Your mom was right…

Let’s face it, we hardly ever want to admit that our mom was right about some advice she dolled out when we were 18 and so wrapped up in ourselves and we were sure we knew, EVERYTHING already!

Fast forward to your 40’s and you’re looking in the mirror and find yourself talking to your tired, drawn, ruddy reflection…”Mom was right, I should have listened to her when she told me to take care of my skin”

For me, I never had to deal with teen acne breakouts, oily skin, dry skin, or any other skin issues. I actually was always told I had great skin. Little did I realize, the older I got, that great skin was going to need extra nourishment from me. I needed to feed my skin, either by my diet, and by my skin care regime. I hate drinking water and am always dehydrated,  I am addicted to coffee, and tea, and I hardly ever took care of my skin. If you have a good thing, you better keep nourishing it.

When I began using my Max & Madeleine products, I didn’t think I had bad skin. Sure I was 42, had some fine lines, some deeper lines, redness (undiagnosed rosacea) dry, rough skin on my face and decolete. But I didn’t think I had bad skin. People would still comment how nice my skin looked, but nowhere near as much as when I was younger.

I slowly began incorporating more of our Anti-Aging skin care products into my abysmal skincare routine.  Who am I kidding, I never had a routine. First it was the Rose Hibiscus skin toner, then the Anti Aging face serum, followed by the eye elixir, and then our Facial Cleansing Powder, and finally adding to my arsenal our Detox Clay Mask. I couldn’t commit myself to everything at once, so I added items I thought could help me see a change, and I took photos to actually see it for myself.

Was I systematically keeping a routine, nope. Still couldn’t and can’t get myself to be consistent with my skin care. But let me tell you, even without being consistent, I am seeing results. Actually the results had to be pointed out to me. Sure I see some improvement when I look back at my reflection now, but not until it’s been brought to my attention how more dewy and refreshed my skin looks did I actually NOTICE it myself. I think that unnoticing factor is something we all struggle with. Wether it’s not seeing the weight we are gaining in our reflection, yet knowing our clothes fit differently. We feel and see our skin changing, but don’t actually notice until we are told, or see it in a photo.

This week I met up with some phenomenal women for a gathering of like minds. I’m truly thankful for my tribe! They helped me see a change in myself that I wasn’t truly aware of. When I first arrived for our meeting, I was rushing from the gym, freshly showered but without a stitch of make up or moisturizer on, because I was afraid I’d be late.

“Ugh how can I meet them with no make up on? I look like I just woke up” all those thoughts running through my head as I drove to meet them. When I walked in I was greeted by Melissa and she immediately mentioned how great my skin looked. “Me, my skin?” that’s what I replied, instead of saying, thank you! That goes to show you how we perceive ourselves and our mindset. Here I was assuming my skin looked bad because I hadn’t put a stitch of makeup on, and she is complimenting me on it. Go figure.

 

When everyone finally arrived, we all got to talking about our plans, and when there was a lull in the conversation, I pulled out my Max & Madeleine “before & in progress” picture that I had taken. They all agreed that there was definitely changes in my skin tone, texture, the redness, etc.  from September 2017 to October 2017, and then to April 2018. They all encouraged me to take an updated in progress picture comparing my skin from September to April. When I went home I started looking over photos from the last few months and I could actually see a difference. It’s not phenomenal but it is significant in my eyes.

img_4867The following morning I took their advice. I’m not a selfie fan, and I’m not a fan of posting pictures of myself without any kind of makeup. Although my makeup consists of tinted moisturizer and maybe a swipe of lip tint. Still the vulnerability of just being fresh faced was daunting, but I did it. I snapped that picture and did a side by side. I’m most impressed with the reduced redness, improved texture & tone, reduced puffiness & dark circles under my eyes, my fine lines look finer, and the best part of the transformation… I am able to achieve these results with out the use of harsh chemicals, or spending a fortune on my skin care. Who can really say their skincare can do that? The minimal investment I’m putting towards my skincare, is yielding some pretty impressive results. Then I think “just imagine if I did this every day”

I always say, what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body, just as what you put into your body is reflected on your skin. Hydrate yourself, take care of your body, take care of your skin, listen to your moms advice even if you think you know everything already.

If you’d like to learn how you can achieve significant results, without the use of toxic chemicals, and without spending a fortune on your skin care routine, reach out to me. If you already know that making the switch to organic, non toxic personal care products has benefits far beyond the physical appearance of your skin, then please follow my link to my website and browse all the fantastic products we offer. And if you are ready to take the plunge into offering these amazing products to your tribe, then please join me on this journey. You can follow me on Instagram, join my Facebook page to keep updated on all things Max & Madeleine!

 

**My results are based on my own personal experience using, Max & Madeleine personal care products. I am also an Independent Advisor with the company. This post has not been paid for.

 

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I am that friend.

img_0480Do you have a friend who seems distant, not themselves?

Do you feel neglected, like you don’t know them anymore?

