Fitness, get fit, self care, skin care

Don’t Let Age Define Your Legs

I’m turning fifty in seven days.  A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted my body to be the best it could be by the time I reached half a century.  And I’ve succeeded.  Do you want to do the same?  If so, follow along with my blog and keep reading.

Warm weather is no longer creeping upon us at a snail’s place.  It’s officially arrived.  As a firm believer in being my best self, I want to show you how you can have fantastic looking legs for Summer.   Admittedly, it’s work  … but anything worth having requires effort and consistency.  In the end, when you feel confident in your shorts, your one-piece, or in your bikini, you’ll be happy you stuck with a plan.

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SKIN:  Skin is our largest organ, but sometimes we forget to take particular care of it.  I’m always amazed by the story of Queen Esther who went through twelve months of beauty treatments before she could even meet up with King Ahasuerus.  The words that formed the basis of “beauty treatments” in scripture, by the way, are translated “to scour, polish”.   The King’s servants literally scoured and polished that woman until she was shining with beauty.

As we age, its no secret we begin to lose moisture and elasticity, which can cause our skin to look dull, dry, and old.   When wearing shorts or a bathing suit, we want and need our legs to shine just like Queen Esther’s.  So here’s what I do at least three days per week:

First, I exfoliate (scour) my legs with a sugar and olive oil mixture.

Second, I cover my legs in a dead sea mud mask.

Third, I rinse and then coat my legs in a neck firming cream.  (Yes, I know it sounds crazy to use a neck firming cream on legs … but it really works!)

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I use the olive oil / sugar scrub because it’s natural, and because olive oil is such a good moisturizer for your skin.  Homer called it “liquid gold”, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used it in place of soap.  They’d apply it to their skin and then scrape off dirt and dead skin.  (Gross, but true!)  If it worked for the ancients, and if we’re still using it today, it has to be legitimate.

I swear by the Dead Sea Mud Mask.  I use it all over my body often.  According to the package, it detoxifies impurities and restores skin with nourishing minerals – magnesium, calcium, potassium, zinc, and iron.  It also shrinks pores and tightens fine lines and wrinkles.  Getting rid of toxins makes sense to me.  You can find it here.  

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So why the neck firming cream?  On my legs?  haha.  It actually happened by accident.  I work religiously on forming muscles in my legs, but no matter how much muscle I gained, I still wasn’t happy with the appearance of my legs.  I wanted them to not only be muscular and lean, but to be vibrant.  I searched Amazon for any type of cream that would help firm my skin, and found this neck firming cream.  It had great reviews, so I gave it a shot.  It has worked wonders!!!!  No kidding, my legs look twenty years younger, and I could tell a difference within days.  You can find this miracle product here.

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MUSCLES:  If you want younger looking legs, not only is it important to care for you skin, but it’s equally important to take care of your leg muscles.  Build them.  Sculpt them.  Envision what you want them to look like, and then go for it.  If time is an issue, here is a simple twenty minute plan to get you started:

10 minutes:  Run one mile per day.  It’s easy and will reduce fat while building muscle fast.

10 minutes:  Weighted squats / Weighted calf raises / Weighted donkey kicks (4 sets of 12) Do this every other day.  On your off days, spend those same 10 minutes on arms as a bonus!!!

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No matter when you were born, remember, age does not have to define your legs.  You get to control what your body looks like at any age.  So go for it!!!

Just my thoughts,

~Melanie

 

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Summer Fashion, Summer Sandals

Best Summer Sandals Ever

Red painted toenails, sexy wedge sandals, and comfort you cannot even fathom.  Insert a chorus of More Than A Feeling by Boston right here, because not only are these sandals off the charts on the comfy scale, they are fire!!!

