Category Archives: Holidays

My Rocky Road Recipe, Christmas Candy at It’s Finest!

When I was a child, I don’t remember a lot of cool holiday traditions.  I do remember the baking and the candy.  Cookies, pies, fudge, and my favorite, the mother’s Rocky Road.  It was a delicious candy involving chocolate and marshmallows.  What child or adult doesn’t love chocolate and marshmallows?  That pan of candy goodness was the one tradition I remember clearly (along with some kick ass fudge) and was my childhood favorite.

She never shared the recipe with me, and I never saw her make it.  When I grew up, I asked her what was in it.  She rattled off a few things and that was that.  So, based on what I remembered, I made up my own version of that candy I loved as a child…with my own awesome twist.

Funny story, I once had a boss who LOVED my Rocky Road!  He looked forward to it each year.  Right before I moved cross country, he asked if I would still send him a batch at Christmas.  I think I did for many years…

BONUS!  This recipe can be made vegan very easily by simply substituting vegan ingredients.  Enjoy!

Rocky Road Recipe

To save this recipe, right-click the image and choose “save image as…”

Now, I wonder whatever happened to the mother’s ancient copy of the blue Betty Crocker Cookbook…there was an amazing recipe for Boston Cream Pie in that book…

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Holiday Gift Guide for Teens and Tweens

fa la la love your skinKids these days have so much more than we had when we were kids.  While the times have changed, a few basics remain.  Kids need to learn how to care for their skin now just as we did back in the day.  The willa line of products was developed for teens and tweens as an answer to a young mother searching for safe products for her daughter after she herself had a skin cancer scare.  You can take advantage of our holiday specials and introduce the gift of healthy skin to a new generation!

BUY 2 GET 1 FREE WILLA REGIMENS

The willa line has two regimens perfect for teens and tweens (and adults too!)  The B2G1 special can be used for any combination of the two, giving you better savings and more gifting power.

The Essentials Regimen is a gentle system that gets girls started on the daily routine of cleansing, hydrating, and protecting. This Regimen also comes with a detoxifying peel-off charcoal mask that can be used as a weekly skin rest or for a fun girls night in. This regimen is also good for adults who need a little less hydration and blemish control.

The Essential Regimen includes: Start Fresh Foaming Face Wash, Zero Shine Mattifying Moisturizer, Face The Day SPF 30, and Peel Away Charcoal Mask.

The Clear Skin Regimen uses gentle yet powerful blemish-banishing ingredients to treat and prevent breakouts while calming and soothing to reveal skin that’s smooth, bright, clear and always protected.

The Clear Skin Regimen includes: Clear Skin Exfoliating Cleanser, Pore Perfector Breakout Banisher Pads, Zero Shine Mattifying Moisturizer, and Face The Day SPF 30 Tinted Protection.

Now through December 19, we are offering a BUY 2 GET 1 FREE Holiday Special on the willa regimens!  This is the best deal for these amazing products as it breaks down to $32 per regimen.  This is a great way to introduce The Essentials or Clear Skin Regimens to the younger crowd.  You can choose all one or mix and match the two regimens.  The willa Regimens regularly retails for $68, or if you prefer a replenishment subscription (your choice of 4, 6, or 8 weeks) it’s $48.  Retail Cost Savings: $48 on three.

Tip: Mattifying Moisturizer is great for those who live in humid climates and Start Fresh Foaming Face Wash is wonderful for boys to use for shaving!

BUY 3 GET 1 FREE Holiday Specials

XO Lip Oil
Receive four of our popular XO Coconut Lip Oils for $36 (Retail Value: $48) and gift them to everyone you know!  Our lip oils are perfect for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, hostess gifts, gifts for coworkers, and more!  infused with a rich mix of argan, marula, coconut and avocado oils, this transparent gel-oil hybrid leaves lips balmy-soft and subtly luminous. Regularly $12 each, you will pay only $9 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $12

BONUS: As part of the Willing Hearts Project and our overall Force For Good movement, we are committed to giving $1 from each XO Lip Oil (Coconut or Peppermint flavors) sold to benefit single mothers who are homeless, living in shelters or just struggling to make a difference in the lives of their families.

