Posts tagged Blogger

Winter Skin Care Maintenance Essential

Winter Skin Care Maintenance is Essential

*Disclosure: At times I have the opportunity to receive a discount, service or product in exchange for sharing my experience. The following is one of those opportunities through Skin Raleigh. 

Your skin care routine changes throughout the year depending on the season. In my case, it has also changed due to being in my forties. Winter skin care maintenance is essential. Currently, I have a love/hate relationship with my skin.

When I was younger, I would get blemishes and that part hasn’t changed depending on the time of the month. When I entered my thirties, I started to notice brown spots that were subtle at first. I learned that I had developed Melasma and that I had a mild case of Rosacea.

Needless to say, I didn’t sign up for either one of those things. Part of it is my ethnicity being a Latina and hormonal changes have exacerbated the symptoms. I was smart enough to seek a dermatologist and that is how I officially found out what was happening to my skin when I was in my thirties.

Most recently, I made an appointment with Skin Raleigh and decided to try a HydraFacial. Chelsea was great informing me of what I could expect with my first time. Due to having Melasma, she omitted the LED light step because of it.

Skin Raleigh
One of the treatment rooms.
HydraFacial with Skin Raleigh
High tech preparation ready to go.

The treatment takes less than one hour

A HydraFacial is good for any type of skin. Microdermabrasion tends to feel more invasive for some people including myself. That is why I opted to get this type of treatment and more so to help with my hyperpigmentation.

The process involves a wand with a special tip that serves as a mini vacuum to suction out the impurities. It also releases special serums during the treatment. It feels very light and a cool sensation across your skin. It includes exfoliation, extraction, hydration and a booster specific to your needs.

Some might experience a slight tingling during the treatment, but it is normal. You are in and out under an hour.

Skin Raleigh
RealSelf Recognition and a variety of products to choose from.

I would love to say I am one of those people that can post the beautiful post-glow pic, but I am the opposite. My face is sensitive and afterward, I had redness on different parts of my face.

Being self-conscious I was not ready to show that pic to the world. However, in order to be fair, I decided to share the before and after photos. For the record, this one is out of my comfort zone, but transparency is something that I believe in. Actually. its empowering to be vulnerable here.

HydraFacial Skin Raleigh
This is the before photo in the morning. Then my evening photo outdoors.

The good news is that the redness does go away after a while. I can tell you that I did put makeup on after my appointment because I had errands to run. That evening I took my makeup off and my skin felt as clean as it did that morning after my treatment.

Prevention is the key to maintaining healthy skin

Things to remember no matter what your age is to use sunscreen daily. Go invest in proper skin care. Hydration is important in keeping your skin moisturized.

For midlife women, it isn’t too late to start now. Go to a professional that can figure out what is happening to your skin. There are ways to reverse certain types of skin damage. A professional can help recommend treatments, products or direct you to a more specialized path such as laser, fillers or even Botox.

Past neglect in skin care can take its toll on your skin. However, the faster that you start the more likely you will be able to improve the condition of your skin. Doesn’t that sound worth it?

I encourage you to try a HydraFacial and see what you think. For me, I look forward to seeing improvement in my skin tone over time. I believe in enhancing what you’re born with and a little TLC goes a long way.

Starting Your Dream Before A New Year

Starting Your Dream Before A New Year

Here we are in November 2018. A month where you celebrate by being thankful and you look forward to the big feast. It is also a time to think about starting your dream before a new year.

Let me tell you why November is the perfect time to start. First, you owe it to yourself to begin. Starting something that you have always thought of doing is rewarding.

It is going towards that thing that has been keeping you up at night. Only you know what that is. At this time of year, helps you look at how fast time has flown.

Have you spent it doing what you are passionate about?

Time to reflect

If you haven’t, ask yourself why not? I like to reflect on how far I have come with writing for instance. I go back to the beginning of the year.

This helps me gauge my progress to date. If you haven’t started your dream yet it is a good exercise to start doing. Look at how you have spent your time so far.

Where might you omit things that aren’t benefiting you?