Well, there’s something I wish people understood. Maybe that friend who seems to have fallen off the face of the earth isn’t ignoring you, purposely. Maybe they are trying to deal with their own shit, and by becoming quiet, reclusive, distant, etc. is their way of dealing.

Even if it seems not to be their “normal” reaction, maybe their new normal is qute taxing. It seems easy enough to reach out and ask, “How have you been, I haven’t heard from you in a while, is everythig ok?”

Instead of reacting “Oh *insert name here* doesn’t want to be bothered with me anymore because life must be grand!”

Don’t make it about you, until you ask and find out.

Sometimes people retreat because they really don’t know what to do, and they’re just going through the motions of life as best they can.

Moral of the story…ask, don’t assume, you might be surprised, and you just might be offering a saving hand.

 

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I woke up this morning and realized, I am that friend.

Through no intentional fault of my own, I have become that person.

Life gets in the way. Life is not always rainbows and unicorns, I say this constantly. Life is an ever evolving work in progress, and sometimes, our progress stalls, crashes down around us, and… we retreat.

Why do we do this?

I’ve no clue.

But it happens. Then one day you finally realize it, and you find yourself saying WTF! How did I let this happen? What was the turning point?

And then you see it, maybe there was no one specific thing, it was all the little things in life taking space, taking precedence. Life as you knew it had changed, and a new world order took over. Head first into the abyss, and you either sink, or swim, or hold on to the edge of the pool…and hope your bathing suit doesn’t fall off.

This is not a WOE is me tale, this is a WHOA is me tale.

whoa

Big difference. It has a mixture of woe’s and whoa’s. But what a more compassionate world this would be if more people took the time to ask “How are you doing?” instead of being on the defensive. I know this isn’t always the case, and some people are downright rude and obnoxious, only thinking about themselves, and truly couldn’t give a rats ass about you and your problems, so they ignore you. Yet a lot of people walk this earth daily, putting on a brave face so no one is the wiser to their turmoil. It takes a lot of work to put on that brave face, and sometimes that brave face takes all the effort some people can muster.

But remember, not everyone is the same. Not everyone deals with trials like you do. So ask, ask the next time you feel slighted.

What do you have to lose? The friendship that is no longer serving your well being? So be it if that is the case, because then You will benefit in the end by freeing yourself of a toxic relationship. Isn’t that refreshing? Isn’t that glorious, to free yourself of what weighs you down?

BUT if by you reaching out for a few moments of a conversation to a friend who seems distant, helps them from teetering on the edge of the abyss, then aren’t both of you better off in the end?

I think the answer is quite simple, don’t you?

 

Pride sucks

Pride, it’s a double edged sword in my opinion some times. I have pride, I don’t like asking for help. In a society where people view asking for help as a plague on the economy, I don’t view it that way for the most part. But when it comes to myself, I don’t want to be a drain, I don’t want to ask for help. Even when I truly can use it. I let my pride, my independence get the best of me at the worst of times.

It’s detrimental to my own well being and I know that. Pride, can be an ugly thing, when we feel we don’t deserve the basic of needs. I know people who won’t ask for help if they need it, and I know people who are those plagues on society who expect things handed to them for free. People on both sides of the fence exist in this life. I strive to be neither of them.

I don’t want to be looked upon as taking advantage of services or things that could help benefit me, things I’m more than entitled to receive. And when I say entitled to, I mean things I’ve worked for, even if that work was a long time ago. I hate vague assumptions that are imposed on people who might, for whatever reason, need help. Not all people who need help are milking a system. Some truly need the assistance, not a hand out, but a hand up. But because of such a ugly stigma placed upon the dirty nasty four letter word “help” people who have pride, people who have self respect, people who let what other say about them if they found out hinder them reaching out when the need arises, will often choose not to seek help in the most dire of times.

It’s not healthy, it’s not beneficial, it’s in fact detrimental to their own well being, mental and physical health. No good can come of keeping all that stuff bottled up and not reaching out. Just as a sickness, either physical or emotional, if over looked for too long can turn into something more serious.

I don’t like to ask for help, it makes me feel weak, and I don’t want to see myself as weak. I always see myself as a strong, independent woman, who doesn’t rely on others to help her. If I can’t do it myself, it won’t get done until I can. If I can’t afford it now, I wait till I can. If I can’t go somewhere, or do something, or fix something, on my own, I will wait until I can.

Waiting isn’t always good. Sometimes waiting makes things worse, no matter how much you try to keep up with it, things fall through the cracks. Sometimes worrying about what others might think puts our own minds in a twisted funk, because that means being vulnerable at our most critical times.

Vulnerability, feels like weakness, but it’s within the depths of our vulnerability and weakness that we can muster the strength we need and ultimately realize we’ve had all along, because it takes a strong person to ask for help. Asking for help does not equal weakness or lack of trying. There comes a time when we realize we can’t do everything on our own, and that’s alright. It’s more than alright, it’s like finally feeling the sun on your face after a long harsh winter. You become alive again, you feel whole, you feel as if the weight of the world just might finally be lifting off your heavy burdened shoulders, shoulders that have carried a weight for far, far too long.

