Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Rub Sunscreen into your Soul

Wear it. 

Factor this into your daily routine, especially in the summer.  There are no two ways about this; skin cancer isn't sexy!

I don't care which brand you use, love, or hate - make sure it has a high SPF in it 35+.  I'd recommend everyone using at least 50+ if you can find it.  All skin tones and types too!  Reapply it every hour, even if it's waterproof, and try to not lay out in the sun anymore.

Summer is coming and we will all be slipping into our cute dresses, shorts and tank tops.  Now is the time to start stocking up on all your summer essentials and that includes sunscreen.  I usually keep a small bottle of it in my purse in the summer since I'm always on the go outside.  Never leave this stuff in your car or else it will create a nasty explosion due to the heat. 

Remember, it is important to get outside for fresh air and sunshine.  I'd recommend it every day.  It helps you feel better and the sun will give your skin a beautiful soft glow.  Also, make sure you are monitoring your skin for new changes or developments.  Anyone can have moles or freckles.  If you see any new moles, please contact your doctor about it.  Prevention is the best medicine!

Be you; be safe and sexy this summer! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Everyone Is Irish on St. Patty's Day!

        This may not be an official holiday but it is something a lot of people celebrate with feats of Irish food and green beer.  I grew up celebrating with a pot of gold placed in the living room filled with gold wrapped candy, corn beef, mashed potatoes and soda bread.  As an adult, I like to throw in my own new traditions by adding green makeup and accessories to the mix and alcohol.   Of course, I want you to act responsibility when it comes to the makeup, accessories and booze but remember to have fun with it.  It is a day to let go of your everyday worries and socialize, make new friends or even find that special someone.  Themed parties are great places to meet new people and loved ones. 
                This is a great opportunity to throw a party with great decorations.  Do not feel as if you need to spend in excess to decorate.  Most dollar stores or store like them have great options that you can end up recycling or reusing the next year.  I love throwing a great party and bringing people together.  Plus, this is a great way to have a no-stress mixer for your single friends to mix and mingle.  The menu can be simple and healthy too.  You can incorporate green veggies and green goddess dressing instead of the usual onion dip.  Don’t forget about dark green leaves for a nice healthy salad.  Who says you have to have heavy, fattening meals to have a good party?   There are plenty of green options you can configure to be a part of this party.  If you want to use traditional Irish food, there are numerous ways to prepare the food in a more healthy way.  You can use red potatoes instead of regular white potatoes as an example.  It tastes just as great too!  The same rules apply to your drink menu.  Be creative in your selections and create your own concoction to go along with the theme of the party.  If you plan on going out, remember to set a budget not only for your wallet but for your health and wellness.  While it is very tempting to take advantage of the endless pitchers of green beer or whatever else you fancy, your body and wallet will pay the ultimate price.  Moderation is the key!  

Remember to have fun, smile, and put your best foot forward on this greenest of holidays! 

Major Life Rules

                How many times are we faced with challenges and then begin to doubt ourselves?  Almost every day, right?   We might be running late for work, have issues at work, issues with coworkers, family, relationships, and friends and so on.  I know I can create a list of things going on right now that I feel I need to solve before my head hits the pillow tonight.  Is it a reality to start solving all of these problems?  Is there a DNA code hidden that will reveal our true identities as differing super heroes and heroines?  I wish, if only to get a cool cape out of the deal!  The real starting point starts from within us, and then it can move outward.  

 Respecting Elders:   I teach my son, who is now four, the importance of respecting the older generation.  It is important to know where you came from to know where you are going.  This applies to all of us.  I see it so many times when  people are in such a hurry and won’t hold a door for someone, or they are quick to cut off someone older because they are speaking too slowly.  Is your life really worth that much more than theirs that you are unable to give them the respect they deserve?  I always make a point to talk with older folks any chance I get.  The wisdom they share is invaluable.  They have lived a life before all of our modern conveniences and know how to sustain relationships; whether it’s between friends or lovers.  They know how to survive through it all; racism, bigotry, hatred, and injustice.  

Respecting Each Other:  Plain and simple, remember the little things.  Whether your friend is dealing with sobriety, diet, lifestyle change, et cetera, remember to celebrate and respect their wishes and desires.  Hold the door for someone behind you.  It doesn’t matter who they are, just hold the door and don’t let it slam in anyone’s face – even if they are too consumed in their handheld instrument of choice.  Also, remember to use kind words, even among the harshest.  It is very tempting to join in the crowd and hurt another, especially if it is due to peer pressure.  You are resilient, don’t give into such dramatics.  This goes for all kinds of bullying.  Fat shaming, slut shaming, gay shaming – you name it, it needs to stop!  We are all different for a reason and should work together to bridge the gap rather than tear someone down.  You never know who you are pushing over the edge to suicide.  It only takes one word, one action, one display of being ignored, forgotten,  or unloved to push someone to that point.  Embrace, empower and spread love, folks.  

