How to ACTUALLY Have Flawless Skin

Today’s post is a clap back (is that what kids really do these days?  Do they really clap in people’s faces?  Seems rude but I’ll try anything once) to Serafina’s latest post full of shade.  It took me MONTHS to whittle this down to less than 25,000 words so you’re welcome I guess.

 

But first, let me tell you why there is so much contention between my frenemy and me when it comes to skin care.

 

It all started with a “camping” trip.

 

You see, Serafina and I decided to go on a clothing optional camping trip, and she invited some men I didn’t know.  Naturally, I thought this was going to be a giant orgy, and, excitedly, packed accordingly.  This meant that I didn’t bring a bra and I also wore Brittney Spears-style glitter eye shadow the whole time.  Serafina was appalled at the fact it took me so long to “ready myself for nature” but really, you never know what kind of sexy adventures happen in the woods so I would NEVER be caught dead without a modest application of foundation and rosy cheeks.

 

To my shock and disappointment, no one wanted to have an orgy, but rather “grill out” and “tell campfire stories” and “fight off raccoons.”  So there I was, holding back tears so as not to smudge my ice blue eyeshadow.

 

It would be 20 years until we would speak again, and while my Brittney makeup is long dried up, I still have really overly complicated skin care and I definitely fucking wear makeup while camping and Serafina judges loudly.  NOT EVERYONE CAN HAVE NATURALLY GLASS SKIN, OK?!

 

This is just my face routine, that doesn’t include makeup.  My face routine is mostly in the style of K-Beauty, while my body is all French, baby.

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Shit I forgot the shea butter

 

1. Cleansing

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I have no idea what’s in Softymo, but it’s speedy.

I remove my eye makeup first, and then use an oil cleanser to remove the rest of my makeup, or if I didn’t wear makeup, my SPF lotion.  I use the most gentle cleanser I can find after that.  Cetaphil is my jam on a regular basis (please sponsor me ilu).

 

2. Toner

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The beardy old guy makes it official.

Toner is life.  So much so, I do seven layers.  I’m not kidding.  Do you hear that, Serafina? I actually fucking stand in the bathroom and do SEVEN FUCKING LAYERS OF TONER.  I’m sure she’s screaming at her computer screen right now.  Your pain feeds me.

 

3. Boosters

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TJ Maxx feeds my addiction 

This is the step to which Serafina was referring in my IG posts.  And just FYI, yes, the dog gets one too.

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Beauty standards are unreasonable to keep up with in my family, but even the dog has to do her part.

4. Moisturizers

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I no longer use MyChelle because it causes extreme breakouts on my skin but I didn’t know that until after I wrote all this.  I no longer recommend.

Do you think you’ve already done enough to give moisture to your skin?  No, you haven’t.   It doesn’t matter if your skin is already soft and smooth. Add more.  And if there’s daylight, make sure it has SPF.

 

See it’s not so bad.  All this would easily fit inside a small/medium suitcase, making travel spontaneous and whimsical.

 

And just to prove how well this routine works, here’s a before and after picture:

 

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Left: my first year postpartum where I didn’t care about my looks.  Right: dead and sullen eyes, but hot af and vain as hell.  

CLAP CLAP CLAP

 

-Mary Ellen

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Serafina’s flawless skin care regimen

As per usual, I bring you this blog post while procrastinating on a paper that’s due at midnight tonight (protip: it doesn’t count as procrastination if you never start the paper).

Something’s been bugging me lately, and it’s about Mary Ellen. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be coming here to talk shit. But I am, so you can all just deal with it. My problem is that she knows so much about being a girl. So much. She’s always posting things like weird creepy face masks, and I don’t understand it at all. What do the face masks do? Why does she look so scary? How did she trick her husband Annie into also wearing a face mask? Do they put face masks on her baby and dogs? This is just a list of the first few questions I have. Instead of seeking answers to any of my questions, I’m going to assume I’m an expert*** and walk you all through my own “minimalist” skin care regimen.

Step one: Shower every couple of days. More frequently if your armpits smell. But, we’re not focusing on armpit skin care, we’re focusing on face skin care which I think I implied above but didn’t really make it clear until now.

