I shared my everyday makeup routine on IGTV this morning (you can follow me here @carlyritt_) and thought I’d put together a quick post on the blog to link to the products. I also realize it was six minutes on the video, but I can crank this out in five minutes before work so I’m rolling with it officially taking five minutes.
I’m currently switching between the Laura Mercier (Nude) and Beauty Counter (No. 2) tinted moisturizers. The Beauty Counter leaves a bit more of a dewy glow (hence the name) so I’m still getting used to that, but I really like both.
In the summer, I’ll also put on Supergoop unseen sunscreen for extra protection. While a bit pricier for sunscreen, it’s super light and goes on extremely well.
Color in eyebrows. I use an angled brush with a darker brown from this palette.
Chanel powder. I brush this all over (who knows if I’m supposed to) but I like the glow and hopefully it sets the tinted moisturizer.
Laura Mercier bronzer (okay so they actually call this a powder – I’m wearing shade Bronze 01). In the winter I’ll use this all over, but I’ve been starting to put it just below my cheek bones and lightly brushing my forehead and neck.
And while I forgot to talk about lip products, I switch off between this tinted lip treatment , this balm and this gloss. I’ve tried to become a lipstick person, but whenever I wear it, I’m just worried about if I have it on my teeth, and they all seemed to dry out my lips.
I have been working on this post for quite some time. This summer marked two years since my brother passed away, and we’re nearing a year since we lost my mom to cancer.
With the holidays quickly approaching, I thought now would be a good time to finally share a few more thoughts on how to help a friend coping with loss. I shared this post two years ago (and an update a few months later) but after losing my mom and trying to navigate life all over again, I’m expanding on a bit more and sharing some gift suggestions.
I don’t want any of the recommendations to come off poorly as I’m extremely thankful for each and every bouquet that was delivered, card and text that was sent and more, but I’m sharing my honest thoughts in hopes that it will help even just one of you reading this. I also share this while recognizing that it’s still uncomfortable for me to help someone else going through loss as everyone has a different experience. I’m not perfect and there are people I wish I would’ve reached out to earlier or sent a better text or card. Death and illness are hard, messy and uncomfortable topics.
Beyond the initial days and weeks of losing a loved one and the holidays, there are different times of the year that trigger sadness. And, oftentimes it’s hard to know unless the person who is grieving tells you or you knew the family extremely well. My mom passed away December 19 last year. We found out her treatment wasn’t working the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (about an hour after we closed on our first home). Needless to say, the next month is going to be really hard for me – not to mention that my brother’s birthday is December 17.
After she passed away, I sort of went into autopilot. Unfortunately, it was like Groundhog’s Day with making funeral arrangements and writing the eulogy. Then Christmas came and went (it was more about getting through the day) and I went back to work all while trying to make our house a home. I kept myself so busy that I didn’t leave much time to process the loss.
On Valentine’s Day, it hit me while I was at work and someone was talking about what they got their daughter. My mom loved all of the holidays – not just the big ones – and always put together a little something for us and realizing I didn’t have that hit me hard. I went straight home from work in tears and watched a sappy Hallmark movie. One of her friends rang the doorbell at the most perfect time with a little gift basket of cookies. She had no idea I was having a really rough day, and it meant more than she knew.
I guess I’m sharing all of this to say that there isn’t a bad time to reach out to someone because when you send even a text on a random day, maybe that will be just what they need when they least expect it.
What you can do in the first few days or weeks:
Ask smaller questions or just do
I mentioned this in my post last year, but try asking them how are they doing today or how has the week been as opposed to the generic and automatic how are you? That’s a really big question, and do you really have the time or want the answer?
One of the most common ways to end a text when someone is going through something tough is ‘let me know if there is anything I can do.’ While this is coming from a good place, it leaves the ownership on them when in all honesty, I didn’t even know what I would want to do in one hour let alone what I would want someone else to do for me. Plus, I’m bad at asking for help to begin with. Instead, you could offer something more specific. If they live nearby, offer to get their mail (my girlfriend did this for me when we lived downtown but were staying at home) or if they have a pet, offer to take them on a walk or feed them. Depending on the time of year, you can help with yard work.
You can always drop something off at their door and send a text letting them know it’s outside. They might not be up for talking but that gesture is really kind.
Or when in doubt, if you’re on your way to see them, text them and ask if they want Starbucks (or their caffeine of choice). You can also bring some quick snacks that are easy to eat on the go or easy to grab without much thinking at home (granola bars, cut up fruit, chex mix, etc.)
Avoid certain phrases
“She’s in a better place.”
“Everything happens for a reason.”
“I know what you’re going through.”
