I’m alive over here. Still broken. Slightly less depressed over it.
Mostly bored out of my freaking mind.
Still on the human version of stall rest, although I’ve upgraded to light tack walks. (Aka I’m allowed to walk the dog and lift things less than 5lbs) My pain is 90% gone, although if I do too much during the day, I pay for it later.
I officially withdrew from Event Camp today, which sucks. In all though – the absolute earliest I could be cleared to even sit on a horse is the end of June. Now go jump around and ride competently two weeks later? It just didn’t seem to be the wisest choice. In true equestrian fashion, I thought about just ignoring medical advice and riding anyways… but came to my senses relatively quickly. I have one spine and I’m gonna need it to last like, another 70 years here. Permanent damage at 25 because I wanted to ride my horse a month early? Not really worth it.
So, that’s where we’re at. Hanging out in Indiana, waiting for spring to appear (…Bueller?) and trying not to die from boredom.
I’m re-evaluating my pain tolerance levels after today’s ortho appointment went something like…
Doctor: “When did this happen?”
Me: Uh, the 17th… Doctor: “And you went to the ER?”
Me: No, I just drove home. Doctor: “And since then what have you been doing?”
Me: …Going to work? Doctor: “You realize most people with this injury are laid up in bed in pain, right? And you drove home and went about your life?”
So, uh, oops? I always thought I had a low pain tolerance, but I guess that might not be so accurate? But kudos, Dr Ortho, for making me feel like a badass.
That’s the positive part.
I’m officially grounded for minimum 3 months.
That’s the not-so-positive part.
Best laid plans and all.
No riding, no lifting anything heavier than a milk jug, no running. Also, apparently no hiking, skiing, rock climbing, skateboarding or gymnastics. No worries there doc.
For three months.
Also add a suuuuppperrr fashionable back brace for those three months, a veritable pharmacy in my bathroom, an MRI and re-check x-rays every 4 weeks, hoping to avoid surgery.
It’s a bucket of fun over here, lemme tell ya.
And of course he felt the need to remind me three months is just for it to heal – to be back at 100% will probably take longer. Just to dig that knife a little deeper.
OH! I’m also supposed to move into a new place May 10th. Hahahaha, c’mon, laugh with me now. Yeah, that’s going to be great since I can’t pack anything.
To add some perspective, I’m really really glad this wasn’t worse, I know I was lucky, I have health insurance, I have a job I can continue to do… I am grateful. But I’m also throwing a pity party because UGH I WANT TO.
In the meantime… I guess I now have three months to occupy myself with low impact activities.
(And how does one recruit a grocery shopping helper when she needs more La Croix? Look pitiful?)
It’s winter and if you’re anything like me, your skin is not really feeling the endless weather cycles, heaters blowing and wind chapping going on. I won’t do an entire deep dive on skincare all at once – I could talk for days and nobody wants to listen that long. However, after offering suggestions and advice to a few people, I figured doing a fun little beauty series might be well-received. And if not… well it’s fun for me and it’s my blog.
The nine products below are my basic routine right now, more or less. I’ll sub in a different product I have if my skin calls for it that day, or I may supplement with something else if I’m not loving a specific ingredient, but this is the basic foundation.
I try to keep my morning routine as short and sweet as possible because I like to sleep in until the last possible second.
Drunk Elephant Vitamin C Serum: Vitamin C helps protect against sun damage and other environmental factors, helps improve healing, reduces discoloration and overall brightens. It can be used at any age and comes in a few different forms, L ascorbic acid being considered the best. The important thing to remember about Vit C is that light and air will cause it to lose efficacy so make sure whatever you buy comes in a dark bottle and is stored in a dark place! Personally, I like Drunk Elephant’s serum, but when I run out, I want to try one of the other brands out there.
I have dry skin and if I don’t put some type of moisturizer on drier spots, I will look like the face of Mars all day. Not cute. The Belif Aqua Bomb is lightweight, sinks in easily and works under makeup or alone. My skin is super sensitive to ingredients, but this one plays nicely!
Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen. If you take anything here – wear. sunscreen. It’s the single most effective, proven way to slow aging, prevent wrinkles and uh, you know, prevent skin cancer. That detail. I have an entire thing of sunscreens, but right now I like this tinted one from MDSolarScience.
My nighttime routine is a little more in depth – I figure it’s more important since I’ve been outside all day, have who knows what on my face and I don’t particularly want to go smother my face around in it on my pillow all night. Great visual, right?