 

 

It all began a year ago, when on a whim, I purchased a pair of Eric Michael wedge sandals.  I was looking for a stacked heel that would make my legs look longer in a summer dress.  I liked the color, so I slipped them on and couldn’t believe how good they immediately felt on my foot.  I wore these sandals every single day.  I walked miles in them.  I even danced in them.  No joke.  This is what they looked like by the end of the summer:

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What makes them so special?  Well … I’m a sucker for cork.  A cork insole allows a shoe to mold to your foot over time while the natural elasticity of cork absorbs impact.  This means cork is good for your foot.  According to LeafTV:  “The material’s ability to hold the heel and foot in an orthopedically-correct position — combined with its shock absorption capacity — potentially reduces instances of plantar fasciitis and other forms of foot pain.” And on this particular wedge, because the straps are adjustable, it offers the added benefit of accommodating almost any width immediately.

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If you want height, this sandal will give you more than two inches without the stress of a heel.  (Platform shoes are a brilliant invention, aren’t they?)  Dress them up or down, and choose a variety of color options.   I’ve already bought two pair this year:

 

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This wedge sandal will once again be my go-to this Summer.  I’ll pair them with summer dresses and shorts when I go out, but will also sport them on the beach and by the pool.  By the end of the Summer, they will look exactly like my pair from last year.  I found a site that has them on sale right now if you want to purchase them:   Click Here!

Just my thoughts.

~Melanie

self care, skin care

Obsessed With The Bees

For the record, I don’t get obsessed about too many things.  Of the Meyers Briggs sixteen personality types, I’m an ENFP, which means I’m a freeeeeeeee spirit.  Suffice it to say, I’m a person who can pivot and make changes as needed, so getting stuck on a product isn’t really my deal.  However, I am absolutely 100% obsessed with Burt’s Bees BB Cream.  Obsessed to the point that I buy up tubes just in case they decide to discontinue it.

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Some females spend loads of money on makeup.  They contour, highlight, and transform their faces with the most popular cosmetics on the market.  I totally respect those beauty mavens, but I’ve never had the time or inclination for it.  For years, in fact, I’ve only worn powder on my face.  Powder, though, doesn’t provide sunscreen.  And since I’m turning fifty soon, I definitely need sunscreen more than ever before.

I dislike foundation, especially heavy foundation.  But I need the sunscreen foundation provides.  Can anyone else relate to this dilemma?

The solution came to me via one of my favorite brands:  Burt’s Bees.  By the way, what’s not to love about a company that got kicked off by a hitchhiker and the bearded beekeeper who gave her a ride?  Such a cool story, but I digress.

Back to the point.

I came across the Burt’s Bees BB Cream, which is basically a tinted sunscreen and moisturizer combo, and decided to give it a go.  It was the best decision I’ve made in a long time.  The BB Cream is light and creamy, goes on smoothly, covers nicely, and a little goes a long way.  In addition, it stays on all day.  It’s all I wear on my face now, applying it right over my Burt’s Bees Moisturizer, with a just an added dab of bronzer.

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I’ve read the Amazon reviews, and while most of the reviews are positive, some have said the BB Cream color is either too light or too dark.  I use the light/medium and it blends perfectly with my skin.  I’d suggest you test the product in the store before buying it just so you can find the right shade to match your skin tone.  You can find it here!

While on the subject of Burt’s Bees, another product I recently began using is the Micellar Cleansing Water … because cleansing water is the new rage, right?  Up until this point, I’ve used (and have been very happy with) Thayer’s Witch Hazel Toner .  But I wanted to see what the big hoorah was with cleansing water and decided to put it to the test.  First, the scent is absolutely incredible.  And second, my skin doesn’t seem as dry since I’ve been using it, which means the cleansing water meets the promise to hydrate.  Burt’s Bees never disappoints.  You can find it here!

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Skin care is vitally important throughout life.  I can’t recall a single time when I went to bed without cleansing my face.  Equally important is what we choose to put on our skin.  I always err on the side of all natural and organic products, using the less is more option whenever possible.  Burt’s Bees, of course, is a company that promotes natural ingredients.  If you haven’t given them a try, maybe you should!

Just my thoughts.

