Sunday, September 11, 2016

I Faced Down the Dirty Thirty + A Gift Guide

I did it, y'all. Exactly one month ago today I turned 30. Conceptually I understand that 30 isn't that old. That being said, this is the oldest I've ever been so I certainly feel a lot older! Deputy Dad and I had the kids on my birthday, and Meet the Teacher day at school happened to be the same day this year. So we spent the first half of my birthday at school meeting D's second grade teacher and J's kindergarten teacher. After that, we went to Columbia and had pizza for dinner and spent the evening chasing Pokemon around the city. It was actually a wonderful birthday, and I was thrilled to have been able to spend it with family.

Our plan was to have a birthday party for yours truly on the Saturday immediately following my birthday, which fell on a Thursday this year. I called it my "I Don't Wanna Grow Up Playset + Pool Party". However, the two boys and I both got a pretty nasty case of food poisoning from the pizza place and we ended up having to cancel the whole thing. It ended up turning into a pretty serious health issue for me, and I missed the entire next week of work. Not the most exciting way to spend a post-birthday week, but at least I got to celebrate my actual birthday!

Because of the illness, Deputy Dad and I pushed back the exchanging of my birthday gift since my paycheck was significantly reduced for the time period. Also, I've yet to decide what I want to commemorate this milestone birthday. So, I decided to compile this little gift guide with some ideas for the newly-30-year-olds out there!

one :: two :: three :: four :: five

One :: One of the things I've been really getting in to lately is improving my photography skills. Now that I finally got back around to upgrading my camera again, I want I've been having fun tinkering around with project shots and progress shots, but I hate that I'm so reliant on natural light to get that amazing shot I want. Especially now that summer is drawing to a close and our days are getting shorter (boo! But hooray for cooler temps and hot chocolate!!) I've really wanted to start investing in some lighting options so I can actually take some decent pictures of the things I've been doing around here. Deputy Dad and I actually built the Bulk Bin Toy Storage unit from Ana White, assembled a swing set, and made a few modifications to the kitchen, but they were all post-bedtime projects so I have *no* progress pictures so show you because I'm a bad blogger! I figure I can start with these relatively inexpensive umbrella lights from Amazon and grow from there.

Two :: Basically, see above. One of my favorite photo types is the sharply defined front object with the beautifully blurred background.  Yes, I know it's called bokeh. Thanks to an introductory DSLR class I took with my mom back when I got us both Canon T3's for Christmas one year, I even know how to achieve it. Unfortunately, I am not always the steadiest of hand. Enter this handy tripod. I actually had this same one, but I think I must have left it in Wisconsin when I moved. This tripod plus a remote shutter release (probably this one) should hopefully make life a little easier.

Three :: Ahh, Apple. You make my heart flutter. When the Apple Watch was released, I thought it was the stupidest thing ever. Seriously. Could not understand people spending $300 on a tiny little phone for your wrist when you carry a $600+ slightly larger phone in your pocket. Fast forward several months, and I now work back in a call center where cell phones are banned on the call floor. With Deputy Dad's job and the kids back in school, I'm always paranoid that someone is going to need to get in touch with me for some reason, but I'll be at work and won't get the message for 3 hours. Enter the beauty of the Apple Watch. If I see Dispatch or School calling, I can simply excuse myself for a personal break, call back, and have my mind put at ease.  Or take off out of the parking lot like a bat out of hell. You know, whichever the situation may call for. Plus, rose gold. Which gives me all of the heart eyes these days, so I have to have it.

Four ::  Remember earlier how I mentioned that I'm not the steadiest of individuals? Imagine the torture that my poor phone goes through. I drop that thing on a weekly basis. At least. I should buy stock in some screen protector company, because I order at least one a month. The night I met Deputy Dad, I shattered the screen of my phone when I dropped it off of the back of a pickup truck. Face first. On to concrete. It was a rough moment. Long story short, I *always* have a screen protector and a protective case on my phone. But how cute is a customizable case from Casetify? I love that this one allows me to customize the photo and text, and it's still durable for my klutzy moments.

Five :: I've always been interested in skincare, but now that I've hit 30 I realize how important it really is. I'm "blessed" because I have oily skin, which means that I actually don't have to worry about wrinkles for awhile yet. That being said, I'm 30 and still have to deal with acne, texture, enlarged pores, and hyper pigmentation. I keep seeing try-it videos of bubble masks on YouTube, and I'm fairly intrigued by the whole idea. This one from Sephora helps with luminosity and helps eliminate impurities, which I definitely wouldn't turn down. The other thing I'm working really hard to remember is to never leave the house without putting on some sort of sun protectant. I'm really bad about that. I'll always put sunscreen on the kids and on the husband, but somehow always forget myself in the shuffle. We're a pale family over here, and I suffered multiple extreme sunburns as a kid, so my risk for skin cancer is pretty high. I'd like to make sure I'm doing everything I can to prevent that!

So, there it is.  Five ideas if you want to offer your condolences...errrrr...congratulate a friend on a big milestone birthday. 

As for me, I think I'm accepting turning 30. I still have so much left to do!!


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