Every month, I share seven things, ideas, places or products that have enhanced my life in some way. Maybe something I offer will add more beauty or ease to your life. Take a look…
People offer kind compliments about my skin from time to time, and ask me how I take of it. I think it’s a lifelong process that has to do with genetics, skin cleansing routines and moisturizing, as well as sun / environmental exposure — so I believe it’s very individualized. I love sharing things, though, that I’ve discovered that have amplified my glow in the spirit that you might want to check it out, too.
As with all things medically related, I’m not a licensed practitioner in this field and I’m only offering what works for me. You have to work with your physician and/or esthetician to talk about your specific needs, etc.
Dermaplaning is only “new” to me; it’s been around for awhile in dermatology offices and skin care salons. I’d heard of it before, but kept imagining that what looked like shaving my face would lead me to growing a full beard all over my face.
Lol — let me assure you that, for me, this was not the case. You can find a more detailed explanation of dermaplaning in the link I’ve included, but it is a form of removing the peach fuzz and exfoliating the skin on your face.
I went to my dermatologist for my annual skin check and asked if there were any processes / procedures that would augment what I was already doing. They recommended a couple of rounds of dermaplaning and mild peels.
The dermaplaning took about 20 – 25 minutes. I was horizontal in chair while an esthetician gently took a scalpel to my skin and exfoliated. I know anytime you hear the word “scalpel” that “gently” isn’t what you’d expect to hear with it, but that was my experience. After the procedure, she moisturized and I went on my way.
My skin glowed and felt sooooo soft. By the time I’d gotten to my car in the parking lot, I’d received two compliments from strangers in the hall and on the elevator. I didn’t experience any irritation or downtime where I looked like the crypt-keeper with molting skin.
A couple of weeks later, I went in for the peel. The dermaplaning process evidently amplifies the results of the peel and any other part of your skin care regimen. I love the results and will keep rotating it into the routines I have for skin care.
2 & 3. My go-to breakfast and lunch right now
You know what I also think keeps my skin lovely (besides rest and happiness)? Avocado. lol. I swear, I think the good fat in one of my favorite forms of produce has to have something to do with my glow.
My work focuses on helping women tune into their inner guidance and create plans for how to take care of their minds, bodies and spirits. We look at everything in their daily routines — from who they interact with, what they read, how they want to feel in their clothes and how they fuel their bodies.
Everyone is different and has different tastes and nutritional needs (and I’m not a dietitian), so I don’t give people marching orders or menus for how to each — that is by their design (and that’s empowering process). I’m always glad to share my ideas and practices with them if they feel like they’re in a food rut or want some ideas around how to eat for energy and taste.
The things I eat for breakfast and lunch are pretty routine — oatmeal, eggs, soups, salads, etc. Lately, these two plates have been in heavy rotation for me at breakfast and lunch. I send my trainer pics of my food and he gets these a lot from a food photo album I keep on my phone.
Breakfast is coffee, one hardboiled egg (I buy a 1/2 dozen of prepared hard boiled eggs from Trader Joe’s once a week because I always overcook them no matter how many tricks I’ve tried), a serving of seasonal fruit and 1/2 an avocado mashed onto wheat toast. Soooo good. And I feel like I can conquer the world with that kind of goodness in my body.
Lunch lately has been a “bowl” I started making with things I had around the kitchen and it’s turned into something I have two or three times a week now. I take the other half of the avocado from breakfast and cube it. I mix that with a cup of brown rice and cup of black beans. I usually mix in some Cholula Hot Sauce or some sort of salsa for flavor. It’s FANtastic and keeps me satisfied and energized through my early evening workout.
Prep time for both is 10 – 15 minutes tops.
4. SCW Fitness OnDemand
In the past couple of years, I’ve started traveling a lot, and I don’t see myself slowing down any time soon. What this means, though, is that I often have the challenge of figuring out what I’m going to do fitness-wise whenever I’m on the road.
Sometimes, it’s easy (NYC = SoulCycle classes); other times, I have to be creative. When I was in Italy last year, I walked A TON because I stayed in a city of steps, but I also trained myself a few days, too. It’s easy for me to get bored, though, and I like something to spark my creativity and motivate me.
Well, what’s better than being able to take your trainer with you on the road? Lol (he really wishes he could come with me, and I’d take him if it were possible — but someday soon!). I cannot make that happen now in a literal sense, but I’ve found another way.
My friend and trainer, Jeff Howard, is an international fitness presenter for a company called SCW. SCW provides premier training for fitness instructors in conferences all over North America, so that means Jeff is designing and teaching new class formats to fitness instructors to take home to their communities and teach at clubs and gyms like the ones you probably go to.
SCW produces videos of their presenters teaching the classes they’ve created so that anyone can purchase digital access to them and do the workouts anywhere and at anytime.
So whether I’m in Hawaii, Italy, France or Spain this year, I can bring Jeff with me to train me and keep me strong (along with over 300 streaming videos online created by other presenters).
I bought a subscription for $99 that I will have access to for a year for as much as I want to use it — and these are classes with every fitness format you can imagine.
