Category Archives: Direct Sales

The Story of Peppermint and a Giveaway!

Peppermint XO 2 TINYOnce upon a time in a land way up north, there was a jolly man and his jolly wife who just wanted to make people happy.  They came up with many ideas, and they finally settled on celebrating the holiday season, especially Christmas.

They began building a factory and distribution center so they could make toys for children all over the world.  They hired quirky elves because they fit right in!  They designed a state of the art transportation system so that the jolly man could deliver the toys in one night.  It was all quite magical!  Everything was clicking and children all over the world were happy.  But it wasn’t enough.  The jolly man and his wife needed to do more.  They needed to give back to the adults as well.  What could they do?

Holiday flavors and scents.  Things that smelled and tasted like holiday cookies and candies, potpourris and sachets.  Things that would remind a person of Christmas and holidays past. Evergreen.  Gingerbread.  Citrus.  Cinnamon.  Berries.  Cloves.  Apple pie.  Pumpkin Pie.  Mincemeat Pie.  Pecan Pie.  Pinecones.  Sugar Cookies.  Turkey.  Ham.  Fruitcake (possibly a less than stellar choice.)  Rum Balls.  Eggnog.  Peppermint…PEPPERMINT!

Peppermint became a very popular seasonal staple, with adults across the land enjoying the flavor and scent in things like candies, cakes, ice cream, cookies, coffee, candles, essential oils, and luxury personal care items. Lotions.  Soaps.  Lip Balms.  Lip Oil.  To make this happen, the jolly man and his wife needed to expand their distribution system.  They set to work with retailers and direct sellers across the land to make that happen.  Soon all the flavors and scents were everywhere!  The jolly man even spoke to me and asked me if I could help deliver special Lip Oil across the land.  I, of course, said yes!  XO Lip Oil is amazing.  Peppermint XO Lip Oil?  OH MY!

Coming in October, XO Lip Oil will be available in PEPPERMINT!  These are perfect as stocking stuffers, office gifts, hostess gifts, girls-night-out gifts, Christmas gifts, and just giving out to family and friends!  Where the XO Lip Oil smells like you are at a beach resort, the Peppermint XO Lip Oil is all about peppermint holiday goodness.  I happen to have a few on the way.  Would you like to be added to my waitlist?  Click here, read the instructions and fill out the order form.  I’ll shoot you back an invoice and when they arrive I’ll get your order in the mail to you.

In the spirit of the jolly man and his wife, how about a giveaway?  YES!  Click here to view the “how to enter” information (no purchase necessary!)  On Wednesday, October 4 I will draw two lucky winners who will each receive a Peppermint XO Lip Oil!  How awesome is that?

Let’s recap, Peppermint Lip Oil is coming soon, I’ve got some that you can pre-order, and I’m doing a giveaway.  This pleases the jolly man and his wife, and I hope it pleases you!  If you have any questions, drop me a note at penny.fiftysetgo@gmail.com or message me on Facebook.  Here’s to Peppermint dreamin’ on such a winter’s day…

Penny

 

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What is My Why?

17498732_1699579173402640_5592608514390051298_nThis article first appeared on Sassy Direct on August 27, 2017.

Someone asked me recently, “Why Willing Beauty?”  My “Why” is a bit long and involves an ankle brace, a boot, air conditioning, money, and tenacity.

In 2014 I decided I wanted to do a half marathon.  I have never been an athlete, but it sounded like something cool to do when I turned 50.  I didn’t know if I would walk or run, but I knew I would do it.  I had a year and a half to prepare.  I had time to train and choose a race, and I was excited.  I started walking.  One morning I was walking downtown, hitting my stride, and I felt my ankle turn under.  I fell.  Hard.  I hit the ground and I felt incredible pain all over.

People stopped and tried to help me up, and I said no, I’m fine, I’m just a clutz.  I got myself up and limped to a nearby bench.  I looked down to see that my knees and shins were a bloody mess, as was my hand and water bottle (which I had been holding when that hand hit the ground.)  No wonder passers by and the people who tried to help looked so concerned.  I washed them off with my water bottle, sat for a few minutes, and decided to continue on. 

I walked about three miles that morning.  When I got back to my car, I took off my shoes and socks and saw stars.  My ankle had been sore during the walk, but when the sock and shoe came off? It was swelled double, horribly bruised, and it hurt like hell.  The doc said that when I removed the sock and shoe, I released the blood and tissue that was keeping it compressed.  He put me in a brace and sent me to physical therapy.  I had torn ligaments, and I was a mess.

It got better, slowly, and I walked a 5k in that brace in October 2014.  58 minutes, hitting my goal of less than an hour, two months after that fall.

2015 was the year to really train.  I walked another 5K in March, improving on my time by about 5 minutes.  Excellent.  Not long after that 5K, my wayward ankle turned under again.  It was worse than before, and I ended up in a boot.  It took longer to bounce back.

