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Put Your Best Face Forward

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I always thought there had to be a secret to a clean and clear complexion, and there is. The good news is it’s super simple and doesn’t involve costly skin care products. A friend of mine who is a “beauty master” turned me onto to this method a few months ago and it has done wonders for my complexion. First she recommended either phisoderm or cetaphil facial cleanser (all depends on how sensitive your skin is) and a washcloth to exfoliate. The rest of the directions are below. Here’s to putting your best face forward.

P.S. – This isn’t just for girls, so guys feel free to give it a try too.

1. Remove your eye make up (if you’re wearing any)

2. Apply a generous amount of facial cleanser to your hands and rub together to spread evenly

3. Starting at the base of your neck, rub upward using circular motions until you reach the top of your forehead (be sure not to neglect your jawline)

4. Leave the cleanser on for 2-3 minutes

5. With a warm wash cloth, begin at the base of your neck, and again, using circular motions, work your way upward to your forehead

6. Rinse the wash cloth and repeat step five, making sure to remove all of the cleanser

7. Pat your face dry with a towel and you’re done ūüôā

For Oily Skin: No need to moisturize your face before going to bed. Wait until the morning and be sure to let it soak in before applying your make up.

For Dry Skin: Apply a small amount of moisturizer before bed and again in the morning.

One Last Tip: You’ll need a clean washcloth for every time you wash your face, so go out and buy 2 dozen or so to keep you stocked for a few weeks.

farewell to another summer

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While I can’t say that I’ve been particularly productive as a writer this summer, I have been extremely productive as a reader. I made a vow when I started my most recent book however, that when I am done it will be time to move out of “pre-thinking” and back into actual writing again. For anyone looking for one last summer read, my most recently completed list is below. And as far as I’m concerned, they is nothing more addictive than a really good book.

Joy For Beginners by Erica Bauermeister

The Break Up Bible by Melissa Kantor

Produced By Faith by DeVon Franklin

Faking It by Elisa Lorello

Reason To Breathe & Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan (warning – this is a trilogy and the third and final book has yet to be released)

The Wedding Dance by Lucy Kevin (a series and I suggest you start with book 1)

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

The Singles by Meredith Goldstein

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

State Of Wonder by Ann Patchett

Princess by Jean Sasson

Summer Reading List

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For anyone who actually follows my blog, sorry i’ve been absent for so long. I have read quite a few good books over the past few months though, so here are some must reads before summer ends. Enjoy!

The Dig by Michael Siemsen

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

When You Least Expect It by Whitney Gaskell

The Lost Wife by Alyson Richman

The Vessel

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The Year Of Me

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a.k.a. – time and money well spent

As my 35th birthday approaches, I can’t help but to find myself looking back over the years. I quickly came to realize that I have spent the last decade of my life taking care of others, and in doing so, inadvertently pushed myself to the bottom of my own list. So I have decided to declare my 35th year as “The Year of Me”. I’ve gotten a jump start already with a massage, facial, and haircut, and plan to make all three regular events in the year ahead. I’ve also taken up yoga (I know I’m way behind the curve on that one, but better late than never) and plan to strengthen my body, mind and soul. And although faith’s path can often be a long and lonely road, I will do my best to keep my head clear and my heart open so that when His plans for the next decade of my life begin to unfold, I’ll be ready and able to do my part.

Always Back To You

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This one is for all of the long lost lovers out there (including mine). May you find your way back to each other’s hearts in the year ahead. Happy Valentines Day.

Always Back To You

A day,

A week,

A month can go by,

Without so much as a glimpse of your face.

But you are always there hiding.

Somewhere deep within,

My mind,

My body,

My soul.

And in that instant when my eyes gaze upon you once again,

This rush comes over me that I just can’t explain.

So much as a hint of your smile can fill my heart with joy like no other’s can,

And just the thought of being face to face with you one more time,

Can fill my dreams for a thousand years to come.

But you’re there,

And I’m here.

And so i do my best to try to keep you off my mind,

But somehow, no matter what I do,

I always end up coming back to you.

– by Suhaiba Neill

What’s Your Face Worth?