PEEL AWAY Charcoal Mask

An original in our willa line of projects, the PEEL AWAY Charcoal Mask is for everyone.  Teenage girls and boys love it.  Adult women and men love it (ask me about my bestie’s hubster who is addicted to this product!)  Our peel-away mask reveals a fresh, glowy complexion thanks to nutrient-rich charcoal which draws out impurities and refines pores for smoother, brighter skin…and it is easy to peel off!  Regularly $14 each, you will pay only $10.50 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $14

TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment

Another from our willa line, the TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment combines Salicylic Acid with willow bark, lavender, and peppermint extracts to help unclog pores and reduce redness fast.  Teens use them.  Adults use them.  I use them for my occasional breakouts!  Regularly $14 each, you will pay only $10.50 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $14

I’d love to help you give the gift of safe, effective products to the teens and tweens in your life.  I’m easy to reach by email, through my Facebook Page, or you can come on over and join Penny’s Lounge, my super special Facebook community of fun folks who hang out, visit, listen to records and right now, sharing cookie recipes.  I can help you solve your gifting dilemmas this holiday season!

Christmas Gift Guide for Women from Willing Beauty, or…What To Buy My Wife for Christmas?

Photo Nov 21, 11 21 42 PMJingle all the way-HEY!  Have I got some great deals for you to give to the special ladies in your life – wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, bestie, grandmother, aunt, cousin, niece…you get the idea!  Willing Beauty has something for everyone!  Now through December 19 you can purchase our most popular items and save.  Who doesn’t like to save money during the holidays?

The BEST Deal for Healthier Skin!

HY+5 Regimen
If you know someone who cares about what they put on their skin and avoids the toxins in traditional products, then the HY+5 Regimen is the ticket. Our HY+5 Regimen is an age-defying, interactive, streamlined skincare system of five products that fight the signs of aging while providing advanced hydration and protection against environmental aggressors. Each product is feather light in texture and contains a customized dose of our proprietary HY+5 Complex, rich in hyaluronic acid plus 5 forces of nature – vitamin C, prickly pear cactus seed oil, marine glycoproteins, alpine edelweiss flower, and deep sea hydrothermal enzymes, all known for their ability to survive and thrive in some of the most compromising climates.

The Regimen includes: Do Over Nourishing Cleanser, Daydream Illuminating Day Moisturizer, Partner In Time Age-Defying Night Serum, Get Set SPF 30 Tinted Primer, Sleepover Replenishing Night Cream.  Now through December 19, we are offering a HY+5 Holiday Special BUY 2 GET 1 FREE!  This is the best deal for this amazing product as it breaks down to $65 per regimen.  This is a great way to introduce HY+5 to your family and friends (and maybe keep one for yourself!

The HY+5 Regimen regularly retails for $138, or if you prefer a replenishment subscription (your choice of 4, 6, or 8 weeks) it’s $98.  Retail Cost Savings: Over $200 on three

Looking for stocking stuffers, teacher’s gifts, or little treats for your loved ones? Check out these BUY 3 GET 1 FREE Specials!

XO Lip Oil
Receive four of our popular XO Coconut Lip Oils for $36 (Retail Value: $48) and gift them to everyone you know!  Our lip oils are perfect for stocking stuffers, teacher gifts, hostess gifts, gifts for coworkers, and more!  infused with a rich mix of argan, marula, coconut and avocado oils, this transparent gel-oil hybrid leaves lips balmy-soft and subtly luminous.

Regularly $12 each, you will pay only $9 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $12

BONUS: As part of the Willing Hearts Project and our overall Force For Good movement, we are committed to giving $1 from each XO Lip Oil (Coconut or Peppermint flavors) sold to benefit single mothers who are homeless, living in shelters or just struggling to make a difference in the lives of their families.

