A Bit More than Bathing in the Bathroom

I’m struggling to write at the moment, because I just watched the Walking Dead and now I am dead inside. One of my favorite characters died and I do not know how’ll I’ll keep watching without him. What will his wife do?And Rick (my least favorite character) isn’t in a great situation either!! The Walking Dead has never hesitated to kill off the most loved characters, which makes it a fantastic, heart breaking show. Bah! I can’t be the only one near tears, right?! Who else watches this??

Now the Walking Dead has absolutely nothing to do with today’s post. Literally nothing. Although, I do really want to go to Georgia. Wait no, that’s still sidetracking. What am I supposed to be writing about?! Oh yes… my bathroom.

So as much as I now love my roommates, their radiant personalities did not play a huge part in me choosing to live here over some of the other places I found on Craigslist. Why did I choose this place? The bathroom. Once I walked into the bathroom, I was sold on this place. It was really the bathtub. I have great memories of my Aunt Karolyn’s clawfoot bathtub at her house in Oakland near Glenview Elementary School. Her daughters– my cousins– were about the same age as my sister and I so we would go there all the time. Even as a kid, I loved houses and design, and I freakin’ loved that bathtub. My bathroom now? Clawfoot bathtub. Entire reason I signed that lease. I mean besides the fact that the house is near BART and my roommates are normal, clean people, and our home is beautiful. Whatever. That stuff does not compare to my bathtub! This is what my bathroom looked like when I first moved in.

Move in Bathroom

And the the bathroom fixtures are Kohler! I love Kohler! The bathroom is all from the Kohler’s Antique Line. It’s very much a 1930’s throwback. They’re beautiful. The chrome bits on the end after the ceramic knobs were loose on a few when I moved in. I tightened them up easily by wrapping plastic wrap around some pliers. I want some rubber nose pliers, but when I asked one of the employees at Home Depot about them he looked very confused. It’s possible I made the existence of them up. Regardless, the plastic wrap worked just fine. Once I tightened them, the have not come loose again. I just love the “hot” and “cold” labels! It’s details like this that make our house so interesting. It really is a contemporary craftsman, elegantly straddling old and new design!

Kohler Bathtub Fixture

I’m lucky that the house is really beautiful. The craftsmanship is really well done. There was a lot of care taken when it was built 10 years ago. Anything I do to the house isn’t really changing it, but rather accentuating it. For now this blog is about taking a home from 75% to 100% done. That last 25%? All the itty bitty details. This is the storage and organizing and decorating. The things that make this place functional and beautifull! This is the part that takes the most time and can even seem unnecessary, but it really does complete the space.

Now the bathroom vanity is gorgeous, but it doesn’t have any drawers. Just one huge open space within the cabinet isn’t all that functional and means a lot of my things needed to live on the counter. When I first moved in, things just landed where I needed them the most, without much thought into how it all looked.

Move in Bathroom Vanity

That means the soap went straight on the counter since I didn’t have a soap dish, necklaces went on the first rack-thing I saw at Target, and earrings stayed in the boxes I’d moved them in (in which they are tangled and impossible to find). My new Target towels looked good, but this one is dirty!

Movein Bathroom Counter

My bathroom looked pretty much like this — shower curtain-less, with things stuffed into the cabinet– for a few months before I could finally get around to tackling the first stage of the room. Some of this stage was new purchases to help with function, some of it was a matter of moving things around. I had gotten a dingy looking plant stand with a glass top from my last job. They were going to throw it away, but I liked the clean lines! A basic Target shower curtain helped helped hide the necessary plastic one behind it and pumped up the fun factor. After a few months, the room had much more personality.


The plant I plopped on plant stand came from my Oma’s house, just like Fred the Fish. I repotted it in this IKEA basket. I wished I’d picked up another matching basket for toilet paper to sit on the floor beneath it! Alas, the no longer sell the baskets! Arg! I’m bummed. Instead I usually stick a watering can there that I fill up in the shower when the water is getting hot before I get in. The plant on top really brings some life to the space, it’s thriving on the humidity too! Plus I washed my hand towel. Who’s proud? Me! Such an adult.

Over on the vanity, things changed less dramatically. I still haven’t found a great solution for my jewelry, but I did get a soap dish! The little things, right? This looks one billion times better than leaving it on the counter. Plus the counter stays shiny longer this way after I clean it.

Bathroom vanity

The glass jars I bought at Cost Plus World Market. They were exactly what I hoped to find. How often does that happen?! I wanted something square with a thick, sturdy glass, and — most importantly– a rubber seal. I wanted the latter to prevent moisture and germs and what have you from getting into the jars. I don’t know how protective the rubber really is, but I wanted something that would theoretically seal the jars off.

