Monday, February 13, 2017

Skin Care...

Like I won't get bariatric surgery, I will not consider any botox or fillers to ease my age lines.  Now, I am not going to shame anyone that gets that sort of work done on their face.  However, for someone who is under 35, I do not feel you should even consider that.  Your face is young - get some good skin care information and take care of your skin that way.  Nutshell, God made you differently from others.  So what if  you do not have fuller lips than the girl in the YouTube video.  I would hate for these young people to get caught in a botched plastic surgery incident or worse, death.  It is so not worth all of that.

I have been following Stephanie Nicole for make-up reviews.  Through her Instagram account, as well as YouTube Channel, she has introduced me to Caroline Hirons.  O-M-G!  What an amazing lady!  She truly is the skin care expert and I love her sense of humor.  She reminds me of Dawn French and I say as a compliment because I love Dawn.

I am currently absorbing her blog,  Her blog is chock full of various product reviews, spa visits, her various vlogs (which are inspiring as well as so down to earth), and absolutely fabulous information regarding how to care for your skin.

Caroline collaborated with Pixi for the "Double Cleanse" product.  I just ordered it from Target yesterday along with the Pixi Glow Tonic, which she highly recommends.  I have been doing a little bit of a double cleanse each day, even if I was not wearing makeup.  I would use Neutrogena's daily scrub to exfoliate, then Philosophy's Purity to do my second cleanse.  As of late, I have been using Philosophy's gentle scrub, then using First Aid's cleansing milk for my second cleanse.  I am sure I would get a foul look from Caroline regarding the first scrub as she does not care for scrubs' micro beads for exfoliation.  So, as soon as I am done with my products, I will not repurchase those.

I also purchased an SPF from Target to start using.  Honestly, my initial skin care was crap.  I would take off makeup using Noxzema face cream, use an apricot scrub to cut down on the breakouts and such.  Use Sea Breeze as a toner to get all of the dirt off my face before applying makeup.  My dear mother introduced me to Oil of Olay as a moisturizer and nutshell, that was it.

My mother had originally wanted me to visit a place in Ridgmar Mall in Fort Worth to get proper skin care and learn how to properly apply makeup.  Somewhere along the way, that dream/idea never materialized and I started getting makeup on my own and playing with it.  She was never happy with me for sleeping in my makeup, as young women have a tendency to do - because we are lazy, really.  Still, I always remember my mom telling me that she would take me to this botanical shop for all of the proper things to do with makeup.  

My current plan is to continue going over the various YouTube videos that Caroline has so thoughtfully put together to help me sort out what would be the best products for my skin.  I want to reduce the signs of aging, but I also know that I do not get enough water in my system each day.  So, I know my skin is dehydrated.  Part of me wants to get Sunday Riley and the other part of me is saying Kate Somerville.  Ack!

I want to save my money for the serums and oils that make sense for me to use.  For cleansing and such, I would prefer to look on the less expensive side for those.  That way, it makes total sense.  This may be a bit of a long testing process, but I did manage to get a Sephora test skin care kit with so many different brands.  I am looking forward to using those to get an idea of what works and what does not.

Here's to getting to know Caroline Hirons and my own skin!

Health Update - February 2017...

Taking a small break from the craziness of the day.  Last week, I visited both my endocrinologist and kidney specialist.  During my visits, I had shown to have lost weight and major improvement on my blood sugar, and stable on my kidney function.  My kidney specialist indicated that I probably should take the pill to help alleviate water retention more often.  Honestly, I just figured it was due to that monthly thing about to happen.  I always retain a good bit of water right before that time.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with myself.  I keep telling myself not to get lost in all of the "good" and focus on reality - I still have more weight to lose and I need to make sure I keep working hard to not eat fast, be cognizant of when I am about to binge, and make healthier choices.  I am getting better, but I still have a lot of work to do on that aspect of life.

