How safe is your makeup bag?

Melissa Jenna Godsey Beauty CounterSo if you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’ve had a love/hate relationship with skin care and makeup for years. You’ve seen me go through my product-whore phase (back when I was hosting at iFixit), then I went through my no. makeup. EVER. phase (because I was ashamed of my troublesome skin, and I was skeeved out by the ingredients), and now we enter a third (and I think final) phase: the “holy grail” phase. It’s like this: I’ve found Beautycounter, and I love it, and it loves me. (We’re in love, you see.)

If you love the play factor of makeup, but don’t want to slather untested grossness on your face, you’re in a bit if a bind here in the USA (the United States hasn’t passed a law regulating the cosmetics industry since 1938). And if you have difficult skin, you’re probably using a lot of different products to cover it up, and you don’t have skin that you’re proud to walk around barefaced in. I was both of those.

But then an angel appeared to me in a dream and shared Beautycounter with me, and I swooned, and now here I am with peachy keen skin, and a makeup collection I’d feel comfortable sharing with my daughter. (Actually the angel is my friend Susan, and she appeared to me at barre, but whatever, that’s not the point.)

Here’s the point: Beautycounter’s has a list they call the “Never List,” which is full of the untested stuff I didn’t want to put on my skin. They’re committed to putting clean personal care products in everyone’s hands, and I just love that. It makes my heart sing. You CAN have awesome, high-perfoming makeup/skin care/sunscreen without the sketchiness. And it. is. AWESOME.

So here’s what I suggest: replace one thing at a time. Next time you run out of cleanser, swap it for something clean. If you’re feeling iffy, I have a complete set of the skincare line that I will happily give you to try for a few days (if you’re local). Same goes for the makeup. My collection is your collection.

I would love love love to chat with any of you about how you can clean up your skin care routine, create a safe makeup collection, and perhaps even start a little Beautycounter shop of your own. Direct sales companies usually make me very uncomfortable, but what can I say? I love my new skin, and how could I not want to share that with people I love? If you’re interested in trying any products, playing with the makeup, or learning more about how you could be making safer choices in this realm, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let me know! You can reach me here in the comments, or via email at melissagbeautycounter -at- gmail -dot- com.

And if you feel like learning what makes Beautycounter wonderful and different, click through to read more about their mission and their products.

The Ugly Side of Grit (and the Virtue of Leaving)

To my detriment, I’ve never been a quitter. In all things there is an end, but for most of my life I’ve rejected/ignored/pushed way past those natural endings. I fundamentally don’t believe in giving up, and while this sounds like a virtue, those of you who have carried the weight of a dead project/relationship/responsibility on your back know just how self-destructive a belief it can be. It’s stubborn, and simultaneously disrespectful and self-righteous. It says “I don’t need anybody or anything to make this happen. I can carry this relationship/project/responsibility on my own,” which—while possible for a time—is no way to live your entire life. (There are better uses for one’s time and talent than slogging through an unworthy situation.)

Primarily my attitude has to do with how I self-identify as someone of exceptional grit and determination. I grew up in very rough circumstances, so my whole life I’ve known myself as an uncrushable force, an overcomer. I’m grateful for that identity as it got me through a couple of challenging decades, but somehow, even though my life is entirely safe and healthy now, I hadn’t shed that primary identity as bulldozer of adversity, and what used to be my saving grace slowly became the single biggest drain on my life.

This is a recent realization for me. It came to a head a couple of months ago, when I found myself in a situation at work that summoned my grit/determination response, except this time I had an epiphany: just because you can make it through a circumstance doesn’t mean you should, and you certainly aren’t obligated to do so. Not every circumstance is worth the expense of resources and energy it takes to make it through the other side. (It helps me to think in terms of value exchange.) I had to ask myself “am I getting enough value from this experience to make toughing it out worth it?”

