Beauty Elixir

Beauty Elixir

Coffee and Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir are my breakfast staples. I discovered this product years ago and the love affair is still going strong. I’ve tried other facial mists, however, the combined scents of mint, rosemary and rose instantly perks up my skin and my psyche.

Before I apply any makeup, I close my eyes and spritz my face 3-4 times. You can apply before, during and after makeup application. Sometimes, if I’m dragging in the afternoon, or just want to refresh my makeup, I’ll spray some of the mist onto my face. I instantly feel refreshed and ready to go.

What I also love about this product is that it comes in two different sizes. The mini size at 1 fluid ounce is perfect for travelling. This has saved my face on many flights.

Last, this product, according to Caudalie’s website, contains 100% natural ingredients. My husband even uses it. Sephora and Caudalie.com are two places where you can find this product.

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Loving Yourself

It seems that everywhere you turn today, people are preaching about respecting others. My parents taught me, by example, to treat others with friendship and respect. I never witnessed any discrimination or bigotry on their part. I am thankful that I had such  exemplary role models.

Likewise, my parents were consistent in their praise for me. My mom, in particular, constantly told me how smart, talented and beautiful I was. She also knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I could do anything I wanted to do.

As a teenager battling acne and weight issues, I questioned my mother’s sanity. My peers were quick to point out flaws that my mom perceived as perfection. Thankfully, I didn’t have the internet to contend with as well.

As I transitioned into adult hood, I found it easier to love others than to love myself. I was hyper critical of my looks, my speech and my thoughts. I wanted to be the popular girl in school. My self discriminatory nature made me hate myself. I was blessed with friends, family and health, yet I was miserable.

It wasn’t until I started loving myself that I was able to truly love others. This was not a process that happened overnight. It was a slow, step by step process. The first step was to start concentrating on the positive and quick obsessing over the negative. The second step was to stop trying to look and be someone else.

beach coast coconut trees holiday
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Today, social media allows us to instantly connect with friends and family all over the world. This same social media allows us to be hyper critical of others. Many people are afraid to voice their opinions for fear of repercussions. Photos are enhanced to portray a more perfect image. There’s nothing wrong with trying to improve oneself, however, we shouldn’t hate the person we are.

If you need help, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone. I’ve seen the results of suicide on the friends and family that are left behind. There are a lot of unhappy people in the world, please don’t be one of them.

 

Contour To Go

A couple of months ago, I went in search of a compact contour palette. The contour palette I had, which I loved, was impractical for travelling. There are so many contour palettes to choose from, I wasn’t sure which one to choose. My daughter grabbed this small palette by the checkout line and shoved it into my hand.

It is approximately 3 x 4 inches and around 1/2 in thickness. My other palette requires a tote bag just to carry it.

The test was when I went to use it. The contour color blends well. With my fair complexion, a little is all I need. It was the two highlighter colors, though, that sold this palette for me. As I mentioned before, I love highlighter. This palette has a warmer and a cooler highlighter shade.

I noticed that this compact is on sale right now at Sephora.

Travel Essentials

When I was in college, I wrote a paper about the most streamlined way to pack for a trip. Needless to say, I never followed any of the recommendations in my paper. My husband will be the first to tell you that when I travel, if I could bring the house with us, I would. My oldest daughter consistently garners the award for the heaviest suitcase. You’d be amazed how much shoes can weigh.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to see a great deal of the world. In all my travels, whether by plane, train, boat or car, there are some essential rules I follow for traveling.

Shoes! In the past, I packed a pair of shoes for every conceivable situation, except for comfort. Doesn’t everyone pack 8 pairs of shoes for a 3 day trip? I was notorious for purchasing the “perfect pair” of shoes, only to discover that my feet were in agonizing pain after a day spent traipsing over cobblestone streets.

Travel Shoes

Nowadays, I read numerous reviews before selecting a potential pair of “travel” shoes. I go to the store and try them on. Once I get home, I wear the shoes, and I’m not talking about a few steps. If possible, I try to wear them on surfaces that will mimic the area/area will I be traveling. I wear them over a period of days. The last trip we went on, everything might have been tired, but my feet were happy.

Medicine! If you have prescription meds you need to take, don’t wait until the last minute to get them filled. When you’re preparing for a trip, there are other things that should occupy your time and efforts. Do not cause additional stress by trying to fill last minute prescriptions.