Bathroom jars

The jars add so much functionality to the space! They store many of the big space stealers from my medicine cabinet. I use the jars for cotton pads which I use to remove eye make-up and put on toner; q-tips for the ears; and these little plastic flossers which I swear I’ll never buy again, because they add so much to the landfill and who actually flosses anyways? Just kidding I floss every monthonce a week, I mean, twice a day. Regardless, the jars fit into the previously unused corner of the wide vanity and allow me to fill the medicine cabinet with more important things, like Honest Beauty products. Ha!

Just for honesty sake, I do have to say, the kitty litter box lives in here too. It’s the only place for it in the house. I’m still brainstorming on a prettier way to hide it, but for now, it lives next to the toilet complete with the carpet sample I stole from work (spoiler: it doesn’t really work to prevent litter tracking…)

Bathroom Litter Box

The room is definitely getting there though! It’s amazing what a few tweaks will do. What else do I have on my bathroom to-do list??

  • Find the perfect glass storage jars
  • Add a piece of furniture to place a glass of water or a book on when I take a bath
  • New shower curtain
  • Necklace holder
  • Soap dish
  • Better jewelry storage, perhaps building an earring holder??
  • Add some plants in small pots on top of the toilet back
  • Paint the plant stand gold to go with the shower curtain
  • find a better way to hide the kitty litter box
  • Organize the vanity cabinet to better contain everything I hide away down there
  • Hang art
  • Even more plants?!
  • Take so many bubble baths!

It’s not quite there yet, but it’s close! For now, I’m loving this look!

Bathroom phase one

Have you been adding some functional touches to your home lately? Isn’t it great what that last little bit adds to the space? It’s like, “Wow, now that they’re not buried in the depths of the vanity cabinet, I can actually find my q-tips!” The little things in life!

P.S. If you’ve been watching the Walking Dead, tell me because I need to talk about it!!!

An Honest Review

I have been following the Honest Company pretty much since it was founded a few years ago. I was absolutely ecstatic about a company that embraced the same eco-friendly practices I strive to live by. I read both Jessica Alba’s The Honest Life and Christopher Gavigan’s Healthy Child, Healthy World, which gave me answers to many of the questions that had been nagging me for much of my life. If you haven’t checked out either of those books yet, I highly recommend you do! They’re both incredible informative. Healthy Child, Healthy World is a particularly good guide on jumping head first into a healthy, sustainable life. I am constantly impressed by the Honest Company! I have a subscription to one of their bundles and get their products delivered to me every 6-8 weeks. As if that wasn’t enough information on my love for this company, I actually applied for jobs at their Santa Monica office after college. I was even was flown from Oakland to Los Angeles for an interview (spoiler alert: I did not get the job!) where I met Christopher Gavigan and Sean Kane as well as many of their other staff. It was during this interview in October of 2014 that I learned the Honest Company was making strides into the world of beauty products. I’ve basically waited an entire year in anticipation of Honest make-up!

When the Honest Company’s Honest Beauty branch went live last month, you know I signed up! I ordered their free skin trial (oily) and the Truly Kissable Lip Crayon, Demi-Matte in Honey Kiss. A week or two ago, my order was delivered to my house!! Yay! I was excited to dive into Honest Beauty!

Honest Beauty Box

The boxes came in all their glory. They’re about 12″ x 8″ roughly (I’ve already recycled mine). I love that the Honest Company makes their boxes more interesting than any old cardboard box. It definitely adds to their branding and makes each box seem special. The fact that the Honest Beauty Logo is so similar to the Honest Company’s butterfly logo, yet also encompasses two B’s and an H is just good graphic design. Whoever came up with that is one talented designer!

Honest Box from the Side

When you open it, it just gets better.

Honest Beauty Box Inside

It’s just cute right? It’s so much more interesting than a plain box. Can you tell I love design?? Seriously though, it’s little things like this that seem silly, like no big deal, that really pull a design from good to great. I love it! Enough about the box now, 400 words is probably just plenty! On to the actual products!

So my trial came in one box and my lip gloss came in a separate box which was the same size. This was a little silly and kind of a waste. I wished they’d been packaged together, but I’m assuming the free trials are all packed ahead of time. My Oily Skin Trial came with Refreshingly Clean Gel Cleanser, Dependably Clear Oil Free Moisturizer, and Beyond Protected Daily Beauty Fluid Oil Free SPF 30. I am particularly excited about that last one, because ever since I found out my favorite daily face sunscreen is rated a 4 on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (say that five times fast!), I’ve been experimenting with replacements. Ideally  everything I use would be a two or below on their scale; this is the one product that I’m finding difficult to replace.