I persevered. I continued walking, increasing my speed. Three friends and I signed up for the Disney Princess 5K to be held in February 2016, a few weeks after I would turn 50.  We needed to be able to walk it with a 15 minute per mile pace or better.  We were gonna DO this thing.  (We really just wanted the T-Shirt and medal.)

In the summer of 2015, my air conditioner decided to begin a slow descent into oblivion.  I poured what I had into keeping it going, as I couldn’t afford a new one.  The financial burden of living on the edge for so many years was taking a toll on me, but I had my walking and Disney to keep me focused.  This was just another bump in the road.

After Thanksgiving, I signed up with a coach, someone who could help me walk my 15-minute mile and reach my goal.   She was affordable, and I really liked our sessions. Things were looking up again.

On December 23, 2015, my air conditioner took its last breath.  It was 90 degrees that day, and we were looking at those temps taking us to the new year.  I was devastated.  I simply could not afford $5-6K for a new system, no matter how I ran the numbers.  You see, I live in Florida.  This was, in my mind, catastrophic.

I dragged myself out, put on a happy face, and spent Christmas with friends.  I tried to push the home issues down and enjoy the day.  There was a visit my bestie, a trip to Tampa for lunch with more friends and then we went to see the new Star Wars movie. It turned out to be a wonderful day and I was thankful.  I actually had fun.  That evening as I was leaving, my weak ankle turned under again.  This time I was on my friend’s front steps and the fall was spectacular.  I’m pretty sure I scared her family.  The ankle was blown again, worse than the first two times.

The next few weeks remain a blur.  Pain. Fear. Anxiety. The boot. My ankle was so bad and I was so miserable.  I spent New Years Day trying to figure out how to change this ridiculous trajectory I was on.  Someone had reached out to me a few days earlier about joining a Direct Sales company.  I decided to see what that was about.  I joined on New Year’s Day, having no idea what I was going to be selling.

2016 was unpleasant. On January 11, 2016, my cat escaped to the garage and climbed up on the loft area over the kitchen.  I climbed a ladder to get her (without my boot.)  I lost my balance and the ladder toppled over.  My head fell 11 feet to the cement floor.  Metal shelving broke my fall.  I miraculously was able to stand up and get myself into the house.  You can see photos and the story here.  An undiagnosed concussion would wreak havoc from then on.

I turned 50 with zero fanfare.  In fact, I was incredibly sick and miserable.  There was no celebration.  I had nothing to celebrate.  I was living with no air conditioning in Florida.  My ankle hurt all the time.  The concussion was bad, and I was having a hard time with simple things like remembering my words and driving.  I struggled with using the products that I was selling.  I had no idea what I was doing.  I stumbled upon a Facebook group whose goal was to provide training to direct sellers.  Proper training.  The group was all about attraction marketing and not spamming.  It was the opposite of what I’d been exposed to, and I decided to learn as much as I could.

Our mother died in April.  She and I had grown estranged for a variety of reasons that I won’t get into.  My brother took the brunt of all the crap that was her life and her final few months.  Suffice it to say, recovering from that took a toll on both of us for a very long time. (I still yell at her from time to time.)  A brief summary of that time can be found in my posts Derailed and Life is a Choice…Just Choose.

Somehow I survived summer.  I got into a routine of when to open the windows when to close them when to leave the house and when to go home.  My business was not going anywhere, mostly because I could not use the product.  How could I sell something I could not use?  I am stubborn and continued to try to make it work.

In September my niece had a baby.  A miracle of life and something positive during a time when my brother was struggling with too many burdens related to our parents. Burdens I could not help with, and for which I will always feel guilt.  I saw that baby as his reward for being a good son.  I was happy for him and his new family.  I was still quietly struggling.

In November our father died.  The parental saga was over.  It had been a horrible, sad, devastating year.  I honestly don’t recall much of the end of the year.  A lot of grief, a lot of anger, and still, a product that I could not use.

2017 arrived and I declared things had to look up.  I would figure out the money and the business.  Living with a brain injury quite literally changed my life, my focus, and my priorities. (And yes, I’m still recovering.)

In February a friend who I’d gotten know in that Facebook group reached out and told me about a new company that was starting and a ground floor opportunity.  I ran the numbers quickly in my head and told her no and thank you for thinking of me.

The problem was, I could not let it go.  I kept running the numbers.  Looking at the opportunity.  Researching the company.  I started saving.  I wanted in on Willing Beauty.  My friend was building an amazing team and had an amazing mentor.  The product was exactly what I wanted to use at a price point I could afford.  I started saving.

In April I surprised my friend and joined.  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do or how, but I knew I had to be part of this from the beginning.  I had learned so much in the last year and a half, I knew I could make this happen. I began using the product.

My skin loved it.  I had no issues.  NO ISSUES.  I shared HY+5 regimens and an Essentials regimen with close friends and family.  Dry skin, oily skin, combination skin – we all could USE IT!  I resigned from the other DS company to focus on Willing Beauty.

