Our Journey

2002 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #1

2003 1st consult with an RE, you know, just in case

2003 Got Married (at 37 (me) & 34 (DH) years old)

2003/2004 Naturally conceived pregnancies BFPs #1, #2, & #3 and miscarriages #1, #2, #3

2005 Uterine Fibroid Surgery #2

2005 IVF #1, BFN #1

2005 IUIs #1 and #2, just because, BFN #2 & #3

2005 FET from IVF #1, BFN #4

2006 Exploratory surgery to remove scar tissue from fibroid sugery #2

2006 IVF #2 (w PGD), BFP #4

2006 Emergency cerclage for IC @ 16w6d (5 months + 1 week of complete bed rest at home ensues)

2007 Our son is born @ 38w by scheduled c-section

2007 IVF #3 for baby #2, BFN #5

2007 IVF #4, BFP #5, miscarriage #4

2008 IVF #5, BFP #6, miscarriage #5

2008 IVF #6, BFP #7, miscarriage #6

2008 DE IVF #7, BFN #6

2009 DEFET #8, cancelled, embryos don't thaw

2010 Decide to adopt domestically

12.17.10 Profile is live with our agency

November 2011 Consult with RE re: donated embryo cycle

Early January 2012 Cleared to proceed with deFET

January 2012 Freeze our profile

1.20.12 deFET begins
2.12.12 eSET of one compacted morula
2.22.12 BFN

3.23.12 deFET #2 begins
4.14.12 transfer 3 embryos (1-8 cell, 1-5 cell, 1-4 cell)
4.22.12 + HPT
4.24.12 Beta #1 = 48.4
4.26.12 Beta #2 = 125.7
4.30.12 Beta #3 = 777.8
5.11.12 1st U/S - Singleton!
7.12.12 It's a Boy!
12.26.12 C-section: Baby G is born, 9#5oz, 20.5"

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Favorite Things

I wrote this post almost 2 years ago and thought, as my 47th <gulp> birthday approaches, that it could use some updating. I’ll only briefly mention the products from the original list that I still use. In some cases, I’ve been using these products for years, or a decade+, and, while I may have tried other products in the same category, the original is still far superior.

I stopped using some products mostly because I just no longer wanted to spend the money on them, not because they stopped working. And, I’ve taken a less is more approach to consumerism since having kids, both in terms of saving time and in terms of consuming less overall. I no longer use a serum or a neck cream and stick to one powder foundation. And, I’ve started using at-home products that allow me to extend the time between salon services. Winning!

Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Still the best at removing eye make-up without any oily residue.

Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Facial Cleanser This is new as of a few months ago to my facial cleansing routine. It cleans without stripping my face. I mix in a squirt of the below product in order to exfoliate at the same time.

Neutrogena Deep Clean Long-Last Shine Control Daily Scrub I squirt a bit of this in with the cleanser to kill two birds with one stone. The result is that I need far fewer facials and have clean, blemish free skin (most of the time).

DDF Ultra-Lite Oil-Free Moisture Dew with SPF I have used this product for years and it is still exactly what my oily-to-combination skin needs.

RoC Retinol Correction Eye Cream I searched for a long time and tried a bunch of products inthe eye cream category. I have fine lines and sometimes puffy eyes and wanted something that had a smoothing and tightening effect. I wasn’t looking for anything that pretended to be a lasting solution in a jar, just something that would get me from day to day. I found it in this product.

Also, I generally get my face waxed (brows, lip, chin (oh, yes, the joys of aging) every 4 weeks or so, but haven’t had the time to go as often. So, to extend the time between services, I now use Sally Hansen Creme Hair Remover For Face. I just started using and wonder why it’s taken me so long to get with the program. Works like a charm.

