Tag Archives: The Lunchbox Diaries

Simone France: Update


Blends, it is truly a treat that I am here with you in the middle of the week — even if it is 9:30 on Wednesday night. These days, while blogging is always a mental priority, my mental to-do lists don’t always transcend my realistic to-do lists. My day looks pretty much like this: wake up at 6:30, be out the door by 7:20, work from 7:45-3:00, hit the gym, shower, study, pack lunch, eat dinner, spend a little bit of leisure time with my family, crash by 10:30, lather, rinse, repeat. Pretty blasé, if I do say so myself, but this routine ends August 16 and a new one begins! [More exciting things are coming, and I can’t wait to share them with you on SWASOV!] Other bloggers manage to work longer days, fit in perkier routines, juggle babies and husbands, blog daily, and somehow smile through it all. But I’m not “other bloggers,” and I’m trying not to play the comparison game as much these days. As Judy Garland would advise, I’m trying my best to be a first-rate version of myself.


I wanted to check in with you and update you on my experience with Simone France! I won Colleen’s giveaway over at The Lunchbox Diaries June 21, and I received my SF travel kit goodies July 6. I checked in after one week of using Simone France, when I could already see noticeable results in the tone, texture, and appearance of my skin. I’ve been a bit absent on the update front, but who wants to read about somebody else’s giveaway goodies, anyway? 😉

The point is, I have absolutely L.O.V.E.D. using Simone France for the past month! However, using the travel kit as a full-time kit meant that I ran out of a number of supplies very quickly. I don’t know exactly when I ran out of the Signature Cleansing Cloths, but I have been substituting clean washcloths or just plain old tap water as part of the Sandwich routine. I have exactly one towelette left, and I’m saving it. For what, exactly, I couldn’t tell you. Maybe Luke Bryan will stop by one evening and be so grateful that I let him use my very last Simone France Signature Cleansing Cloth. Hey, you never know! 😉

So I’m out of those, as well as the moisturizer I have come to love so much. The SF moisturizer made my skin feel light, clean, and moisturized, without feeling oily or greasy. I have been substituting another quality moisturizer I purchased through my mom’s consultant in December, but being that the weather is hot and humid here in Virginia, things aren’t peachy in the skin department. I thought I loved my other-brand moisturizer, until two things happened: (1) the weather changed from cold and dry to hot and sticky, and (2) I fell in love with Simone France. Unfortunately, I’m not one of those lucky ducks who can simply go without, so over-moisturized it is. I try to use as little as possible, but the SF routine just isn’t the same without the SF moisturizer to complete it.

So, that’s pretty much where I stand. Out of two key components of my Simone France travel kit collection, and unable to afford to replenish them. I am certain that SF products are of high quality and good value; however, I wish they weren’t so darn expensive that they cost your unborn first child to replace! Perhaps Ruth (my mom) or Ian will feel generous come birthday time! 😉

It’s been brief, but it’s been great stopping in. See y’all later!

Quick question: Have you ever tried SF products? If not, would you?


The Week from Hell


You guys, I’d like to be able to tell you that the reason I haven’t blogged in six days is because I’ve been having so much fun, loving life, and stopping to smell the roses. But honestly, this week was the week from hell.

This was my first official week on the job, and I am working with three full-time staff and five wet-behind-the-ears trainees. We get along really well and we have great chemistry as a group, but things were a little bit off kilter this week trying to adjust to everything. I’m not complaining, though; this is my fourth summer, and I remember exactly what it was like to be the wide-eyed new girl trying to soak everything in without mucking it up too badly. I’m grateful that I have eight easy-going colleagues who don’t seem to mind my OCD.