Step two: Once in the shower, ensure that you have some water on your skin. This will be important later

Step three: Wash everything with Dr. Bronner’s. I mean, everything. Face, armpits, hair, butt, feet. You know, everything. Shit, I said I was going to just stick with face skin care and then I went and told you all the other stuff. Oh, well. Now you know the rest of my skin care.

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Also, Dr. Bronner’s provides good reading material if you forgot to bring your phone in the bathroom to take a poop

Step four: if you live in a very dry climate, put some lotion on your skin. I’ve never seen Silence of the Lambs, but I hear that movie comes out in favor of moisturizing.

That’s it! Feel free to ditch all your other skin care stuff, because I don’t know what it is for.

All one!

Serafina

 

***Legal disclaimer: the above advice is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose any ailments. Serafina Bearafina’s expertise in skin care is merely self proclaimed and she does not actually understand how any skin care products work. She’s not really sure if you should even use soap, TBH. The above advice neither guarantees nor implies that the condition of your skin will improve. Serafina isn’t sure what good skin is, but she probably doesn’t have it. Serafina recently had an infected ingrown hair, and after refusing to seek medical attention, she asked someone to explain exfoliation to her, only to promptly ignore all advice that was given to her.

Homemade vegan lip balm

Have I mentioned that I get a little ridiculously picky about some things? I probably haven’t. But last year I discovered my favorite lip balm had changed their formulation and it was suddenly disgusting and unusable. I found the lot numbers of the old lip balm recipe and I bought a year’s worth, stashing it in my fridge. Everything was wonderful until I only had about 2 left and I started panicking. I bought one of every lip balm and Whole Foods and they were all terrible. I was beside myself and fell into a deeper depression than the time my chicken was eating all of her eggs (that’s still happening, by the way, I just try not to care about it too much)

Anyway, I decided I needed to make my own lip balm and after extensive research, I have two recipes for you. One of the lip balm recipes sucks and the other is amazing and I love it.

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I know what you’re thinking, why bother sharing the shitty lip balm recipe? I don’t really have a great answer for that. I mostly just want credit for all the work I did. And if anyone is wondering if this was an attempt to make Mary Ellen feel bad about herself for not doing things like making lasagna and DIYing lip balm, it is. I’m amazing. I definitely didn’t almost fail out of grad school to bring you this lip balm recipe. And that was definitely the kind of high caliber sentence a graduate student should be writing.

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That’s a bunched up Christmas towel in the background. Everyone uses Christmas towels year-round, right?

Recipe 1: Shitty Lip Balm

Makes about 8 tubes of lip balm

1 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp shea butter

¼ tsp vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

 

Recipe 2: Amazing Lip Balm

Makes about 12 tubes of lip balm

2 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

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Jars are the best makeshift double broilers because you can just throw them in the dishwasher and then your pot doesn’t smell like candelilla and lavender when you want to make pasta

The instructions are the same for both recipes

Melt candelilla wax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (I just put a jar in a pot of simmering water)

Once melted, add vitamin E and essential oils and stir

Pour mixture into empty lip balm tubes or whatever canister you want to use. I used a pipette to transfer the mixture into the tubes. Let set for at least a few hours until room temperature, they will be fully hardened after sitting overnight. They turn off-white once hardened.

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You’d think with a pipette I wouldn’t get drips everywhere, but my hands were super shaky because I had too much caffeine that morning

May your lips be moisturized but not sticky and gross

Serafina

Letting the pros do it

Hello, Eggpiers.  I apologize for my absence last week.  I honestly have no excuses.  No Drake cult, nothing.  I was just clueless as to what to post about.  I’m still a little clueless.  I have a lot of things I’m doing and things coming up, but most of them involve my budding hip hop/EDM/jazz career, so I just feel like it doesn’t really fit here.

 

I’ve maybe added too many things to my plate.  Not as many as Serafina, since she lives on a farm or whatever.  Also, even though this blog is TOTALLY SERIOUS AND HONEST ABOUT EVERYTHING AND NOT A SATIRICAL THING EVER ABOUT IT, I’ve become bothered at the lack of organization with recipe pages (as in absolutely none), so that might change.

 

But for today, I wanted to try something new.  Something fun.  And something that can help me out for when I feel lazy.

