Five Things Friday #253 - Erin's Inside Job

Five Things Friday #253

Happy Friday!

I'm looking forward to this weekend, despite the crummy weather we are having here in Chicago. Neil's brother arrived late last night and is here for the weekend to soak up some time with monkey, so that should be fun! I had a bit of a tough time towards the end of last week into about Wednesday of this week where I just felt off -- not full on depression, but I was slower to move, lacking emotion, and just an overall heaviness. I talked to Neil about how I was feeling and shared about it on Instagram and then just leaned into it rather than trying to deny it or force myself to feel differently. I slowly felt more like myself by yesterday, so that's a plus. It's never a fun feeling, but taking some steps towards feeling better helped me out.

That being said, I think it's normal around this time of year for a lot of us to experience similar feelings. I also learned about Blue Monday, which is claimed to be the most depressing day of the year (forgive me for citing Wikipedia 🙂 ). Coincidentally, that happened to be this past Monday, so maybe they're on to something. If any of you have been feeling similarly, know that you're not alone and these winter days can surely do a number on us. On a positive note, I've noticed that the days are getting longer which I am PUMPED about.

To celebrate the end of the week, here are some things that I have been loving. Enjoy!

*some affiliate links below

1. Uniform Teeth Consultation

Full disclosure: I'm going to be working with Uniform Teeth for the better part of a year, but including them on the blog at all wasn't part of our agreement. I'm just excited about how the consultation went this week and wanted to share it with you guys who don't follow me on Instagram.

Uniform Teeth just opened up in Chicago and they're a company revolutionizing orthodontic care through non-invasive technology, faster treatment times and expert, in-person clear aligner treatment plans. I have some spacing issues I'd like to fix, so I went in for an evaluation on Tuesday (which is always FREE).

You guys know that I love science and medical imaging (hello knee MRI), so being able to see a 360 degree scan of my teeth as well as an INCREDIBLE x-ray was really the highlight of my visit. Guys, technology is amazing. 

I never had to wear braces, but there's a likelihood of Miles needing them given our genetics, so I also wanted to learn more about the process for his sake. I think the advances in orthodontics have come a long way and it's amazing to think that should he need them, he could go with these clear aligners rather than the metal option I think we are all familiar with. If you're interested, I can share more about the process and I will be getting my trays in about 4-6 weeks.

2. Chocolate Raspberry RXBAR

RXBAR recently sent me their new chocolate raspberry flavor and it's pretty good! I used to be a huge fan of the bars, but I think I overdid it and now only a couple flavors really do it for me and sometimes I find the consistency can be a little variable. That being said, I did like this flavor which I thought was only online, but a couple people pointed out that they also found them at Whole Foods, so if you like this combo check it out!

    3. The Dinner Spark

    My friend Lindsay who blogs over at The Lean Green Bean recently launched an extensive e-book called The Dinner Spark which I bought immediately. She is an amazing mother of three who always has tons of helpful ideas and I can't recommend her enough. Here's a quick look at what's inside and you'll also get three months of weekly emails with more goodies.

  • 200+ meal ideas by category – A clickable PDF with recipe ideas broken down into categories like beef, chicken, soups, vegetarian etc.
  • 50 Ideas for Component Food Prep – I share my top 10 weekend food prep items like shredded chicken, rice, beans etc and give you 5 ways to use each prepped item.
  • 20+ No Recipe Meal Ideas – A list of all the meals I keep in my back pocket for weeks when I’m too busy to food prep or feel like I don’t have anything left to eat. They’re simple, flexible and delicious.
  • Ideas to put a spin on some of your family’s favorite meals – If your family likes tacos, pizza, spaghetti etc and eats them every week, this will give you some easy ways to put a spin on staple recipes so you don’t get tired of family favorites!
  • 10+ Sauce ideas to jazz up your favorite protein – Sauces are the easiest way to make a boring meal more exciting.
  • I think it's only at this discounted rate until today, so if you or your family need some help with dinner ideas, I would definitely recommend you grab it!

4. Isle of Paradise Self Tanning Drops

Ok, the next two on this list have been shared about before, but I've rediscovered them this week. I've been putting one drop of these self tanning drops into my moisturizer each day and I feel like it's made a big difference in my skin tone. Usually during the winter I look half dead, but I've noticed that my face looks warmer and healthier after using these.

I make sure not to use too much because a) it's winter and b) if I accidentally get in in my hair line you can tell, but one drop has made a very subtle change that I really like. There's also three different strengths (light, medium, and dark) and I have the medium.  

5. Acne Patches

These have such a terrible name but they're really helpful in drawing out any kind of gunk when put over breakouts (more superficial ones, not deep cystic acne). What I've actually been using them for lately, though, is to prevent any more picking of my skin.

I've had skin picking issues for decades as I've shared about on Instagram and I used to put band-aids over my face when I went to bed in high school to try and prevent it and help them heal faster. My face has been pretty free of breakouts for awhile, but I continue to pick at my shoulders and back. I had these patches sitting around and decided to put some on the areas where I pick and it's helped tremendously because as I absentmindedly run my hands over my skin, I feel one of these and it helps me consciously think about picking or not. I don't want to pull them off, so I pretty much leave them alone. They're also great because they're clear so you can't really see that you are wearing them.

While they primarily act as a barrier between me and my picking, I've also noticed that on some, they seem to help the skin heal faster as well. I definitely recommend if you have picking issues like I do!

That's all for this week friends! I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

1 comment on “Five Things Friday #253

  1. Happy Friday, Erin! Reading your post, I kinda want to get braces again – I had them for nearly two years when I was in high school (my teeth were really messed up as a kid!) and now they’ve kinda shifted back slightly, despite me wearing my retainers every night! ❤️✨

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
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