The person who lost someone might eventually use them but especially in the beginning, nothing seems fair. I also struggled with the phrase “This is a new normal.” Nothing about what we were going through was normal. It’s okay to say that you don’t know what to say but that you’re thinking of them.
Don’t make it about you
I had multiple people tell me about other family members they had recently lost, and it took a lot of self-control not to stop the conversation. While I felt awful that they had lost someone, oftentimes it was an older family member or a distant relative – someone that didn’t feel as close as a mom or brother (i.e. not the same thing).
I really try to remember this when I’m reaching out to others who have lost someone or are dealing with a recent cancer diagnosis. Every cancer journey is different. And you just don’t know what else they have on their plate or maybe they’re coping with how their relationship is with a loved one. I was extremely fortunate to be so close to both my mom and brother but I know that’s not the case for everyone. Life is complicated.
Reach out when the world goes back to normal for everyone else
One of the hardest things for me was seeing the world go back to normal for everyone else and feeling like they didn’t know the pain I was still feeling.
I have friends who send notes around Irish Fest (a weekend festival in the summer) because they know how much our family loved that weekend. I have another girlfriend who texts me ‘Thinking of you’ or even just a heart emoji on the 19th of every month. Like I said earlier, even the little gestures can go a long way.
Other Gift Ideas:
Honestly, a handwritten note means more than you know. You can include a special story/memory of the loved one as well. It can be really comforting to hear stories they may have never heard before (at least it was for me), and I loved that people kept their memory going as opposed to not talking about the past.
A gift card to a local spa
Let them get out for a massage or mani/pedi on you as they haven’t put themselves first in awhile.
These are definitely the go-to gift. If you can, I would wait a week or even a month and send them later. During the first week, we weren’t home as often as usual since we were making funeral arrangements, and admittedly, we got a lot of flowers. Coming from someone who loves flowers, they were all beautiful but a bit overwhelming to find space for throughout our homes and then I felt bad that we weren’t around to enjoy them. A few people sent flowers a month from when our brother and then mom passed away, which was a pleasant surprise and a much needed pick me up. Or you could consider sending a plant that will last longer.
Consider how many people you’re feeding. The home cooked meals were always delicious but at times, leftovers can get overwhelming, and we felt bad if we needed to throw food out. We had a really amazing group of friends that knew our family’s food preferences and spaced out the feedings to make sure the refrigerator didn’t get too full.
Dinner becomes the go-to meal so consider dropping off bagels or muffins so that they have something for breakfast too.
Another option would be to send gift cards to their favorite fast food restaurants (including their favorite pizza place and/or Chinese restaurant) for when they don’t want to think and want something quick.
Some of my thoughtful friends gifted truly special pieces.
A bracelet with my brother’s monogram.
A bracelet with my mom’s signature.
A rose necklace.
My friend and her daughter made me a gorgeous print with lyrics to the song from my mom’s funeral “A heart that’s broke is a heart that’s been loved”. My friend cut out hearts from paper that her daughter painted. It’s a really special piece.
Starbucks Gift Card
If you have the app, you can even order one and send it straight to their email (I think you can text it now too?). It takes under five minutes, and I loved getting those emails. I send these pretty frequently now – even if it’s only $5 to cover one drink.
Several of our girlfriends put together some amazing gift baskets. They included candles, chocolate, savory snacks, mints/gum, lotion, eye drops, hand sanitizer, hot chocolate, tea, essential oils, wine, cozy pajamas, nail polish, blankets and more. You can customize it for what might help them relax the most.
While this list is by no means everything you can do for someone (and obviously it’s a bit catered to my likes and interests), these were some of the things I appreciated most. I wanted to reiterate one more time how grateful I am for each and every gift we received (I’m still working on thank you notes from last year), especially knowing how hard it can be to try to reach out to our family after experiencing more loss in two years than we ever could have imagined. We are blessed with a truly incredible support system.
This might be the last time you see me in these pants, but they’ve been great up until my 25 week mark. I really wanted to try and find pieces throughout my pregnancy that I can hopefully style post-baby too. I wore these to work with a peplum sleeve black top and plan to pair them with chunky, cozy sweaters in the fall and winter.
I bought these mules in both colors because I loved the style so much, and they’re a really manageable height. My sister tried them on but unfortunately they weren’t as comfortable for her. The way they’re cut, they could hit the top of your foot in a way that makes it harder to walk in them, but I think it’s definitely worth trying them and walking around inside before giving them the final green light. I wore the pale pink pair to my family bridal shower with this dress and I’ve also worn the black version with this maternity dress. They’d look just as good with distressed boyfriend jeans and a white button down.
If I’m being honest here, I can’t quite remember the last time I dressed up for a date night. For the most part, I’m a homebody, and lately, I’ve been so tired on the weeknights and weekends that I haven’t been up for leaving the house much. But I thought it’d be fun to put this look together as it would work if you’re expecting or not!
