage in my left leg, where I was entangled in the rope (in 2 places).

No more than 5 minutes before the accident. I'll spare you the after photo.

And then, when I was little I got 2nd and 3rd degree burns all over my legs. The first doctors my parents took me to said they couldn't do anything for me and that I would be covered in scars for the rest of my life but my parents thought they were wrong and took me to a specialist. I only have one visible scar remaining on my left foot and I like it. It's a constant reminder that my parents will always fight for me.

I had a severe allergic reaction to my 1st MMR shot and almost died. The CDC actually wanted to do some studies on me, but my parents said no. When I moved to Florida they wouldn't let me start school without getting another. Luckily, I didn't have a reaction to that one.

I have had heart surgery. I was 20.

In recovery after my surgery

I was so scared the night before my surgery that I slept in the bathtub in the hotel we were staying in. I blamed it on my Dad and his snoring but I really just couldn’t sleep and every little noise was scaring me so I went into the bathroom with a pillow and a blanket and got in the tub with the fan turned on. I think I only got an hour or two of sleep. You'll be surprised to know that bathtubs are actually kind of comfortable to sleep in, at least when you're terrified.

My Mom found me in the bathroom in the morning and took a picture of my sleeping arrangements for the night. Also, not sure why I'm wearing SO MUCH eyeliner. Leave me alone, it was 2006. It was what we did back then.

The surgery went fine but when I was in recovery the nurses had me stand very slowly after having compression on my femoral artery for about 4 or 5 hours but I burst anyway and gushed blood all over the nurse, my gown and hospital socks, and the room. The nurse threw me down onto the bed like she was a linebacker and applied pressure. They ended up fixing me and I got to go home a couple of hours later.

I like salt. A lot. Too much, actually. I have a salt tooth? Is that a thing? I will always, always, always pick a salty snack over something sweet. Pickles and French fries and mustard are some of my favorites.

I am an actual tree hugger. When I was little my family and I would go on a walk before bed every single night and I would hug all of the trees on our street good night. I would also carry a bag and pick up all the trash I could find! I don’t hug trees anymore but I still adore them.

I always save the best bite of food for last.

I never had to eat everything on my plate, thankfully, but my parents always made me try it all at least once. That’s a rule I still believe in.

I wanted to be an astronaut or an actress or a singer when I was younger. Then in high school, I decided I wanted to be a broadcast journalist, so I went to college for that but then decided I wanted to be a psychologist. Let’s be real, though, I still want to be an astronaut. 

Me with a mural of the Mercury Seven at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in 2010. The Mercury Seven are American heroes and especially heroes to me and every other space nerd in the country. If you don't know they were the very first American Astronauts. They are Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom, John Glenn, Scott Carpenter, Wally Schirra, Gordon Cooper & Deke Slayton. Alan Shepard was the first American in space.

Nice outfit, me. Where are your pants? I think I'm getting old. Where are your pants? That's all I have to say? Wow.

I love space. I love it so much! I read books about space and watch documentaries about space and dream of space. Retired Astronaut Scott Kelly is actually one of my biggest heroes. I can tell you so many random facts about space and the history of space travel. I’m a space nerd and proud.

This museum was so much fun! I believe this is an F1 engine but I could be wrong.

I can feel energy and auras. That’s weird sounding, I know, but I really can. I can feel what people send out into the world. I can feel if they’re a good person or not and I’ve never been wrong. Some people really do have black souls and auras and I don’t allow them into my life, or the life of anyone I care about. My track record is impeccable.

My biggest goal in life is to be as kind as I possibly can. It’s not hard, but at the end of the day, I hope to never be a dark spot in someone’s memory. People can ruminate on a bad experience with a customer at a store or over a traffic incident, small things, and I hope to never be someone that people ruminate about. I will always approach each day, each moment, with a warm heart and a smile.

Speaking of driving, I don’t. I used to love driving but when I got sick I quit. I still can since I still have my license but I chose not to.

I loved this truck so much. It was a 1997 Ford F-150 Extended Cab Long Bed. It was actually my second vehicle. My first was a 1991 Ford F-150 Single Cab. It was also red. Both were stick shifts. I drove this my senior year of high school into my first year of college but I had to get rid of it when I moved to a small liberal arts college town. I loved it, though. I couldn't park the thing, but I still loved it. It was a good truck. I ended up with an Acura Integra, that I drove for years but no longer own.

