May 27, 2014

The Backstory Behind The Photo...

You may have recently seen this woman's photo on one of your favorite morning shows or passed along from a friend on Facebook, but did you ever get the story behind the woman? Me either! Until now, that is.

It's an incredible conundrum. The desire to be healthy and fit, offset by society's pressures, as well as the effort to convey to our young women that skinny and perfect are not the overall goal. I, for one, am totally impressed with Taryn Brumfitt, and her courageous steps to be an example to all women.


May 19, 2014

Great Advice From A Terrific Woman...

Eat Pray Love was introduced to the world by none other than Oprah. She featured the longtime writer on her show, hailed the book a must-read, and ultimately propelled Elizabeth Gilbert to worldwide success. Not long after the release of the book, Julia Roberts was cast in the movie, taking viewers on an international journey to discover the true meaning of life.

You might think that given the opportunity to speak to a Ted Talk audience, Ms. Gilbert would speak about the importance of digging deep through the practice of yoga, striving for success at all cost, or some cool backstage moment with Ms. Winfrey. Nope! After a period of massive success, she talks about her subsequent failure. It is a great reminder that failing should never be the end of the story (pun intended)!

May 5, 2014

A Mish Mash Of Awesomeness Part Deux...

A little over a year ago, I posted a blog about my favorite stuff. You know what I am talking about, ladies. The day in, day out, go-to rituals that get us through our busy days. I recently revisited my original blog, and decided to revise it. Some items remain tried-and-true, yet some have fallen out of favor. Ultimately replaced by a newer and better option.

Let me say this~I am, by no means, one of those overly obsessed lotions and potions aficionados, who spends pots of money on the newest and best products. In fact, I really try to find the most cost effective option; unless the more expensive product is so far superior that I cannot deny its necessity in my daily regime.

So, here it is, trusty readers. My 2014 gotta have it list! BTW~ The following opinions are unpaid and unsolicited by any of the companies that manufacture, distribute, or advertise my go-to gotta have it list. That's not to say I would be opposed to the notion of being properly thanked with an unexpected box of freebies!

~Face Wash and Moisturizer 

Murad offers up several terrific lines of washes, moisturizers, scrubs, etc. I have been using the Resurgence Line for the past five years, and it is fantastic for the forty somethings and older.  Balances hormonal skin, leaving it dewy and free of that pesky issue of midlife dry patches. It's a bit expensive, but a little goes a long way.

~Body Wash and Lotion

A few years ago my dermatologist let me in on a secret that is now over the counter. It is a member of the trusted Cetaphil line, and is so good it will make your skin as soft as a baby's tush! It is called the Cetaphil Skin Restoring Body Wash and Cetaphil Restoraderm Lotion. Trust me on this one!

Oh! For the cuticles, I have a new love. It is the Burt's Bees Lemon Butter Cuticle Cream. It took the place of my longtime love Healthy Hoof. Sadly, Healthy Hoof could not keep up with the scaly demands of my hooves.

~Hair Stuff

So, for those of you who know me, you know I am a curly girl. But, even if you're not, I highly recommend that you take a whirl on the Wen website. You've all seen it on TV. Chaz Dean going on and on about his amazing cleansing conditioner. Well, I am pleased to report that I have not used shampoo for the better part of a decade, and Wen is the replacement that has carried me through. If you want to get a real flavor of the Wen products, peruse the customer reviews on Amazon.
As for styling products, I have, and will always be a Bumble and Bumble customer. The Curl Conscious Defining Creme is my favorite, but they also offer up a variety of options depending on your hair type.

~Make up

Let me say this~I am not a make up lover. I wear the same few items every day, but they continue to serve me well. I have written on many occasions about a women, who is actually a friend. Her name is Cindy Joseph, and she created a small but mighty line of moisturizers and cosmetics. My favorite are her Boomsticks. I use them for cheek color and the shimmer on my eyes. They are easy to apply and look more natural than anything out there. If you want to purchase them you can do so by ordering directly from her website at  As for other favorites, I love the cheap but precise eye liner from L'Oreal Lineur Intense Felt tip (#620).  Easy to maneuver and stays where you put it. The best mascara is Benefit BAD gal Lash. Love the name, love the product.  No clumps, gets the job done. Recently, I have had pretty decent luck with some other products from Benefit. A dab of their creaseless cream shadow liner offers up a nice and easy bit of lid color. Now onto the brows. Or as I call them, my nemeses. Benefit's Instant Brow pencil and its cousin, Gimme Brow. Probably the best option out there for naturalish looking brows. Although, a tip for the young women. Don't overpluck! You might think they will continue to grow back, but they don't! For lips, I have always used the same gloss. My threshold is that I must be able to apply it in the car without looking, and this does the job. It is the ever popular Sugar from the Buxom Line at Sephora. While I prefer Sugar, there are tons of other colors, and it's not sticky and goopy like other glosses.

~Hair Removal

Let me start by saying that hair removal is by far one of the more vexing issues in a woman's life. While that may sound a tad dramatic, I know you agree with me. I went into detail in the first Mish Mash of Awesomeness blog. Some of it holds true, but I have kicked it up to a new level. So, here it is ladies. And this comes from years and years of good, bad, and ugly hair removal testing.

Face~ Only and I repeat only use Parissa Strip Free Hot Wax. You may want to buy a little plug in warmer. I have had mine for years, and it beats heating it up on the stove. Also, you will not find this at Target. You can find it on Amazon.

"Other"~ There is no better body wax than Moom Organic Tea Tree Hair Removal. You will need muslin strips, but honestly, it doesn't hurt. Plus, this is water soluble so any residual wax showers right off.

~Expensive But Totally Worth It

In the last few years, I have invested in two products that were expensive but awesome! The first is the Clarisonic Mia. A great ways to buff the icky stuff off your skin. I keep mine in the shower and use it with my regular face wash. I bought mine at Sephora, but you can find it at Nordstrom, too.

More recently, I invested in something that is still in my testing phase, but it is making the cut, nonetheless. It is called the Tria Hair Removal Laser. Naturally, my husband was utterly shocked when I told him I wanted this for my birthday. Although, after 19 years of marriage, he has finally learned not to ask too many questions, and just succumb to my must have holiday requests. Now, here's the deal. Lasers hurt, they are slow to work, and you have to be diligent. But, I am seeing a HUGE difference, and it's for life! Hairless For Life! That's going to be the name of the blog that I write when the laser phase of my life is over.        

So, there you have it. Use it, delete it, or forward it to a friend. Although, I will say this. At the end of the day, it's not about make up or beauty. It's about how you feel, how you make others feel, and working hard to contribute something positive to your family, your network, or your community every day.