Most might look at all these months and notice that they all had some things in common. Perhaps that was working a 9-5 job, raising a family, being a wife or significant other. These are the usual things.

Start the process

However, what step could you start taking now? Some type of action that requires you to go for it. Look at it as a way to stop not put it off until the new year is underway. Your time is now.

It is like someone giving you the head start. When in fact that person is you. You give yourself permission to start that diet, begin that side business or a brand-new career altogether.

Maybe it is starting the process to register for college and go back to school. It could be that you have always wanted to start a hobby. What is it that you want to start today?

If you have already started the process but have been procrastinating, get back on track. You would be surprised at what you can do before the start of 2019. That is what keeps me going.

Knowing the time that I still have left to submit articles. The opportunity to publish new content, freelance as a proofreader and so many other things under my writer life. I love knowing that I can still finish strong in 2018.

The same holds true for you. All it takes is that initial first step towards that thing that beckons you. Think of it as a gift that is waiting to be opened.

Are you ready to reveal what is underneath all that sparkly gift wrap? I know that I am.

3 Tips to Help You Stay Consistent

3 Tips to Help You Stay Consistent

It takes careful planning to win with any diet, complete a project or stay the course as an entrepreneur. I came up with 3 tips to help you stay consistent.  As a writer, I have noticed my highs and lows. Also, I have seen the same trend with my fitness goals.

To become better at something, you must stay consistent. Ever notice that happens when you first start a diet? However, the minute that you slip you fall back into your old habits and you are back to square one.

It helps by starting off with a few steps. Habits take time to become successful. The most important thing is to begin the process.

Writing it down

First, get out a notebook and write down your plan. Think of the steps that you need to put into place. The things that will take you from point A to point B. It doesn’t have to be complicated.

The main idea is to get it all down on paper. This simple step will help you reap the rewards in the short and the long term. Plus, it’s a great way to become organized with your thoughts.

Reevaluate your “why”

Second, ask yourself why it’s important for you to stay consistent. This triggers your “why.” What’s in it for you? Maybe you are doing something for yourself or for someone else. Whatever it is figure out why you want to keep doing it.

If it is a new fitness routine, why do you need to be consistent? Could it be because you were bored with what you were doing? Maybe your old routine wasn’t working for you. Possibly the routine wasn’t the real reason it didn’t work.

That is how consistency plays a big factor in all that you are trying to succeed at. How many times have you started and not finished something because it got too hard? It’s about creating new habits and shedding the ones that didn’t work.

Believe that you can

Finally, the third thing is to believe in yourself. You can’t become consistent if you don’t. Faith in what you are trying to do is everything. Do whatever it takes to instill it in your heart, mind, and spirit.

When you start doing that it makes you more confident. It doesn’t mean that some things may not scare or intimidate you, but you will be ready for those moments. Confidence will help you project it from the inside out. It ends up becoming more visible in your life.

Consistency  is what will get you closer to the completion of your goals. It’s a partnership that you create with yourself. You make a pact to get it done.

You make it a point to show up even on the days that you don’t feel like it. Remember 2018 isn’t over yet. You have plenty of time to get into the process.

So, here’s to you for what you are about to recommit to. Think about how much better you’ll be for it. Taking a piece of what is important to you and making it the best that it can be.

Conferences Propel You Forward

Judy Goss and Kristin West
Judy Goss and Kristin West doing what they do best.

Conferences Propel You Forward

Ever get back from a conference fired up to apply everything that you learned? If you haven’t then I highly recommend that you consider the What Women Want National Conference in 2019. I came back from this conference so excited to move forward with my dreams and goals.

The theme this year was to Go Big.  Judy Goss put together a conference that had something for everyone. There were a variety of speakers and breakout sessions to choose from.

When you consider attending a conference do your research and be open-minded to what is being taught. There is always something valuable that you can take away from it.

Remember that not every single part of a conference may be a fit for you. This usually depends on the topic and who it is geared towards. Examine the parts that you think might be for you. How can you apply them to what you are doing now?