So, after working from 7:45 until 3:30 or 4:00 each day, I came home, packed my lunch for the following day, and poured myself into bed for a 20- or 30-minute nap. At 5:00, my mom and my sister Caroline and I were out the door for Vacation Bible School. Dinner was served at 5:30, and then we nursery workers hightailed it down to man our post. For as long as I can remember, the three of us–accompanied by various helpers over the years–have been the requisite VBS nursery volunteers. We’re not especially interested in participating in VBS for whatever reason, but we’d still like to do something in the way of helping out. Many moons ago, we found our niche! It’s actually quite relaxing to sit in a rocking chair and supervise little ones as they entertain themselves “making dinner” and playing with a Little Tikes piano.

Come 8:30, though, I was fried. I would come home, chat for a few minutes with Dad, throw some shampoo and water in the direction of my hair, and collapse. A few nights, I managed to make some decaf and sit in the swing with Mom, but most nights I was just so excited to see my inviting bed.

To say that “I didn’t have time for the gym” is just an excuse, especially since I was getting 8-9 hours of sleep per night. But, I know my own body and I know my limits, and adequate rest wins over trying to force the gym into a chaotic week. Fingers crossed, next week will be calmer and more routine. I’m beginning to forget that I ever knew what boring, same-old-same weeks used to look like. This summer has been so go-go-go that I feel like I’ve hardly taken a breath.

Again, I’m not complaining. I know that I’ve been very blessed with the opportunity to take two vacations, to get two (very, very interesting) classes out of the way to lighten my load during my third year, to volunteer for VBS, and to be rehired at my favorite job in the world for the fourth consecutive summer. Opportunity has knocked, and I have repeatedly answered. Sometimes, though, it’s just nice to have a second to yourself.

Prayer has been one of my biggest allies through all of this, though I think God and I are on different wavelengths right now. We’ll get our stride back, though. I know He has big plans for me coming up; I’m just not sure what they are yet or where they’ll take me.

Today was… better. I “slept in” until 8:40, then enjoyed (caffeinated) coffee outside with Mom. There were blueberry pancakes for brunch, then Mom and I braved the Saturday madness at our fourth bridal store. There had been talk of Capital Ale House for dinner, and I was delighted to find out that it was true. My favorite lamb burger and orange chive vinaigrette mixed greens salad almost made this week worth it. I even indulged in a raspberry Lambic before we set out for Monsters University (which, by the way, is super adorable and totally worth the outrageous theatre price).

Finally, I wanted to tell you about my first week with Simone France. First of all, the skincare regimen is super easy to get used to after just a few days. I already feel like a pro at “making the sandwich”–Simone France’s terminology for the morning regimen. Here’s my cheesy giddy selfie after five days of regular SF usage:


My skin is by no means cleared of the little bumps that seem to hang out around my hairline, or the blackheads that have adorned my nose and chin for eons. However, I love how non-greasy and yet simultaneously moisturized my skin feels throughout the day. It feels soft and smooth without having that lovely oily sheen. I’m sad that I’m almost halfway through my official SF cleansing cloths, but I’m seriously considering investing in more of the product line with my own money. Of course, Colleen’s glowing endorsement didn’t hurt, but I am living proof that this stuff really works and that the experience of using it has been nothing but pleasurable.

Now, it’s quite time for bed. Tomorrow we are skipping church — which probably doesn’t help my cause with the Big Man — in favor of getting to my cousin’s baby shower in Staunton on time. Hopefully, I’ll have really adorable pictures to share with you.

If you’re still reading, thanks for letting me vent! I’d love to know: How was your week?

Simone France: Day Two


When I tore into my Simone France travel kit last night,

like, literally,

IMG_0513[1] IMG_0514[1]

I fully intended to wait until I had used it for at least a week to see how my skin reacted to it. Well, I just can’t. Certainly, I plan to write about my experience with Simone France once I’ve really let the full effect set in. Today, I just want to share with you briefly how much I am loving my kit thus far.

Last night after my shower, I decided to give the nighttime routine a go. My face-washing enthusiasm got the best of me, and I was halfway through the “Every Morning” regimen before I realized my error. I still felt pretty much like this:


Who knew that clean skin was such a rush?!

