What’s in a name?


After over 15 years of running 1800colette.com, I decided on a whim today that it was time to change the name to something more fitting. Not sure why, but the stars aligned to get my creativity flowing. 1800colette.com originally was named as a nod to a nickname that my peers gave me in grade school and really doesn’t fit the feel of my life at the moment.

Since the blog has always been about a wide variety of things, I thought the name “Coffee and Cactus” would fit perfectly. Two things that I love, and two things that are quite different from one another. One soothing, one often with an attitude.

The past few months has been a whirlwind of change for me and it seems that it’s the right time to lean on a creative outlet for inspiration. I’ve been really following design and DIY blogs lately, two of which are A Beautiful Mess and DesignLoveFest. These two, as well as Apartment Therapy, have been helpful in setting up my new (sorta) apartment in San Diego and making it more and more of a home to me everyday. Complete with its fixtures straight out of the 80s, dated carpet, and loud old dishwasher, it’s been a little bit of an adventure making it my own.

Life to me lately has been more about doing what I take joy in (a la Marie Kondo) and less about what I feel others may want me to do/be/say/think. It’s been a growing time and I feel so ready to tackle what life will bring me down the road.



The Beginning of a *Beautiful* Friendship

Lately I’ve been hell bent on taking better care of my skin. For the longest time, I had the skincare routine equivalent to that of a teenage boy- complete with quick cleansing, treatment of problem spots when they’re already issues, and major slacking on makeup removal before bed. Combined with the high-stress summer I had, it was a perfect storm for a new addiction… I ended up ordering a few new things from Jolse to replace products that I ran out of. It’s been love ever since.

Additions to the mighty skincare routine:

The mighty new skincare routine.

2015-11-03 07.57.53

TONYMOLY Peach Punch Sweet Foam Cleanser
This cleanser has everything that my standard go to Neutrogena cleanser was missing. Smells fantastic and has just the right amount of foam. Sets the stage.

Benton snail bee high content

Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner
I wouldn’t be honest if I said that the whole “snail” thing didn’t creep me the out completely when I was first checking out AB/KB. After some research and testing, mainly from /r/AsianBeauty, it’s clear that snail products might be key players in the world of amazing skin. Just ask Holy Snails. I hadn’t used a toner since my super-Acne days of high school, and that one burned like all heck. This one is mild, cleansing, and simply gets my skin ready for the main events.

2015-11-03 07.58.26

2015-11-03 07.58.10

Serums & ampoules:
The Face Shop Pore Tightening Cover Cream
This was one of the first Korean beauty products I tried and was completely sold on it when I visited the local Face Shop location near me. It smells literally like heaven, or what I think heaven should smell like, and completely masks the sight of pores. Hello smooth and flawless skin!

SCINIC Honey All in One Ampoule
This ampoule was one of the first things on my wishlist, but sadly couldn’t be acquired via Amazon Prime. It was well worth the wait from Jolse. I use it at night after a sheet mask to wake up with super hydrated skin. 10/10 would buy again, but the container it comes in is huge so I definitely won’t be needing to repurchase for a while.

COSRX BHA Summer Pore Minish Serum
This serum was a recent addition to my collection, so I’m still testing that one out. So far so good, and seems to have similar results as TFS PTC. The nice people at Jolse included a variety of little samples from this brand, so I’ll definitely be doing some further investigations.

2015-11-03 07.58.47

Sheet Masks:
Etude House I Need You Masks
A steal of a deal on Amazon, you can order quite a few of these puppies for just a couple lattes at Starbucks. Moisturizing, relaxing, and downright soothing after sitting in the fridge for a bit, these are a quintessential part of my new and improved self-care routine.

It’s Skin Snail Moisture Sheet
(not pictured for the best reason- because I used them all!)
This one has my favorite smell of them all. Remember the old Bath and Body Works scents that smelled so good that you were almost tempted to eat them? This has the same effect for me. It’s a little bit more pricey than the above masks, but the smell. That smell. It’s also moisturizing, soothing, and all that jazz.

Sample city: Jolse also includes a bunch of samples with every order- why most American cosmetic companies don’t do more of this is beyond me. I found a few of the products above thanks to little samples that I tried before buying.

Sources: I’ve also found that shops such as Jolse, RoseRoseShop, and TesterKorea are a much better deal than Sephora in terms of pricing, but they ship from Korea, making processing time much longer. I have a serious love-hate relationship with Sephora– their products are awesome (I mean, what woman doesn’t like having everything beauty all in one place?) but their service absolutely stinks. I can’t count how many times I felt like I was inconveniencing the employees there by asking questions about products, God-forbid I’d ask a question without a full face of makeup on already!

In just a month and a half or so, my skin has been super soft and has that dewy glow, even without makeup. To be fair, I didn’t have a ton of skin issues before I started my new regimen, just the occasional blemish. I’m finding that I have to use foundation less and less, making my face feel less caked on. I never understood the makeup trends here in the US to begin with- it makes sense that healthier skin underneath all the makeup feels so so right.

Let me know if you have questions, want to go halfsies on shipping for a haul, or want to drive up to the OC to visit SkinFood. You won’t have to ask me twice.


Politely declining

With the mix of working a full-time job with a few part time gigs, I find myself juggling quite a few different hats.

After moving a little under two months or so ago, I’ve gotten pretty well settled into my new place, but there are definitely a few projects that I have pending that I’ve been wanting to accomplish. Those books won’t find their own way out of their dingy Home Depot cardboard box. But the new couch has been ordered- can the next three weeks go a little faster, please?

Summertime, regardless of the move and professional happenings, has traditionally been a time every year that I find myself busy. Friends in town. Others moving and in various states of flux. Exploring avenues where I can go on new adventures. VMworld looming, albeit exciting, at the end of the month. All positives, but even good things can induce some level of anxiety. A little break from San Diego will definitely be nice. If only the San Diego I live and work in could be the San Diego of my vacation dreams too, right? Even the Big Island is a little bit of a bummer for the people who work hard to live on it.

The mighty Hotel Del.
The mighty Hotel Del.

Recent happenings have been great for my spirits, both personally and professionally- and it almost mimics some of the busiest times I had in college. I say almost because in the back of my mind I’m convinced that I couldn’t ever be that busy again. Back then, I don’t think I took enough time to engage in “self-care”, and I found myself drained. I knew I was hitting all kinds of limits, but I felt like I owed everyone around me my “yes”. Things got to a point where my physical health fell by the wayside. A few years on the outside of all of that has shown me that saying “yes” to everything that comes your way isn’t sustainable. There are more often than not times where “no thanks” is perfectly acceptable. After all, isn’t the act of asking simply inviting the possibility of passing?


Taking the time to do the little things like laugh about ridiculous things with my boyfriend or brush out the knots in Lucy’s fur are always important. Those are the moments where we get to breathe in, breathe out, and take in some gratitude. Maybe my “yogi” friends have the right idea? Those moments can be some of the most important acts of self-care that people can engage in. I’ve often identified myself as a pessimist at times, but identifying the good, whether small or large, has helped move me in ways I never thought it would. And if you’re finding that I’m saying “no” to you here and there, it’s probably because I’m working on recharging my batteries to say “yes” more often.