Tag Archives: Willing Beauty

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.

 

 

 

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

 

What’s Herman Been Up To?


Does a skull fracture heal or just float around? I should probably find this out. I swear that there are days when Herman is bothering me, but not in the usual place.

A CT scan is $300…or $400, in either case, it’s kind of a lot and I’ve not gotten around to it. Yet. I’m thinking I need to, as good ole Herman continues to raise his head now and then. 

Herman doesn’t like extreme heat. When I get overheated, he acts up. It’s summer in Florida. Herman is restless. 

He still does not like lifting or any type of exertion. Damn it Herman, I need to be able to DO things! I need to exercise, and I need to lift things at work without you wreaking havoc the rest of the day. 

Today was one of those days. I lifted a 35 pound or so item up from the floor and into a wagon. I ended up with a headache. My coworker jumped in my case, worried that I’d hurt my back. I didn’t even tell her that I had woken up Herman. He and I simply spent the rest of the day co-existing. 

I think my memory is as improved as it’s going to get. Long term is pretty good. Short term can be spotty. Somethings I remember really well. Some things I don’t. I have noticed that on “Herman Days”, the memory isn’t as good as it should be. I’ve decided I need note cards in my pocket and purse to help me with things I need to know at the drop of a hat. Key points. Elevator speeches. 

One really annoying thing with all this is me trying to learn everything I can about Willing Beauty – the company, the product lines, all of it. Some things have stuck well. Some just don’t stick at all. I find that if I read something over and over, and study a lot, it helps. I didn’t have to study this hard in high school or college!

There is a bright spot in the Herman saga! Yes, I said a bright spot! It’s really exciting. Are you ready??? 

I am able to put more of my head on a pillow. That’s huge. I still sleep at an incline with a pillow under my neck. It’s kinda comfortable, I don’t snore, and I don’t wake up sore. I kind of like it. But I can get more of my head on a pillow for a longer period of time now than I could even six months ago, so that’s good. Plus, it gives the kitties a place to snuggle next to me (they do love a good pillow.)
I’ve begun to wonder, is it all in my head? Maybe I’m all better and my head just THINKS I’m not. Sometimes I think it’s all a dream and I will wake up. Oh how wonderful that would be?!?! I don’t think that is going to happen though, so I need to keep making it work. Herman is, by far, the toughest relationship I’ve ever had! 

50 Doesn’t Look Like 50 Did Thirty Years Ago

I was watching The Golden Girls recently. You know, that 80’s show about the adventures of ladies entering their golden years. At the beginning of the show, at least two characters were in their 50’s. 

When I first watched this in the 80’s, I thought “They are so old!” Rose dressed in old lady clothes. Blanche dressed in grampa old lady clothes. Dorothy dressed like Maude, who I always thought was old also. There was grey hair, aging topics, and the attitude that they were almost elderly and living younger lives. They made growing old look like fun. 

The last few months, this show has bothered me. I am 51. Many of my friends are in their late 40’s and older (a few into their 70’s.) as I watched the show one afternoon it hit me:

I am not 51 like my grandparents or parents were 51. 

My Nana died at 54 after a three year battle with pancreatic cancer. She died in the mid-70’s, when treatments were not as successful as they are today. 

My Nana was always old. I remember her as always having grey hair, wearing dirty blonde wigs and housecoats, and acting like she was elderly. She was a grandmother afterall!

My other grandma? Same thing, except there were a LOT of mumus. She wore them around the house. I don’t remember her wearing a top or pants unless she left the house. (I will have to check with my brother on that point!) 

My grandpas were the same. Always old. They both worked until they were 65, but even before they retired, they were old. 

The parents were old at 40. I kid you not. They began acting old at 40. By 50? They may as well have been in rocking chairs. They traveled by motor home and they took cruises until their health declined to the point they couldn’t. But they were never young during those years. 

Maybe it’s because I was a kid, or maybe it was the lifestyle of the times. Either way, I realized that afternoon watching The Golden Girls: 

I am younger at 51 than my parents or grandparents ever were. 

I color my hair. I take care of my skin. I work on my health. I try to maintain a youthful appearance. I work full time and have one freelance job and one business that I work on my off hours. I don’t see myself slowing down. The thought of retiring is a crazy fantasy (what would I DO?) I socialize, I DO things. I don’t sit in a chair aging. I don’t want to age. I want to live as much as possible. (Falling off a ladder cemented my need to do that!)

My friends? Same thing. We are all more vibrant, active, and young than our parents and grandparents ever were. We live very different lifestyles. We are always learning and expanding our minds. We are not waiting for grandchildren and death. 

I don’t own one mumu, housecoat, or wig. I don’t sit by the window knitting and watching the world pass by (not that I don’t enjoy knitting!) I don’t even take advantage of the “you’re 50 or older” discounts that are out there (though I probably should!) AARP? I won’t join in principle. Ok, that’s silly, but I’m not mentally “ready” to do that. 

I am a young 51. Many people don’t believe me when I tell them my age. I like that. I like that I’m mistaken for ten years younger. I like that the cashiers look shocked when they automatically card me and then see my age. 

I like being young. 

That’s not to say I’m not aging. I have less patience. I live more simply. Obtaining material things means less to me. I like wearing flats and flip flops. Heck, flip-flops are my all-occassion shoe (black Crocs to be exact.) I wear mostly black and grey because it’s simply easier. I don’t have to agonize over outfits, I just grab and go. It all matches. I enjoy my alone time. I can’t drink like I used to (probably not a bad thing.) I certainly don’t handle a hangover as well as I did ten years ago. 

I’m aging gracefully and slowly. 

My 51 is where my parents and grandparents were in their 30’s. 

I’m cool with that. 

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! 

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. 

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.

 

…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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