PEEL AWAY Charcoal Mask

An original in our willa line of projects, the PEEL AWAY Charcoal Mask is for everyone.  Receive four for $42 (Retail Value: $56.)  Teenage girls and boys love it.  Adult women and men love it (ask me about my bestie’s hubster who is addicted to this product!)  Our peel-away mask reveals a fresh, glowy complexion thanks to nutrient-rich charcoal which draws out impurities and refines pores for smoother, brighter skin…and it is easy to peel off!

Regularly $14 each, you will pay only $10.50 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $14

TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment

Another from our willa line, the TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment combines Salicylic Acid with willow bark, lavender, and peppermint extracts to help unclog pores and reduce redness fast.   Receive four for $42 (Retail Value: $56.)  Teens use them.  Adults use them.  I use them for my occasional breakouts!

Regularly $14 each, you will pay only $10.50 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $14

DAYDREAM Illuminating Day Moisturizer

A perfectly light daytime moisturizer that the provides instant hydration that lasts all day, DAYDREAM Illuminating Day Moisturizer is a lightweight formula that delivers our antioxidant-rich HY+5 COMPLEX™ and moisturizes the skin so your complexion looks and feels softer, more supple.  Receive four for $72 (Retail Value: $96.)  Part of the HY+5 Regimen, it is a wonderful solution for someone who wants a light, hydrating solution.

Regularly $24 each, you will pay only $18 each.  Retail Cost Savings: $24

I’d love to help you give the gift of safe, effective, more affordable beauty.  I’m easy to reach by email, through my Facebook Page, or you can come on over and join Penny’s Lounge, my super special Facebook community of fun folks who hang out, visit, listen to records and right now, sharing cookie recipes.  I can help you solve your gifting dilemmas this holiday season!

Willing Beauty Black Friday Small Business Saturday Cyber Monday Ultimate HY+5 Regimen™ Special

She’s checking her list, she’s checking it twice, have you been naughty or nice?  Who cares!  Willing Beauty has something extra special for everyone on your list. It’s the ultimate Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday gift all rolled into one gorgeous package!

Our signature HY+5 Regimen™ retails for $138. When you purchase on no-brainer replenishment, the subscription price drops to $98. That’s a nice savings of $40, right?

Hold onto your Santa hats, it’s gonna get a whole lot better!

Now through November 30th, 2017 at 11:59pm CT, you can purchase the HY+5 Regimen™ on Buy 2 Get 1 Free for only $196. That is a whopping $200 savings on the best better-for-you, clean, safer, nasty toxic chemical free skincare in town!

This breaks down to $65 (plus tax) per regimen. Say What?  You read that right.
$65 per regimen! That’s an additional $33 savings!
High-end skincare at a crazy affordable price!  I would be speechless if I wasn’t so darn excited!

Now, I’m not gonna lie. I love a good sale. I’ve been thinking, how can YOU best take advantage of this special?  There are a couple ways to approach this.

  1. Make the purchase and gift the extra regimens to your special peeps. Your mom, sister, daughter, bestie, husband, boyfriend, brother, dad. HY+5 may be in pretty packaging, but it really is for everyone!
  2. You and two of your special peeps can go in on the purchase with you. Then three of you can benefit from the savings!

This is a great opportunity for those who have never tried HY+5 to give it a whirl. What a wonderful way to try it out, or if you already love it, share the gift of beautiful skin with others!

What are the benefits? 

Our website says it best:

Our proprietary HY+5 Complex™ is the cornerstone of our age-defying regimen and is designed to defend against environmental aggressors that your skin faces daily (UVA/UVB rays, pollution, a harsh climate) that can lead to lines, wrinkles, and discoloration.

HY+5 Complex™ also replenishes and restores your complexion with vital moisture, nutrients and antioxidants to fulfill your desire for soft, supple, youthful-looking skin that glows and radiates health and happiness.

Plus it’s free of harsh chemicals, toxins, parabens and synthetic fragrance, making it a better, healthier, choice. 

This stunning before and after photo tells the story.

I’d love to help you and yours give the gift of safe, effective, more affordable beauty.  I’m easy to reach by email, through my Facebook Page, or you can come on over and join Penny’s Lounge, my super special Facebook community of fun folks who hang out, visit, listen to records and share all kinds of fascinating tidbits. Let me help you Be Beautiful and Be Willing this holiday season!