I like to paint. I'm not good at it but I love it.

I painted a portrait of Hunter.

I love television and I love books. I like getting to know characters really well, but I do get kind of down after the series ends or I finish the book.

I love notebooks, and having them, but I rarely ever actually use them.

I no longer watch or read the news. I’m still kind of informed but It makes me too sad. The only news I now get is from HuffPost Good News or Love What Matters. They make me cry, too, but happy tears!

I have had many different colors of hair, many of them awful. I’ve been platinum blonde, honey blonde, Laguna Beach blonde (both Kristen and LC), brunette, black, red, strawberry, you name it. I haven’t dyed my hair in about 10 years and I absolutely love my natural color. I’m about 25% pure silver and I think my grays are so beautiful. I can’t wait to see what I look like completely white.

Here are some of photos of bad hair I've had in my life. These are ALL from my college days.
The worst was the weird strawberry reddish color (the one with the crown).


And, that's it! 39 random facts about me complete with a lot of detail and photos. I hope you kind of enjoyed it. It was a lot of fun to write and a lot of work, actually. I spent hours finding these photos, and some of them are embarrassing. 

Leave 5 random facts about yourself in the comments. I want to get to know you, too!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

New Closet, New Mindset

If you saw my last post then you’ll already know that I’m making some changes and adding different kinds of content to Beautiful Basics. One of those topics is organization and it seemed like the only proper first post of the year, right?

I've been tidy and organized for as long as I can remember. Ever since I was a little girl I spent hours upon hours the week leading up to Christmas organizing my room and decluttering. And then, in the week after Christmas, I like to do it again to give all of the beautiful gifts I received a proper home. Maybe it's OCD, maybe it's just being super diligent about having what I need and loving what I have. Either way, I really enjoy it.

This year, in my stocking, I received Marie Kondo's The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up. I was familiar with it and its basic principals before I opened it up since it's wildly popular but I'm super excited to actually own it. I devoured in a few short hours and while some aspects of the book are downright bizarre a lot of it is so helpful. It is kind of life-changing because it provides a new frame of mind.

In keeping with my own tradition, I went on a heavy organizational/cleaning/decluttering binge right after Christmas keeping the principals of the KonMari method in mind but also using my own organizational theories. I wanted to get everything in order before the clock struck midnight on New Year. I was so desperate to get it all perfected before we welcomed in the new year and somehow, I managed (with help, of course) to get it all done.

I did this in all aspects of my home. I kept only the makeup I enjoy using and that I will use. I kept only the books that I really love.  I got rid of the pans that no longer work well (we actually got a whole new set). I got rid of all of the pieces of jewelry I don’t wear and only kept the pieces that mean the world to me. I got rid of any beauty products I don’t really like. I decluttered everything. I organized everything.

I am (still) so tired, truly beyond exhausted, but I’m proud of how much we tidied up our lives. It feels great to have no unwanted things cluttering my home or being part of my life when they didn’t need to be. I feel lighter, fresher, and ready to tackle whatever comes my way in 2018!

Anyway, this post isn’t intended to be about the KonMari method but I highly recommend the book to all of you. This series is going to be about how I organize things and tips for you but this post, in particular, is about my closet.

I bought my Mom some velvet hangers (these Amazon Basics ones) for Christmas after she mentioned in passing how much she’d like to change out her hangers one day. I was a little worried it wasn’t going to make a great Christmas gift but she loves the effect they had in her closet. It decreased the volume of her wardrobe by at least half, just because of the thinness of the hangers. And, of course, we got rid of a few articles of clothing she no longer loved along the way. I loved what it did for her closet so I ordered some for myself.

My closet has never been messy. Well, not in the past 7 or 8 years, anyway. My high school and college closets? Let’s not talk about those because I was a huge fan of the floordrobe back then. I now pride myself on keeping my closet clean, organized and very tidy. I have a nice, large walk-in closet and I regularly go through my clothing by taking each piece out of the closet and trying things on and making sure they’re still in good condition. I now hate the idea of having a lot of excess stuff that I’ll just never wear. I’m one of those people who wear the same 10 pieces over and over again so why do I need 100? The answer is, I don’t.

This is proof that I've always enjoyed decluttering (and especially more so when I have the help of my little furry friend). This is my declutter from 4 years ago. I've done it since but haven't documented the journey.



So, I decluttered and switched hangers. Of course, it wasn’t just as easy as that.  I went through and removed each item from my closet, took it off the hanger, and played it all out on my bed. I made two bags, donate and trash (these both ended up being more than just a bag each, but you get the idea). I picked up each piece of clothing and asked myself the following questions:

-    First of all, is this in good condition? Any stains or tears?
-    Does this fit me? And does it fit me well?
-    Do I actually like this item?
-    Do I wear it and will I ever wear it again?
-    Do I like the way the fabric feels against my skin?
-    Do I feel good about myself in this?
-    Does it make me happy?


Here is the before. Although, this is after I decluttered some. I just really wanted to show you the difference the hangers made in my closet.

I forced myself to be completely honest and if I answered no to anything above then I got rid of the item in question. I only hung things back up that I know I want to wear and that I love. I donated the things I no longer like, the things I hate the feeling of against my skin, and the things I have never worn and tossed out the items that were no longer in good condition. I kept only things I will wear right now, with my body as in (no keeping things for when I gain or lose weight), with my current personal tastes. Instead of keeping items that I thought I could one day wear in a certain setting (like a fancy top or a skirt) I got rid of them. I did, however, keep my nice dresses. They’re stored in another closet.

I got rid of all feelings of guilt, thanked them silently for their service (this is a KonMari thing, and it sounds insane but it actually helps allow me to get rid of things without feeling bad), and kept the things that I truly love and will use.

And here's how it looked after. 


Having a closet full of clothes I like and want to wear is really great. I can go to my closet and pick out any item and know that I’ll love it. They all fit me and feel great. Liking every piece that I own makes it so I don’t ever feel like I don’t have anything to wear. Have you ever opened up your closet and felt that way? It’s the worst.

By the way, I also organized by color but you can do it however you want. I think organization only works when it works for the individual. The book also suggests keeping all clothing in your closet, even if it's not in season, but I chose to keep shorts, rash guards, and bathing suits in my dresser. That's what made the most sense for me.

Doing this whole thing has also kept me from shopping much. It’s made me realize I don’t really need clothes, with a few exceptions here and there. It has made me a much smarter shopper and much less impulsive. Let's be real, I don't really need anything so I have been taking my time to decide if an item I want actually adds value to my closet and/or to my life. I have decided to keep a handwritten list of items that I've found and would like to buy. I'm going to keep going back to the list and making sure I actually want whatever the thing is and if it's still on the list after a month then, and only then, can I buy it. However, I also believe that life is too short to not spoil yourself something.

Oh! And one last thing I want to talk about is not saving items you love for special occasions. I’ve done this in the past and refuse to do it ever again. For example, I wouldn’t wear my favorite jeans or sweater because I wanted to save them for nicer occasions and I didn’t want to “waste” them. The only waste is them not being worn. Life is short, wear your nice clothing.

So, that was it. The first post of the new Beautiful Basics, but not the last. I’ll be posting more about organization in the future and showing you how I organize and declutter all other aspects of my home, as well. Anyway, let me know if this post was helpful in any way. How do you organize your closet? Do you have any tips you want to share?

Monday, January 1, 2018

New Year, New Content

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. I did! I am so grateful for the really special time I got to spend with my family. It was so great that I wrote about it over on The Sick Life. And now here we all are, entering a brand-new year! I am hoping you all have an incredible year ahead of you full of love, laughter, and light. We can make this year a really wonderful one!

Since it’s a new year I think it’s time for some change. 2018 will bring many changes to Beautiful Basics. I still love all things beauty but I have a lot of other interests that I want to start sharing with you all. I love organizing and decluttering. I love jewelry, a lot. I enjoy trying to find comfort, whether that be in the form of comfy and soft clothes or tools that aid in relaxation. I love my cat and my dog, and the things they enjoy like treats or toys. I love to read and watch television and movies. That all sounds random, but I think what I’m wanting to do from here on out is to create content about living a comfortable and happy life. Or really, I just want to talk about living my best life and all that entails. And, let’s be real, I’ll still post mostly about beauty but there’s going to be more thrown into the mix.

I’ll be back to posting soon, in the next couple of weeks. Until then, take care and have a great beginning of the year!