It’s now the end of August.  There have been hiccups and there have been changes.  That is always the case with something new, right?  Willing Beauty officially launched on August 1.  I have customers.  I have a wonderful mentor and an amazing upline.  I’m building a team.  It’s beginning.

I continue to be told that my skin looks really good.  My fine lines have lessened, the tone and texture are better and my skin feels hydrated all day.  This product really IS as good as they said it would be.  What I like almost as much is that I can FINALLY be a walking billboard for what I sell.

Some of my friends, people my age, are beginning to retire.  I obviously didn’t plan as well as they did.  I’m incredibly happy for them, don’t get me wrong.  But it’s in the back of my mind, taunting me.  I see other friends working well into their 70’s, and it’s hard for them, physically and mentally.  Thier lives didn’t turn out exactly as they had imagined either.  It hurts my heart.

At some point in the last few months, I woke up scared. I don’t want a third Florida summer with no air conditioning.  I don’t want to work into my 70’s.  Hell, I don’t want to work into my 60’s.  I’m 51 years old. I need a solid retirement plan.  I need a home that I can live in and not visit each evening to sleep and shower.  I want to swallow my anxiety and put my walking shoes back on.  Walk before Run.  I think it applies to both my half marathon and my business.  Time, training, hard work, enjoy the rewards.

I’m not afraid of hard work.  I’ve worked since I was 14. I know how to work.  I’m devising a plan and creating goals.  I’ve never done that before, so I’m seeking advice.  I WILL transition from working full time and doing Willing Beauty in the off hours to working party time and doing Willing Beauty full time.  Then I will not need a “real job” at all.

The culmination of the last three years is my “Why”.  Willing Beauty is still ground floor.  The compensation plan is great, and the path to get there is doable.  It is DOABLE!  I just have to be willing to put in the work.  Work and sacrifice now to ensure I have a future. Walk before Run.   I’m good with that.

Where can you buy Willing Beauty? You may visit my website at  fiftysetgo.willingbeauty.com and shop our products.  Don’t forget about our 100% Happiness Guarantee! It promises that if our products are not right for you, they can be returned for a full refund, including shipping, no matter if the bottles are full or empty. We believe in our products THAT much!

You may also join my community at www.pennyslounge.com.  There we discuss important topics of the day (like the weather or what kind of milkshakes we like) and share about the journey we call life.  If you’d like to know more, give me a shout at penny.fiftysetgo@gmail.com.  I’ll be happy to answer your questions and tell you more.

 

 

 

Back to School Supplies Your Kid Needs

This article first appeared in Sassy Direct on August 8, 2017. 


It’s that time of year when parents purchase school supplies and the kidlets grab their backpacks and head back to school. It’s a time for new clothes, new notebooks, new shoes, new pencils and pens, new book covers (do kids still use book covers?) and the inevitable first day of school angst. 

It’s tough to be a kid! Especially a kid on the first day of school. Choosing the perfect outfit, styling the coolest style, rockin’ the clear skin…Wait, how do you do that? How many of you got up excited on the first day of school only to find a new pimple had formed overnight? Or worse, it appeared on school picture day! What is a kid to do?

My first pimples arrived at age 12. I’d like to say they have gone away, but a few times a year, one pops up and reminds me that they are still out there, watching, waiting to ruin a perfectly good day. I had little to fight them except a horrible product that dried the offending area out so that it looked worse than when I started. I always ended up piling makeup and cover-up on to try to deflect from the issue. It didn’t work.

When this happens to a kid, it can be devastating. Enter the willa line of products from Willing Beauty.  We offer a variety of better for you products to help tweens and teens get the upper-hand against pimples and blemishes while learning the importance of a good skin care regimen. The willa line is made to the same standards as the HY+5 Regimen, making it a kinder, safer approach to teen and tween skin care.

The Essentials Regimen is a gentle “starter set” to get kids going in their skin care regimen. This set is all about prevention and developing good habits. It is perfect for tweens as well as teens who have fewer issues with acne and blemishes. For the occasional blemish, the TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment pen is a perfect companion. Kids (and adults) can keep one at home and one in their backpack (or purse) so they are always ready to stop blemishes in their tracks. I never leave home without mine!

The Clear Skin Regimen battles everything from blemishes to full-on acne. It was created especially for blemish-prone skin. It treats, soothes and protects leaving kids with healthier skin. Oh, how I wish I’d had that when I was 14!

What do you do if your kidlet isn’t into skin care? What if he or she doesn’t want to take a bath more than once a month, let alone wash their face twice a day? Everything in the willa line can be purchased ala cart. Find the product that they WILL use, and take baby steps with them. This too shall pass, really!