And for the first time in my life, I chose to respect myself enough to do the healthy thing and remove myself from the situation, rather than grit my teeth and bear it, and oh my gosh was it uncomfortable…at first. Like I said, I fundamentally believe in never giving up, but now in my ripe old 31 years I’m beginning to see the shades of grey between the healthy assertion of grit, and the cowardice of bring ruled by one’s own self-righteousness.

So 40 days ago I chose to swallow my self-righteousness and honor my time and talent by resigning. It was one of the most uncomfortable circumstances of my adult life, and I am so grateful for having gone through it. I won’t go into the details, but I want to take a moment to recognize some of the good the came out of the ugliness:

  • I had the opportunity to grow an already beautiful friendship with a coworker. She’s a light in our world, and during this time of stress she came right by my side and supported me. I don’t have a sister, and for all intents and purposes I don’t have a mother, but this woman shows me what a sister and mother can look like in my life. She’s a beautiful human. When I read that we’re made in God’s image, I think of people like her.
  • I had the opportunity to know what it means to need fellowship with God. I was so messed up about this situation you guys. I don’t like to dwell on the negative, so I tend to understate it, but believe me when I say that I was a wreck. I wasn’t sleeping, I couldn’t eat, I had an ulcer. It was eating me up from the inside. And you know what’s awesome? I got to experience firsthand that if you cry out to God in your need, and in your fear, and in your pain, he will meet you with a more than matching portion of his strength and mercy and grace and sweet relief. You can trust him.
  • It made for an amazingly seamless transition to me running our home business (which I haven’t told you about yet). More on that another day.
  • I have bandwidth that I never would have carved out for myself. In my first week off I built a raised garden bed, and now we have a bountiful vegetable garden! And I’m reading for pleasure, simplifying/organizing our home, cooking six meals a week…I can’t even believe this is my life.
  • We can keep Ellie at her amazing school! (Ellie goes to a hybrid classical homeschool. She spends three days a week at SLOCA, and two days homeschooling with me. It’s THE BEST!)
  • Our marriage is the best it’s ever been. I’m so stinking in love. We’re disgusting, y’all.
  • I grew. Thank God, I grew. I’m a nasty combination of stubborn and self-righteous, but I’m changing.

There’s a ton more, and a ton more to the story, but for now that’s that. I’m officially a work-at-home, classical homeschooling mom. Can you believe it? (My 21 year old self thinks I’m THE WORST, hahaha.) You’ll be seeing me around these parts more often beginning next week, which is exciting. I have some changes I want to make around here, and I’m looking forward to talking them through with y’all.

50 Shades of Cultural Confusion

50 Shades Melissa Jenna GodseyBefore I go any further, it’s worth mentioning that I’ve been criticizing 50 Shade of Grey since before it was cool. Given the recent release of the film adaptation, several of you have suggested to me that I repost that original post, and I would, but the fact is that I’m not a huge fan of my tone. You can read it, but hear that I’m sorry for my tone.

So this time, I’m less interested in whether or not Christian women should consume 50 Shades (we ought not to), and more interested in this question:

In a culture that is increasingly sensitive to sexual violence, while also championing female sexual empowerment, shouldn’t the very story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele be offensive?

If you’re not yet familiar, 50 Shades is about two characters: Christian Grey, an self-professed sexual dominant who maintains a room in his home devoted to BDSM practices, and Anastasia Steele, a naively innocent young women; literally a virgin. That’s all you really need to know to make sense of the rest of this post.

When I survey our cultural landscape, here’s what I see:

  • A society that has elevated female sexual “empowerment” as a value, placing it above the development of actual personal character
  • A society that has effectively disconnected the sexual act from its emotional and spiritual ramifications
  • A society that increasingly misunderstands masculinity, and attempts (actively or passively)–even from boyhood–to feminize men

Could the popular reception of 50 Shades be a (misguided) reaction to America’s sexual climate, and our unadressed issues with masculinity?

I struggle with how to explain the popular reception of 50 Shades in a culture that at once proclaims “Men: It’s On Us,” and also venerates the Beyoncés of the world. Why would women lust for a sexually violent man (Christian Grey), and place themselves in the role of the naive, innocent virgin (Anastasia Steele)? It just doesn’t make sense.