In other exciting news, Bill and I finally booked a trip to Colorado at the end of the month to escape and relax for a few days. We’re staying in Gypsum but plan to take day trips to Vail and Denver and maybe Aspen. If you have any recommendations, we’d love to hear them!
This post is just a little overdue (try 6+ months), but Bill and I are finally settling into our first home. I don’t even really know where to start. We began our search before our wedding in 2015 and then realized we were crazy and trying to do too much at one time.
It took us a while to ultimately decide which suburb of Milwaukee we wanted to call home. After I changed jobs last January, my commute got a lot longer, and with that in mind, we ended up in our hometown just 15 miles north of the city.
We closed on our house the same day that we found out my mom’s cancer treatment was no longer working right before Thanksgiving. To say it was a whirlwind would be an understatement. We slowly moved stuff in throughout December and officially moved in right before Christmas.
Given that we’ve now been in the home six months, I thought I’d share what we’ve done so far and what’s on the horizon. I’m breaking things down room by room below. I swear every decision has taken us around a month because we research what feels like every single possible option for every single project. Bill was extremely patient with my paint and carpet decisions. I never thought I would be going to a carpet store every weekend. We ended up needing a new washer and dryer right away (ours were filled with mold and the washer was leaking #welcometohomeownership) so while he researched those, I focused on the family room and breakfast bar.
Kitchen Fortunately, we didn’t have to do much here. All we needed right away were stools for the breakfast bar.
I can’t wait to paint this room (the whole first floor, really). I’m still deciding on a light grey or off-white but hopefully making up my mind soon because this yellow/green isn’t my favorite. Styling the shelves and replacing the lighting are on the top of the list as well. The ‘one day’ list includes adding back splash, but it’s not a priority project right now and updating our faucet.
When we walked through the house, I loved the dark floors…and then I realized how often we need to clean them. Enter one of my favorite purchases of the year: the Makita vacuum. I pretty much use it every morning and night because I hate seeing any dust or crumbs on the floor.
Family Room The only item we had for this room was the rug, and since we moved in during the middle of winter and loved the fireplace so much, we wanted to use this room as soon as possible. I had saved up quite a few Pottery Barn / Williams-Sonoma / West Elm gift cards that we put towards the chairs, coffee table and side tables. More photos of this space to come once we paint!
Master Bedroom We just moved into this room (hellllllo king size bed), and it’s now officially my favorite room in the house! Our big projects upstairs were replacing the carpet in the master bedroom and hallway and updating the stair runner. We also ripped out the carpet in the three other bedrooms and finished the hardwood floors. One of the things we didn’t account for was that we would end up ripping out all of the closet built-ins so that they could properly finish the floors. They weren’t in great shape anyways so it wasn’t too big of a deal but just another project to add to the list. I still need to figure out the closet configurations so we can install those as well as new closet doors in the other bedrooms.
We painted the trim Benjamin Moore White Dove and used Dove Wing for the walls. Bill is a bit underwhelmed by the lack of color (I’m giving him navy blue for the office), but I absolutely love it. Still on the to do list: curtains, decorative pillows, artwork and new dressers for the room. The one day list includes that master bath but that’s something for the five year plan.
Shop the Master Bedroom Bed / Duvet / Duvet Cover
Black Picture Frame: IKEA / Nightstands: Old West Elm (we bought them about four years ago) / Decorative Box & White Frame: HomeGoods / Feather Tray: Jayson Home
Living Room I’m so excited to work with the ladies of Celeste & Pearl on our living room, and I’ll be sharing more on that as we make more progress! Our upstairs has taken so much longer than I ever anticipated (it’s totally on me for taking so long to make decisions). This room will essentially be another family room. It has more space, and I have a hunch a lot of the baby gear and toys will end up in this room. We both have pretty big extended families that we’ll hopefully be hosting quite a bit so we didn’t want something too formal. The only thing we have in this room is a a TV so it has a long way to go.
As for the rest of the house: The dining room only has a bar cart, but it’s fully stocked so at least there’s that and the guest room is set up with items from our old bedroom. The office has an old desk, and I bought this chair that we both love. We bought the furniture and mounted TV in the basement from the previous owners so that’s where we camped out for the first few months. I don’t even think I’ll get to the backyard deck this year but know it has so much potential, not to mention that I want to paint the exterior and refinish the deck. And, last but not least, the nursery has a loooong way to go.
Some of the best advice I got was not to rush and fill our home with things for the sake of filling rooms. I’d rather have items that bring us joy and make sense for our family and how we want to use the space. I can’t wait to continue to share more as we slowly make this house our home.