During the month of August 2017, we are offering a special on all of our regimens. You can choose either The Essentials Regimen or Clear Skin Regimen AND receive a FREE XO Lip Oil for just $48! That is a $32 savings! When you sign up for our No-Brainer Replenishment at the time of purchase, you will receive a special code in September to lock in the $48 price for the life of your replenishment. The last day to order is August 31, so don’t delay! The prices on the website are already marked down to make it easy. The free gift will automatically be added to your order. How awesome is that? 

What happens when your kidlet starts using these products, falls in love with them, and starts telling all their friends about it? Kids 14 or older can become a willa Boy or a willa Girl! What a great way to share the better for you skin care love while earning money for things like class rings, car insurance, cool designer clothes that mom and dad don’t want to buy, school jackets, prom and college! 

You may visit my website to learn more about willa the girl and product line (yes, she is a real girl!). Got questions about the products or how to become a willa Boy or a willa Girl? Contact me on Facebook. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have! If you’d like to hang out, join my Facebook Group, we have a lot of fun!
Here’s to a healthier, happier you!

~Penny

Request a Willing Beauty Catalog

Thanks for wanting to request a free catalog for Willing Beauty…Wait! We don’t have a traditional catalog!

“But how can I see what you have to offer?”  That’s easy! Read on…

WebsiteWhat we DO have is an easy to navigate website with all our company and product information readily available. Providing our story, services, and products electronically makes it easy for everyone to find what they need without depending on a print piece that can be easily misplaced and outdated. Best of all, we are able to invest the dollars spent on catalogs on YOU and the products your skin loves most.

On our website, you will learn the company’s “why” – the story of a mom who, through a skin cancer experience, began to question the safety of the ingredients in our personal care products. The more she learned, the more determined she was to provide her children safer options.

You can read about the ingredients behind our proprietary HY+5 Complex™ – Hyaluronic Acid + the 5 Forces of Nature representing the best age-defying, skin nourishing goodness that Mother Earth has to offer:

  • Prickly Pear Seed Oil
  • Alpine Edelweiss Flower
  • Deep Sea Hydrothermal Enzymes
  • Vitamin C
  • Antarctic Glycoproteins

You will find that we offer three regimens plus ala carte options to cover the skin care needs of young adults and grown ups alike. We truly have something for everyone!

Are looking for the HY+5 Regimen, the Start Fresh Foaming Face Wash, the Clear Skin Regimen, Peel Away Charcoal Mask or the amazing XO Lip Oil? Our website makes to easy to select your desired product, learn about it, and make a purchase.

You can also easily see the fabulous perks that are available to our customers;

  • Our 100% Happiness Guarantee ensures you get back every cent of your purchase, including shipping if our products are not right you.
  • The Crush Club helps you earn Golden Heart Rewards with every purchase. You can use your rewards for FREE product. You also get a personal website and the ability to share the love with others!
  • Our flexible No Brainer Replenishment can be set to YOUR schedule (4, 6 or 8 weeks) which guarantees that you never run out of the products your skin loves most.

Are you looking to start a business, add another income stream to help with monthly expenses, earn some mad-money or work full time for yourself instead of someone else? We make it easy to become a Beauty Advisor. You can use your Golden Heart Rewards to upgrade to Beauty Advisor at no additional charge or you can opt to become a Beauty Advisor from our “Join” menu and start right away.

To put all this in a catalog would make for a big ole thick book! Who wants to keep track of that? Our website allows you to point, click, and go straight to what you want to see.

If you’d like more information about Willing Beauty, our products, or the opportunity, you can visit our website or contact me on Facebook.  I’m happy to answer any questions you may have!

Here’s to a healthier, happier you!

~Penny

Three Fast, Easy Steps to Better for You Skin

I’m a busy girl.  I’m rockin’ and rollin’ all day long, and when I get home at night I want nothing more than to change into my jammies, curl up and relax.  I don’t want to be bogged down with a complicated skin care regimen.  One of the things I love about Willing Beauty’s regimens is that they are SO simple to use! Three steps in the morning, three steps at night, and they take less than 5 minutes.  I am more than willing to commit to that kind of routine!  (See what I did there?)

Pinterest Morning Regimen TINYHY+5 Regimen Morning

Step 1 is the cleansing. In the morning, I hop into the shower, wash my hair, apply conditioner, and then wash my face with DO OVER Nourishing Cleanser.  I love this cleanser!  When I was a kid, I was always told my skin wasn’t clean until it felt tight.  No more!  It smells so…clean, and it does not make my face feel tight after I’ve used it.  In fact, the first day I used it, I washed my face twice because I thought maybe I didn’t use enough!

Step 2 is to moisturize with DAYDREAM Illuminating Day Moisturizer.  This stuff is so yummy!   It comes out of the tube thin, so you think, “I’m going to need a lot of this.” That is not the case.  A little goes a long way.  A pea size amount takes care of my face and my neck/chest (because we should always cleanse and moisturize there too!)  It absorbs nicely and doesn’t leave any kind of “moisturizer feeling” behind.