Fitness and Inspiration

Cathryn Marshall of Simple Fat Burn was a great speaker talking about diet, nutrition and fitness. All things that I am familiar with. I was reminded that I needed to up my water intake. She talked about sugar being in a lot of foods including some fruits and vegetables.

Even 10 minutes of exercise at home is beneficial. It is easy to make things more complicated than what they must be. She reminded us about getting our daily dose of greens too.

Nikki Walter was there with her daughter Addie to talk about their journey. There were some heartfelt moments throughout her story. It’s easy to be inspired by such a beautiful woman that is a hard worker and still finds a way to balance it all.

She was the perfect example of someone holding down a full-time job, a fitness powerhouse and a wonderful mom. The kind of woman that gives other women hope that they can do it too.

Lesley Jane Seymour was a great speaker as well. I connected with her talk. She is all about reinvention in middle age through her platform called Covey Club. I enjoyed her strength and examples of being resilient through some hard times.

Amy Newmark publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul shared inspiration from some of her books. I have been a huge fan for many years. I couldn’t leave without asking her for a tip on writing for her someday.

The good news is that her tip resonated with me especially on my flight home.  I was reading one of the stories when there was a light bulb moment for me. That is what many people can take away from attending a conference. That golden nugget that will be the game changer.

We all have those epiphanies when we are strongly engaged to a speaker. It is about being a listener first, asking questions and then applying those principles. Without the application you stay in the same place.

Put in the Work

Anyone can attend a conference, but not everyone will do the work afterwards. I know that I wasn’t going to be that person that didn’t. Have you ever attended a conference that made you want to do more? Aside from learning things you get the opportunity to network.

You get the chance to establish new friendships. The in between moments when you can talk with each other are the best. People tell you their story and their plans.

What I loved about this conference is that it made you want to go after your goals. This time it made me feel more determined more than ever. Let’s face it when you hit midlife you start realizing that you don’t have all the time in the world.

So, to all the younger people out there go for it! For all my midlife people keep going and don’t stop. You will reap the rewards before you know it.

Forget Excuses

If you are looking to change your current situation find a conference near you. Buddy up with a friend. Start local then eventually travel to one that is 6 hours or less from you.

Don’t make up all the excuses of why you can’t. I almost wasn’t going to be at this conference this year. However, I made the decision to do whatever it took to be there.

Your Time Is Now

Judy Goss is someone that I admire and respect so much that I knew I had to be there. I am so grateful to her for what she has created and this community of women helps us empower each other. Attending a conference like this makes us see the bigger picture.

Yes, your time is now because we all get the same number of hours in a day. I left this conference feeling so pumped up to Go Big. I can tell you that a year went by fast since I attended last year’s conference. It may be Fall of 2018, but so much can be accomplished before the end of this year.

Will you be willing to do what it takes too?

A Second Blog Anniversary Keeps Me Going

A Second Blog Anniversary Keeps Me Going

 

Pursuing a dream is comparable to the work that you put in when you work out. You have a combination of sweat, tears and continuous hard work. It’s an almost love/hate relationship. Here I am, and I’ve arrived at the second year of my Blog Anniversary.

Time has surely flown on by. Every single step has been worth it. That is how far your passion takes you when you are willing. I stress on the word willing because that is the game changer.

Some people don’t know that I’ve been a writer for so many years. I was a writer before I ever became a blogger. I wrote for free for a while before I made a dime at writing.

However, my commitment is what has kept me going. Have I always been committed? Well I can tell you that I didn’t always feel like staying committed. There is a difference.

You could say that I took a hiatus from writing on a regular basis. Now that I’ve hit mid-life I realize that I don’t have any time to waste. No waiting for the right time either.

It’s a sink or swim mentality. Sounds harsh doesn’t it. That is what it takes to make it with anything that you’ve never done.

Have you ever felt like quitting something because it got too hard?

Keep Going Do It Anyway

That is what a dream does for you. You face the unknowns like a leaf shaking in the wind. You stumble and fall through all the uncertainties but manage to get back up.

You keep on going despite how hard it gets. These past couple of years has taught me about: grit, patience, gratitude, doubt, excitement, being consistent and staying committed to the course.