Most of you will not like where I’m going with this, and trust me, intellectually, I understand where you’re coming from. (For starters, you probably don’t agree with the three premises I’ve outlined above.) I think you’re wrong, and you can think I’m wrong, and that’s okay. Just be decent and respectful in the comments, is all I ask.

Is it possible that enough women yearn for their sexual innocence, that they align themselves with Anastasia Steele? That they–even subconsciously–feel like they’ve been sold a bill of goods?

Is it possible that women long to be in a relationship with a “powerful” man, and that Christian Grey is just a warped caricature of our idea of masculinity?

Could the success of 50 Shades be directly aligned with the fact that deep down we sense that something is wrong with the way our culture treats sexuality? Could E.L James’ work be a ham-fisted response to what’s wrong with our perception of masculinity, as it relates to female sexuality?

If you know me personally, you know that I don’t have any answers. There are a few books I’ve read that have helped me identify what I’m observing around me; one of them is John Eldredge’s Wild at Heart. Another is Dannah Gresh’s What are You Waiting For? Both of those books are written by believers, and neither are perfect, but I found them really helpful, and maybe you will too.

What do you think? Any resources you’ve found particularly helpful? Do you think I’m way off base? I always welcome respectful discussion.

The Lesson I Keep on Learning

all of the things melissajenna

You can’t do all of the things, all of the time. It’s simple, but it’s so so hard for me to remember.

Typically, I’m a fast learner, but with this lesson, it’s like I’m stuck in a repetitive loop. The majority of it has to do with the fact that I have not yet made peace with my newish reality. I’ve been living this life of working parenthood for about a year and a half now,  and I just can’t get down with the idea that I’m going to have to let some things go. I still feel like there’s a trick I’m not aware of. As if someday I’ll read a post about “5 things working parents can do optimize their efficiency,” and BOOM. The problem will be solved.

But my brain knows it doesn’t work like that. My brain has a firm understanding of timelines, and workloads, and resource availability…but my heart? My heart has not let go, and I’m not sure that it will.

I was wondering to myself how the writers I admire do it. How do they work full-time(+), remain engaged with their spouse and children, give to their community, maintain their spiritual and physical health, AND maintain their awesome blog and social presence? It was a mystery to me. Until I realized that they don’t.

Of all the writers I read and admire, none of them do what I just described. Some of them are stay-at-home parents, but for many of them, their writing is their job. Many of them even have assistants! People to answer their emails, manage their social, and do their design. There isn’t a single prominent blogger in my world whose full-time job isn’t related to their blog. In a way, that’s comforting. But also, it’s another reminder that you can’t do all of the things, all of the time.

Somehow, that’s a relief.

So that’s where I’m at, and where I’ve been since I went back to work full-time. What I long for is alignment between my brain and my heart. That I can have peace in the circumstance, and enough grace for myself to take me from day to day.

And it would be pretty tone-deaf of me to not openly acknowledge and celebrate that I live an amazing life, full of love, and inspiring people, and beautiful experiences. I’m endlessly grateful. I have more than I deserve, or would ever have dreamed to ask for. My angst has nothing to do with my beautiful life, but everything to do with my heaven-high expectations for myself (which, strangely, I never asked for).

 

Young Men, Sex, and Urge Ownership (And Why It’s Not The Girl’s Problem)

melissajenna:

Loved this quote “Sometimes, doing what’s right toward someone, even needs to transcend their attitude about themselves. If a girl you know shows too much, advertises too much, and offers too much, it doesn’t mean you can take too much, because it’s about the value you assign to her, and to yourself.”

Originally posted on john pavlovitz:

GuysWatchingGirls
Young men, I need to tell you something; something that maybe your fathers, or your coaches, or your uncles, or your buddies never told you, but something that you really need to hear.

Your sex drive? It’s your problem.

I know you’ve been led to believe that it’s the girl’s fault; the way she dresses, the shape of her body, her flirtatious nature, her mixed messages.