Step 3 is the GET SET SPF 30 Tinted Primer.  Again, a little goes a long way.  Slightly tinted to help give a smooth appearance to your skin, this product has better for you SPF to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun.  You can use it alone or follow up with makeup.

Easy Peasy! Less than 5 minutes (not counting the shower time, because I take a seven-ten minute shower.)

HY+5 Regimen EveningPinterest Evening Regimen TINY

I don’t take an evening shower, usually, so we can skip the shower time.  The evening routine is just as simple and just as effective.

Step 1 is cleansing my wash my face with DO OVER Nourishing Cleanser.  It washes away the day and leaves my skin feeling clean and fresh.

Step 2 is to moisturize with PARTNER IN TIME Ave Defying Night Serum.  Like the DAYDREAM, it out of the tube thin, but a little goes a long way and you immediately feel the difference.  This product has a little extra oomph, so it works it’s magic while you sleep.  Again, a pea size amount takes care of my face and my neck/chest.  It too absorbs nicely and doesn’t leave any kind of “moisturizer feeling” behind.

Step 3 is my little secret weapon, the SLEEPOVER Replenishing Night Cream.  Thicker and creamy feeling, it too does not require a lot.  It seals in the PARTNER IN TIME goodness while giving yet another boost of HY+5 action.  It absorbs nicely and doesn’t leave that icky “I’ve got thick moisturizer on my face” feeling.

Again, less than 5 minutes and super simple!

Penny's Morning Regimen TINYHY+5 Regimen Morning Modified

I have VERY dry skin.  Even living in the humid state of Florida, you can look at my arms and legs and see that I could possibly be reptilian.  I’m not, I just have dry, scaly skin!  I have adjusted the daily HY+5 Regimen to accommodate my moisture needs.  Thus, my personal regimen is 5 easy steps.

Step 1, cleanse with DO OVER.

Step 2, after cleansing I use the BORN TO GLOW Skin Elixir, a wonderful mix of luscious oils that gives my skin that extra attention it needs.  A few drops go a long way.  I use it around my eyes and mouth, my forehead, and neck.

Step 3 is DAYDREAM.

Step 4 is a tiny amount of SLEEPOVER Replenishing Night Cream. Honestly, the tiniest bit.

Step 5 is the GET SET SPF 30 Tinted Primer.

How did I come upon this combo?  I played with the products and amounts for a couple days until I landed on the combination that left me feeling fresh and hydrated all day long.  And it still takes me less than 5 minutes.  Easy Peasy!!

Do you have 5 minutes in the morning and 5 minutes in the evening to devote to beautiful skin?  Hop on over to my Facebook Page and shoot me a message, or shop here.  I’m happy to answer questions and help you get on the path to beautiful skin.

Here’s to a healthier, happier you!

~Penny

 

In Search of My Lost Inner Superhero


If you watch Grey’s Anatomy or you have read Shonda Rhymes Year of Yes, you know of the superhero pose:

“Standing around like Wonder Woman in the morning can make people think you are more amazing at lunchtime.” Stand up like a badass, legs in a wide stance, chin up, hands on your hips. Like you own the place. Like you have on a magical silver bracelets and know how to use them. Like your superhero cape is flapping behind you!

-Shonda Rymes, Year of Yes 

First, Year of Yes is an awesome book. Second, buy the book. Everyone should read the book! 

I never realized I had an inner superhero until long after I’d lost her. 

I grew up in a small town. From as far back as I can remember, I felt like a fish out of water. I mean no disrespect to anyone in my family or the town I grew up in. I simply always longed to see and experience what the world had to offer, and I never felt like I belonged, even in my own family. I often felt like an outsider looking in, wondering what was wrong with me. 

I always had a lot of fear in me, deep down, paralyzing fear. Fear that held me back, fear that left me on the sidelines. There was always a voice in my head saying “you don’t need that” “stop over-reaching” “why can’t you appreciate what you have” “it’s good enough for us” – years later I would learn that the voice in my head was the mother. 

At the age of 12, I began planning my escape. Things happened that year, things that scarred my soul. 12-13 were hard years for me. Being the good girl I was, I never said a word about my struggles. Never once, to anyone. But, I knew I wouldn’t stay. I just had to get to high school graduation. 12 year olds should never think like that. 

At age 14 I read the book Scruples, or as I like to say, sex education in paperback! It was a great book full of adventure, strong women…and sex!  I hid that book for a long time because, well, the mother did not need to know I had read all THAT! (When she read the book, I got yelled at.) But the sex part didn’t make an impact near as much as Paris did. It was then that I fell in love with the idea of seeing Paris. Paris was Utopia, my ultimate goal. I had to get to Paris. When I would mention that? I was told I didn’t need to go to Paris. There was nothing in Paris for me. “It’s just a book. Stop trying to be someone you’re not.” “Everything there is old, there’s nothing to see.” “Parisians are rude.” “Be realistic. People like us don’t go to Paris.” 