 

I’m going to share a couple of the recipes I’m currently trying and give you a run down with how they went for me.  I didn’t take any pictures this time, though.  Sorry.  I came up with this idea this morning.  You’ll forgive me, right?  I’ll be making these things again soon so maybe I’ll update with pictures, but probably not. (Also I’m not good at MS Paint)

 

Heavenly Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal (Oh She Glows)

Both recipes are going to be vegan breakfasts.  I’ve been eating a lot of vegan foods lately, though I’m most definitely not a vegan.  I’ve just been cutting down on meat, and having to greatly limit to the point of almost eliminate dairy from my diet.  It makes my skin… lets just say it’s gross.

 

My husband loves this recipe.  I also love it because it’s not too sweet, although in the mornings I still would rather not have oatmeal.  Oh well.  This has carrots in it, so you can get veggies in for the sweet lovers.

 

Vegan Breakfast Burrito Recipe (Build Your Bite)

This recipe is amazing.  Like, I’m fucking serious.  I want to eat this forever.  But too many potatoes aren’t good for you, I heard, since they make you fat?  I think those are lies.  It does not taste vegan.  I’m pretty sure all the seasonings and oil and potatoes make that a reality.  I think I over scrambled the tofu, which was fine, because then the tofu mixture for me was like a creamy sauce.

 

What else have I been doing with my time?  Cooking for my dogs.  Because I needed more to do.  They make up for the lack of meat I’ve been eating and also I still get to boil whole chickens all the time.  Serafina, just let me know if that chicken is too much trouble.

 

Chickens are a marked species at my house.

 

-Mary Ellen

Q & A with Master Gardener: Serafina Berafina

Well, you guys asked for it, and we’re finally able to deliver. These are all questions you have sent in for Serafina, world-renowned gardening expert.

Q: What soil amendments do you use?

A: Well, normally I only use compost, but this year I used a little fertilizer as well. I know, I know, you’re thinking ‘what about the soil microbiome???’ Yeah, I read The Soil and Health too (no I didn’t, it was way too boring) In my defense, I only used a little bit of fertilizer and I used compost as well. Most importantly, I found a cruelty free fertilizer.

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Vegan fertilizer: for when your vegetables don’t taste self-righteous enough

Follow up question: Can’t you just make your own fertilizer by growing soybeans?

Follow up answer: Oh, shit, I didn’t realize you guys got the internet out in Iowa. Um… Yeah, you could probably do something like that. You should just ride your tractor down the road a bit and ask your neighbor though.

Q: That was kind mean. I almost don’t want to look you up on FarmersOnly anymore.

A: That wasn’t really a question, but feel free to look me up on FarmersOnly. I’m ToplessMotherOfChickens.

Q: Ugh, fine! How are you handling the stress of chicken motherhood?

A: OMG, reader, OMG. Amelia, my golden chicken, eats all of her own eggs. Every damn one of them. I’ve tried everything. We talked about why she is acting out and whether the other girls are picking on her. My boyfriend made roll-away nesting boxes. I looked into putting up privacy curtains in front of the nesting boxes so she doesn’t feel so anxious. Nothing is helping. I don’t know what to do. I’ve started drinking heavily to cope with the lack of eggs. Everyone I talk to recommends that we slaughter my baby chicken and eat her, like you would any human child that stopped laying eggs. It’s just all too much for me right now.

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Q: Wow, that got a little intense. Maybe we should get to something lighter? Um, what are you growing this year?

A: Great question. I’m a little behind in my planting what with all of the woman problems Mary Ellen told you about last week. So far I have tomatoes, jalapeño, spinach, radishes, lettuce, arugula, carrots, and snap peas. Corn, squash, beans, cucumbers will be planted later this week. Also some flowers or whatever.

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Q: Do you have any gardening bras that you can recommend?

A: No, my boob kept popping out of my bra the whole time I was planting today. It was exceedingly bothersome until I just took off my bra and top (but then I had to apply sunscreen).

Q: Who submitted all of these questions? Some of them seem suspiciously intimate…

A: How dare you imply that I wrote my own questions and answers, don’t make me come over to whatever area of the internet you’re from and make an in-person frowny face at you!

Well, internet friends, there you have it. All you wanted to know about Serafina’s gardening (and more!)

XOXO

Serafina

Building Walls from Your Neighbors

You guys, I’ve really turned over a new leaf with the coming of spring.  I eat an entirely CLEAN diet now, and I must say, I really do feel like I’m better than all of you.  Clean eating really does change your life.  For instance, as I write this post, I’m basking in the natural sunlight of my bay window while munching on veggie straws and drinking elderflower and rose lemonade.  An entirely plant based snack.

 

Today I’d like to talk about how to build more barriers from your neighbors’ prying eyes. Really, the title should be natural barriers, since I’m doing everything natural now.

 

I have giant windows on the front of my house and while it’s great for natural light, I also feel like I live in a fishbowl.  Do you know how awkward it is to make eye contact with your neighbors when they walk by?  I have to smile and wave even though I’m busy vacuuming the house naked.  Sure, I’ve become accustomed to being watched in all my waking hours, and I don’t want to lose all that kinkiness, so that’s why I’m going about this in a complicated way instead of just shutting the blinds.

 

I decided to hang my herb garden in individual pots in front of my kitchen window, so the neighbors will have to work harder to see boob.  I used different pots for each one and rope hangers so I can get that boho chic look.  Remember, if you do it right, the hippie look will be 1000% more expensive than the bullshit country cottage kitchen.

 

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It took a while to find so many different pots, and they basically took up my entire table with dirt for like a week while I decided what to do with them.

I did an herb garden, but I guess you could do flowers.  These get full sunlight for part of the day.  These also came with attached dishes so I don’t get dirt water everywhere.

 

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I made these by hand.  Just kidding, I bought them on Amazon.  If I could buy my soul on Amazon I would, but unfortunately there is no Prime option with it.

Get hangers for the pots.  I used these, because I want to look like I am all natural and shit.

 

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Here’s an artsy shot with shadows and stuff.  It’s also part of the process. 

Get someone to hang them for you.  I guess you could hang them yourselves, but I don’t know why?

 

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Before: full boob view
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After: better lighting and also an obscured boob view

 

Cheers to a room with a boob view,

 

Mary Ellen

Upcycled Wine Cork Garden Markers

OMFG you guys, the vernal equinox has already passed, St. Patrick got drunk and puked on the sidewalk outside my house, and the Easter bunny’s cousin Igor is coming soon! All of this means that it’s TIME TO START GARDENING AGAIN!!! I’m legitimately excited about this and not just shouting because Igor scares me when he breaks in to my house to “exchange” my iPad for a basket of chocolate bunnies.

I live in an area where you can’t start planting the exciting stuff until mid-May, but they already started selling flowers at the garden store, so I’m not waiting any longer. I planted some seeds this weekend, and because I’m all about instant gratification I also planted flowers which will freeze and die almost immediately.

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I have already established that I am the best at planning a garden (protip: plant 3’ tall flower bushes between your step stones, that way you might work up enough of an appetite to want to eat another fucking zucchini).

There are about 4 or 5 million posts about DIY garden markers and MINE IS THE BEST. By saving wine corks and then reusing them, you have an excuse to buy more wine and you look like you’re being environmentally friendly.

 

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I tried to hide the cheapest looking corks so you’d all think I only drink fancy wine.

You will need:

Some wine corks

Paint

Skewers

Maybe a hammer and a nail

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I was so proud of this action shot that I didn’t bother to repeat it with the color I actually ended up using

Instructions

  1. Drink all the wine.
  2. See if you can jam one of your skewers into your cork without stabbing yourself in the hand. If you can’t, grab a thick nail and a hammer. Maybe also grab some padded gloves if you’re not confident about your aim. Nail the nail into a cork and then remove it and insert the skewer into the hole. Repeat with the rest of your skewers.
  3. You can try labeling them without painting first, but it doesn’t look very pretty, so I recommend painting the corks at this point. I took pictures of myself painting them black, but then I repainted them with silver because they were too hard to read with light lettering on a dark background. Go with light paint.
  4. Grab some sharpies or more paint to actually write the labels. I also drew a couple of fucking adorable plant illustrations on the corks because I’m amazing.
  5. Mark your plants as you plant them. Once the plants have been in the ground for  a few weeks, your labels will be obscured, so this whole process will have rendered useless!

Happy Gardening!

Serafina

Healthy Irish Breakfast Smoothie for Cold/Flu

In case you didn’t notice, no one posted last week.  That’s because I chose to ignore Serafina’s last post and decided she had another week scheduled and this was actually my scheduled week.  So in reality, I’m not late.  That’s how that works.

 

I’ve been battling a baby cold since last week (I got it from my baby), so I’m hopped up on cold meds.  It just doesn’t make my pristine body feel great, you know?  I had originally planned for a “real” recipe this week (just kidding, you should know better), but I opted for this miracle smoothie instead, in case anyone out there is also battling ailments, and wants to take a natural approach to their health.  Some people wonder why I don’t cook anymore and come up with more edible recipes, and usually I just tell my husband to shut up and if he wants something edible he can go out and buy it himself.  This is an example of proper marital communication.

 

Can you still call it a smoothie if you don’t use a blender?  Yes, you fucking can. The health community makes up all sorts of shit, so why can’t we?

 

This recipe was handed down to me by my ancient Irish relatives that were hiding out in Scotland because they were caught running a grifting scam.

 

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I recommend Super Orange but Pink Lemonade is good too.

 

Mary McEllen’s Irish Breakfast Smoothie for the Sick

Ingredients:

  • Guinness
  • Emergen-C
  • Morning

 

Directions:

Add your Emergen-C to your properly poured Guinness (you could also use a different Irish stout, but I don’t know how effective it would be).  Drink it with breakfast, or with your morning coffee.

 

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It’s really fucking hard to take a pouring picture with a giant-ass camera and not many arm muscles.

 

 

You will pretty immediately feel the effects.  You’re welcome.

 

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Don’t make the smoothie come to you, it’s lazy.

 

Pinch me for not wearing green and you’ll get an Irish kisser to the face,

Mary Ellen

Birthday Cake for Chickens

As you all know, I am completely and utterly obsessed with my chickens. They turned two last week and we had quite the celebration. I wrote about my chickens last year as well on their birthday. This year my boyfriend called me out on playing favorites with the youngest chicken, so we celebrated everyone’s birthday mid-week instead of just celebrating on my favorite chicken’s birthday. It’s important to try to grow as a chicken-parent over time. Sometimes your co-chicken-parent provides meaningful feedback and you have to at least pretend to listen. Other times you just make the chicken cake on the day it works out with your schedule and it happens to look like you are compromising. Who’s to say?

Anyway, I do love all of my chickens so very much. This year’s chicken birthday cake wasn’t quite as big of a hit with them as last year’s (there was more fruit in last year’s), but they enjoyed it nonetheless.

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Carrot Cake Oatmeal Birthday Cake for Chickens

Ingredients

  • Oats
  • Water or almond milk
  • Grated carrots
  • Pecans or other nuts
  • Raisins or something
  • Cinnamon
  • Banana for serving

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Instructions

Make oatmeal by placing oats, etc on the stove with water/milk and applying heat. It’s not very complicated. I believe in you (I mean, I don’t really, but I also don’t feel like writing out the rest of how to make oatmeal, look it up on youtube it if you are still confused).

Put the oatmeal in a ramekin to set and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Once you’re ready to serve the chickens cake, cut a banana lengthwise and gently wrap around the oatmeal cake.

Put in the appropriate number of candles and then blow them out before you take it outside. Cut into several pieces so the chickens don’t fight over the food and everyone gets some.

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I still love my chickens more than you

Serafina

Time Management (pt. 2)

If you’re anything like us, you’re always looking for ways to increase not only your professional productivity, but your personal productivity as well.  Serafina has touched upon this topic fairly extensively, but this is really an ongoing, and continuously evolving topic.

 

I’m going to share my greatest secret that is basically foolproof on how to better manage your time and increase your productivity.  There are no lists here, because it’s just one thing.

 

It’s called Skyrim.

 

Yes, I’ve mentioned off-handedly before on the miracle of this product, but I decided there needed to be a specific post about how to use it.

 

It’s quite simple, really.

 

Say you have a huge project due the next day, but you’ve been putting it off.  Skyrim. Got people depending on you to pull through on something big?  Skyrim.  Do your children need attention?  Skyrim, but don’t involve them.

 

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I’m a master at time management, this is what genius looks like.

 

I’ve only played this character for two days but look how far I’ve come.  Level 34, bitches.

 

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Master of the thieves guild, enchanted glass bow.  What are YOU doing with your life?

 

Now, if you excuse me, I need to return some fairly angry phone and text messages.  Totally unrelated.

 

Don’t even fucking think about killing Paarthurnax,

 

Mary Ellen