Hugs and sloppy kisses,

Penny

Shop Willing Beauty for Holiday Skin You will Love!

You’re checking your list.  You’re checking it twice.  

You’re planning gifts whether they’ve been naughty or nice.  You’re busy with work/school/kids/home/pets/LIFE!  You wonder, “How will I be able to do it all this holiday season?”  You, my friend, you need an elf.

I give you permission to slow down.  Take a breath.  Sit quietly. Enjoy the moment.  I’m the elf with a little something in my holiday gift sack to help you out with everybody on your list.

This year you can give the gift of safer, affordable, better-for-you products for you and your loved ones.  Products that harness the power of nature to bring your skin exactly what it needs, without the use of those nasty ingredients like phthalates, parabens, DEA, sulfates, mineral oils, chemical sunscreens, and synthetic fragrances.  Doesn’t that sound wonderful?  Here’s what I’ve got in my sack for you:

For the Grown-Up Ladies…

Now through November 19th at 11:59pm CT we are offering a free PARTNER IN TIME Age-Defying Serum with the purchase of a HY+5 Regimen.  This gift with purchase is available for both one-time purchases or No-Brainer Replenishment orders.  This is the gift that gives and gives.  I use PARTNER IN TIME as part of my night-time routine.  I also apply it to the backs of my hands every morning.  Oh, how I wish I had taken before/after photos of my hands!  It’s a guilty pleasure and the product we offer with the highest concentration of our HY+5 Complex™. Take that wrinkles and fine lines!

BORN TO GLOW Skin Elixir is another wonderful indulgent item that everyone’s skin loves!  Use it after washing and before moisturizing to give your skin an extra boost of moisture.  Use it on your cuticles, elbows, toes and heels – anywhere your skin could use a little extra TLC.

For the Grown-Up Men…

Man ShavingYes!  Men all across the land are Willing too!  START FRESH Foaming Face Washis a favorite for shaving.  In fact, some say they’ve never had a finer shave!  Men are sneaking into their wives and kids stash of PEEL AWAY Charcoal Masks so they too can have soft, glowing skin.  In fact, I know a fellow whose wife has had to limit him to using it only once a week, as he wanted to use it once a day!  He loves feel of his skin after the mask.  Many men are using the HY+5 and the willa regimens as part of their daily routine and begging their wives to keep them stocked up.

Girl with SPFFor the Teens and Tweens…

The willa line is perfect to get your child started with a good skin-care regimen.  The Clear Skin Regimen is perfect for the child who battles breakouts.  The Essentials Regimenworks well for the child who has only occasional breakouts.  The ZERO SHINE Mattifying Moisturizer is well loved by  my friend’s 15 year old who cares about his skin but prefers not to look like he cares about his skin.  FACE THE DAY SPF 30 Tinted Protection is perfect for kids to use when learning the importance of protecting their skin from sun damage.

Stocking Stuffers!

We have four-packs of all the favorites!  Each are Buy 3 Get 1 Free, so they are easy on the gift giving budget.  They make great stocking stuffers as well as hostess and thank you gifts this holiday season and beyond.  Choose from the XO Lip Oil Mulit-Pack (2 original and 2 peppermint,) DAYDREAM Illuminating Day MoisturizerPEAL AWAY Charcoal Mask and TAKE ACTION Acne Spot Treatment Pen(which I keep in my purse to use the moment I feel a blemish starting.)  In packs of four, you can cover a lot of gifting ground!

Wait, There’s More!

All of our regimens purchased between November 1 and December 20 will ship in our gorgeous new holiday packaging.  You don’t have to wrap it, just add a bow and a gift tag and you’re all set!  And remember, between now and November 15, the HY+5 Regimen ships with a bonus PARTNER IN TIME.

This elf is ready to help you handle your list!  Give me a shout and I can answer your questions. I’m easy to reach by email, through my Facebook Page, or you can come on over and join Penny’s Lounge, my super special Facebook community of amazing folks who are also preparing for a crazy holiday season. I’ll be waiting with bells and a green pointy hat on.

