Category Archives: Nature

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!

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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

Making a Wishlist and Checking it Twice

Have you started your holiday shopping yet?  Better still, have you told the treasured WBC_WishList (1)-page-001peeps in your life what YOU would like to receive this holiday season?

I’ve got the cutest little Wishlist downloadable for you!  Click here to download a copy of the Wishlist I am using this holiday season.  On it you’ll find space to include:

  • Name of the person you are shopping for
  • Budget that you want to work within
  • What the product is you would like to buy
  • The SKU number to make finding that product all the easier.

I am using this for all my treasured peeps, whether I am gifting them Willing Beauty products or not!  You can also fill this wishlist out and give it to your loved one – a little hint-hint to ensure you receive what you really want.  (WINK-WINK!)

Better still, if your holiday wish is from Willing Beauty, you can send me a picture of your wishlist and a way to email or text your wishlist to your treasured peeps.  I’ll be happy to deliver it to them and help them do their shopping!  Who doesn’t want to give and receive better-for-you, safer, effective, clean products that are safe for sensitive skin and pregnant women, and free of parabens, sulfates, mineral oils, DEA, phthalates, chemical sunscreens and synthetic fragrances at a more affordable price?

We have some wonderful holiday specials that you and yours may want to take advantage of, including HY+5 Regimens™ and Stocking Stuffers (or teachers gifts, or hostess gifts…):

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Stocking Stuffers are available while supplies last.  The HY+5 special is good through November 30.

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 amazing folks who are also sharing their holiday traditions and preparing for the best holiday season yet. I’ve got my Santa hat on for you!

 

 

 

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.

Hurricane Irma, Before, During, After


Shell shocked. 

One week ago today I sealed the house, locked my doors, and wondered if I would ever see it again. 

I moved from California to Florida 20 years ago this month. My plane landed the evening of September 21, 2017.  It was a new adventure, living in a city that I fell in love with the first moment I saw it. 

We’ve had storms over the years. Tropical weather, Cat 1 hurricanes. We’ve had scares. Remember Charlie? He scared the hell out me up until he took an odd east turn and destroyed the center of the state. We’ve had nothing like Hurricane Irma. 

Usually, there is about a week of warnings. A week. A week of every news organization, local and national, warning of every conceivable bad thing a hurricane can bring. Death. Destruction. Mayhem. Heartbreak. Devastation. They thrive on it. They spend every moment warning of the upcoming apocalypse. It’s their job. 

The meteriorologists and anchors love a good hurricane. They become giddy at the idea of 24-hour coverage, meyham, death, and destruction. High winds will take down mobile home parks, trees, and roofs. Heavy rains will bring street flooding. Storm surge will bring worse. WE MUST WARN THE PUBLIC! Yes, they must, and it’s overwhelming. 

A week of these messages leaves a person battered and bruised before the storm even arrives. 

Then there is Storm Anxiety. That feeling of dread that takes over. The inability to decide, do I stay or do I go? For me, the inability to eat without running to the bathroom. Constant nausea. I lost five pounds in four days. Five pounds. Four days. Think about that. Storm Anxiety brought me the need to lay in a fetal position. All day. Storm Anxiety led me to accept the fact that I would not have a home when all was said and done. 

My Storm Anxiety set in on Monday September 4. I was scheduled to work only Tuesday and Wednesday that week, as I had taken a few vacation days to “relax and rejuvenate” after a crazy couple of months. Ha. Irma had other plans. That damn Irma. 

The reports stated that: 

  • Irma was going to take out the Keys. 
  • Irma was going to take out South Florida. 
  • Irma was going to take out the Tampa Bay Area. 
  • Irma was going to come right on up and wipe out St Petersburg. 
  • I live in St Petersburg. 

I reserved a rental car that Tuesday for a Friday pick up. I had a list of what to pack and a doctors appointment on Thursday to refill my blood pressure meds. Kind of a necessary appointment. 

By Thursday, Irma had shifted east enough that I cancelled the car and used that money to trim up my front trees. I went to the doctor. The pharmacy screwed up my order. They said to return on Friday to pick it up. It was chaotic there and I forgave them and headed home. 