The first thing I tried? The lip crayon! It is definitely a nude. I like the way it looks a lot. Perfect with a smokey eye or heavy liner (my favorite looks). I think it would look even better layered with an Honest Beauty Lip Gloss like they recommend… but they’re so expensive, I’m a little hesitant to buy anything else quite yet. Dang though is thing thing long lasting! When I wear it to work it will last me all the way through lunch no matter how many cups of tea or scones I snack on in the morning! It’s awesome! And I just love the texture. All of the Honest Beauty products I tried had such a smooth, light texture. It’s not cakey at all! It feels like my lips and face could breathe through the make-up, moisturizer, and sunscreen! It’s kind of indescribable and oh so amazing!

Honest Beauty Products

That night I got to try the rest of my samples! The cleanser smells really great! Very perfume-y and feminine though, so probably not for you guys. I was actually surprised by the scent. Most of the Honest products have more mild scents. I am particularly sensitive to smells, so although this threw me off for a second, as soon as I got over my surprise I found the scent to be floral-y, but mature.  The cleanser works really well guys! It easily stripped off make-up without leaving my face feeling dry.

Next up? The moisturizer. Now, I don’t normally use moisturizer. My skin is plenty moist unless I’m bombarding it with benzoyl peroxide in a war over lurkers. I once had a dermatologist tell me that my skin really didn’t need moisturizer, so I don’t keep any on hand. Because this was part of the trial, I decided to try it anyways. The moisturizer was really lovely! It’s a great consistency that blends really easily and left my skin feeling incredibly refreshed and somehow smoother. I might just get some for those days when I need it!

Finally, the product I was most excited about: sun protection! I wear sunscreen on my face every single day you guys. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I have seen too many people get skin cancer. I had pretty bad acne in my teens and went to several estheticians and dermatologists. I’ve gotten tons of advice on my skin and keeping it clean, clear, and wrinkle-free– a lot of it conflicting– but one thing stands out. Every single professional I’ve ever consulted has insisted on the benefits of wearing sunscreen on your face every single day. So I do. Dermatologists I’ve seen have taken this a step further and let me in on a little industry secret: sunscreen only works if it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Do you know how many products out there claim to be sunscreens, but don’t contain either ingredient? SO MANY you guys! SO MANY! Now, I totally understand not loving these ingredients, because they have heavy white pigments that make them difficult to rub into your skin, but they are the only thing that actually protects you! Think life guards and the white zinc nose, guys. That is who you want to be!

The Honest Beyond Protected Daily Beauty Fluid Oil Free SPF 30 rubs in so well though. It’s really light! I’ve been experimenting with a lot of daily facial sunscreens lately and have been so disappointed in so many products. This is a feasible alternative to what I’d previously used! This guy is a little bit shinier than the Eucerin, but it seems to sink in to your skin after a few minutes. Some products I’ve tried have left my face so oily that I had to wash my make-up brushes after using them just once! That means my skin was so oily from the product that even after waiting a few minutes and applying liquid foundation, the oil clogged my brushes when I applied powder! THIS IS INSANE. And if it’s doing that to my brushes what’s it doing to my pores?! The Honest Beauty Oil Free SPF 30 didn’t do this at all! My face was totally matte after I applied my make up. Thank god. My natural oils provide plenty of shine, thankyouverymuch. The Oil Free SPF 30 does have a bit of the whitening affect that all suncreens with zinc dioxide have, but not nearly as bad as so much of what is out there. This is good stuff guys! I’m pretty committed. Once my trial is all used up, I’ll bite the $28 per 1.5 fl.oz. bullet and finally be happy with my daily facial sunscreen!

That brings me to my one and only complaint about the new Honest Beauty products: the price. Having always been a drug-store make-up kind of girl, some of these prices are difficult for me to wrap my head around. I have to pay how much for how many fluid ounces?! It’s too much for my current budget. As much as I’d love to replace everything I currently use with the clearly far superior Honest Beauty products– I can’t. I don’t have the free income to spend for these products at these prices. 😦 I’m totally disappointed, but I knew this before I ordered my trial and I knew they’d be so amazing it would suck to have to give them up! Don’t get me wrong, I plan on planning my finances so I can get what I can in the future, but I certainly don’t expect or plan to be able to convert my entire beauty routine to Honest. 😦 I’m totally bummed, but I hope that so many people love them, the prices go down, and they become even more readily available! Until then, I’ll be stalking the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database waiting to see how the Honest Beauty products score! I’m guessing low.

What about you? What do you spend on the beauty products you use every single day? Do you think paying more is worth it or do you too rock the drug-store brands? I know everything I use from the drugstore still rates 2 or less on the Cosmetics Database, so you don’t have to pay too much for a healthy product. Have you tried the Honest Beauty line? Did you love it too?