I have a strong passion for writing inspirational posts and articles that make you feel good. It gives me a lot of joy when a reader tells me something resonated with them. That right there is why I write.

If I can touch a heart, then I’ve done my job. I am super grateful for the friendships that I have made through blogging and for the wonderful opportunities that have come my way.

Be Willing to Continue Learning

I’m continually learning new things. You’d better believe there is never a dull moment. I still don’t know everything, and I’m blessed to work with Linda Mendible because she helps with the behind the scenes that I may not know the answer to with technology. On top of that she is an experienced blogger as well. She is my saving grace.

Honestly, I wouldn’t want to know how to do everything. Part of the excitement with a dream is learning along the way. You figure out what works and what doesn’t. If you can’t do it alone then you ask for help.

I’m finally at a point where I am working on my own book after all these years.  I also started my own podcast Arrows & Lattes on top of everything else. That’s the beauty of sticking with something and staying consistent. Sometimes I’m curious about the future and what it will bring my way.

In the meantime, I focus on what I can bring to the table. I aim to inspire, encourage and make a difference whenever I can. If I can pursue my dream all while having a family and a full-time job, then you can follow your dream too.

So, here’s to my second year doing what I love and celebrating my blog anniversary. A huge thank you to all that have come along the journey with me. I know my muse is proud of me, but most importantly so am I.

Glamping Made Special on Solo Retreat

The following is a sponsored post with Glampers Paradise.

glampers paradise
Inside the Peacock Mansion

Glamping Made Special on Solo Retreat

Imagine for a moment going on a glamping mini vacation. I found this on my solo retreat at Glampers Paradise. What is glamping? It is a way to enjoy the outdoors with a touch of glamour and wonderful amenities.

Upon my arrival Jennifer Waller greeted me outside in front of her gorgeous patio. It was awesome to finally get to meet her in person. I knew by the location that I was going to enjoy my stay.

I sat down with her to talk about her beautiful Airbnb. It is a place where women can rejuvenate, rest and rediscover themselves. As women get older and especially during midlife it is important to find that balance.

Some of them are women that are becoming empty nesters, have a full-time job and are married or single. Women that are undergoing these transitions tend to feel overwhelmed. They have raised their children and now ponder over what comes next in their life.

I loved the personalized touches. She had a lap desk ready for me because she knew that I was a writer. Plus, coffee and tea. The small plate snacks were delicious. I can’t say enough about her green juice in the mason jar. So good!

Her Shasta travel trailer is called the Peacock Mansion.  You will see her peacock decor throughout her outdoor space and in her trailer.

Green juice

Glampers Paradise is a place that offers relaxation and serves as a way to unplug. Also, as an opportunity to indulge in some self-love by booking a photo shoot. It’s the kind of place that you don’t want to ever leave from.

Playing dress up

Glampers Paradise
Feeling like a goddess in my blue dress.

Remember playing dress up as a little girl? That is exactly what I did only grown up style.

I had the chance to put on some beautiful dresses and lovely statement jewelry. Jennifer had a way of making me feel right at home. She was the type of lady that I would have loved to have grown up with.

We had a wonderful evening with a fire too. It was so easy to unwind with a glass of red wine. Being outdoors under the stars and having an inspiring talk.

It reminded me of a slumber party. Guests can interact as much or as little they’d like to. I’m a people person so I loved spending time with Jennifer. I found out more about her as a person and with her other business venture that I will cover in a future post or in my podcast.

The photo shoot made it feel that more special. When you are wearing a long gown, you feel empowered. You feel sexy and most of all you feel worthy.

Worthy enough to indulge in getting pampered and most of all simply being still. Rediscovering yourself without the to do list, daily distractions or being pulled away from yourself.

glampers paradise
Beauty in the woods at Glampers Paradise

It’s okay to say yes

“You don’t need permission to kind of escape for two days and two nights and put yourself first.” When Jennifer said that I could immediately relate to it.  What woman hasn’t felt guilty about putting herself first?

It was a place where you could pause and breathe. All while being surrounded by beautiful things. That is what she hopes women will experience during their stay.