I know you’ve grown-up reading and hearing that since guys are really “visual”, that the ladies need to manage all of that by covering-up and keeping it hidden; that they need to drive this whole physical relationship deal, because we’re not capable.

That’s a load of crap.

You and me, we are visual.
We do love the shape of women’s bodies.
We are tempted and aroused by their physicality.

And all of that, is on us, not on them.

You see, we actually live…

View original 468 more words

Dove Recognizes that Fathers are Not Inept, Mouth-Breathing, Man-Children

Join me in having a cleansing, happy-cry at your desk, won’t you?

This is such a beautiful advertisement. I don’t know about you, but as a wife, and mother, and human being, I am sick to death of seeing dads (and men in general) portrayed as inept, mouth-breathing, man-children in media. The ad above? That’s more like it. And it’s sad that it should stand out so much, don’t you think?

Is it possible that maybe (just maybe) our culture is ready to acknowledge fathers as true partners in parenthood, and not inept babysitters of their own children? Gosh, I hope so. It’s about time. Round of applause to Dove for once again pushing advertising in a more positive, healthy direction!

Don’t Call it a Comeback

No, seriously. Don’t.

I’m out of practice, and who knows what kind of garbage I’ll write before this gets any good again. But that’s the thing about consistency, isn’t it? Getting the ball rolling? HARD. Keeping the ball rolling? A little less hard. (You’ll know this is true if you’ve ever fallen out of your workout routine, and then tried starting up again. It’s not pretty, folks, let me tell you.)

But guess what? Somehow between a very demanding job (lots of travel), being a wife, mother, and keeper of a home, going to board and committee meetings, and recently moving into a new apartment, I’ve managed to make time for spin class, and barre class on a regular basis. And if feels so good. So why not write some more?

The honest answer to that question: I don’t want to do this if I can’t absolutely crush it. I love this; this is my thing. And there’s this somewhat pathetic, petulant part of me that wants to pick up my ball and go home because I can’t do this my way, on my timeline. Because the present season of my life doesn’t have room for this.

Some things (cooking, gardening, sewing) I’m okay dabbling in. The skill I’ve developed in those areas, though I’m a dilettante, brings me pleasure, and enhances my life. But not this. It hurts to dabble in writing. Literally, deep in my chest, there’s a pain when I consider how much I miss being in practice. It’s similar to the pain I felt the one time I was truly heartbroken, and gosh, does that make me a crazy person?

The reality is that I won’t be able to practice here as much as I used to, or with as much dedication, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t try. Even though it hurts to do this halfway, I can’t not do it, because I’ve tried that, and that feels worse. This is where I need to be, even if it hurts.

So, no. This is not a comeback. I will not be bringing the fierceness. But I will keep at it, even though (in this present season) I can’t reallocate the time I would need to really crush this thing.

So please bear with me as I do my best to remain in practice, and I hope you still feel comfortable enough around me that you’ll tell me what you think, good or bad.

Thanks for hanging in there, and motivating me to get the ball rolling again. Tip of the hat to Toni Hammer for saying some kind (but challenging) words to me that really got me thinking. It was the nudge I needed to swallow my pride, and get back to work.

LoserKids

When I was in high school, I had this friend Maria (who I often called Mimi, or Meems). Maria is Korean (“Maria from Korea”), and is one of the few Korean females I know whose name isn’t an old-timey American name (shout-out to my friends Eunice, Esther and Hazel!).

Meems and I were friends from the start, which is unusual for me (and for her also, as I would later learn). I have a vivid (and sometimes wild) imagination, but it’s almost always kept tightly under wraps, not on purpose, but because it takes a special kinship to share and enjoy that kind of thing, which is a shame, because it’s really so much fun.

Effortlessly, Maria and I would riff on situations, creating entire characters,  experiences and scenes out of thin air. She’d observe the same details in people and circumstances that I did, and without even exchanging words, we would laugh about it until our faces hurt. With Maria, I felt like I was my truest self. Unfiltered, totally open, and always understood.