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

 

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.

 

 

 

My Irrational Fear of Fireworks, Explained 


Wait. What? How can that be? Who doesn’t love fireworks? The anticipation, the whooshing sound as they fly into the air, the surprise when they explode, showering the sky with delightful colors. Everyone loves that, right?

No. Not everyone. 

Not me. 

When I was a child, we would go to my grama and grampa’s house on Independence  Day to set off fireworks. They had a long sidewalk in the middle of their (always) lush, green lawn and two water sources close by, which made for the perfect fireworks launch site. 

Grampa spent a lot of time keeping that lawn lush and green. Mainly because he took great pride in doing so. Also because a green yard surrounding a house in Northern California during fire season is a good thing!  

Fire season. Every summer, the state of California catches fire.  It always has, it probably always will. The mother would say it was natures way of cleaning house.  To me, fire is terrifying. 

I always had anxiety during the summer, worried about the fire hazard (which was always posted in town on the Smokey the Bear Sign by the fire station.)  I would see that sign, and my stomach would flip. Every fire that started in our area would send me into a silent anxiety attack. Silent because, I never told a soul about my fear. 

I’m rather terrified of fire. Every summer I would make a list of things to take with me in case we had to evacuate (we never did, although the parents were evacuated a few times in my adult years.) I also kept a small suitcase packed under my bed with some of those things. No one knew that I did that, but I was ready…just in case. 

Fireworks require fire. 

The dad and grampa would lay sheets of plywood over the sidewalk and lawn to create the perfect size fireworks perimeter. A bucket or two of water was strategically placed. Once they were ready, the family would gather (sometimes just us, sometimes the aunt and the cousins, sometimes others.)  There was always watermelon. I think melon was a theme. (Hmm. I’m not a big melon fan…interesting.)

Anyhow, I digress. When it got dark, they would begin setting off the fireworks. I would begin the anxiety attack. I was always terrified one would fall on me and I would catch on fire. 

Yes. That was my fear. Crazy? Probably a little!

Sparklers? They are the devil. Little balls of fire close to the skin. They can catch your hair on fire! Burn your skin! Poke your eye out! The devil I tell you!  THE DEVIL!

The mother would inevitably try to make me hold a sparkler. In fact, she found joy in holding them way too close to me and taunting me because she knew I was afraid. I suppose that was her way of wanting to cure me of my “irrational fear”. Her words.  It didn’t work. 

I never outgrew that anxiety. 

I don’t mind watching fireworks from afar. The cities in my area put on lovely displays. Backyard fireworks? No thank you. I fear one will land on me and I will catch on fire. I fear someone else will catch on fire. I fear someone will have one explode in their hand. I fear a dog will eat one. 

Irrational. 

I now live in a neighborhood where the neighbor’s all around me enjoy fireworks. They REALLY enjoy them. The weeks of Independence Day and New Years, they set them off for days. They are loud, they sometimes shake the walls, and I fear one will land on my roof and burn my house down. It only takes one. 

Irrational. 

Just a few more days of fireworks, and I can push that anxiety back down until New Years. Thank goodness fire season is only twice a year! 

Memorial Day 2017

Memorial Day 2017 tiny for blogThis holiday finds me a bit retrospective.  The meaning of the day often gets lost in the picnics, pool-parties, barbecues, boat outings, and family gatherings that go hand-in-hand with a three-day weekend.  I always take some time to reflect, remember, and honor those who have made it possible for me to live in this wonderful country with the freedoms that I have.

My grandfather on the mother’s side served proudly in the Pacific during World War II.  He was a long-time Merchant Marine who found himself in San Francisco the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.  Upon hearing the news, he went straight to the Navy recruiting office and signed up.  He left his wife and newborn son behind to serve and protect our country and our way of life.  I remember him telling me he was angry that we had been attacked, and he felt he needed to do his part.