From the Peacock Mansion offering privacy or the outdoor space you will find tranquility. There is something that will resonate with you. They offer romantic stays as well.

The milk bath was the most relaxing way to end my stay.

When was the last time that you did something special? Doing something for yourself is worth doing. When you take care of yourself you are at your best for others.

Forget the mom guilt and leave it at home. Staying at Glampers Paradise will be just what you needed. Be prepared to feel welcomed. There is so much more than meets the eye here.

Maybe it’ll be the soul searching or revisiting that dream of yours from childhood. I tell you the possibilities are endless.

Don’t you owe it to yourself to discover that?

I know that I did and can’t wait to explore those possibilities again. Very soon too I might add.

Shopping Local with Swagger Boutique

Shopping Local with Swagger Boutique

There is something about supporting a local business that warms my heart. For me it meant shopping local with Swagger Boutique in Raleigh, NC. When I find out that a business is owned by a woman that makes it just as wonderful. To me that means it is a woman with a dream like myself.

I like the idea of being your own boss and always striving to do more with your dream. Mandy Krettus Becker is doing that very thing with her awesome boutique called Swagger. This is her second location with the first one located in Cary, NC.

Social media allows you to connect with some amazing people. It was through that platform that I found out about her MoMosa event recently. It was right before Mother’s Day and Skin Raleigh was there to give away a Cellfina treatment to one lucky winner.

Skin Raleigh
Skin Raleigh

Getting Pampered

Lauren Raines of Salon Blu at Falls Village was braiding hair for any customer that wanted a great summer look. Victoria Renfroe was glamming it up by giving women an eye makeover. She also included lashes to complete the look.

Read More

My Tools for Fitness Success

My Tools for Fitness Success

You’ve heard of accountability partners with fitness. However, fitness success means partnering up with yourself first. You get the pleasure of becoming your own partner from Day 1. My tools for fitness success consist of a variety of things.

Engaging on a fitness journey is unique for everyone. You alone decide what will and won’t work for you. Expect to fall off the wagon a few times, but remember failure is only temporary. The good news is that you can get back up and start over.

First, put some things in motion that will help you succeed. Are you the type that will lay out your exercise clothing the night before or do you just wing it the day of? I have done both.

The main thing for me is that I have ready to wear clothing. I can’t say I prefer to get my clothes ready the night before. I’m the type of person that is used to working under pressure. Throwing something on last minute still gets me to the gym.

My shoes are my first priority. A good pair of workout sneakers are essential. One trusted brand that I love is Nike.

Where to Find a Good Deal

Recently, I jumped on to Purcado to search deals on sneakers along with sexy heels for fun. My search led me to a variety of popular shoe sites where I came across a 25% off sale on Nike cross training sneakers and they offered free shipping.

I’m a huge fan of traditional black and white sneakers. Except this time, I wanted a pop of color either in pink or red. I ended up finding some very cute ones with that splash of color in pink.

My goal was to stick to a budget of $50 and with tax it came out to $48.04. Talk about a win for me! I stayed true to my budget.

Gym Must Haves

My tools for fitness success include: resistance bands, an SPIbelt (running belt), weight training gloves, Bose earbuds and a huge dose of belief in my capabilities. For now, I carry it all in a tote and in the future, I’d love to find a traditional gym bag in pink or rose gold.

I used to hold on to a pair of sneakers until I couldn’t wear them anymore. Nowadays there are more choices than ever to have more than a single pair. By preparing for fitness you dictate what works best for you.

I’m the type of person that needs to wear exercise apparel that makes me feel good about myself. Doing what it takes to get the job done. That might mean wearing a top that has an inspirational message on it.

One of my favorite is a top that says You vs. You. In the end that is really what it is. Your biggest obstacle is yourself.

Having the right tools in your gym bag and mindset is what will steer you towards success. If it means getting a pair of kicks that will encourage strength I am in. I will be using Purcado again and will also look for some shoes for my family.

Fitness means different things for everyone. Maybe you are starting out on your journey or you have been doing this for a while. Wherever you see yourself keep your focus on how it will benefit you in the long run. Preparation is key.