Friday morning, Irma had jogged again and was heading straight for us. My car rental was no longer available, there most likely wasn’t enough gas in the state to get me to safety (not that anyone could guess where that might be,) and I still didn’t have a prescription. 

Here’s the thing about evacuating that people don’t understand or ever really hear. There are two roads in and out of Florida, one on either side of the state. I live in the middle on the west coast. If you want to safely leave, ensure there is gas along the way, and that you won’t get stranded on the side of the road, you must go at least four days in advance. I’d lost my window of opportunity. It could take 20 hours to go what would normally take three hours. I know this to be true, as I know many this happens to. 

Over the course of that week many friends and relatives called and texted and messaged. At one point it was so overwhelming I had to turn my phone off for 14 hours. I did not listen to the radio, I did not watch the news, I pretty much turned off anything electronic. It was kind of nice being in the dark so to speak, for those 14 hours. 

Everybody meant well. It was just too much all at once, and constant reminders of the doom and gloom that was being spread. While I love everybody, it did not help my anxiety level. I did my best not to let on. 

A friend invited me to ride the storm out at her place. She tempted me with her new hurricane resistant windows and not being alone. I took her up on it and am I glad I did. 

I stood in my house last Saturday, a few keepsakes in hand, and said goodbye. I expected that I would lose my roof, as it is almost 20 years old. I knew if that happened I would lose everything inside. I live in evacuation Zone C, so I wasn’t worried about the water rising. If the water rose that high, well, we would have bigger problems. I honestly couldn’t think of anything I had to take except my kindle, some clothes, and a very special book. I locked the doors and drove away, crying. 

Sunday we hunkered down and sat out the storm. We watched it get windier and windier, rainier and rainier. I posted some video updates periodically on Facebook, which seemed to give my friends and family something to watch and hear from me. 

Sunday night was when all the action was to occur. I went to bed about 11:30 PM and the power went out at 12:04 AM. I listen to the wind and the rain batter the front of the house. Thank goodness for new windows! I did finally fall sleep for a few hours, and woke about 6 AM Monday morning. It was still windy but the worst had passed. 

We waited until the city and county said it was safe to be on the roads and then we ventured out. We checked a couple friends houses who were out of town and then I went to my house. Everywhere we went there were downed trees, branches, debris. Overwhelming. 

I insisted on going to my house alone. Whatever had happened, I wanted to be there to soak it in before letting anybody else into my emotions. I was raw and numb by that point, and I just didn’t know how I would react.

On September 11, 2001 I sat in my living room crying, a feeling of disbelief and numbness washing over me as the towers fell and our country changed. 19 years later, I sat in my living room crying again. This time the numbness and disbelief were joined by gratitude. 

My house was standing. I had a roof. There was a lot of debris in the yards. One small tree had came down in the backyard and barely brushed my back porch. There was no power, and there wouldn’t be for several days. But my little house had survived.

Tuesday we went full force into cleanup mode. I cleaned up the front and sides of my house, and then I joined my friend and cleaned up the front of her house. We also helped a couple of her neighbors take care of some things at their houses. It was a full day, And no time to really let anything sink in.

Tuesday night it all hit me. My family and friends were still messaging and texting to make sure I was OK. The only way I can describe how I felt then and now is shell shocked. It is still incredibly overwhelming. You’re thankful, and then you feel guilty because you actually came through it OK and so many others didn’t. 

  • 80% of the county I live in lost power. 
  • 25% of the homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed. 
  • 4 million people in Florida lost power.
  • 12 people died at Irma’s hands the last time I looked. 
  • 1.1 million lost power in the Tampa Bay Area. 

There are islands in the Caribbean that may not exist anymore. There are other islands in the Caribbean who are running out of food and water and desperately waiting for help to arrive. Elderly people who went to shelters and can’t go home. So many people displaced. So much devestation. 

And the media? They are hanging on every horrible tidbit, cameras in faces, reporting the worst. Again.  Death. Destruction. Mayhem. Heartbreak. Devastation. 

Overwhelming. Shell shocked. I haven’t complained much as I’ve been fortunate to come through relatively unscathed. A little house damage that can be dealt with. No power for five days. A place to stay that had power and all the comforts of home. 

