empties project

Near the beginning of 2016, I noticed my friend, Julie was participating in a project empties hashtag and I wanted to know more about it. From what I understand, if one is in the beauty industry, they get a ton of samples to test out, write about and use. Because they have so much access and are constantly trying new products, it's probably rare for them to have any empties so when they do fully use a product, it's high praise. I think that many people use #projectempties or #emptiesproject, #empties were inspired by this idea and started recording (by taking Instagram photos) the samples, trials and other products they finish. I also think it gives many participants a reason to be more focused on using a product fully rather than just moving on to the next thing. And it's this focus that inspired me most to take on the challenge for myself. I'm just going to admit it. I'm a sucker for beauty products. I love a drugstore, could spend hours wandering the aisles, contemplating eye shadow shades. I'm also a lover of Bath and Body Works, and like many of its faithful consumers, I totally buy into the "new scents: must try" mentality that results in a lot of shower gels that are half full. When I undertook this project, I decided I wouldn't buy any new products until I finished the old ones. Do you know how hard that is? On an almost daily basis I delete emails from Bath and Body Works and work really hard at ignoring scents I want to try. I even refused to go into the outlet store when M and I were shopping one weekend.


As I started the challenge, I wanted to become more aware and conscious of my habits. I wanted to enjoy the products I already have access to and unless I really hate something, or it breaks me out, I'm determined to use it up. Each month I take photos of my empties to show my progress. Now, unlike some participants, I'm including products that I finish at the end of each month, not necessarily only used in that month. Some like the perfume bottle in April's empties I've been working on for years while others like wallflowers or shaving cream I might actually begin and finish in one month. So far, I've been really happy with what I've been able to make use of, but also that I don't have extra beauty goods just taking up space. I've also noticed that I have a lot of certain kinds of products, which probably means that I bought more when I couldn't find what I wanted or was out of town and needed something like hairspray. I have an insane amount of hairspray.

April empties

I'm looking forward to seeing how much I can get through this summer. The more I use, the less I have to pack. :)

hello again

Hello, it's me. I've been wondering if after all this time you'd like to.. oh, wait those are Adele lyrics.  I've spent weeks wondering what I should with this blog. I have a dozen half-written posts from the past few months, and I've missed writing here. But something just kept interrupting my time. I didn't write very much during #reverb either, which is indicative of me putting my energies elsewhere, but also of just using other spaces like Instagram to tell daily stories.

I've been blogging for over decade. That's a lot of posts, images, music, recipes shared. So much of my life is represented, reflected, explored in this space, and I didn't want to completely give it up. I started blogging around the same time I moved to the Midwest for grad school. I also began researching blogging and as the genre of blogging evolved so did my own writing style. I think that's evident if you read old posts which sometimes feel like a public journal than the more essayistic, narrative style of more recent posts. I love that I have a record of my thoughts and feelings on so many topics. I like that my individual, personal, spiritual growth is as evident as my intellectual one. I started blogging because I wanted a space to share what I was thinking, and to use what I wrote to connect to others. And when I think about all of the people who have stumbled across my writing and commented over the years, it satisfies a need in me, one that has been making its way to the surface in a variety of ways over time. I care about people, even people I've yet to meet and I hope my experiences offer insight, or at the very least help them feel less alone. That's what reading blogs has done for me, anyway.

This is a year of big changes. We're moving to South Carolina where I'm taking a new teaching position. I'm incredibly excited. I'm also a little terrified. The past four years have not been ideal, but you get used to a routine nonetheless and despite my nomadic tendencies, change is difficult even when it's really good because it's unknown. However, I am lucky because I have so many people in my life supporting, encouraging and rooting us on.

With all of the changes about to happen, and with my need to get back to writing coupled with the desire to honor all the writing that's come before in this space, I decided to refresh my blog design, and re-commit to writing here. My goal is to post something once a week, which may be photographs, small snippets and observations or longer form writing. I'll also be re-publishing some of my favorite posts that you might have missed since you probably haven't been reading my ramblings for 10 plus years.

I hope you'll stick around, follow me on various social media, and see where this next adventure takes me. I've missed you, dear readers.