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Thanks to Groupon, I had my first facial about two months ago. I was truly happy with the results, but didn’t feel like I was given enough “at home” instruction on how to maintain my skin on my own. Low and behold,¬† a few weeks later I met a friend of a friend at a networking event who is a “healthy lifestyle consultant”.¬† She gave me some straight forward advice on how to maintain a healthy face. #1 – you only need 4 facials a year, one at the start of each new season. #2 – a facial wash with a pH of 5.5 is optimum (phisoderm was her recommendation). #3 – a warm wash cloth is all you need to get your face clean (no need for expensive scrubs or scrub brushes). I’ve been following her advice, and my face has never looked better (anyone who knows me knows I’ve struggled with keeping a clear complexion since my early teens).

While my next facial will probably not be at a discounted rate, I have decided that my face is worth $400-$500 per year (including tips). What’s your face worth?

P.S. – for all the Starbucks coffee drinkers out there, 4 facials will cost you less than half of what you’d spend in a year if you drink one cup of coffee per day.

Farewell To Summer

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While I may be a few weeks behind in posting this, here are the three books that rounded out my summer reading list. Hope everyone is looking forward to fall as much as I am – it’s my most favorite season (when we actually have a real fall).

Distant Shores by Kristen Hannah – a great book for at the beach or by the fireplace.

Lunch In Paris by Elizabeth Band Рwell worth it if only for the molten chocolate cake recipe at the end of  chapter two.

Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner – full of depth and layers that flow together seamlessly to create an amazing book about the joys and perils of womanhood.

Trust Your Gut

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It was ten o’clock when I tiptoed out of my daughter’s room and headed back downstairs to straighten up before turning in for the night. The dogs were close on my heels as I entered the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea, and that little voice in my head said “let them out now.” I looked at the clock, thought “they can wait thirty more minutes” made myself a cup of tea and plopped down on the sofa to watch tv for a bit. At around ten twenty, I heard the rain start to fall. The dogs hate going out in the rain. If only I had listened to that voice. . .

Some say follow your head, others say follow your heart, but in my experience I have found that the best thing to follow is your intuition. Or, in laymans terms – trust your gut. We all have it, that little voice in our head that seems to chime in at the strangest moments. Sometimes we may not even hear it because it’s drowned out by all of the other loud voices fighting for our attention. What I have learned about my “little voice” is, #1 – it speaks very softly and #2 – it does not repeat itself. Often times, what it’s “telling” me also seems silly to the rational side of my brain, but as tonight’s example proves, there’s nothing rational about intuition. It comes from somewhere deep inside and can “sense” things in a way that our brain cannot comprehend.

My daily challenge¬† is to stay as clear and open as possible so that, #1 – I can hear the “voice” when it speaks to me, and #2 – remember not to question it, but rather¬† to simply listen to it. I cannot remember an instance when I have listened to my gut and been steered wrong. I can however, remember plenty of times when I blew it off and then was unprepared for something little that came up later in the day, or even missed opportunities for some bigger things in my life.

It’s an ongoing process, but I’m doing my best to slow down and pay attention when I can (and not beat myself up too much when I forget). Thankfully, I also believe that what was meant to be must be, and hopefully I’ll be tuned in enough to catch those lost opportunities the second time around.

All Over The Map

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I’ve been on a bit of a reading binge for the past few weeks, which means not much time for writing. Below are a few books I’ve finished recently, and as you’ll see, the genres couldn’t be more wide-spread.

I learned something from each and every one of them though, and that’s the whole point of writing isn’t it? To pass along some piece of information that somehow changed your life in the hopes that someone else will find it useful too. At least that’s my goal when I do sit down and write, which I’ll be getting back to now that I’ve had my fill.

My Husband’s Sweethearts by Bridget Asher – a great work of fiction that will leave you believing that everything happens for a reason

Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert – very different vibe than Eat, Pray, Love, but an interesting read if you’ve ever wondered about how marriage has evolved over the ages

The Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda – an absolute must read, and that’s all I’ll say because I don’t want to give anything away

Flirting with Faith by Joan Ball – a work of non-fiction about going from non-believer to faithful disciple and how the process changed her life

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott – by far one of the best books about writing I’ve ever read, and a must read for all aspiring authors

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