Welcome to the Cottage.

The Tiny Canal Cottage® is a 1920's Craftsman-style house by the Venice Beach Canals in Southern California. This <400 sqft home/office is the full-time residence of Creative Director Whitney Leigh Morris, her husband, their son, and two rescue beagles.

Looking and Feeling Less Tired

Looking and Feeling Less Tired

This post was sponsored by Dermstore and NuFace. As always, the words, opinions and images are my own (with the exception of precise product descriptions). Any images featuring the pups were taken as they behaved in their own natural ways.

As I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m not entirely comfortable discussing appearance. All too frequently women are told that we need to prioritize beauty, and invest in maintaining (or recapturing) our youth at nearly every age, and I don’t want contribute to that narrative.

At 38, I love my age, and I’m more confident than ever in my skin. But that doesn’t mean that I’m always thrilled with my appearance. 


I have no desire to look like I’m in my 20s. And I have no desire to erase the lines on my face that are, to me, reminders of a life filled with so much joy and laughter. But I would prefer to not always appear so damn TIRED. 

Don’t get me wrong— tired is okay. Tired is real. I AM tired. Who isn’t? Our current world is a weighty one, and the strain of it all clings to our bodies… Yet I’ll admit that it would be nice to look in the mirror and appear as though I’ve at least slept through the night. 

Before beginning NuFace treatments.

Before beginning NuFace treatments.

Personally I don’t want to start getting injectables, nor do I want to slather myself in makeup and creams. (That’s just ME. I’m not judging others.) So my recent plan to tackle the mask of anxiety-induced fatigue has been to drink far more water, process stress from work in a new and less reactive way, and use the NuFace “Trinity” from Dermstore for 5-15 minutes every day. 


The FDA-cleared NuFace is a compact electronic device that uses gentle microcurrent to stimulate and tone the face and reduce wrinkles, which is exactly what I want— a noticeable boost that enhances definition and projects vitality, without fundamentally altering my natural appearance.


The difference after a single use is apparent— so much so that I treated one side of my face and compared it to the untreated side and could clearly observe the tightening effects. 


But after a few weeks of regular use, I could see a more lasting impact, particularly on one side of my face, which has always looked a bit swollen in contrast to the other half. I’m not sure why— perhaps it’s uneven muscle development, or a decades-old jaw issue. Or maybe it’s just the way I was born. 


Whatever the reason, the asymmetry was something I targeted in my toning sessions. I can tell from subsequent photoshoots that my skin has indeed tightened up, contouring the puffy spots, and resulting in a more even look overall. 

After 3-4 weeks of use

After 3-4 weeks of use

NuFace makes a few different devices, but I like that the handheld “Trinity” can be used with 3 unique attachments (available from Dermstore) for improved and varying results, keeping the number of devices and chargers required to a minimum.


Having shared that, I admittedly did also get the “Fix,” which is a marker-sized device that targets fine lines. 


I brought the “Fix” on my recent Hawaii trip, and it reminded me to take better care of my skin in general while delighting in the summer sun.  


I use both of the above with the NuFace Gel Primer, a product that ensures optimal conductivity during microcurrent treatment, minimizing the sensation of the treatment while replenishing dry skin. The gel turns the tiny, occasional tiny tapping sensation from the devices into the lightest, entirely pain-free touch.


Another benefit from using the “Trinity” was that it became a great excuse to get away from my phone and computer and relax for a bit during the day. 


For me, this tiny ritual has encouraged me to carve our more time for the simplest things that make me feel less overwhelmed throughout the week, like stretching, basic breathwork, and monitoring my water intake.


Living tiny helps reduce my anxiety in multiple ways, but still… I’m growing a small single-income business, nurturing a family, navigating a crowded and expensive city, figuring out ways to get more active in the social and environmental issues of our time, and operating a home with my husband. We are so incredibly lucky to experience this existence, but that doesn’t mean that it’s stress-free.


I’m now keeping in mind that I’m not nearly as helpful to my loved ones or clients when I feel sapped of life. As such, I’m actively working to reenergize myself— both inside and out. 

1 week into treatments. I specifically targeted the side of my face visible in this photo, hoping to reduce the slightly swollen/puffy look above my jawline.

1 week into treatments. I specifically targeted the side of my face visible in this photo, hoping to reduce the slightly swollen/puffy look above my jawline.


The NuFace is a tiny but mighty tool that, for me, worked exactly as intended. But it also unexpectedly sparked within me a desire to take better care of my body and mind.

The entire suite of NuFace products is available at Dermstore.

Shifting Pace

Shifting Pace

Video: Tiny Takeaways (Ep.8)

Video: Tiny Takeaways (Ep.8)