~Melanie

self care, skin care, Summer Fashion

A Timeless Summer

Spring is here, and Summer is fast approaching.  So ladies, if we haven’t been pampering our skin and bodies throughout our winter hibernation, well … it might be time.  I’m in the almost fifty year old category (27 days and counting), so I’m always trying new products that promise to slow down the hands of time.  If the so-called products happen to have rave reviews on Amazon, within seconds you can bet I have clicked those items right into my online shopping cart.  Here are two of my latest favorite finds:

The first, Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum made by Cosmedica Skincare, has had more than six-thousand reviews.  And 65% of those reviews received five stars!  Let me tell you, this product is ahhhhhhh-mazing.   Not only does it give your skin a youthful glow, but it also erases time from your face.  After using it for only a couple of weeks, I swear I could tell a difference!  Hyaluronic Acid effectively binds water to cells and is responsible for the elasticity and resiliency of the skin.  Think hydration on steroids, because this packs a punch.  Find it here!

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The second, Cosmedica Retinol Serum, is perfect for anyone who is looking for a retinol formula that isn’t overly harsh on your skin.  If you’ve used Retinol before, then you know it can sometimes burn.  This serum didn’t burn even on the first application.  If you haven’t used Retinol, and if you have any signs of aging on your face, then hop to it.  Retinol is magical unicorn dust!  Trust me.  You can find it here!

After your skin is in tip-top condition, why not show it off by treating yourself to a summer dress?  This summer is totally feeling like a year for pretty things, isn’t it?  And what’s more feminine and delicate than a sweet dress?  I’m in love with all things Altar’d State , but am especially fond of their dress selection.  This is their Hazleton Fit and Flare dress:

Made of stretchy polyester that will not wrinkle, this dress is lined with soft cotton.  The length hits right at the knee for a flirty appeal, and the scalloped neck/back make it a stunner.  My all-time favorite dress style is fit and flare, because it flatters every single figure and is timeless.  This Hazleton dress is such a throw-back.  It’s current enough, but with a touch of vintage chic.  And the price?  $69.99.  However, Altar’d State is the best at running buy one get one half-off sales … so, if you hit them at the right time, this dress could be a real steal!

Two skincare products that will roll back the hands of time.

One dress style that has stood the test of time.

Sounds like the beginnings of a timeless Summer to me!

Just my thoughts.

~Melanie

 

 

organization, self care

Two Easy Ways To Organize Your Life Today

You’ve seen it in cartoons a million times.  Suddenly a light bulb goes off over the head of your favorite character, and a crisis is avoided or a brilliant plan is hatched.  That is kind of what happened to me when I came upon these two books.  (Feel free to insert that imaginary lightbulb here!)

As the mom of two kiddos who are differently abled and who require constant care, too often I feel like I’m chasing life … and not gaining much ground.  Can you relate?  Always looking for a solution, I found a simple answer that has actually worked for me.  Perhaps it might work for you too.

First is the One Line A Day Memory Book.  I mean.  Hello, brilliant creator of this genius book, you totally had me at one line a day.  I can accomplish that.  And that’s exactly what it feels like.  An accomplishment.  Here’s the gist.  Each day, you write whatever you want to record to commemorate the day.  For me, it’s about writing a take away for the day.  Two days ago, for instance, I awoke to find that my son (Charlie) had awakened during the night, had opened a cabinet, and had torn two rolls of toilet paper into tiny shreds all over my great room and kitchen.  Thousands of little pieces.  Some he had licked and stuck to the wall.  Others were buried deep into the rug.  I even slipped on a few when I stepped out of my bedroom into the kitchen and might’ve let a cuss word slip along with my feet.  haha.  It looked like snow.  No joke.

Of course I wanted to walk out the door and pretend it didn’t happen.  To pull a Scarlett O’Hara:  “Fiddle Dee Dee…I’ll just think about that tomorrow.”  But I’m not Miss Scarlett, so I swept, vacuumed, and crawled around on my hands and knees to pick up the rest.  That’s real life.  My life.  On that day, I wrote that Charlie made it snow.  Four words sealed a memory I’ll carry for a lifetime.  It’s still not a sweet memory to me right now (grrrrr), but one day it will be.  THAT is what this book is to me.  I don’t have the time or energy to keep a journal, but ask for one line a day, and I’ll jot something down.