We had a special name for ourselves, which we felt perfectly explained our marginalized yet massive existence. We were “LoserKids,” and our weirdness, brokenness, and resourcefulness made us exceptional.

Maria grew up in the Bronx (and was forever telling me how great it was, but would hit me when I called it “the block”), and I grew up across Southern Orange County (sometimes living with my grandmother, homeless for a little while, but eventually settling into a Mexican project across the street from where rich people kept their horses).

Maria’s family was very hard on her. I never got the details, because she’s Korean, and I  knew not to ask. My own family was a mess. I never knew my dad, and the men my mom brought around were abusers, drug addicts, or misogynists. Maria and I were intimately familiar with brokenness from a young age, and though we never acknowledged it outright, I believe that’s one of the causes for our immediate and unquestioning friendship. Amidst all the darkness in our lives, we offered lightness to each other. I feel like Maria and I laughed so much together because until we met, we really hadn’t laughed at all.

What strikes me as interesting nowadays, is how totally at home I felt with her, and how much our friendship taught me about belonging. Neither of us had the advantages that many kids do (a stable family, reliable meals, etc.), and I think subconsciously, other kids understood that, and it scared them, so they shunned us, and all our lives, Maria and I were outcasts. But throughout that time of disconnection and loneliness, each of us learned how to bury ourselves inside our imaginations, and protect ourselves with a thick layer of curiosity that kept each of us too busy reading and learning to notice how miserable we actually were. And when our paths finally crossed, words didn’t have to be exchanged. I accepted her, and she accepted me, and it was like all of our hidden greatness was given permission to reveal itself.

Maria is the only LoserKid I would meet in high school, but in the 12 years that have passed since then, I’ve met several others, and here’s something I’ve noticed: LoserKids get stuff done. LoserKids are innovative, and hilarious, and sensitive, and above all things, they’re brave. They’re used to being the weirdos, so they’re not afraid to stand up and speak against injustice. Their disadvantages growing up turned into their super powers as adults. LoserKids set the bar high, and they achieve, and when they’re done, they celebrate, and laugh, and prepare to do it all over again. LoserKids know how to work. Hard.

So here’s to my friend Meems, who I haven’t seen or heard from since high school. I miss you, and I hope our paths cross again someday. Your friendship not only kept me afloat during some of the more difficult years of my life, but taught me that there’s a tribe for everyone, and not to shun my “otherness” in favor of pretending I’m something that I’m not. LoserKids are for life. <3

On Rock Hunting, and People-Tumbling

Rocks I collected south of San Simeon

Rocks I collected south of San Simeon

Lately, I really suck at having hobbies. Gardening has been reduced to sometimes remembering to water my succulents; writing has been reduced to tweeting on an (almost) daily basis, and cooking? Well. I made some instant oatmeal this morning. Let me say this, in no uncertain terms: having a full time job, and a family, is hard. (Duh.) So, that’s basically what’s kept me away from here lately. (There’s more I’d like to say about that, but it’ll have to wait for another time.)

The one hobby that I can stick to, with my demanding schedule, is rock hunting. (Bonafide dork status, right there.) I’ve been into rocks since I was a kid, and last year, for my 29th birthday, my husband bought me my very first rock tumbler (because he is a dear). So I’ve been collecting rocks, and tumbling them, for the past few months, and every time I’m doing something rock-related, I think of you guys. Rock hunting (and tumbling) takes time, and I’ve come to realize there’s a few reasons I enjoy it as much as I do, and I’ve been wanting to share them with you all for a while.

Here are the real basic-basics about rock hunting.

The best place to find rocks, in my area of California, is at the beach. Specifically, just south of San Simeon, where the creek dumps into the ocean. You want to go there after a good storm (which we don’t get often), and at low-tide, for the best pickings. So step number one in rock hunting, for me, is head to the beach. Once you get there, you survey the landscape for the most promising-looking piles, then set yourself down, and…well…just start looking for the good stuff. With all the sights and smells of the ocean, and the warm sun on your back, you could easily spend a few hours, looking for the best specimens.

