Each year on my birthday, I post an annual birthday picture. I’m a day late this year, but let’s just pretend it’s still September 19.

If you feel like doing a little clicking, here are my previous birthday posts: 44, 43, 42, 41, 40, 39, 38, 37, and 36.

I actually quite like clicking through the previous years as I’m writing each year’s birthday post. It’s a nice look back at the last 9 years. And it’s a great reminder of what hair colors I should stay away from in the future…

And now, I’m 45.

Rather than setting up my tripod around my house to take an annual birthday photo… I just snapped a quick selfie in my car in between errands. So, rather than calling this year’s photo lazy, I’m just going with “authentic.”

Oh, and just for funsies here is my full birthday outfit (photo taken in a Nordstrom Rack dressing room before I got all sweaty trying on 8 pairs of jeans):

I think 45 is going to be a good year.

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6 Months of Facials

Back at the beginning of the year I was thinking about trying to include some regular self-care into my schedule. I love massages – but the last place I went to got rid of their spa and I never found a replacement person that I liked as much. I also enjoy pedicures, but wanted to branch out a bit. Anyways, I ended up following a recommendation to visit a medi-spa in my area.

In March, I signed up for a 6-month membership, which was a flat fee of $95 each month. For that fee, you could pick from a variety of services (which included a facial) and also get 10% off other services and retail items. It was the perfect fit for what I was looking for, so starting in March I would book myself one facial each month.

In addition to the facials, I also was thinking I might do the BBL (Broadband Laser) treatment for the 10% off to zap away some of my sunspots. It’s best to wait until you’re out of the sun though, so I stuck a reminder on my calendar to do a consultation in the fall and in the meantime enjoy the monthly facials.

And OHMY the facials are fabulous. My esthetician is an absolute angel. For an hour, she alternates between cleansing, exfoliation, a custom masque, hot towels, massaging and steam on my face. While the various concoctions are doing their magic, she massages my hands, arms, shoulders, neck, face and feet. It is decadent. And more than once over the past few months, I dozed off because I was so relaxed.

I was just telling my husband a couple weeks ago how much I LOVED adding a monthly facial as self-care into my schedule. Because it’s a membership, it forces me to find time for myself. It’s something only for ME and I enjoy every second of it.

Or I did.

Because when I went to my last appointment, I found out that they were updating their membership and now there are no facial options included in the plan. Instead, if I want to get a facial at the spa it will cost $140 as a non-member. I was okay with spending $95 a month (plus tip) on my facials, but having that increase to $140 for the exact same thing is painful.

It’s silly to say, but I am super bummed about it.

I had settled into a nice little rhythm of treating myself each month and I had built up a great rapport with my esthetician. But the increase in price is just way too much for me to justify continuing to go there monthly. I’m still planning to do the BBL consultation in a couple months though, even though I won’t receive the 10% off.

As for facials, I have a list of other spas in the area that I need to check out – so I’m hoping to find one with comparable pricing and services to what I was previously loving. And if it doesn’t work out, I may return to my beloved angel at the medi-spa but space my sessions out to every 6-8 weeks to keep the overall pricing down.

Anyways, I guess this is just a vent session.

Have you had something similar happen where you were settled into a rhythm and then you were suddenly knocked off-kilter with an unexpected sudden change?

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Swedish Death Cleaning

While watching something else on YouTube, a video on Swedish Death Cleaning caught my eye. Which then led to me requesting The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning: How to Free Yourself and Your Family from a Lifetime of Clutter by Margareta Magnusson from my local library. My library has books available on Overdrive which you can request and download for free, and there wasn’t even a wait for the book… so be sure to try there first!

Here it is on Amazon:

It was a very quick read; it took me probably only an hour or so to read the whole book. I loved the voice of the author though – it was much like following around your granny while she rambled on about her thoughts of letting go of things she doesn’t need. This is certainly not a ‘how to’ book, but more the emotions behind why you’d want to undergo Swedish Death Cleaning.

So, what is Swedish Death Cleaning?

In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you.

Much like Marie Kondo’s method, Swedish Death Cleaning isn’t about getting rid of things you love or use regularly. More about giving you the permission to get rid of things you don’t actually want or need, but hold onto anyways. Some of her examples are: unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you would ever use, etc. The idea is that you don’t want to leave the burden of going through all these items to your loved one after you have died.

Having helped my family clean out the homes of both sides of grandparents over the past decade, I feel it in my heart when she talks about all the crap we are leaving behind for family to deal with.

Immediately upon reading the book, I attacked a cabinet in my kitchen that was literally overflowing with cups and water bottles. There were some we used and loved, some that were pricey but we always passed over, and some that were gifts or freebies that we somehow felt bad about discarding. From there, my purging grew to a couple more kitchen cabinets. And then my closet (again) and then an overflowing junk drawer.

I found it especially fun to yell out “SWEDISH DEATH CLEANING” as if it were the name of a heavy metal band throughout my efforts. My husband didn’t find it *quite* as hilarious as I did…

I immediately put the items in the trunk of my SUV so that they were out of the house. I added some more items throughout the week and made a drop off at the local thrift store over the weekend. I’m not done though.

Swedish Death Cleaning is more a long-term state of mind. So as we continue {slowly} working toward the completion of our home renovation project, I plan to keep looking at other cervices of our house that need a good purge.

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