Respect Your Surroundings:  It’s simple.  Clean up the Earth and it will thank you.  This is more than just recycling.  I don’t know how often I’m in a major city in the US and the streets are covered in litter and beautiful walls are covered in graffiti.  It is depressing.  Do your part and inspire others to do theirs and hopefully, the chain reaction will spark a movement.  It only takes one person to start, why not let it be you?  

Respect Yourself:  I cannot stress this enough.  There are so many people out there who are lost in who they are, thrown into a pit of self-loathing and despair because they don’t feel they measure up to the standard of beauty.  This isn’t just a female thing either.  There are men who do not feel adequate because they don’t look like the men in those muscle magazines.  If you have a healthy goal that you set for yourself, I suggest you work as hard as possible to achieve it.  Nothing should stop you from reaching your dream.  The sad thing is, your worst enemy is starring at you every time you look in the mirror.  That voice saying, “Why are you wasting your time?”  Why are you wasting your time listening to that voice?  You are worth it.  You are loved.  You CAN do it!  Make this your time, year and life. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Let's Take a Dip

           Swimsuits.  One piece, two-piece, tankini, sporty – there are many options when it comes to how you choose to express yourself pool side or temporarily becoming a mermaid at the beach.  Is there a rule when it comes to the different styles?  I don’t think so.  I know the culture in America is if you aren’t less than 100lbs, you have no business in a two-piece and should keep yourself locked in your cage until Fall.  I like to think while this is utterly hilarious, it simply isn’t true.  Who cares, right?  If it fits you properly, then rock it like it’s fashion week right there in the sand.  I love the patterns, styles and different cuts when it comes to swim suits but some caution should be taken into consideration.  Let’s be honest about our body shapes and fit. 
                There is a growing trend in plus size swim suits where they have supportive two-piece suits because not all plus size women have a large chest.  We aren’t unicorns, I promise.  We are just normal women who want great support in all areas of our bodies.  I don’t firmly believe in the built in bra top swimsuits but if it’s your fancy, then by all means – purchase away.  The thing is, most suits now come with a bra shelf that is supportive, as well as straps that can be adjusted for greater accuracy when it comes to fit for the girls.  That way they aren’t smashed together like fresh bread at the bottom of a shopping bag.  They can breathe and flounce around like you are Mae West in a photo-shoot.  I also love halter style suits because they give the best cleavage and support.  The only downside is after a few hours you want to give your neck a break but that’s fine.  It’s the perfect excuse to change into a great summer dress and do some shopping or site seeing.  

                How far to the bottom?  Your bottom should also be taken into consideration.  Find something that not only flatters but has great fit.  For me, I don’t like anything outside of a hipster like cut, or a boyshort cut.  I want more coverage without feeling like I have a wedgie.  Some women prefer a thinner cut and I say go for it if you are comfortable and feel comfortable in it.  Who is to tell you otherwise?  They have great styles now with swim skirts that come in one piece, two-piece, and the tankini style bottoms.  It’s very feminine and not frumpy like the plus size swimsuits of yesteryear.  I used to have an ugly plaid swimsuit.  I hated that thing, but it was the only one I could find in my size at the time.  I’m so happy things have changed!  

                Let’s uncover the nasty truth when it comes to swimsuits.  The price.  I know most people don’t go swimming every day and probably only take one, maybe two vacations in the summer unless they live close to a beach so you aren’t using your swimsuit often enough to justify spending $100-$200 on it.  I know some people want to buy a new one each year too and find it difficult to find their size or something that will fit properly.  I have to tell you that you do not have to spend a lot of money to get a great fit and great style.  There are many stores that offer plus sized swim suits that DO fit and won’t kill your wallet.  You may feel inclined to buy two suits each season, and yes, they will last for a few years.  I bought a tankini from Target that has lasted 5 years.  The color hasn’t faded nor the fit.  I wore that thing out over those 5 years.  I also have a one piece from Walmart that has lasted quite a while as well.  Last year I started to look elsewhere for something new just to see if it was possible and frankly, it was.  I wasn’t directed to the shameful area in the back of the store where the lightening is horrible and items don’t have pairs.  They had plus size stuff on display with everything else and I found my size easily and effortlessly.  This was at JCPenny.  I also stocked up on additional bottoms to go with that suit at Target because they always has great, reasonable prices on swimsuits.  Yes, even the plus-sized ones.  You really can’t beat it.  They also have a lot of choices too so don’t feel like you have to buy a black swimsuit because you are over a size 12.  

                The important thing to remember is do not tell yourself that you are not worthy of wearing something because you haven’t hit your goal weight.  Also, do NOT buy anything thinking you will lose another x amount of pounds before summer.  This is such a dangerous trap that women setup for themselves each and every year.  I always see the diet commercials start right after Christmas promising and boasting that you will lose that “holiday weight” or hit your goal so you will look like a swimsuit model come summer.  Love the skin you are in, folks.  Don’t be scared to try a tankini, two-piece or a new pattern or color.  Taking risks and building your confidence are what makes the human experience exciting.  If anything, work on hitting that goal in self-confidence.  Dare to be different this summer!  

This is the suit I bought recently for this summer: