Thing One: PJs at TJ’s, which happened.
PJs happened! It’s over. I had a hard time this year, due to things outside my control and things I didn’t see coming, but I think that’s the way of any kind of event, right? Like last year, I had a lot of awesome help, and I think people had a good time. People said they had a good time, and I’m going to assume they weren’t lying, because what would be the point of lying to me? Just don’t say anything at all, and then don’t come back, right? That’s what I’d do, instead of lying, if it were me. Anyway, here’s some pictures that were stolen from other people.
There were arms length selfies:
A bed, of course:
And a cake, because laughing at my jokes alone never stops me from making them:
Like I said, there were a few bumps along the way, and I might have felt like talking about them if I wrote this right after PJs, but first I came home and slept for a week, and then Penelope coughed directly into my eyeballs and I was sick for another entire week, so PJs feels like a hundred years ago. It’s over now, and it was a long time ago, and I don’t feel like rehashing it all. I can try harder to avoid some of the things in the future – I was really blindsided by something that just wouldn’t have occurred to me until it happened, so, now I know. But other things, like two awesome people having to cancel at the last second, well… that just sucks and there’s nothing you can do to prepare for that, and while I felt really awful for them, I’m also a giant asshole, so I felt really terrible for me, too, because I was really looking forward to seeing those particular people, and I admit that with the added stress of other things, I did have a really poor attitude for the first couple of hours of PJs. It was shitty of me and it’s easy to say now, looking back, that I would do things differently, but I was bummed out and stressed out, so to be honest, it went how it went and I can only hope that people had fun regardless of my less than welcoming mood.
This was the third PJs, and there were way MORE things that went way BETTER than previous years. It’s definitely a learning experience every year, and it pays off from year to year. Like okay, this year I still got way too much food, but there were WAY fewer total fails on the food front. And look, if you want to have a large variety of snacks, you’re going to have too much food. I can’t just buy a handful of each kind of candy and chips that I need. And also this year, I hired a makeup artist to come and do demonstrations and answer questions about anything anyone wanted to ask, which went over better than I even expected, and that was a lot of fun. I still have a really good handle on how I like this to… be… and other small details get more and more ironed out from year to year.
Next year! PJs will be on either 2/20-2/22 or 2/27-3/1. More details will come in the summer, as always. I do have some stuff to work out still. I’m really committed to PJs staying the same size. It’s just not going to change. It’s not. Not ever. It’s not negotiable. I’m also really committed to the fact that PJs is an open event. I hope that people have felt welcome to sign up whether you feel like you know me or not. Well, I know people have felt welcome to sign up, because they’ve done it. This year, due to the size and how quickly it filled, people who came in the past couldn’t come. And there’s no one who came this year or in past years that I could imagine not wanting to see again in future years. And there are people I haven’t seen yet that I know I want to see in the future. I want to keep seeing everyone I’ve seen, I want to see people who haven’t made it yet, and I want new people to know that they’re welcome to join in, too. And I want to do all that and still keep it at the same small attendee cap. Is that actually possible? I’m thinking it’s not. So among my things to consider over the next couple of months are which of the “I’m really committed to” this-es I’m most really committed to, eh?
Thing two: open letters.
Can we all agree, worst writing device in the history of ever? Can’t you just say, “here’s what I have to say about ‘current issue’?” Seriously, “An open letter to ______” might as well just say “Here’s a bunch of words to help you accurately picture the smug look on my face as I self-importantly write some shit that’s already been said to someone who is never going to read it and also here’s my back so you can pat me on it.”
OPEN LETTERS: NOT EVEN ONCE.
Thing three: makeup.
I am on a no buy at the moment, because I did a lot of buy all at once with hoarded birthday money and gift cards and all kinds of stuff, and I hope to get to tell you (who are interested) about the stuff I got pretty soon, if it would all finish arriving already.
The first thing I had to do was get my skin under control, I think I mentioned it in a post probably a hundred posts back, that it was being flaky and weird due to some medications, and since I finally got THAT working (skin care post!), I was able to start the ridiculously needle in a haystack-esque hunt for a foundation (foundation post!), and since I was spending so much time putting on and wearing a full face of foundation to see how it lasted/oxidized/etc throughout the day, I ended up practicing all my makeup a lot more.
Here, ignore my family in this picture, and pretend you’ve been reading my blog since 2007 when there was a very brief time when I posted a video every morning. Eh? Eh? There’s a difference. Aside from the fact that I’m clearly seven years older. With my finely honed-ish skills, you’d barely know it was more than six and a half, six and three quarters at most.
Anyway, it’s not terrible. I’m working on it. I enjoy working on it, at least. Over the past couple of months, I’ve bought a real assortment of stuff, not all of it actually makeup. Some skin care, like I mentioned, which I hope will be helpful information to anyone who is struggling with those flaky bits of skin that aren’t really a bother until you go to apply foundation and then they RUIN your LIFE. I also tried out quite a few foundations, like I said, and I ended up with a couple – some from the drug store, and then I also have some higher end that work when my skin is behaving in different ways.
I also recently bought one of the Hourglass Ambient Lighting powders. I went back and forth a bit trying to decide which one to buy – I don’t know if you’re familiar with them, but there are six of them (there are also blushes now, but those are a different thing) and they’re basically finishing powders, but can also be used as highlighters, and they come in different shades – Dim Lighting, Ethereal Lighting, etc. And they’re kind of meant to be like walking around with your own most flattering light on you all the time. “Dark Cavern” is not an option, so I went with Dim, which is kind of meant to give a gentle blurring effect while a lot of the others give more of a glow or a “lit from within” sort of thing. I’d like to have more of them, but honestly, at $45 each, I was only buying one and if I buy another, it won’t be soon, it was a little splurge. I don’t feel silly or frivolous spending that much on makeup, I like makeup, it’s my hobby, and I spend hobby money on it. But I generally buy more things for $45. Anyway. I was talking to Phil about it while I was sick and couldn’t really do a whole face, so hadn’t really gotten the full effect of it and didn’t know if it really did much of anything for me and explained to him how the different powders worked and he nodded along. A couple days later, I brought it up to him again* and he goes, “Is that the stuff that makes you look like you’re in slow motion?”
The ladies who came to PJs gave me some empty Z-palettes and a super generous gift card, so I ordered some eye shadows from Makeup Geek, which I’ve been wanting to try for a while. I only have my camera phone operational at the moment, so I know you just can’t rely on this picture as super accurate in terms of colors in the pan. I want to use them a little bit more (I’ve only used them for one eye shadow look) and also charge up my regular camera for more accurate pictures before I really write about them, but I can at least say that shipping was super fast and the packaging is awesome. The prices are really good, too, and the colors I did use (the purples) worked really nicely. I also tacked a couple of brushes on to my order and wasn’t impressed with those, so I’d skip them if you have decent eye brushes you like.
Thing four: making makeup into another one of the things.
MORE STUFF I HAVE COMING IN THE MAIL: I have a brush set from Sigma Brushes coming. I really like using entirely too many colors to do what should be a much less complicated eye shadow look because I’m not very good at creating a gradient with blending yet, and I really dislike washing my brushes every single night, so solution? Many, many more brushes! I decided to order Sigma brushes for a variety of reasons, two of the main ones being price and customer service. I made a list of the brushes I wanted, and they were mainly eye brushes, with a couple of face brushes (the F40, the F35). I really dragged my feet on ordering for a couple of days once I had my list, though, because Sigma’s sets are usually a really good deal, and I just couldn’t find a set that matched up well enough with the brushes I wanted without leaving out too many or including a bunch of brushes I didn’t want.
Turns out I delayed the exact right amount of time, though, because Sigma came out with a new set of a YouTube beauty vlogger’s favorite brushes, the Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box. This does include two brushes that weren’t on my original list (the F80, the F86), but I didn’t leave them out because I didn’t like them, necessarily, but more because I was focusing on eyes and trying to keep the price low. This box also includes a pencil brush that wasn’t on my list because I recently bought one and figured I could cut costs by living without one, but there is no way I would turn down another one. What it didn’t include from the list of what I wanted was the F40 I mentioned above, which I decided to go without, and an E40, which I added on. Sigma always has a 10% off code (for March, it’s MAR10) and there’s a free gift included with purchases over $30 or $35 (this month it’s a mini E25). So I was able to keep my order under $100 even with shipping and really only give up on the contour brush. The Jaclyn Hill Beauty Expert Box is only going to be sold for March and you can sign up to be notified when it comes back, if you’re interested. That kind of assumes you need brushes, want Sigma brushes, and want the same brushes I wanted, but… I think it’s a good deal, so I thought I’d let you know.
Mine are actually in my mailbox right now, so I’ll let you know what I think really soon.
Also, arriving tomorrow, I have some MUJI drawers, so it will be easier for me to actually show you this stuff in the decent light of the bathroom where it actually lives, hopefully in decent organization, rather than taking up every single inch of counter space as it currently does.
Thing five: Did you notice my hair went backward in this post?
Thing six: There’s just a lot of things going on.
- Proposed Cuts to Compensation Helps Ensure Readiness
- Loss of Integrity: Deception on the Rise in Air Force Drawdown
- Defense Secretary Proposes Big Cuts to US Military Spending (Yaaay! Less spending on wars! Less money on weapons and useless vehicles! Less… wait, what? “Hagel said he wishes he didn’t have to cut into soldiers’ future pay, but emphasized that no defense budget serious about spending cuts can avoid doing it.” and also “Pay for service members has shot up an extra 40% since 2001, as compared with private-sector jobs, Hagel added. But if his budget passes, raises for service members next year will be just 1%, and continue to be limited.” [edited so as to allow you to come to your own conclusions and also because it was possibly a little shrill.]
THING SEVEN I HAVE TO END THIS POST NOW BECAUSE PEOPLE KNOW WHO I AM AND WHO I’M MARRIED TO AND IT’S JUST POLITE.