Regardless where I’m traveling, whether it be a big city, the mountains, beaches, etc., I make sure that I have basic medications. It seemed, especially when my kids were little, that I needed Children’s Tylenol at 1:00 in the morning. To avoid late night medication runs, take basic medications with you.

A trip, a couple of years ago to Europe wiped me of Immodium AD. I know many doctors are not a fan of anti-diarrhea type medicines, however, I was trying to travel from Italy to Greece. The last thing I wanted to do was camp out in the bathroom at the train station.

Last, unless you have to have a new outfit everyday which I’m definitely guilty of doing, some basic essentials can cut down on packing. Black is always a good basic color to have. I also like tan hues, which don’t show wear and tear like their white counterparts.

Last, I refuse to take clothes that wrinkle easily, unless there is a function where a certain outfit is required. I hate ironing. Plus, the last thing I want to do on a lack-of-time trip is ironing. Following these few essentials tips have made traveling more enjoyable for me.

The VOID

A couple of weeks ago, my family and I visited Disney World. We arrived on a cloudy Sunday afternoon. Instead of heading directly to one of the parks, we decide to explore Disney Springs. The last time we visited Disney Springs, it was known as Downtown Disney. Disney Springs contains a plethora of shops and restaurants. After some window shopping, my daughter asks if anyone wants to check out a Star Wars reality experience.

? My son-in-law attempts to explain what this means. The name of the place is the VOID.

Initially, I think this place is a video arcade. As we approach the entrance, I ask what the VOID is. One of the helpful employees tells us that the VOID is a full sensory, immersive experience. I give the college age looking kid a blank look at this statement. My daughter chimes in, “It’s a virtual reality experience.”

Okay, so I’m still not sure what this means, but being the group leader that I am, I decide that all 5 of us are going to try it.

After I pay and sign my life away, I am informed that we will have to split our group of five into two groups. No more than four people can go on a mission. Okay, that does not make me immediately happy. Isn’t there safety in numbers?

The more I hear about this mission, the more anxious I become.

“Does anything touch you?” I nervously ask another college aged kid.

“No. Nothing touches you at any time,” he reassures me.

Someone must have flagged me as a problem participant, because an older guy, maybe in his late 30’s, attempts to answer my questions.

At this point, I have several questions. Namely, will I survive?

Initially, my 20 year old son is going to accompany my daughter and her husband.

“You’re abandoning your mother?” I squeak.

“You’re coming with us,” my husband notifies my son.

My son gives a resigned sigh and agrees to accompany my husband and myself.

You may have figured out by now that I’m the biggest baby in the group. I hate when people or objects jump out at me. I have strong lungs, which my family and others have been privileged to hear on numerous occasions. I also have a very vivid imagination.

Another employee? At this point, they all look the same, tells me that if at anytime the experience is too much, I can raise my hand and/or raise my visor.

What visor? You’re putting something over my face?

“It’s just like going skiing,” my husband tells me.

Visor employee places the helmet on my head and lowers the visor. I try to raise it, but it won’t budge. I start hyperventilating. There is no air in space or under this helmet.

“It won’t raise,” I say. My voice is steadily increasing in volume.

Another helpful employee raises the visor for me. I take a deep breath of air.

“I don’t want to be in the back,” I inform everyone.

“Alexander will be in the front and I will be behind you. You can hang on to us, if you’re scared,” my husband says.

We’re briefed on some type of mission. We need to get something, I’m not sure what it is. Mentally, I keep telling myself that Disney won’t let anything bad happen to me. It becomes my mantra.

In addition to having the no-air helmet, we are carrying a 20 pound backpack on our back. As backpack employee assists me into a vest with an attached backpack, I wobble unsteadily. My husband reaches over before I can topple over. Okay, I’m ready. Bring it on, I guess.

As we lower our visors, we are no longer at Disney Springs but somewhere in space. A storm trooper tells us to sit down in preparation for our flight into space. A few seconds later, we arrive at our destination. A door opens and my son, who is now a storm trooper, moves forward. I reach for him in a panic and break my newly manicured nail.

“I broke my nail,” I wail.

No one hears me. Evidentially you can’t breathe or hear in space or under this helmet. Someone informs me that we are not in space, but on the planet, Mustafar. Could have fooled me.

The air is noticeably warmer, there’s lava everywhere. We’re on a bridge with empty lava filled space below us. Okay, I like heights. This is cool. I look over the edge. We need to cross a sky bridge over the lava.¬†My husband isn’t wild about this part, but I love it.