Finding a cleanser I liked has been one of the hardest things, but I’m on my third jar of Clinique’s Take the Day Off balm. It’s unscented, doesn’t dry out your skin, but still leaves it feeling clean. It doesn’t irritate my eyes and it doesn’t leave any oily residue. I will buy this forever and ever (and it lasts close to a year!).
The Drunk Elephant product I will repurchase is their AHA/BHA Night Serum. I use this one every other night and I love this serum – the combo of an AHA and BHA together really work well with my skin as a chemical exfoliant. A gentle chemical exfoliant is one of the great things you can use on your skin – it helps clean up all the dead, dry cells and reveal smoother, firmer skin underneath. It can diminish the look of lines and wrinkles and help even skin tones. There are a ton of AHAs and BHAs available out there at all price points.
On nights I don’t use the Drunk Elephant serum, I use a prescription strength tretinoin cream. Tretinoin is a retinol, which is one of the only things that has been scientifically proven to help with anti-aging. You can buy it OTC, but don’t get sucked into expensive creams and serums – either get a prescription (mine is 0.025% and the tube costs me $5 and will last years), or go for Differin, which became available OTC in the last few years.
At night, I need a heavier moisturizer and IT Cosmetics Confidence in a Cream is one of my all-time favorites. It’s just heavy enough, but not overwhelming and doesn’t have any scent that is bothersome (it also lasts forever!). I also love Avene products and Cetaphil.
I love ending my routine with an oil – it feels luxurious and relaxing and it makes me happy. This Origins oil came highly recommended, but I’ll be honest… it’s nothing special. I’ll be swapping this out for rose hip oil when I run out.
These are my top six ‘as needed’ products.
Bioderma Micellar Water is my ‘need to rinse with more than water, but not washing my entire face’ solution. It’s also perfect for touch ups, wiping off makeup mistakes, you name it. I actually keep a small bottle in my riding backpack for post-barn.
Cosrx Acne Patches are tiny clear miracle stickers. If you put this on a pimple that has come to a head, it will literally suck all the gunk out of it overnight. It’s the human version of wrapping your hoof abscess in a diaper and duct tape and vet wrap, but easier.
Sometimes when I feel truly disgusting, nothing else will cut it. Spent 12 hours at the barn and now covered in gross from head to toe? One Love Organics Brand New Day is this super fine powder that you mix with a little bit of water and it turns into this amazing microdermabrasion paste that will seriously make you feel like you got brand new skin.
Sunday nights are ‘me’ nights. Hair mask, face mask, bad television, puppy snuggles, don’t interrupt. I, like any good beauty junkie, have a bunch of different masks, but this one is one of my favorites. After a week of stress + barn + life, Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask provides just enough to send me into the week feeling new. It doesn’t irritate my overly-sensitive skin, yet has AHAs and BHAs, along with Aloe Vera. It has a slight cooling effect that feels amazing post-horse show or long barn day too.
I turned 25 and suddenly my skin went on a full revolt. Like Boston Tea Party style. Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion is my savior. Dab some a blemish overnight and things are drastically better in the morning. Not great for daytime use because it’s definitely pink, but worth looking like a chicken-pox-kid overnight.
Finally, my holy grail, all time favorite, best product EVER. Aquaphor. This stuff saves my life on the reg. My #1 lip product, clears up dry patches like no other and calms irritated skin. I have the mini tubes stashed quite literally, everywhere. Pro tip: don’t buy the special ‘lip’ ones – just buy the mini tubes. Same thing.
This sounds like a lot, and it definitely is, make no mistake. Do you need every step here? Nope. Can you use every step here? Totally.
Was this interesting at all and would anyone be interested in more beauty/skin type posts? It’s basically my favorite topic outside of horses, but I don’t want to bore anyone to death!
I think these have been so much to fun that I couldn’t hold back on joining in, despite being pretty sure I am not a very interesting (just weird) person.
My degrees are in Business/Industrial/Org Psychology and Healthcare Administration (masters). I loved school so much and would go back and stay in school collecting degrees forever if I had the funds to do so. 100% serious.
To go off the first one, I’m a complete health policy nerd. I love reading about it, learning about it, all of it, even though it also makes me want to cry/jump off a building/slam my head into a wall in this country.
I’ve broken my left foot twice, both in dumb ways, neither involving horses. Different bones though.
My brain thinks in Excel spreadsheets. I love Excel spreadsheets. I want everything to be in Excel spreadsheets, color coordinated and in a pivot chart.