Buy it here!

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Second is the Panda Planner.  Created by an entrepreneur who was struggling after lyme disease, a traumatic brain injury, and cancer, it’s proving to be everything it’s touted to be.  Yes, it’s a planner in every sense of the word.  There is space to prioritize your to-do list, to write in appointments, and to make necessary notes.  But it is so much more than that.  The Panda Planner also encourages you to begin each day by listing things you are grateful for and excited about while allowing space for you to end the day by noting your wins.  In all ways, it is positive, positive, positive.  Choosing to give thanks is vital to our health and well-being and this planner is all about infusing it into everyday life.  As if that’s not enough, there’s also an end of week review that helps you recall your successes, consider how you can improve for the next week ahead, and prepare for how you can make your week great  (Yes, GREAT!) with work, family/friends, and other relationships.  It’s not just a planner, it’s a life changer.

Buy the Panda Planner here!

So there you have it.  If you’ve tried either of these, please comment below and let me know your thoughts.  If not, maybe you’re ready to try something new like I did.  It has reduced my stress level and helped me to feel a lot more organized with life in general.  Now I can say:  “Let it snow, Charlie.  Let it snow!!!”  Well, not hardly, but you get the general drift (no pun intended).

I always get questions about where I buy my clothes.  This comfy outfit is a true hodgepodge.  The button-down is by Sonoma (Kohl’s), the tank is from Target, and the shorts are from American Eagle.  I’m all about hodgepodge on most days by the way, aren’t you?

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Just my thoughts.

~Melanie

 

Fashion, Summer Fashion

It’s A Day Dress…It’s A Play Dress!

I don’t know what it is about sunshine, but it never fails to bring out the girl in me.  I turn fifty this year, but I’m still very much a girl.  Can you relate?  Show me the first daffodils of Spring, and I’ll happily swap denim for flirty cotton skirts and feisty summer dresses.  My favorite is the fit and flare design.  The name alone suggests fun and sexy … and most of my girlfriends want to be both!  I do too.

The fit and flare dress accentuates any body type and always makes a woman’s waist appear smaller.  A shorter dress has the added benefit of making legs look long and lean.  Once a female reaches middle age, a common misconception is that all skirts and shorts must hit at or below the knees.  Supposedly, as we gals age, our knees get ugly.  But think about it for a second … knees are honestly weird at any age.  So I say we ignore the hype,  put a halt on the knee shaming once and for all, and stock up on summer dresses that scandalously hit above the knee.  (Oh, the horror!!!  haha)

One of my favorite places to purchase summer dresses is Altar’d State.  Their prices are reasonable, their selection is amazing, and every time you purchase something, a percentage of the sale goes to a charity.   This dress is their Lavani Dress.   Made from polyester, cotton, and spandex, it doesn’t wrinkle and stretches in all the right places to fit perfectly.  In addition, the pattern tricks the eyes and hides flaws, which is an added bonus.  At less than $70.00, it’s a really good deal:

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But what’s a summer dress without a pair of sunglasses?  I don’t know about you, but I’d rather own scads of inexpensive sunglasses for the sake of variety than to purchase one or two really expensive pairs.  Plus, if I lose or break a pair, I never feel guilty.  I recently found these super cool shades for $12.99 at H&M.

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If winter has had you feeling over the hill, a bit dumpy, and totally worn out, there is good news.  Spring and Summer are coming soon, Hallelujah!!!  So get ready to shake off those icky blues by slipping yourself into a fit and flare dress.  It’s guaranteed to peel you off the sofa and toss you right out into town.  Metaphorically speaking, of course.

Celebrate your beauty at every age.  Dare to show your knees.  Embrace your inner sexy.  And let the eyes roll if they must.  We only live once ladies!

Just my thoughts,

Melanie