If you’re new to rock hunting, here’s how you tell which rocks will polish-up nicely: get them wet. If you don’t have a bucket of water handy, you can just use your own spit. Don’t worry about how silly you look, because, hello, you’re sitting on the ground, playing in rocks. You already look pretty silly.

Once you’re satisfied with the amount of rocks you’ve collected (hint: you’ll never be satisfied with the amount of rocks you’ve collected), it’s time to go home and get them into the tumbler, along with the coarsest grit you have. Over the next few weeks, you’ll continue changing out the grit, until eventually your rocks are polished up to a glossy shine. What you do with them after that, I’m not so sure. I mean, that’s not really the point. Not for me, anyway.

Now let me tell you why I actually enjoy rock hunting.

There’s something exciting about looking at a shore covered in dusty (some would say ugly) beach rocks, and knowing that buried amongst them are agates, and jaspers, and moonstones, and quartz. Precious stones that, after a little TLC, will shine with an effortless beauty reserved for nature’s pure creations. But what moves me even more is that even the plain rocks are beautiful, once they’ve had their dust and rough edges worn away.

It’s hard to collect rocks, and tumble them, and not think of the people who’ve “tumbled” me over the years. And not think of the people I’m “tumbling”/will “tumble.”

It feels good to be chosen, doesn’t it? For someone to see the value in you, underneath the grime and the rough edges, and think to themselves “this one. This one could really shine, with a little help.” And it feels good to be the one doing the choosing. To have the vision to see the beauty and opportunity and potential in someone, and to continue to invest in them with no alternative motive, other than to leave that person better off than they were when you first met them.

Now let me tell you what we’re going to do about this.

I’m asking you to do a few things. First, take a moment to identify someone (or a few people) who have “tumbled” you over the years. Do your best to remember some specifics about that experience. Then reflect on how grateful you are to have had their influence in your life. Next, if you’re able, reach out to that person, and say thank you, in whatever way you can muster up. Sometimes this can be hard, but it’ll mean a whole lot to them, so take the time and do it right. Lastly, take a moment to identify someone in your life that you could use your influence, and commit to doing something to act on that. Could be just taking them out for coffee and asking them how they’ve been. That’s always a good start.

I would be nowhere if people in my past hadn’t taken the time to see something inside me worth surfacing, and gently assert themselves in bringing that change about. It’s my hope that by reflecting on the people who have influenced your life, you walk away with a renewed sense of gratitude, and perhaps a new desire to invest in others, the way you have been invested in.

Whaddaya think? Is it a worthy exercise?

xoxo, mj

3 Secrets to Squashing Vacation-Envy

Image Credit: Melissa Godsey

Image Credit: Melissa Godsey

(I’m delighted to be guest-posting over on ShareSLO.com today! This is just an excerpt, so make sure you click over and get my 3 Secrets to Squashing Vacation-Envy.)

I can tell it’s really summer when celebrity vacation photos are splashed all over the covers of magazines at the grocery store. While waiting in the checkout line, you see pictures of Rachel Bilson skipping along a beach in Barbados, Heidi Klum in Hawaii, and Jessica Alba in St. Barts, each of them tan, smiling, and glowing with a radiance that only comes from a jaunt to a far-flung locale. But before you’re overcome with vacation-envy, I have a trick that just might put some glow back in those office-weary cheeks of yours. I call it “Vacation Living,” and it’s my number one weapon in combating the 9-to-5 blues.

The idea behind Vacation Living is pretty simple: put your tourist glasses on, and rediscover your hometown. Approach your free time with the same gusto you have when you’re on vacation.

For most of us, the simple act of being on vacation brings out our adventurous side. With some distance between yourself and your routine, you’re suddenly tasting new foods, seeking out new experiences, and sometimes even trying your hand at a new language. There’s something about being away from home that gives us fresh eyes for the world around us. How would your quality of life improve if you had the same adventurous spirit at home that you do when you’re away?