I was in an awful riding accident at age 9 when a horse ran me through a fence. It destroyed my confidence for years in many, many ways.
My side hustle is making ugly PowerPoints beautiful.
I’ve lived in New Mexico, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina and Indiana. Places I’d love to live include Phoenix, Ft Worth, Raleigh, and Greenville (SC), among others.
Food-wise, I’ll try anything once. I consider myself a relatively adventurous eater. I order all my steaks blue/extra rare – basically as rare as possible. My friends all think this is horrifying. My family has gotten used to it. Mostly.
I have a few soapboxes I will go off on. A few of them are vaccinating your kids (WHY ARE WE EVEN HAVING THIS DISCUSSION) and irresponsible antibiotic use/antibiotic resistance. Thrilling stuff, right? Yes, I probably should have been a pharmacist.
I was the first girl born in 48 years on one side of the family and the first grandchild on the other.
When I moved to Alabama at 18, I did not own an umbrella, a rain jacket or rain boots. New Mexico kid problems at their finest.
I have a serious love of designer shoes. When I wasn’t riding and was working in a corporate setting, I accumulated, um, a lot, of fancy heels. I can’t bring myself to get rid of them.
I also have a serious love of makeup and skincare and all the beauty products. See: blog name. I’m also perpetually running late in the morning and use nothing but mascara and SPF. But seriously, my collection would make you cry. Or run away, depending on who you are.
I’m not afraid of planes or boats or sharks or snakes… but I am afraid of escalators. I will ride them, but they seriously give me cold sweats. The long, steep ones in subway stations are the actual worst. Barf.
I’ve been to 37 states and 9 countries and while I love to travel, I also really love sleeping in my own bed.
Staedtler Triplus Fineliners are the only pens I will use at work and everyone knows if you steal mine, I will hunt you down. I actually keep a separate stash of pens just for people to borrow. Told you I was a special kind of crazy.
I am a very high maintenance sleeper. Pitch black, cold (like preferably 62-64 degrees), fan on, heavy blanket, silent. Also, never buy your child a queen size bed at age 8.
I hate going to the movies because I can’t sit still and do one thing that long. I would much rather watch it at home where I can also be on my phone/computer/playing with the dog. Such a millennial.
I’m fascinated with personality and what makes people ‘tick’ and how we’re different styles of learners and communicators and how perception impacts us. Like, way too into it probably.
I love to ski, but can only afford one expensive sport, and I’ve found I’ve gotten much more cautious the older I get. (Except on horses?)
I am a champion sleeper. Normal people are great on 8 hours, functional on 6. I am functional on 8, much prefer 10. Or 12. I keep waiting for the day I don’t need as much sleep as your average 2nd grader, but it hasn’t come yet. It’s 100% a real reason (not the only one, but one of them) that I didn’t go into medicine as a physician or nurse. Residency would actually kill me.
I have a perpetual reoccurring dream I have a physics test I haven’t studied for the next day and no matter how many times I have it, it never ceases to give me anxiety. Physics is also the least favorite class I’ve ever taken. In general I have really vivid dreams and and on more than one occasion I have woken up wondering/thinking these things actually happened.
I am a nervous anxious wreck about the most menial things possible thanks to being a little Type A perfectionist, but put me in a real emergency and I’m super calm and take charge. I loved being on incident response/planning when I worked in a hospital.
There are a limited number of foods I hate, but they are entirely random: cucumbers, jalapenos, olives, cherries, pickles. I had a coconut aversion for a long time, but it’s grown on me. I don’t like pulpy fruit, but it’s the pulp, not the actual fruit, so I can handle them on occasion.
My body is just downright terrible at regulating temperature. I am never the right temperature. My house is set at 64 degrees because I hate getting hot, but then I also wear sweatshirts and slippers everywhere. As I sit in my office right now, I have on a jacket, a blanket and a heater blowing on me.
My eyesight is terrible. Like approximately 20/800. It’s not ‘can’t read the eye chart’, but literally cannot see the eye chart exists. I’ve had glasses since I was 8 and contacts since I was 12.
My drink of choice is champagne. Beer is fine, wine is fine, cocktails are nice and good, but champagne is where my heart lies. My motto is quite literal when it says, “Champagne taste, tap water budget.”
“Gross” things don’t gross me out – draining abscesses, lacerations, hematomas, injuries… If anything I find them fascinating and want to watch. If you post a photo of your horse’s gory injury (cough Emma), I will probably demand you take more photos.
When I get really stressed out, my left eye twitches.