I feel the new FitBit Charge HR 2 is helping me as well.  The new features on the device alert me of when I need to get up and get some steps in every hour.  That helps me make sure that I am getting up to walk around and not sit for hours on end.  It also helps with keeping my knees and other joints from hurting so badly when I get up to head to the bathroom or whatever.  I really feel old when I try to stand after sitting for a long time.  Sometimes, I wish I could scream out loud.

I cannot give up.  I know I can do this and my dearest hope is to be rid of my sporatic back pain.  After having to bring groceries up the stairs, my back lets me know how bad an idea that was.  Unfortunately, I have to get groceries in order to cook at home.  Still, I cannot give up - I must keep my head down and keep focusing on the positive.

Those of you out there with similar issues, I understand your pain.  I truly do.  I am trying not to wallow in self-pity because it is not going to help me out of this mess.  Just doing as much as I can when I can.  If that is all you can do, that is good enough.  Keep trying, do not feel like you are giving up - you gave as much as you can.  Rest - hit it again in 5 minutes, but never give up.    

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Living a Sheltered Life?

At Christmas, I went to celebrate the holiday with my father, his girlfriend, and her family.  I have one cousin that lives in the area, but I rarely see his family or him.  Usually when his father comes into town, then he or his father will contact my father for getting together for dinner one evening.  As of late, even that has gone by the wayside - no one seems to have time for one another.  It is kind of sad, really.

However, getting back onto topic, Bo and I spent Christmas with my father.  I brought a fruit bowl, veggie tray, guacamole, pretzel chips, and olive and roasted red pepper hummus for the Christmas dinner party.  I was making sure I had some fresh veggies for me to eat rather than pigging out on chips and what have you.  Makes sense, right?

During dinner, one of the girlfriend's step grand-daughters made the statement that I must have lived a sheltered life because my father did not like macaroni and cheese.  For me, I can take or leave macaroni and cheese.  However, when I choose to eat it, I prefer my mac 'n cheese to have a really nice cheesy sauce.  I have eaten Kraft Mac 'n Cheese a couple of times and not really a fan.  I enjoy Velveeta shells and cheese - my mom would purchase that when my father was out of town.  Another mac and cheese we liked was Stouffer's or back in 1978, the Morton mini mac and cheese or spaghetti servings.  During the summer, I would stay up all night with my mom.  We would pop those in the oven and eat them together late at night.

However, I have had mac and cheese that was simply just boiled macaroni, then someone thought they were clever to just grate up cheese and either let it melt on its own or put it in the oven/microwave to melt.  My opinion - not a huge fan.  It has no real taste and is pretty much dry.  In the end, I would rather not even have mac and cheese, if prepared in that manner.

On the opposite side, the young woman stating I lived a sheltered life had no idea of how to eat asparagus or even broccoli - she claimed that broccoli tasted like dirt.  Growing up, while I realize we may not have had a lot of money, my mother made sure I found a liking for spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, asparagus, and brussel spouts.  

I fully admit, I am no huge bean eater.  Cannot stand refried beans - it is just disgusting to me.  I can usually eat charra beans, but then again, everything tastes wonderful with bacon grease in it.  I do love green beans and black-eyed peas.  I even love regular peas - I have come across a lot of people who say they are gross.  I still love them.

So, as I reflect on the comment I lived a sheltered life, I really do not think I did.  My mother did all that she could to get me to eat as many vegetables as possible in my life.  For that, I am eternally grateful because of my current situation today.  I have so many options when it comes to changing my diet and eating clean/healthy.  The fact that I am open to so many vegetables makes preparing meals a hell of a lot easier. 

When it comes to food, I did not live a sheltered life.  I enjoy a wide variety of vegetables.  I think what makes me a little bit more successful with my meals is that I try to always have a colorful plate.  Not only is it pretty, but you can be assured that you are probably getting the right amount of vitamins and so forth to keep you healthy and prevent sugar spikes.