I am exhausted. 

I cry easily. I find myself driving around taking it all in. I close my eyes and hear the wind and rain. I still can’t wrap my head around it. Shell shocked. Numb. 

I will go home tomorrow and move back into “normal”. I will take less for granted. I hope I begin to feel normal soon. 

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

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! 

…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.

 

 

Summer Means…Sunscreen Part 1

sundamage2

I am terrible about wearing sunscreen.  Terrible.  I have sun damage all over my body to show for the years of abuse I put my skin through when I thought, “There’s plenty of time…I’m young…I am invincible…”

I wasn’t allowed to use suntan oil as a child.  We had a pool, and I had SPF 15 sunscreen.  All my friends had gorgeous tans, and my wicked mother insisted I be protected when I laid out.  I really did think that was wicked of her.

What’s a teenage girl to do when she’s being denied the glorious, oily, tropical smell of Banana Boat, Hawaiian Tropic, or St Tropez? She snuck into the kitchen and slathered on the Wesson Oil before heading out to the pool, that’s what she did!

Insert horrified face here.  

I got away with it for years.  I became a master. I could time it so I never got too burnt (I’m lily white, I burn!) I worked on that “base tan” all summer.  I looked GOOD when school started!  All the while, the mother was impressed with my tan, thinking I was safely slathered in SPF 15, saying things like, “See how good sunscreen works?” and wondering why her tan wasn’t as good.  In fact, when SPF 30 was invented, thought she would wet her pants with excitement.

My senior year, I did a LOT of tanning.  I skipped sunscreen as often as I could.  I was stupid.  Yes, I said stupid.  I sustained several severe sunburns that year.  1984 was the year I learned the joys of Noxema and White Vinegar, and how they took the sting out of a sunburn.  God bless my Home Ec teacher for the vinegar trick!  I kept white vinegar in the house for years for just that reason.

Spring break 1984 was spent at Pismo Beach.  A week at one of my favorite beaches with the family.  I was in heaven.  I laid out every day, and every day the weather was kinda yucky.  No tan was developing. I began to panic.  The day before we left, I used the Wesson Oil.  It was overcast.  Do you know what happens to a lily white girl slathered in Wesson Oil at the beach on an overcast day?

She burns.  Badly.  So badly that she can’t take her swim suite off.  So badly that the seams of her t-shirt cause excruciating pain upon her shoulders.

I got in trouble for not using the sunscreen.  She never knew about the Wesson Oil.

We left Pismo and took a side trip to Yuma Arizona to visit the grandparents.  From there we drove to a dry lake bed in the Mojave Desert to watch the space shuttle land.  It was pretty dang hot in that dry lake bed in the middle of the desert.  Too hot for clothing.  Ya, I wore the swimsuit and shorts.  After-all, I felt better, and the tan was building.

Oops. Burn on burn, not a good thing.  Apparently the desert is just as bad as the beach on an overcast day.  Eventually it was necessary to cut the swimsuit of me.  The burn was that bad.

I blistered and peeled like I never had before.  It was at that time that I noticed…freckles.  Not a lot, but a few, on my shoulders and on my chest.  Hmm, they kinda looked like a tan, so I didn’t care.  Freckles were cute as long as they were minimal.

Soon it was graduation week.  We went water-skiing the weekend before graduation.  Now, no matter how much sunscreen one slathers on, it washes off every time you fall down on the skis.  Boy did I fall down a lot.  I am not meant to stand on water-skis.  I’m not mean to be in the same body of water with water-skis. I spent a lot of time in the water that day.  I also burned again.  Really, really bad.

I clearly recall a trip to the doctor who declared a first degree burn.  I remember my mother placing huge gauze pads on my shoulders under the straps of my dress which I wore under my graduation gown.  I remember my boyfriend being both fascinated and grossed out at my shoulders. When the pealing and healing was done, my shoulders were covered in freckles and a lot of damage. They still are.

Do you think I learned my lesson?  Heck no!  I tanned all through my 20’s and a good chunk of my 30’s.  Then, a trip to the salon changed my wayward tanning ways.  More on that tomorrow…