I absolutely love working in medicine – human, veterinary – all of it. I can’t imagine doing anything else.
Reading back through these, I feel like it can all be summed up as anxiety prone girly-girl who also loves gross medical things and sleeps a lot.
Now that everyone got to meet Baby Pie, we’re looking to enlist some help – naming him! We’ve all thrown around some ideas on a group text, but haven’t come up with anything we love yet. We would love to crowdsource any and all ideas from y’all.
His sire is Spooks Gotta Gun, this hunk here.
Sadie, his dam’s, registered name is Real to Reel (Real Bonanza x Coorina Corina)
The APHA naming rules are:
Names may not exceed 21 characters and spaces combined. No two horses registered by the association may have the same name or a name that sounds similar. You may not use punctuation marks, numbers, Roman numerals or profanity in the name.
Without touching politics (just, like… not here), anything ‘gun’ is a little touchy right now. Thoughts are something maybe old western-y, John Wayne, southwestern (being that he’s a New Mexico-bred)… Honestly, I’m a little stumped here.
For inspiration, here’s Pie lounging in the sunshine today with mom. Life’s pretty hard, guys.
Should a name suggested here end up being what he’s registered under (it’s obviously not my final decision), I’ll put together a little gift pack for the originator – I’m thinking an Ogilvy baby pad or a gift card?
Because I like to make my horse-family-life as confusing as possible, I have multiple horses I colloquially refer to as “mine” or “ours” who… don’t belong to me at all. But I’m also not just like, hijacking horses, promise.
My first horse, Coorina, was technically always owned (ugh, but not via APHA so let’s add more confusion!!!) by my mom’s cousin (who is essentially her sister/my aunt) and her husband. I had Coorina on a long term lease at two different points and she was mine in all every sense of the word, minus some complicated legal paperwork. When she retired from showing (aka when I got Lucy), she went back to my aunt and uncle to be bred.
Her first baby, Sadie, by Real Bonanza, was shown by them for a number of years and I had my fair share of spins on her as well. She was really the first horse I was present for watching grow up. So I still call her “ours”… even though ours here is a… rather broad definition.
This last year, they bred Sadie to Spook’s Gotta Gun, a freaking badass reiner who is an NRHA $1 million sire. And the sire of Spooks Gotta Whiz, a 2x WEG Gold Medalist. Freaking royalty here.
And last week, “our” newest baby made his entrance into the world!
Meet baby Pie! He’s a colt born February 9th early in the morning.
He totally has his grand-dam and dam’s face and it makes me so happy I could cry.
We lost Coorina in 2014, so seeing her still live on in her babies and her babies’ babies just makes me a whole blubbery emotional human. So instead I’m just going to coo over adorable baby Pie and obsess over the fact that he has Coorina’s little curly squirrel ears.
About 9 months ago, I swapped human medicine for veterinary medicine, moved to Indiana and haven’t looked back since. In my new role, I got to be a part of opening a brand new clinic here in Indy: 14,000 sq ft combined general practice and specialty/emergency practice in a gorgeous building with all the top of the line things. It’s awesome what I get to see our staff do for animals with the technology and skill they have (real life, someone did CPR on a turtle last week, casual).
If you would take a few minutes out of your day to look through some really pretty photos of a really pretty veterinary hospital and vote, I would be immensely grateful. If said vote were to go to Noah’s Animal Hospitals in Indianapolis, IN, I would be like 100x immensely grateful.
The link to more photos and information about our practice is here and you can cast your vote here until March 31st. And if you happen to be local to me, shoot me an e-mail or text or Instagram DM or telegram or whatever and I would love nothing more than to take you on a tour, meet some of our vets and introduce you to our practice in person!
Like any good Southerner, I love a monogram. The fancier the better, in fact. Particularly if they look like something from Leotine Linens because DROOL. Also like, #champagnetaste #tapwaterbudget to the extreme here. This drooling led me down a rabbit hole a few weeks ago, however, that ended both beautifully and affordably. Say what.
With the help of some artsy people and my trusty copy of Photoshop, before I know it, we had the logo now prominently featured at the top of this page.
While traditional monograms would be three letters and a two letter would be first and last initial, I wanted something smaller than a three letter and I don’t love how U looks with a two letter monogram – so HM it became. The addition of the bit at the bottom to ‘equestrian’ it up and the perfect blue coloring completed it.
And then I just stared at it and giggled and sent it to all my friends to look at.
The next step was obviously to put it on ALL THE THINGS.
Which in this case, meant stickers.