I went on a mission to improve the health of my hair both in terms of length and appearance. That required a complete overhaul of the products I was using in addition to the services I was getting. I now only get my hair cut 3-4 times/year and instead of getting near monthly permanent color and highlights, I get a semi-permanent color applied every 2 months and cover the grey at my roots in between at home. THIS has been a hair saver and my hair is now the longest it has been since the 1990s! A friend recently commented that I have Pantene hair which is high praise indeed.

My hair regimen includes:
John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Repairing Shampoo Great, lightweight, gentle shampoo, perfect for the every other day washings that I do.

John Frieda Frizz-Ease Smooth Start Repairing Conditioner I actually started with this product before buying the companion shampoo. Truth be told, I wanted an economical conditioner to mix with the below product which is too spendy to use everyday. This product alone is great, but coupled with a richer conditioner is a winning combination.

Moroccanoil Moisture Repair Conditioner This product has almost single-handedly repaired my hair. But, given the size and cost of the bottle, I couldn’t justify using it every time I washed my hair so I mix less than a quarter sized dollop with the John Frieda conditioner. It has made my hair silky soft without weighing it down, manageable, and all around more healthy (less breakage, less fly aways, no split ends between trims).

To de-tangle and straighten my hair, I use Joico K-Pak Smoothing Balm. It doesn’t take very much applied to my towel dried hair to be able to run a wide tooth comb through it and blow dry it straight. I have never been good at using a round brush so needed a product that would provide enough ingredient to straighten my hair without weighing it down when only using a paddle brush. This is it. And, it acts as daily leave-in conditioner which has also helped the health of my hair.

Clairol Root Touch-Up I have always been afraid of any at-home hair color products. I’m just not that skilled, I thought. And, how could I possibly match the salon color without looking like a skunk (or reverse skunk, as the case may be). Boy was I wrong. I inquired with my FB friends how they extend their salon color and this product was the overwhelming reply. I’ve now been using it for months. It is SO easy to match (um, can you say Dark Brown) and so easy to apply. I mean, really. It is the secret most colorists don’t want you to know. Instead of going to the salon, on average, every 5 weeks, I can now go eight weeks or more depending on how often I want to use the below product. Such a time and money saver!

To buy myself another week between colorings (usually before using the Clairol product), I use DreamLook GreyFree Instant Touch-Up Seriously? Best kept secret for touching up greys in one’s part or around the temple. Takes a bit of technique so you don’t end up with it where you don’t want it, but, really? Gosh, why didn’t I know about this sooner?!

As Wendy Williams would say, I’m a woman of a certain age and I can’t escape needing a few tricks in my home beauty supply kit to help me feel and look my best. It is especially important now that I have an infant at home and am unable and unwilling to spend much time in a salon or spa (although, I have $400 in spa gift certificates that have been accumulating since my 45th birthday and I do look forward to a professional treatment or two). But, really, how can I leave this for very long:

4 comments to Favorite Things

  • I love this post! I, too, love the Frizz-Ease products. I only shampoo every second day, and that has really helped increase the shine. I’ve been losing a ridiculous amount of hair since my last pregnancy failed however- it’s starting to freak me out!

    I’ve been looking for new skin care products- I will give yours a shot. Thanks for this!

  • Claire

    Wow! I am in awe of your beauty routine!
    I am probably in need of some serious facial advice, being someone who uses only moisturizer and deodorant, period every day, and rarely blow dry my hair. I do get blonde highlights though and they could do with some attention as they dry my hair out.
    Mostly I hate spending money on this kind of thing and have relied for way too long on my previously youthful looks and a wing and a prayer.
    By the way, you do look really really good and well put together so your techniques are obviously working – along with your natural beauty and style:)
    You could give Oprah a run for her money in the favorite things department!

  • I love Almay Oil-Free Eye Makeup Remover Pads. Best makeup remover by far.

    Cute baby bum!

  • Mel

    Can you use the touch-up in lieu of actually colouring your hair? Or does it only last for a short period of time.

    No, I still haven’t coloured my hair despite a lot of thinking about it :-)

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