Throughout high school, I began to come into my own. I credit a few amazing teachers who saw potential in me, encouraged and mentored me. They truly changed the path of my life and made me believe I DID deserve all the world had to offer. I could BE more, DO more, WANT more. 

I took part in Future Homemakers of America and was able to travel to regional and state meetings, participate in competitions, and meet new people who were not from our small community. Me? Homemaker? It wasn’t just about that so much as giving young women the skills to be amazing. 

By Senior year, things were clicking for me. I was evolving into a confident person whose fear of everything was slowly being replaced with anticipation for the future. The beginnings of my superhero cape were forming. 

I became a regional officer for FHA. The leadership training and time spent with my advisor was a true, life-changing gift. The mother did not approve. She didn’t understand why I never wanted to be home. That was her stance. Me, looking for excuses to be gone, wanting more than I really needed…

My music teacher encouraged me to sing the National Anthem at our first or second home football game. A Capella. I don’t remember that very well. I recall walking out onto the field, taking a few breath, and for the first time, unconsciously assuming the super-hero stance. I remember it ending and people being amazingly kind and complimentary. I thought, if I could do that, I could do anything!

There was a flurry of music training, music and FHA camps, drama, and other FHA related activities in high school. It all prepared me for life on the outside (although I did not realize that at the time.)  Gifts I never took for granted. 

Those experiences taught me to perform. 

If nothing else, I could push the fear down and PRETEND I was brave. I could put on my game face, assume the superhero pose, step “on stage” and be amazing. 

I desperately wanted to go to college. That was not encouraged at home. Waste of time. Waste of money. We didn’t go to college, we are doing fine. “What have we ever done to make you want to leave?  “You’ll get no help from us!” 

She kept that vicious promise, and I was determined to NEVER move back home and let her win. I won a few scholarships, but in the end, the choice was college or rent. I ended up ending my brief college career and losing those precious scholarships. “You just have to work hard, you don’t need more than that.” “Come home and I will take care of you. Just come back home.” 

My superhero cape had a tear in it. I’d failed. I couldn’t figure out how to make college happen on my own. I was all of 19, how could I let that happen?  I later learnedthatnlack of parental support was punishment #1 for having the audacity to move out of the house after graduation. That tear in my cape was the first of many. 

I was 23, I think, when I decided to go to a trade school and get my accounting certificate. I needed more skills to get a better job. That opened the door for my 17 year career at a company that changed my life. I learned amazing skills in the accounting and IT departments, and they didn’t care that I didn’t have a degree (that wasn’t as big a deal in the 80’s and 90’s as it is now.)

While I excelled at work, I did not excel at a personal life. I fell into a rut, believing, finally, that if I just worked hard I didn’t need anything else. I had drank the Koolaid. My cape was slowly shredding. She had won. A business trip to Florida woke me up and changed the course of everything. 

A co-worker invited me to spend the weekend with her. We went to the beach. I experienced downtown. This was a place I could see myself living in. It wasn’t Paris, but there was 28 miles of white sandy beaches. It was kind of like the Santa Cruz I remembered when I was really little, without the boardwalk. The place my Nana taught me to love the ocean. The mother hated that my Nana had such influence in me. 

St Petersburg Florida is an amazing city with a small town feel. The vibe, the pace, it all just clicked for me at that time. It was exactly the change I needed to make, and I hadn’t been looking for a change! 

I took a deep breath and made a superhero decision to move. That was twenty years ago. My cape was slowly mending itself. 

That decison began a 19 year battle with the mother, full of anger, hostility, lies, manipulations and verbal abuse. I was over-reaching again. She must have failed if I needed to live so far from her. Yada. Yada. Yada. As hard as I tried to fight it, she continued to influence me. My poor cape. 

I blossomed. I took up volunteering and focused on fundraising. I was a member of the Junior League (which made the mother crazy, me being one of those “stuck up, elitists”. “You’re not one of them. You never will be. Stop over-reaching.”) I worked with Race for the Cure. I loved volunteering, giving back, being a part of something bigger. It was satisfying. 

It took superhero powers to approach businesses for funding. Hell, I solicited $500 from my gynecologist while my feet were in the sturrups! I was terrified, but I was DOING. Living. Being. 

I finally went back to school. Twenty-odd years after failing, I was back. I loved it. I did amazingly well. I got a bachelors in three years, while working full time. I worked, I studied, I went to class, I did homework. That was my life. The response from home? “That’s a waste of money. Why do you continue to want more than you are meant to have?” “You are wasting your time, you need to come home.”

I graduated, exhausted, run down, and numb. As much as I loved school, keeping up with everything took a toll on me. A few months later my 17 year career came to an end. Changes were in the air and I did not want to be a part of them. While I don’t regret leaving when I did, doing so broke my spirit. That was my home, the place I had grown into an adult, it was in my blood. My boss and I didn’t part on the best of terms and that ate me up as well. Part of me has never fully recovered from the loss. My cape had a new, huge tear and a few shredded areas. 