So far, so good. Next, we descend an elevator. I almost take my storm trooper son out by tripping and crashing into him. Thankfully, he knows me too well.

We walk aimlessly around and finally find the armory. Alexander grabs a blaster. I take the blaster from him, thinking that he meant to hand it to me. After we have our blasters, couldn’t they provide us with bigger weapons, we encounter storm troopers. The storm troopers are shooting at us. I scream as my vest starts vibrating. I’ve been hit by one of the storm troopers. I start shooting back. I hit the wall. I get hit again. Somewhere, in the back of my mind, is the thought that I might want to seek cover. Instead, I stand in the middle and am hit repeatedly. People are screaming around me. I’m later informed that I was the only one screaming. I strongly disagree with these eyewitness statements.

Next, what the hell? It’s a lava monster. We start shooting at the lava monster. Oh no, it’s coming toward me. I back up against a wall and raise my visor. Yea, no lava monster. Just some gray walls. I lower my visor and sigh in relief, the lava monster has been defeated.

We walk through a door that has been blasted open and we enter a room where a rebel droid informs us that we have to enter a code to open another door. While my husband and I are attempting to do this, Alexander engages the storm troopers that keep trying to blast us. The droid finally gives up on us and opens the door for us.

As we walk through the door, we see a storm trooper on a cat walk. My husband blasts him. My son tells us not to shoot him because he’s on our side. The storm trooper grabs a weapon, which is a light saber, then my worst nightmare appears.

Ever since I was kid, I’ve been terrified of Darth Vader. The moment I hear his breathing, my anxiety level reaches an all time high. Initially, I try blasting him, but he quickly deflects my shots. He slowly approaches. He is right in front of us. This is it. I lift my visor and turn to flee. Two employees are standing there. One is smiling while the other is laughing. I motion that I want out of there. Smiling employee tells me everything is fine. He tells me to put my visor back on. I shake my head, no.

“It’s okay,” he reassures me. “Put your visor back on.”

I resign myself to the fact that I’m not going to get out of there, unless I put my visor back on. As I lower the visor, I’m relieved to discover that Darth Vader is gone and we accomplished the mission. I’m not sure how we accomplished this mission, but I think if you’re alive to tell the story, then you’re doing good.

As we exit the experience, I inquire about my daughter. “Is she okay?”

“Yea,” a confused looking employee admits.

We are concerned that she might have fainted due to her aversion to heights. In actuality, I almost fainted from fright.

As we reach the photo taking area, my daughter and son-in-law are waiting to pose for a family picture.

“Mom, you screamed the entire time,” my daughter informs me.

“I don’t think so. There were other people screaming as well, weren’t there?”

“No,” my son-in-law says.

As we replace our equipment and exit to pay for the pictures, I ask the employees working the desk, “Did you hear me scream.”

It’s obvious they had been laughing. “No,” they simultaneously reply while shaking their heads, yes.

People may not be able to hear you screaming in space, but they can certainly hear you scream in the VOID.

My entire family LOVED the experience.

The VOID

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wiping The Slate Clean

When my youngest was born, I discovered baby wipes. Initially, I employed these wipes on my baby. As the years progressed, I found that these wipes were useful in a myriad number of ways. Here are some ways I have used these wipes.

 

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  1. To remove makeup, I purchase non scented brands. I especially love to use baby wipes when traveling. This way, I don’t have to worry about toting around bottles of makeup remover that can be messy and/or break.
  2. As a quick refresher these are indispensable. My husband has even asked for these if we’re out and about. I pull a wipe out and a quick flick to the face and neck equals instant refreshment.
  3. On planes these can be used to clean. Supposedly there are armies of germs living on airplane trays. Even though the wipes are not made to remove 99.99 percent of germs, I’ve used them to clean sticky tray tables.
  4. No shower? No problem. I’ve used baby wipes to clean my skin when a shower is not available. Instead of my skin feeling stripped for moisture, it feels refreshed and moist.
  5. Debris from an upset stomach, not a problem. These wipes have been indispensable in cleaning up both my kids and the surrounding area.
  6. Flaky eyeshadow that winds up everywhere except under your eyes. I take a baby wipe and place it under my eye. I put my eye makeup on, remove the wipe, and then put my concealer on.
  7. Makeup boo boo? Baby wipe to the rescue. I’ve used wipes to fix errant eyeliner and mascara that winds up under the eyes from an allergy infested morning.
  8. Added plus? These wipes are more economical than makeup wipes I’ve spied elsewhere.

Any other uses? Feel free to share.