Isn’t it about time you kick pride in it’s ass, and let go of the things that truly hold you back.

I’ll be your biggest supporter, but you need to work on your own $hit!

IMG_3586My Winter Foxy Red mug.

I love coffee mugs, I don’t always drink coffee in them, so what. Poppycock I say. Drink what you want. If you take a close look you can see the hazy fog above the mug, that’s not a glare from the computer monitor, that’s all that delicious steam rising from my cuppa Earl Grey.

Speaking of Grey, Gray, whatever it is…

I’m probably the only one of my girl friends that has absolutely no interest in seeing the 50 shades of Grey movie. Let me preface by saying, I did read those things. All 3 of them, in 2-3 days while recovering from fibroid surgery a few years ago.

No amount of pain medicine, could get me to enjoy those things. Yes I’m calling them “things”, I really don’t know how they were books. I hear women say, oh well I wasn’t interested in them for the “writing technique” yeah I get that, but guess what, not even their intention, and I don’t even know if that’s the right word, hit home for me. I was told by some of my girlfriends, don’t read it while you’re recovering from “female” surgery, you never know what might happen.

Yeah I do…. I fell asleep face first onto my Nook… quite a few times. Why did I continue to read all of them? I was interested in the psychology of Anna and Christian. What did she hope to do for him? Besides the glaring obvious, did she want to change him? Could she? Why would she? He, the lost soul, she, the care taker. Yeah that’s what I got out of it.

Maybe because in my life, I kind of identified with her. Ok hold up. Not in ways you may think. In my ways, and I recently had a conversation with one of my girlfriends about this very thing…

Fixing/Changing a mate vs Helping/Showing them what they are capable of. I always saw myself as the latter, but after a conversation while on a hike, I realized…they are one in the same.

I see the potential in so many people, and that potential, just under the surface, in reality would change them. They are who they are, and seeing the potential is in essence seeing their capability of change. I’m a firm believer you Can’t Change people. Don’t ever try. I realized in my own, unassuming way, I was fixing/changing certain people…Men in particular.

That’s a harsh reality to absorb.

Obviously to me that wasn’t my intent. When they would come to me, and talk about what was bothering them, outside of our relationship, with work, family, etc, I would be the sounding board. They expected and often 99% of the time asked for advice. That 1% time they didn’t, I wouldn’t offer it. It’s not my place.

The men in my life, who held important spots lets say, all were great. On the surface.

There was always something about them that they had an untapped potential of. Something just below the surface. Nothing earth shattering, but something simple that if they let it go, or went with it, would/could change their life for the better. They often sought me out for that psychological uplifting, making them see the potential. I’m told I’m great at giving advice and never unsolicited. I guess it was a two-way street, them knowing I could help them see it (if they were willing to allow it to happen) and me feeling some kind of happiness that I helped them.

I knew what they were capable of if they could only see it. I didn’t want to fix them, that wasn’t my aim.

I’ve learned more recently in my dating/relationships, (looking from the outside back in, as my girlfriend *Connie would say) that my intention is good, and well-meaning, coming from a place of love…but I also can’t be a crutch for my partner. Don’t take advantage of my good nurturing nature. Not saying to not encourage him, but he can’t rest all his success or failure upon my shoulders. Seems this should be a known ideal about the relationship dynamic but I guess it hasn’t been.

I’ve been the therapist, doctor, mother, friend, confidant, and lover…but that last one, it fades. When all other aspects take precedent, leaving a crucial factor falling to the wayside, it’s destined to fail miserably. Ultimately ending the relationship.

Did 50 shades make me realize this about myself? No it didn’t… because to me she set out to change him.

But their dynamic had been of interest to me after the first few chapters, not the sex and bondage, that didn’t do a damn thing for me. But I wanted to ride out the story till the end, to see if her attempts at “changing” him would come to fruition. I won’t give away the ending, a poor excuse of one as well, but it is what it is.

I’m not like her, but in some ways, I do those things; showing/highlighting what it is they’re capable of.

Thinking of this movie, and certain things in my life that have recently come to light, I was able to “Break Free, and own the final good-bye” Sometimes seeing someone do something, out of character, makes you open your eyes. After all you’ve done for them in the past, you finally see them for their true nature. Again it’s always hindsight. I always give the benefit of the doubt, and don’t want to be the bitch. Nice girls can finish first.  It will just be with a much better finish line finale 😉

It’s all good from here on out. I’m actually kinda happy about this post, it’s not depressing, it’s eye-opening. Sometimes when you just let the words out, you learn a lot about yourself. I’ll be your biggest supporter, but you need to work on your own shit!

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It’s funny, I started this post originally on my weekend coffee share post, something about my coffee cup and Grey/Gray got me thinking about the movie, and those things called books, which got me thinking about relationships…its funny how topics and posts emerge.