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Daily Thanks – November 7, 2012

Today I am thankful for:  My husband coming home tomorrow!

Even though he’s just a few minutes away, I haven’t seen him in 4 days and it feels like an eternity!  He’s my PIC, my best friend and my grounding force.  I don’t know what to be when he’s not around…

Yay for tomorrow!

XOXO, B.

Daily Thanks – November 5, 2012

Today I am thankful for:  Opportunities

Lately I feel like I’m finding them left and right.  I am so thankful for being lead in the right direction and for having the will to follow that lead.  I am so blessed and very thankful the chance to do what I love and become something great.
XOXO, B.

But I can’t keep no secret, I wish that you would always stay…

“Freedom isn’t Free.”

Today I am thankful for:  Homecomings

As much as I love an excuse to put on a sparkly dress, do my hair and makeup and dance horribly, I’m not talking about school dances.  What I am talking about is ‘redeployment’.  That brilliant light at the end of the long and dark tunnel of a military deployment…

Just six short months ago I ecstatically welcomed my husband home from Afghanistan.  It was one of the greatest days.

Living through a deployment is not something you can really explain.  It’s not ‘normal’ to be away from your person.  Not for a week, not for a month, and surely not for almost a year.  Especially not when they’re “over there” – in harm’s way, in the unknown.  It’s like having your heart stomped on, then being handed a giant box of emotional chaos as a consolation prize.  One day you’re a strong, optimistic, proud, sunshine and rainbows super-woman; the next you’re dragging yourself out of bed an hour late and showing up to work in your pajamas, yesterday’s makeup (gasp!) and a messy bun (but not the cute kind) because you tossed and turned all night trying to find a comforting place in the bed where he once was, wondering why you haven’t heard from him in a week, obsessively checking your phone and emails… ‘sitting, wishing, waiting’, praying that you can somehow find the strength and sanity to hold it all together for one more day.  All the while feeling guilty for thinking you have it rough in comparison to what he’s going through, what he has chosen to do for US.  You’re reminded what an honor it is to know this man, who is willing to sacrifice everything good, everything comforting, everything he knows so that I can be safe, so that people in countries I can’t even pronounce can have some glimmer of hope for a better life.  How courageous, selfless, honorable and amazing are the men and women who defend our country, our families, our very breath.  Knowing that would make me so proud, but still, many times I felt so angry that we were apart.  I felt envious of ‘regular’ couples who could go to the movies, have Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by family, hang out with friends, play music and dance around the house, kiss each other goodnight each day.  I would start feeling sorry for myself and for us.  Then I realized, I have nothing to feel sorry about.  I have everything to be thankful for because I actually have something so incredible that’s worth missing.  To long for someone so out of reach and count down the days until you’re together, the anticipation that builds and builds… And then to actually see them again and smell them and touch them… it’s unreal.

Don’t take a single moment for granted.  If you love someone, tell them and show them every chance you get.  Appreciate every moment you spend with them.  Celebrate each time you see them with happiness and delight that they are in your life… even if their “homecoming” means running in after school or loosening their tie after a day at the office.  Cherish it.  Cherish them.

This is an awesome homecoming video (not ours)… I’ve watched this so many times, and it still gets to me.

XOXO, B.

 

Daily Thanks – November 3, 2012

I love lazy weekends.

Today I am thankful for:  My Husband

 

He is the best.  He lets me be me.  He supports my dreams and endeavors.  He makes me feel like anything is possible.  He is always here willing to listen and ready to help.  He provides for our family and never complains.  He is a great dad and a great friend.  He’s smart and funny and precious.  And there’s no amount of words, paragraphs or days in this life to fully explain how wonderful he is.  I don’t know what I did to deserve him, but I am forever thankful and truly blessed beyond belief to have him in my life.

XOXO, B.

Daily Thanks – November 2, 2012

It’s Friday, Friday, gonna get down on Friday!  It’s sorta dreary here today, but a great day none the less.  Looking forward to watching movies and eating hijacked Halloween candy with the hubs.

 

Today I am thankful for:  Moisturizers

Holy Colorado Dryness, Batman!  I have always had semi-dry skin, but this is totes out of control!  Moving from the very humid NC to the depths of Colorado Springs hell has left me bone dry.  I feel like Sponge Bob when he was left out of the water too long.  Seriously.  Not.  Gonna.  Make.  It.  Parched.  Like a dried up brittle leaf.  No one dare touch me because I will crumble into dust.  And can we talk about my unhappy-chappy lips and bloodshot gritty eyes?  I know I’m painting a beautiful picture…

But God said, “Let there be LOTION” and it was.

If you too are caught up in the misery of cold dry (not even winter yet) climate ailments, allow me to be your guide:

  • Eucerin Professional Repair Lotion - There are many varieties of Eucerin lotions – this one has by far worked the best for me.  Not overly greasy, very emollient, and does it’s job.  You need it in your life and on your skin.  Lots of it.
  • Dessert Essence Organic Jojoba Oil – Mix a few drops of this non-greasy, non-comedogenic, fragrance free gem into any of your lotions & potions (even on your face, promise) for a super boost of smoothy softness. But don’t use this before makeup application or it will have your foundation slip-slidin’ all over the place.
  • Jason’s Aloe Vera Gel - This is 98% pure, un-messed with AV – it’s not that bright green dyed fakeness you get on the sunblock aisle.  It does wonders for hydration as well as moisturizing.  I also mix this with the JoJoba Oil into my Eucerin.  This triple-threat combo is the best I’ve found for combating dry, itchy, flaky, miserable skin.
  • Aquaphor – Made by Eucerin, this is like a magic ointment band-aid for chapped lips, hands, cracked skin, eczema, you name it.  You need it.  The lip formula comes in regular and SPF in case you’re outside a lot.  I like the small tube, it’s portable and convenient.  But if you use it a lot on more than small areas, it comes in a large tub for all-over use.  Side note:  This stuff is awesome for baby bums too – knocks out diaper rash and other annoyances with a quickness.
  • Garnier Nutritioniste Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel-Cream (Dry Skin) – Okay, this stuff is the best for your face.  You can literally apply it like, 5 times a day (but you won’t need to because it’s fab) and you will not feel oily or have any residue.  The texture is so silky, it smells light and fresh, it’s great under makeup, it’s a lovely shade of baby pink, and most importantly – it is super moisturizing!  Love it.  I use this year round and it’s always perfect.  And, it’s only like, $7.00 or something totally ridic. *Note – this has no skin treatments in it – it is strictly moisture.  I use this in conjunction with eye creams, serums and treatments as needed*  *2nd Note – I have used Clinique Moisture Surge Cream which is similar in texture/purpose and Garnier is better and like 1/8 of the price*
  • Philosophy Hope Springs Eternal Facial Mist – My go-to for a quick hydrating pick-me-up.  First of all, I love Philosophy products.  Great ingredients, great company – have you ever read the bottles?  Presh.  Anyway, this mist is so refreshing.  It’s light, leaves no trace of “stuff” on your face, smells like sea mineral-ish? Sort of like, a more earthy and watery and greenish?  Ok, I’m failing on describing the smell – it’s good, that’s all you need to know.  Anyway I use this in many ways.  You can spray it on your face first thing after washing and then apply your moisturizer which will ‘lock-in’ the hydration from the spray (this method is also good for body lotion – put it on right when you get out of the shower and are still sort of damp).  You can also spray it on after your foundation is applied which will re-moisten it and leave you with a dewy finish.  Spray too much?  Let it dry and then give a small dusting of powder with your fav brush.  Lastly, you can use this anytime you’re just feeling dry or unfresh.  A quick spritz and ahhhh!  I was surprised how hydrating this spray actually is.  New find.  In love.
  • Similasan Irritated Eye Relief Drops – These drops are like Heaven in a weird but cute brown glass bottle.  They’re all natural and your eyes don’t become ‘dependent’ on them like they can with synthetic drops.  For me, it is instant and long-lasting relief.  I typically use them before bed and in the morning, maybe once in the day if I’m feeling like I can’t blink.  They’re okay to use with contacts and they take away redness too (because that’s never a cute look).
  • Barlean’s Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil – This is like the holy grail of multi-purpose awesomeness.  What is this stuff not good for?  Seriously though, it’s too legit to quit.  Cook with it, put it in smoothies, bake with it, put it in the bath, use it as a hair mask, a lotion, lip balm, cuticle cream, a door de-squeaker… whatevz.  The possibilities are endless.  My fav ways to use it are:  In smoothies – really tasty, adds omegas, and it super purifying to the body – just put a couple spoonfuls in the blender with your smoothie or shake ingredients.  As a lotion – coconut oil is a solid at room temp, so you can get a spoonful and then once you start working with your hands it liquefies and becomes a light, easily workable oil but it’s not greasy and absorbs nicely.  As a hair mask – same idea as the lotion, just put in your hair after washing and before conditioning (this is important because conditioners lower the pH of your hair, close the cuticle and coat the shaft, thus, the coconut oil would just sit on top and not be able to work it’s magic), anyway, apply to hair, wrap hair with towel and leave on for 30 minutes then rinse, voila! super moisturized, coconutty fresh locks.  If you wanna get really snazzy you can hold a blow dryer to your hair while wrapped in the towel, rotating around for a few minutes.  The heat will help the oil penetrate and make the most of the oil treatment.  If you have really fine hair, most oils will weigh it down, so you can do this regime overnight, get your beauty zzz’s, then shampoo and condition in the morning to remove any excess oil.  This stuff is seriously the best.  I use it daily.  Make sure you have two different tubs though – one for consumption, one for beauty uses.  Also, you can read about all the amazing qualities of coconut oil here.
  • WATER! – I cannot stress to you enough how much what you put INSIDE your body effects what happens to the OUTSIDE of your body.  Drink, drink, drink your water, peeps!  I’m sort of being a pot right now because I usually do not drink nearly enough in one day… regardless, your body needs water to live and your skin needs water to look its best!  At least 64oz a day, and that’s just the minimum.  If you’re not a fan of how it tastes (or doesn’t taste), add citrus – fresh lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit will give it a nice flavor, and has been said to boost your metabolism.  One thing I do is drink a warm glass of lemon water every morning.  Maybe it’s psychosomatic, but I swear I feel better when I do this – my stomach stays feeling good (no bloating, fullness), my energy level is higher and I don’t crave as many sweet/salty snacks.  And, of course, my skin looks more supple, soft and hydrated when I’ve been hittin’ the bottle – the water bottle.

So, there you have it.  The deets on some of my favorite moisturizers.  None of these products are glamorous, and they don’t have to be – all they have to do is work.  I’ve used lotions costing $100+ a jar (Creme de LaMer), I’ve used Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, Clarins, etc, etc, etc… and yes, while these products are luxurious and for the most part perform, they are outlandishly priced considering the awesome results you can get out of everyday products.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to splurge and I love a high-end product as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s just better to stick to the basics. (Your husband will thank you)

So, thank you moisturizers for rescuing this damsel in dry-skinned distress .  I will never leave you shoved in the dark corners of my product drawers again, you deserve to shine.

Happy Hydrating, Lovelies!

XOXO, B.