I ventured out on my own and started a business. Timing was bad, economics were not in my favor, and try as I might, I couldn’t make a go of it. When my biz ended, the experience broke me some more. My cape looked like Swiss cheese. 

The last ten years have been, well, hell in many ways. The abuse from the mother plus the ups and downs of my finances, health, and overall life…everything I tried to achieve left me scarred and two steps behind where if begun. Soul sucking is the word you’re looking for. The pressure from the mother became unbearable. 

That brave little girl retreated and my inner superhero disappeared. The cape fell into ruins, and the remnants blew away in the crazy, wild winds that were ruling my life. 

In the last two years I blew out my ankle a a second and third time. The mother died, and I felt guilty for feeling relieved. The father died. I reconnected with family I had been denied a relationship with most of my life. I learned a great deal about the truth of my childhood and the lengths the mother would go for absolute control. I woke up and saw the mother for the insane, sociopath she truly was. 

In the end, I was going through the paces.  Get up. Go to work. Go home. Sleep sometimes. Get up. Go to work…

This week I realized…I am a shell of my former self. 

In the shower a couple days ago, I realized I need to get that brave little girl back. I need to make a new cape. I assumed the superhero pose. I stood there, allowing the water to wash off the grime of the previous day and some from the previous years.  I realized I will need a lot of showers to wash all that grime away. I began searching for that brave 12 year old who wanted to escape that world and have more. This world, my world,  needs her. 

I decided to enter performance mode. Put on my game face, every day. Strike the superhero pose, every day. Push the fear back, every day. I expect some days will go better than others. I have to keep moving forward. 

I can see that little girl, peaking out from the sideline, tentatively deciding how to proceed. I need to coax her out again. 

I need to be brave, get out of my way, and return to me. 

PS: I went to Paris in 2004. It was was amazing as I thought it would be. In fact, on that trip I saw Rome, Florence, Vincenza, Venice, Milan, and Paris. I will go back. I will have coffee at a cafe and eat strawberry crepes. I will sit among the artists on the steer and sketch the most beautiful city on earth. A superhero can do that. 

Photo from Grey’s Anatomy borrowed from https://goo.gl/images/mVgdaz 

30-Days

I completed 30-days of better for you skin care a few weeks back.  I am always a skeptic.  I always expect another shoe to drop, and I never let myself believe in the amazing.

I’ve now seen amazing.

What I see now is hydrated, healthy skin.  I rarely feel tight or dry anymore (except when I sweat a ridiculous amount, you know, because it’s summer in Florida.)  The lines around my eyes and on my forehead have lessened.  I don’t know if my skin is simply plumper, or if there is magical healing taking place that turns back the hands of time, but I’m full on IN!

I use the full HY+5 Regimen plus the amazing Born to Glow skin elixer, a delightful oil that doesn’t at all feel like I’m putting oil on my face.

See the results for yourself!

Before After Collage 30 DayTiny

If you would like to know more, I’ll be happy to share more about Willing Beauty!

Hello June!

Half a year has whizzed by in the blink of an eye! Where did January go? February? March? Winter?? 

June. Officially summer. Hot days, warm nights. In Florida, it’s not even the hottest time (we’ll revisit that in August/September!)  when we were kids it meant pool time, motor home vacations, reading a LOT of books and vegetating until the school year began. 

I woke this morning feeling like time has swept past me and I’ve not moved. Ever feel like that? 

I have a problem you see, a very big problem. I live as I was trained to live. I wake up, I go to work, I work hard, I come home, I eat dinner, I go to bed. 

Trained since birth!

Now, that’s not to say I don’t socialize. I go out to dinner, meet up with friends, all the fun things. I don’t do that as often as I probably should. You know, the balance thing and all. Balance? Yes, it’s a thing. I’m told it’s an important thing. 

I find myself in a rut this first day of June. I just don’t make enough time for me. There, I said it. It’s out in the universe. 

I need more me time. 

Sounds simple, yes? No. It’s my age old struggle. 

What to DO? 

I declare today the first day that I purposefully  spend a little more time on me. This month I will do more things that benefit me, my life, my future. Wow, that sounds incredibly selfish! How DARE I think such a thing? Another part of the training. Oh, that damn training to be content with nothing, to not over reach, to not dream of a better future, to not be selfish. I may need a detox of some kind…

I want to better serve the people around me. Friends. Strangers. I want to make a difference. I want to be someone who can make someone smile, even if they don’t realize it. I want to bring forth joy. 

I don’t need pomp and circumstance. I just want to give back to this world of ours, and be a brighter spot, a positive spot, a good person. 

I will work on me, body and soul. A healthier me is better for everyone. 

I think it’s doable. I just need to start. 

…But Is It Vegan?

Vegan means a lot to me.  I had a six year adventure in the world of vegan.  My return to non-vegan was more about finding things that worked for my body and less with missing meat.  Unable to find the magic formula, I added some meat back into the mix and many issues I was experiencing cleared up.  It makes no sense to me, but I’m still playing with the balance.