Well, whatever. So I went through the steps of applying moisturizer, scrub, soap, water, and moisturizer again. When I first looked at the instruction pamphlet and remembered there were numbered steps, my lazy ass was like, Uhhh… Maybe this isn’t for me. In reality, the process takes but a few minutes.


(I may be whistling a different tune when I’m trying to put one foot in front of the other tomorrow at 6:30 a.m.)

Afterward, my skin felt truly refreshed and clean without that tight, itchy feeling of being under-moisturized, or that slick, oily feeling of being over-moisturized. And I’m not just saying that! I went through the “Every Morning” routine again this morning before church — at the appropriate hour of the day this time — and my skin felt great again. I decided not to wear makeup or apply my trusty Mary Kay moisturizer, and just to let the SF do its thang.

This is a refreshing change of pace from always feeling like my skin is either dry and flaky or so shiny you can see your reflection on my forehead. I have that odd combination of skin that is somehow simultaneously dry and oily. In the winter, I can’t keep enough moisturizer on it, and yet I still manage to look like a pale oil slick. The summer is a nightmare, between the grease of sunscreen, the natural oil-removing action of being in water, and the over-moisturizing that never fails to occur in a cumulative effect. Sigh.

My skin has never been something that’s held me back, and I’m thankful that I haven’t experienced major problems with it. But, I’ve also never found products that really treated my skin for its type and its problem areas. As a pre-teen I tried Noxzema cream, Stridex pads, Biore cleanser, bar soap and water, and a host of other popular products. As a teenager, I tried plain old soap and water, cream cleansers, acne wipes, peels, masks, homemade remedies, and moisturizers out the wazoo. Recently, I’ve used a variety of cream cleansers, micro-bead scrubs, blackhead-remover strips, and expensive moisture creams. It seems like my face can go from feeling tight, stretched, itchy, and uncomfortably dry to shiny, oily, and downright greasy within one day’s time. TMI yet?

I’ll be honest — 50% of my skin woes are due to laziness, 40% are due to constantly touching my skin, and 10% are due to my lack of education about my skin type and the right products for me. I don’t know yet whether Simone France will be my saving grace in the combination-skin department, but I’m willing to try anything at this point, and I already like the way the product regimen makes my skin feel.


Stay tuned for updates on my experience with Simone France! Thanks again to Colleen over at The Lunchbox Diaries for her generous giveaway, and to Penny at Simone France for her assistance with selecting the right products for me!

We Have a Winnerrrr!


Blends, I don’t even know how to contain or describe my excitement:

My friend Colleen, over at The Lunchbox Diaries, did a giveaway of the Simone France travel kit she received, and I was chosen as the winner!

I absolutely cannot wait to receive the travel kit in the mail and review it! As you know, I have never done a sponsored post (not that I wouldn’t) but I love to review products of my own volition and report back to you.

To be honest, I do very little in the way of skin care — because I’m that lazy. I do use a St. Ives facial scrub that supposedly “removes blackheads”… Yeah, like they’re just gonna up and walk away! And I also use a Mary Kay moisturizer that my mom’s consultant recommended for chronic dry skin. I actually have combination skin, meaning that it’s both oily and dry.

My nose and my chin have gathered so many little blackheads because I touch my skin a lot (gross, I know). My forehead tends to break out when I sweat a great deal, such as weeks that I run several days. Before I go to bed, I know I should do something in the way of removing the day’s oil and impurities, but I am just. too. lazy.

When I receive this little miracle kit that Colleen has raved about so much, I plan to make an honest attempt at using it on a regular basis. I’m not self-conscious about my skin, per se, but I wouldn’t hate having clearer, more evenly complected skin, either.

As soon as I’ve given Simone France a fair shot, I promise to write a full and honest review. In the meantime, I’ll just dream about the future of my clear, beautiful skin 😉