There’s no excuse not to do something when I have all of that available to me anywhere in the world.
5. The Outnet Discount Designer Fashion
My sense of style and what I wear is one of my favorite parts of life. I’ve really come into my own in my 40s in terms of knowing the woman I am and the aesthetic I love when it comes to hair, makeup, clothing and shoes.
When I was a teenage girl, I’d know when the local magazine stand would put out the latest issues of Vogue, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar, and I’d walk out of there with a brown paper bag full of my fashion fantasies.
One part of my mind told said those clothes and those looks were out of reach for me, while another part of me knew — illogically, but without a doubt — that I would wear those kinds of clothes and hair.
Fast forward to now after years of inside-out personal transformation, and I have indeed made my life my personal runway.
Many days, you will find me in fitness gear working at home, getting my kids and hitting the gym — and I’m even purposeful about those clothes feeling beautiful. The other outfits of my life outside of that are thought-out and lovingly curated.
I love interesting, structured, sexy, playful, edgy and well-designed pieces; and as I’ve grown into that, I’ve found that my search has taken me beyond some retailers I used to frequent when I was younger. I have some financial freedom to spread my fashion wings these days, but daaaaammmmmmnnnn, I love the thrill of a fashion hunt and subsequent deal I can find.
People ask me where I shop, and I don’t actually go to brick-and-mortar retailers that much these days. If I do, it’s the Nordstrom Rack we have in Louisville or maybe a couple of independent boutiques, but I buy most of my wardrobe online.
One of my favorite sources is The Outnet where I can find beautiful things for a fraction of their original price. It has let me try a lot of different designers that I once thought were inaccessible to me and helped me form my opinions about what I like about construction and fit. It has also amplified my standards for clothing and how I carry myself, and I love that.
Yes, I may be wearing shoes, pants, or dresses that are “last season” to someone else in the world, but that’s how I make them original to me, in my here-and-now. It’s how I want my style to speak for me before I open my mouth.
Some of my favorite finds that I’ve acquired for 60 – 80% off their original prices: A Diane Von Furstenberg sequin and tulle wrap dress that I will wear to a high tea celebration for a friend in NYC; a black and blush Herve Leger gown that I can wear to a gala event and that’s also begging to be worn in photos for my website in the future; several gorgeous pairs of Stuart Weitzman shoes and boots — to name just a few.
6. CycleBar Premium Indoor Cycling
I do all sorts of workouts when it comes to exercise. I love interval training, dancing / Zumba, a little bit of yoga and, one of my other all time favorites is an energetic indoor cycling (spin) class with a challenging instructor and bumpin’ soundtrack.
In addition to the classes I take at my regular gym, I have been a regular at CycleBar, a premium indoor cycling studio that opened just before Christmas 2016 in my city of Louisville. When I travel to big cities, I almost always sign up for a SoulCycle class, a similar franchise, but Louisville didn’t really have something on that scale until CycleBar came around, and I love it.
To me, it’s like dancing on a bike — I love anything that moves my mind and body like that. The “cycle theater” is just that — a room with 50 bikes arranged on platforms in a semi-circle fashion where we’re facing the instructor. The lighting and sound system have a club / disco vibe, so if loud music and a darker environment make you cringe, then CycleBar may not be your thing.
I think it’s a great cardiovascular workout and there’s just a little bit of strength training with a weighted bar in the 50 minute class. Costs per class and packages are going to vary studio by studio depending on your area, but it’s worth the investment to me if it’s something you love and are willing to commit to making a regular part of your fitness plan.
7. Pedicure Life Hack: Essie Set in Stones Nail Polish
I have little disco mirrors on my toes! So this is a very simple life hack I discovered for myself when I had the First World problem of too much time between pedicures. The polish was chipped on every other toe, and taking it all off wasn’t a hot look to me, either.
I pay people for the service of a pedicure because I’m not very good at it. I wanted to paint my bare nails that day, but I don’t like the look of my work when I paint my nails a solid color – I always get bubbles or polish in the bed of my toenails.
I did, however, have on hand a bottle of sparkly nail polish I’d gotten a few months before. It was essentially a clear color with tiny circles of glitter mixed into it. I wondered if I could do a perfectly-imperfect paint job with this polish since it would be more like decorating my toes versus painting them.
I was right; a couple of quick sweeps of polish and it looked fabulous. It gave me an extra week between pedicures, too … bonus.
Ted Baker Luggage
I travel a lot and I love my luggage. There is nothing really extraordinary about this brand of luggage compared to other brands. It is functional, well-constructed and durable, and those are always requisites.
What I love most is that it’s beaaaauuuutiful.
I love the taupe-gray of the hard shell case, the rose gold hardware AND, most of all, the beautiful light pink rose print on the front. I began to acquire the three piece set when I spotted the makeup case in a New York City luggage store.
That led me to hunting down and buying both the carry-on and checked-bag pieces to complete the set. It’s not cheap, but I live out of this stuff when I go to different cities, so they’re kind of like little apartments for me.