Routine is the enemy of Vacation Living, so to help you expand your horizons, I’ll share a few challenges I’ve given myself, to help push you out of your bubble, and into your new Vacation Life. Click on over to read the remainder!

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Let’s be friends!

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Thriving Through Transition

I’m the type of person who is most comfortable when following a routine. But I also know that I grow the most when I’m not comfortable. For me, discomfort is a catalyst for growth. My heart wants consistency, and finds security it knowing what comes next, but my head needs variety, ambiguity, and unexpected challenges in order to level-up, leadership wise. Learning to intentionally put myself outside of my comfort-zone, to embrace risk, and to value potential for growth over comfort, has been one of the great lessons of my late-20s.

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Motherhood has a way of teaching you how to thrive through transition. Pre-motherhood MJ was on a conquest for peace, routine, and balance. Mom-MJ has since recognized the value in finding the peace within times of uncertainty, transition, and discomfort. It’s all very zen, I suppose.

This is all to say that transitioning back to working full-time has been quite the time of growth for me. (In case you’re wondering if it’s as a hard as they say, transitioning from stay-at-home/work-at-home parent, to 9-5 working parent, let me just tell you: yes. Yes, it is.) Elle, on the other hand, has never been better. She loves all the time she gets to spend with her Nana, and is just as much the little angel as she always has been. I think it’s hilarious how differently Elle and I react to my being away from home.

Lest any of this is taken as complaining, I suppose I need to say: I’m over-the-moon about my new job, and I’m delighted with how easily Elle has transitioned. Life is good, all around. Am I a little heartbroken, watching my little love grow more and more independent every day? Of course. But at the same time, I’m just so proud of her. One thing is clear: I’m the one with separation anxiety, not the child.

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It’s beautiful, the way motherhood simultaneously softens your heart like an overripe piece of fruit, yet at the same time thickens your skin, and toughens you up, and increases your strength. I’m the toughest and the softest I’ve ever been, all at the same time. And it’s a great–albeit uncomfortable–feeling.

mj

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Let’s be friends!

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Monday is My First Day at My New Job

Rosetta’s brand-spankin’-new West Coast HQ. Ain’t she a beaut? Click HERE for more images.

I’m very excited to announce that Monday will be my first day in my new role as Talent Brand Ambassador at Rosetta! I’m honored (and humbled) to be welcomed onto such a talented and innovative team, and I can’t wait to get started. (You can get acquainted with Rosetta at rosetta.com , and of course, I’ll do my best to answer whatever questions you have.)

But of course to begin this new chapter, the previous one must come to a close. When I started at iFixit, the video department did not exist, and “MJ” was concept in my imagination. I’m so proud of the work we’ve done over the past few years, and I’m confident the video department will thrive with the fresh perspective and energy of a new host. (But I’m not going to spill the beans on who that person is, so you’ll just have to wait and see.) :)

To those of you who came to know me during my time at iFixit: it’s been such a pleasure creating content for your guys, and interacting with you on a daily basis. Thank you so much for your support! I hope you’ll continue to follow the channel, and welcome the new face of iFixit with enthusiasm. And, of course, you’re invited to continue following me on my journey. I’ll be *very* sad if I have no one to nerd-out with over the iFixit teardowns. :(

Thanks again for your continued support, especially those of you who’ve been with me since *before* iFixit, back in the days of YouTube’s infancy, and the advent of “web personalities.” Pretty remarkable how much things have changed since then, huh?

Onto new beginnings!

TL;DR? I have a new job that I’m stoked about. Leaving iFixit is bittersweet. I love you guys. ♥

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Learn to Love Your Naturally Wavy Hair! Episode 3: The Right Towel & Drying “Technique”

Is your towel causing your hair to be untamable? In this video I cover why you should avoid drying your hair with a big fluffy towel, and what you should use instead.