So now I have all these stickers to stick on things. I’m like a 5 year old with a sticker book. Water bottles! Laptop! Corkboard!
Of course, the next step is to embroider it on all the things – I already have a bonnet in the works, I’m scouting out saddle pads, hell, maybe we’ll toss it on vest. The possibilities are endless.
And this is the story of how I gave myself a logo. For no reason at all except pretty letters and feeling fancy. Give me all your ideas of places I can now put it. A tattoo is not out of the question (JOKE, that’s a JOKE MOM I’m still afraid of tattoos because commitment issues). But like, a phone case with it? I need. (And that’s practically a tattoo because I’m a millennial and my phone is essentially another limb.) What else does it need to go on?!
Riding my horse? HAHAHAHA. You say that like it’s been warm enough to be outside here. Not for this displaced Southerner. (Or as they call me at work… ‘The Tourist’) The average temperature here for January so far has been 16 degrees. Too cold for me!
So instead I got a different way to get around. AKA my new car came!
And promptly showed up (from Texas) in the middle of 5″ of snow. Nothing like having the interior of your driver door covered in snow the day you get it. Also, OMG I totally get why people have all weather floor mats now. And all wheel drive. And snow brushes! Boot trays!
So instead of driving to the barn, I’ve been focusing on playing with all. the. buttons. and just getting to work in one piece. One thawed piece. Just in time for work to be totally over the top and in need of multiple 11 hour days. Ugh.
I did manage to have a lesson (sob) two weekends ago that went really well. Mainly working on bending and moving off my leg, but also just getting my head back in the game. Which, you know, I’ll have to do all over again when I finally get to ride again.
Well, it’s been a year, that’s for sure, for better and for worse.
The beginning of the year saw Fin come home, the greatest belated Christmas gift there was. I wrapped up 2016 with a count of the number of shoes I purchased: 16. 2017’s count? 15. Oops. It snowed in South Carolina. I got used to life with a dog, was still working in human healthcare and not riding. It was 80 degrees. Dad came to town and took me to dinner, we discovered alternative facts must have been what horses have been spooking at all this time, and I spent a weekend refinishing a free dresser. Discovered that when being read in on a confidential project saying, “it’s okay my only friend is my dog,” does not instill as much confidence as you think it might. Learned Fin likes to be vacuumed. Reorganized my closet, cleaned my baseboards and generally prepared for spring.
Went to NYC for a weekend with my best friends. Purchased expensive candles, saw the Carole King Broadway show, laughed way too hard, ate a lot of really good food. Cheered on the Heels to a National Championship!
Jump judged The Fork 3* and realized I was officially bitten by the eventing bug and it wasn’t going anywhere.
Went to Asheville, NC and spent the day hiking with a friend and the dogs. Fell into a waterfall.
Flew up to Washington DC for a week and visited multiple friends, bought a scrunchie, attended a wedding and… ate. Duh. Spent a day with our Life Flight crew on the helicopter and had one of the coolest experiences of my life to date.
Went home for Christmas, bought a new car, bought a saddle, bought three jackets to deal with real winter. Took the donkey on a walk.
Returned to single digit temperatures in Indianapolis, cried to myself. Took a blanket to work. Received the almost-last of the Black Friday purchases and wrote a blog post summarizing the entire year.
While perhaps not the horsiest of years I’ve had, once I ended up in Indy it became decidedly more so. 2017 was a big year of change – my first big job out of fellowship, my first move above the Mason-Dixon line, a transition from human medicine to veterinary medicine. I grew up a lot in 2017 and started to feel like I might actually sortof understand this adult thing at 25.
I realized the horses keep me sane when everything else in my life goes a little haywire. While this post may be more personal than equestrian, they’re all so interrelated in my life that I don’t think it’s possible to talk about one without the other.
Some changes were scarier than others, but I learned I can trust my gut, that I know myself better than I think I do and that I’m stronger than I think I am.
I gained confidence personally and professionally and realized I have the power to change circumstances that made me unhappy. While I’m nervously excited to creep towards the upper end of my 20s, I’m also at peace with a lot. I loved South Carolina, but spent a lot of my time there anxious and unsettled and while the move wasn’t one I ever imagined for myself, it has certainly provided some relief to those emotions.
Thanks to this great community, I’ve made friends all over the country, ended up in a new sport, developed an addiction to obnoxiously expensive Italian breeches and had a damn good time. Grateful that at the end of the day I am happy, healthy and incredibly blessed. Ready for 2018 – onwards and upwards!