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About three months ago, I noticed something unspeakable: I was out of space in my kitchen. I barely had three square inches of counter space upon which to slice an orange, let alone the real estate to properly store my pantry items, dishes, and appliances. I needed to take action, and fast.

Though my apartment’s kitchen is teeny tiny, I realized I had a large closet being used for a mishmash of things that could be transitioned into a kitchen annex. It would take a major cleaning and a total home reorganization, but it would be worth it.This weekend, I dove in. Inspired by Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I decided to Kondo through as much as I could (Kondo def.: Decide whether or not to keep each object by asking myself whether or not it brings me joy).

I slalomed my way through mountains of cardboard boxes and bubble wrap, I tore through old documents and receipts, I cut deep into the heart of my own personal history of stuff. Along the way, I discovered I have a far too hopeful sense of my capacity to reduce, reuse, and recycle: I need to accept that certain—nay, MANY—things should be thrown away.

I took countless trips to my apartment building’s recycling and trash units, watching as the boxes and bags and miscellanea piled up. A history in trash. I packed bags of clothing to give away. I discovered photographs of friends from different eras of my life, past selves saying hello, touching my same heart.

And then I found a mystery. A completely sealed package, addressed to me, from someone unknown. Why wouldn’t I have opened the package? Not even peeked inside, just thrown it into the recesses of my closet? How was that even possible? It took me a few moments of sorting through the package’s contents, but the revelation washed over me as a cold wave of memory: This was the Valentine’s Day present I’d bought for my ex-boyfriend, but never given.

It didn’t remind me of him in any way—he never knew what the gift was, or even that it existed. Instead, it felt like a question. Will you repurpose this part of your past for your present? Out of all that heartbreak, could I take this and make it my own? I could. Yes, I could.

I spent the next day cleaning and trashing and measuring and building shelves and reorganizing my kitchen and creating an annex for me, for now, for this new history I am already living. For saying yes to all the beauty and trash and sweetness and detritus that is now. For letting go.

And then I made this perfectly simple face mask, to soften, to create ease, to slough off the roughness, to give back some heart from the outside in. Oatmeal softens, gently cleanses, and moisturizes skin.

Rose has similar qualities, but works on subtler, psychospiritual and emotional planes. Breathe it in. Feel the calm wash over you.

Enjoy the glow.

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  • ¼ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried culinary grade rose petals (check in the bulk section of your local co-op or health food store or buy in bulk from Amazon)
  • 1 tablespoon rose water
  • 1 tablespoon pure water or more as desired


  1. Add rose petals and oats to a high speed blender and blend on high until they reach a fine grind. Remove from blender and place in a mixing bowl. Add rosewater and purified water, gently mixing to the texture you prefer.
  2. Cleanse skin as usual. Apply a thick layer across your face and neck if you wish. Leave to dry for at least 10 minutes. Rinse completely. Moisturize as usual!
  • Team Goodman

    Dear Lily, I really enjoyed this face mask. Your book arrived yesterday and I am thrilled. Thank you for the inspiration – love your writing style and humour. Best, Team Goodman x