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How To: Pin to Pinterest From Safari on an iOS Device

Pin From Safari to Pinterest in iOS

If you use Pinterest on an iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch, you most likely already know how to re-pin things within the Pinterest app. But what if you want to pin something from the Safari app? Like, you’re looking at a great DIY on someone’s blog, and you want to pin it, but you don’t want to have to remember to do it when you get back to your computer. Did you know you CAN pin, straight from the Safari app on your iOS device? It takes several (easy) steps to set it up, but once it’s done, you never have to do it again. So, here we go. Here’s how to pin stuff to Pinterest from Safari on your iOS device.

(N.B. There are two ways to do this. I’m showing you a somewhat longer way, because I don’t want to assume anyone has bookmark-syncing set up. Also, if you’re familiar with the Pinterest bookmarklet that you can install in your desktop’s browser, this is just like that.)

First of all, launch the Pinterest app on your iPhone/iPad, go to your profile, and tap on the little gear in the upper-left corner.

Tap on the gear

Next, tap on “Pinterest help.”

3Then tap on “mobile and tablet help.”

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Tap on “iOS iPad, iPhone.”

5Next, tap on “How to install the Pin It button on an iPhone or iPad.”

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Then scroll to the bottom of that page, and copy the bit of code that appears in the box. (To copy, tap and hold on the text, then adjust the starting and ending points to include all of the code, then tap on “copy.”

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Now close the Pinterest app, launch the Safari app, and tap on the arrow button at the bottom of the screen.

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A little box will pop up, and you’ll tap on the “bookmark” button.

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Change whatever text appears as the name of the bookmark to “Pin It!” and tap on “save.” (Ignore the fact the the URL doesn’t match. We’re going to edit that soon. Also, make sure that the third box reads “Bookmarks” like mine. If it doesn’t, just tap on it, and choose “Bookmarks” from the list that pops up.)

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After you’ve tapped “save,” it will take you back to the page you were on when you started. This time, tap on the bookmark button.

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Now we’re going to do two things. We’re going to move our “Pin It!” bookmark to the very top of the bookmarks list, then we’re going to paste the code that we copied into the URL box. First thing’s first: let’s move “Pin It!” to the top of the list, that way it’s easy to access when you need it. To do that, tap on “edit” in the lower-left corner. Then, tap and hold on the three little lines to the very right of your “Pin It!” bookmark, and drag it up as high as it will go in your list of bookmarks. It might not go to the very top, and that’s okay.

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Now that our bookmark is in a convenient location, tap on the “Pin It!” text, and replace whatever URL is in the URL box with the code you copied earlier. To do that, make sure everything in the URL box is deleted, then tap and hold in the empty space. When “paste” pops up tap it, then tap “done” in the bottom-right corner.

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Now we’re basically done. Just tap “done” in the lower-left corner, and we can test out our “Pin It!” button.

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Navigate to something in Safari that you’d like to pin, or just pin something random to test out your button. When you’ve found the thing you’d like to pin, tap the bookmark button on the bottom of your screen, then tap the “Pin It!” button we created. (At this point, Pinterest might prompt you to login if you’re not already. This should be the only time you have to do that.)

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If there are multiple pinnable-images on the page, you’ll see them  here. Tap on the one you want to pin. (Mine only has one image, so that’s pretty easy.)

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Now choose your board, write a description, and pin it, just the way you would if you were using the Pinterest bookmarklet in your desktop browser. Done!

I know I broke it down in to MANY steps, but I didn’t want to lose anyone. Hope this helps you out, and if it does, please do share! Happy pinning!

mj

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Let’s be friends!

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Color Crush! L’Oréal’s “Magic” BB Cream

In which I share my latest drugstore makeup find: L’Oréal’s “Magic” BB Cream. It automagically matches itself to your skin tone, and looks matte and lovely all the live-long day. And it’s a freaking steal at $7. If there’s anything you can recommend, or are thinking about trying, let me know!

Oh, and go read Natalie’s blog and go “awwww!” at her adorable son: http://natthefatrat.com

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Let’s be friends!

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