Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Is It a Middle-Aged Thing?

As of my last birthday, I am officially counting myself as middle-aged. Granted, I am at the very bottom end of that spectrum, and other people might not put me in the middle yet, but I am not in my twenties or my early thirties anymore. And it feels good. I have no dismay over my age (other than my baby turning 4 yesterday!) and in some ways it feel nice to consider myself a full-fledged grown up now. Dad, if you're reading this, I still reserve the right to borrow money at some point in the future. You're still my father.

One of the things I have never done in my life is see a dermatologist. I know lots of teenagers go to one for the standard teenage acne stuff, but I just saw my pediatrician or GP for all of that. And as I age I am more concerned about wrinkles and skin cancer than acne. But not exclusively.

So I made my appointment, waited in the waiting room for AN HOUR, and finally had my turn to be examined. And in the end, I kind of felt like I had wasted my time and money. Here's what I came away with:

  • I need to wash my face morning and night. Duh. I knew that (but still don't do it).
  • Wear sunscreen. Um, yes, especially in Arizona. I did find out my daily 15 spf should be higher.
  • Use good lotion/moisturizer EVERY time after you wash your hands. Apparently it's worth the effort and the excema problems on my fingers (under my rings) will probably be fixed by this.

And that's it. I found out that so much of what we fight is genetic & unless you want to drop money on cosmetic work (I might) then there's not much you can do about it. But I am hoping to do better at the above three things - wish me luck - and I think the most important thing I did was get an entire body inspection for skin cancer.  Which is a bit embarassing/uncomfortable but so important. That was worth the money by itself. Have you ever done this? I hear stories of people getting skin cancer in strange places and not noticing and I wanted a good baseline to start judging by. So I guess I will plan to get checked regularly now that I am middle-aged. Maybe every 3-4 years? What do you think? Do any of you go regularly? How often? Or are all my five remaining readers still in their twenties? You babies!

Also, what are your favorite products for face wash, daily moisturizer (with high spf), hand lotion, and eye cream? My dermatologist recommends Neutrogena.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2011 Books in Review

I read 68 books in 2011. That seems like a lot to me, averaging over one a week. Yet I still feel like my time would be better served reading more books and less blogs - and definitely watching less television. I review every book that I read on Goodreads, so check out my reviews for recommendations. But here are the best books I read last year.
Favorite 5 stars:

Sapphique (#2 Incarceron series), by Catherine Fisher
The One Hundred, by Nina Garcia
The Knife of Never Letting Go, by Patrick Ness - I gave the entire Chaos Walking Trilogy high marks
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton

Noteable 4 stars:

Dancing in my Nuddypants & Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, by Louise Rennison (hilarious series)
Mini-Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella (another light comedy)
My Life in France, by Julia Child
Daddy Long Legs, by Jean Webster (I bought this!)
Maisie Dobbs, by Jacqueline Winspear
Bloody Jack, by L.A. Meyer

My list for 2012:
The Book of Mormon (I will re-read this as my church studies it for Sunday School this year)
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (how have I never read this!?!)
finish Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte - another I have missed over the years but am 70% through
The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
I Am the Messenger, by Marcus Zusak
The House at Riverton, by Kate Morton

I actually have 184 books on my To-Read list, but those are the ones I really want to get to in 2012.

Tara's bookshelf: read

Naughty in Nice
The Apothecary's Daughter
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Falling Together
Martha Stewart's Handmade Holiday Crafts: 175 Projects and Year-Round Inspiration for Everybody's Favorite Celebrations
The Distant Hours
Birds of a Feather
The Persian Pickle Club
The Mouse and the Motorcycle
Cold Sassy Tree
Along Came a Spider
One Day
The Red Pyramid
Dear Enemy
Ten-Gallon Bart and the Wild West Show
The Great Doughnut Parade
Glory in Death
Les Misérables
Charlotte's Web
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Tara Carpenter's favorite books »