He was awarded a Purple Heart and bore the scar on his stomach where he was shot.  He would show us grandkids his scar now and then.  It looked like a second belly button, and we grandkids thought it funny that he had a second belly button.  It wasn’t until I was much older that I realized the seriousness of his war wound.  He also lost a good part of his hearing, the result of being too close to an explosion, and I never knew him without hearing aids.  He served his country with pride.  When he passed in the mid-80’s, we honored him with an honor guard and a tombstone which reflects his service in the Navy and his rank.  He was especially proud that he was not an officer.  He always saw himself as an every-man, and he would say that most of the officers we jerks (although he did once confess that he had a few friends who were officers, with a twinkle in his eye.)

My other grandfather was one of four or five boys (my memory is foggy on this one,) who drew straws to see who would go to war.  They were afraid that no one would be there to care for their mother or families if they all were to die in the war.  He drew the short straw and stayed behind to take care of his mother and his brother’s families.  He was proud to serve in that way.

One of my grandfathers had a brother who died in the war.  I can’t remember which one, and I don’t really have anyone to ask.  I think it was the mother’s father, but I can’t be certain.

Ironically, both of my grandfathers were raised without fathers.  They both had a fierce sense of honor and family.

The father who raised me served in the Army during the brief period of “peace” between the end of the Korean War and the beginning of the Vietnam War.  He eventually landed on Guam, where if I recall correctly, he was the company clerk.  “Kind of like Radar,” I was told when the TV show MASH was popular.  We hear they had a really good time on Guam.  I never heard him speak much about that time.  When his four years were up, he returned to the states, got a job, married, etc.

I learned two years back that my biological father was in the Air Force.  He was a medic.  I don’t have a lot of details, and I’m not sure if he served during wartime.  I think he spent most of his time in Alaska.  My aunt his sister, sent me his Air Force photo for Christmas two years ago.  It’s a wonderful photo of a young, handsome man who I never knew.  The only photo I’ve ever seen of him.

I have friends and acquaintances who have served our country over the years, both in war time and peace.  I recall hearing that a number of boys I grew up with served during Desert Storm.  Timing is everything, and we were the right age for them to go.  I recall at the time the mother telling me, “Every generation has been in a war.”

To all the men and women who have served our country, to all who have given the ultimate sacrifice, a simple thank you does not suffice.  I am humbled and forever thankful for your service to ensure our freedom.

 

Why Mother’s Day is Hard for Me

Yesterday was Mother’s Day.  I have had a rough time with Mother’s Day for 20 years.  That’s a long time.  A dear friend of mine told me today, “Time to let go of that hold she has on you…”

My friend is right.  I just haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

20 years ago, probably in the February-March time frame, I excitedly announced to my parents that I was moving cross country, from California to Florida.  I had thought about it a long time, I had friends there, and the time was right for me to make such a change.

I made the three-hour trip to their place one Friday after work.  I took them to dinner at their favorite local haunt.  Once dinner was done, I shared my news, expecting support and undying love.

That did not happen.  Quite the opposite in fact.  The mother became terribly angry.  She accused me of telling them in a public place so she would have to “behave” (I later learned what THAT meant!)  Try as I might, I could not convince them that I was unhappy in my current situation.  Why?  Because…”All you need is your family. I don’t know why you always have to go looking for things you don’t need. You always do that. You don’t appreciate any of us!”

I stayed until Sunday afternoon, as which point I had to get out of there. The anger and hostility was too much to bear. It never eased up. In 19 years, it never eased up.

I moved in September and made a new life for myself. The next 19 years were spent at the receiving end of a furious mother. As each year passed, it became worse. I didn’t return to visit after a while because I didn’t feel I needed that kind of hatred in my life.  Every trip I did make left me battered and bruised emotionally.

I came to dread all holidays. Mother’s Day. Father’s Day. Christmas. Thanksgiving. Every single one of them.  

She died a year ago April.  The dread did not.  I spent most of Mother’s Day crying and angry.  Not because she is gone, because so many have loving mothers who they would walk through fire for. It pains me to know that I will never have that experience. Facebook is really good about showing all the love out there. I need to stay off Facebook on holidays.

I hate that she still has that hold over me. I picture her, wherever she ended up, pointing at me and laughing about it. She always told me that she would haunt me.  For now she does. For now, until I learn how to release myself.

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