reading: Naipaul, Shikibu, Hemingway…

On February 9, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


The Tale of Genji, Murasaki Shikibu (a seriously ongoing project)

Bringing up Bébé, Pamela Druckerman (fascinating…theorize that my heart is French, more on this later)

A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway (is it me or is there something unbearable about Hemingway after a few minutes?)

A House for Mr. Biswas, V.S. Naipaul (so funny, so good)

Waiting for Godot, Samuel Beckett (better late than never)

on the (blizzard) menu: Counter Culture coffee

On February 9, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


Counter Culture Holiday Blend via aeropress

Counter Culture Holiday Blend via aeropress


mmm. tastes like…blueberries.

Also, it is snowing (!)

A lot.






on the menu: havarti + egg sandwich with bacon and capers

On February 8, 2013 by theseventhsphinx


I love breakfast.

SKIN LOVE: the things I do for my skin [face]

On February 8, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

I decided a long time ago that one of those things I want in life, one of those things I will do whatever it takes to achieve (insofar as I can achieve it with the raw materials) is beautiful skin.

[Probably because mine is, in its natural, neglected state (and in its ineptly handled state), pretty awful.]

Beautiful skin is, to me, beauty. You know, the kind that is not on the inside.

So, I:

  • drink water
  • change my pillowcase every other day, or more
  • sanitize my phone regularly
  • buy it presents
  • eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and nuts
  • cleanse gently and thoroughly, taking my time with lots of massaging
  • treat with products tailored to how it feels that day, spot-treat dry or spotty areas
  • use various masks as inspired, for different effects
  • use broad-spectrum sunscreen daily
  • take birth control (this is a drastic step but has made a tremendous difference in the quality of my skin, which is prone to hormonal acne. Probably the single most effective step in combating my problem skin, and nowhere near the most expensive. Luckily I don’t experience any negative side-effects)
  • take vitamins to strengthen and nourish skin. On rotation (not every day): lysine, flaxseed oil, biotin, evening primrose oil, vitamin C, vitamin D, coconut oil
  • nourish with vitamin C serum at night (topical vitamin C and other citrus products make the skin especially sensitive to the sun), and various nourishing (alcohol-free!) toners in the day
  • drink more water
  • nourish additionally with various natural oils (see face oil post)
  • make decisions about which products to use based on the premise that my skin is sensitive (though it’s technically not in the way that skincare companies mean…really all skin is, particularly the face, neck, and chest), and should be treated gently whenever possible
  • avoid touching unless hands are freshly washed, and even then
  • clean and sanitize any tools or products that touch my face as needed (with makeup, work clean, and sanitize where relevant)
  • exfoliate gently and regularly and
  • treat with products that promote cell-turnover and regeneration to avoid congestion of the pores (my skin needs help with this)
  • treat with products that lighten or break down the melanin of hyper-pigmentation and balance skin tone
  • add extra oil or moisturizer if I it is especially cold, dry, or windy, or if I know my face is going into harsh conditions
  • ask what it needs, and watch for signs of distress
  • drink more water

Now that these are all habits I don’t consider them laborious but, writing them out, I guess it is a lot. I find it easy to keep up with regimens that show definite results, however, and each step has a purpose (and concordant logic). One thing I enjoy about skin is how individual it is [Naturally your skin will not need everything mine does.], and how attention to detail is rewarded. Give your skin what it needs and it will show.


on the menu: daal with fennel + cardamom infused rice and garlic naan

On February 8, 2013 by theseventhsphinx

Do I ever not want Indian food?



I didn’t make the naan but I did add the garlic and cilantro to it. [Really, what is the point of naan without garlic?] Enjoying this throwing of whatever comes to mind into the rice cooker along with the rice.

Conclusion: more fennel and cardamom in everything remotely feasible.