Are you willing to do what it takes to get you there?

Spring Cleaning Your Dream

Spring Cleaning Your Dream

Spring cleaning your dream is a time to refresh what has gathered dust. If left unattended or neglected your dream will wither away with time. All dreams start out fresh and new with so many possibilities.

Life happens and what started out with urgency tends to get pushed to the back burner. That is when your dream starts asking for you to dust it off. It might be in the form of changing up your daily routine. The important thing to do is to simply begin the process.

Evaluate where you are currently at with your dream and your goals. When you have a dream it usually has a few things that fall under that umbrella. To be productive, you start by taking care of yourself.

When you are operating at your prime then the rest of your success follows. Maybe it means restarting your fitness routine or having nights out with your significant other. Do whatever it is to get your dream nice and shiny again.

Priorities are a must

Polish it up by taking a no excuses attitude towards it. When life gets busy it is easier to let things fall by the wayside. Start prioritizing your goals.

How important are they for you? Be willing to tweak things around a bit. Check and see how you are spending your time.

There are a variety of things that will drain valuable time. Too much time on social media or watching television are some of them. Brainstorm ways that will get your day started off to your advantage.

Have a plan

That could mean getting up a little earlier to exercise, reading or working before your other things begin. We all get a full twenty-four hours to do with as we please.

Spring cleaning might mean you have to let go of things no longer beneficial. Make a list to see what those things are. What can you live without?

Replace what you let go with what you will add to accomplish your goals. Getting rid of the time wasters will be your reward in the end. You will find what you thought you needed you won’t end up missing.

When you spring clean your home, you end up getting rid of things. Later you realize that you should have started a long time ago. That is the same feeling you will have with spring cleaning your dream.

The seasons of the year wait on no one. They come and go. The same holds true with the opportunities of your dream.

Now is the perfect time to start polishing off what is important to you. Check and see where you have allowed things to collect dust with your goals. With the right amount of elbow grease, you will be back on track with the things that matter with your dream.

Once you do you will get a fresh start with a new perspective on where you want to go. Dreams only come true when you put in the work. The time to tidy up is now.

Are you ready to spring forward with your dream?

The Story Behind Lula Lucy Stationery

The Story Behind Lula Lucy Stationery

Creating a greeting card takes a lot of thought. I remember when I came up with the idea. I wanted to help others inspire that special someone. Everyone knows a person in their inner circle that needs encouragement. Right?

Ignite

Lula Lucy Stationery

With my Ignite card I wanted to spark that very thing hidden in your core. That dream of yours that is just waiting for you to get it going. All that you need is that drive to pursue it.

Be the Sparkle

Lula Lucy Stationery

Be the Sparkle is one of my favorite cards because I thought of the person that would do just that. The kind of person that is on the cusp of releasing their dream to the world. People can be that person that brings hope to someone’s life.

Don’t Give Up

Lula Lucy Stationery

Don’t Give Up is the card that you can give to anyone. It reminded me of a person that is unsure if they should pursue a dream. Maybe they have been trying and have encountered some obstacles along the way that shook their belief system.

Helping keep someone going is the best gift in the world. It is a reminder for them to pursue it no matter what.

Cast Fear Aside

Lula Lucy Stationery

Anyone that has ever gone after something and quit usually did so due to fear. It’s about taking that next step with the Cast Fear Aside card. Holding on to fear is what will keep you from some of the best moments in your life.

I chose the colors because they present a welcoming feel to them with their watercolor format. Making them as a single card that you simply flip over helped give them character.

It was important for me to help support a local printer in my community too. Besides being made in the USA I also believe in giving back. A portion of the proceeds go to A Cure In Sight.

Now you know a little bit about my creation and these are a few of the cards in my collection. I invite you to look at the rest of them on my shop. Maybe they might resonate with you or a special loved one in your life.

As always, I appreciate each and every one of you. Keep dreaming, keep going and don’t think for a moment that it’s not worth it.

Each of us were created to make the world a better place. We can all start by sharing our brilliant sparkle with others.

Are you ready?

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LulaLucyStationery