That said, when I first learned of Willing Beauty, one of my first questions was, “Are the products vegan?” I’m happy to report that most of them are!  Three products contain beeswax and are not considered vegan.

leaping bunnyWilling Beauty does not participate in animal testing, and the products are cruelty free. At launch, you will see that our products contain the Leaping Bunny™ seal.  Leaping Bunny™ is a big deal!

The three products that contain beeswax are Zero Shine Mattifying Moisturizer (from the Willa line,) and Partner in Time Age Defying Night Serum and Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream (from the HY+5 line.)  Basically, my night time regimen.  I can live with that.

I happen to have friends who have bees. I have seen how the bees are handled, how honey and beeswax is harvested, and the loving kindness involved in maintaining the hives. I’m ok with a bit of beeswax.

Ethical products.  That was a HUGE deciding factor for me.  It’s a question I ask often, and often am not pleased with the answer.

An added bonus? The packaging is recyclable!

Are all of the products I use vegan?  No.  Do I try?  Yes.  Do I have friends who walk the walk and talk the talk?  Yes.  I will find my balance again. For now I am thrilled to be a part of this company, and to use such wonderful products!

You can read the full list of ingredients for the HY+5 Regimen here.  If you’d like to take the 30-Day Challenge, click here to shop.  Our 100% Happiness Guarantee makes it easy!  Follow me on Facebook.

 

 

A New Skin Care Regimen

I received my Willing Beauty box on Monday April 24.  I was so tired when I got home from work that night, I dropped the box in the garage and forgot about it!  Eek ads, yes I did!! THAT is how tired I was.

The next evening I remembered it, and took my new goodies into the house.  I put the face wash in the shower, and I kept the rest in the box (it’s a pretty box!)  I am using the HY+5 Regimen because my skin is over 25, and it needs the amazing properties associated with Hyluronic Acid plus all the five super cool “forces of nature” –  vitamin C, prickly pear cactus seed oil, marine glycoproteins, alpine edelweiss flower, and deep sea hydrothermal enzymes.

Day 1 – I showered, washed my hair, remembered not to wash my face with the shampoo (don’t judge,) conditioned my hair, and washed my face.  I used about a pea-sized blop of the Do Over Nourishing Cleanser.  It felt really good!  I washed my face, rinsed with cool water, and to my surprise…my face didn’t have that “I just washed my face and now it’s really tight” feeling.  As I finished my shower and dried off, my face still didn’t feel tight.  I followed up by applying the Daydream Illuminating Day Moisturizer.  It felt very light.  Now, I’ve been using Ponds Dry Skin cream for years, so I’m used to something heavy that feels like it’s gone by noon.  I wasn’t comfortable with the light feeling.  I followed that up with the Get Set SPF30 Tinted Primer. It felt a bit like makeup, but it went on really nice and smooth.  It did even out my complexion a bit.

At noon I touched my face.  It felt good – as in not dry or rough.  At 3pm I noted that overall, I didn’t feel like my moisturizer had left the building.  My eye area felt a bit tight, but that was it.

I ended the day washing my face gain with Do Over, followed by a small amount of Partner In Time Age-Defying Night Serum and Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream.  Here’s the thing, I do NOT usually wear lotion or serum of any kind at night, as I sweat (not perspire, sweat!) at night and it ends up in my eyes.  I gave this a try though.  To my surprise, it behaved.

Day 3 – I added the Born to Glow Elixir to the morning routine, as I decided that I needed some extra umph.  That has really made me feel hydrated.  I’ve also increased my water intake to 80 or so ounces of water a day.  Yes, that’s a lot of water…and trips to the bathroom!

Day 7 – So far, so good!  When I first started, I was using very small amounts, probably too small.  Each day since I’ve adjusted the amounts.  It’s now day 7 and I think I’ve got it figured out.  A pea-size portion of the wash is perfect.  I have no doubt that I will get 30 days out of my products – possibly longer.

Day 20 – I am LOVING these products!  I took pics again about Day 14.  I’m going to wait until Day 30 to take another.  I am beginning to see a change, and I can not get over feeling hydrated all day long.

I am trying really hard not to analyze my face every day to look for changes!  I did that the first five days.  Then, I decided to “let it go” and take pics again in another week or so.

Overall, I feel more hydrated, I look more hydrated, and my skin on my face, neck, and chest feels smoother.

Bonus!! I rub the excess lotion on my elbows when I finish up my face/neck/chest.  I wish I’d taken before pics of them!  They feel amazing and are no longer scaley!!  I am also using the Elixir on my toes a few days a week and my toes are looking quite hydrated as well.  Who knew??

Would you like to try the 30-Day Challenge?  You can order here!  We offer a 100% Happiness Guarantee – if you don’t like it, you can return it and receive full credit (including shipping costs) no matter how much you used.

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