Beautiful: Inside & Out


Is the goal today to look like we haven’t aged at all?  Do we all really want to stay forever young?  I understand the desire to age gracefully and to create healthy habits in order to have a long and fulfilling life, but at what point do we take those simple desires and distort them into something else?  Is there a line that can be crossed?  Yes, I believe so, but I realize that line is different for each individual.  

I turned 41 in December in of last year and I have fully come to the realization that I am going to have to start putting forth a little extra effort when it comes to staying fit and looking fresh.  Long gone are the days of skipping lunch and going for a quick jog to bring my weight in check.  I have to make more changes more often to drop that extra few pounds.  Also, long gone are the days of a quick splash of water on my face, light moisturizer and lip gloss before I head out the door.  My beauty routine was once very low maintenance and it has definitely upgraded over the years.

I have watched people in entertainment get face-lifts, lip injections, butt implants, Botox, fillers, lipo-suction, permanent make-up and lets not forget the many different skin care products and diet and exercise programs promoted.  It would be easy to spend every last penny of your paycheck on just looking good.  It is also scary to look at some celebrities who have completely ruined themselves with the massive efforts to fight age.  So how do you really make the choices of what is worth investing in for long term benefits without ending up looking like a completely different person or a freak of nature?  

I am a researcher and like to study, I will devour articles from multiple websites, magazines and other resources to find out information on different beauty products and procedures that interest me.  I have come to find a routine that works and I feel comfortable with.  First of all, sleep, exercise and water are your best friends no matter what age you are.  Getting a good nights sleep, drinking a large glass of water upon waking and 30 minutes of cardio is how I start my day.  Then I jump into a warm shower, loofah & shave and after, I always moisturize.  My skin care routine involves eye cream, moisturizer, and vitamin C oil for the day and eye cream, moisturizer and Retin A cream at night.  I use a very light cleanser that removes my makeup and a toner to help prepare the skin before I apply the anti-aging products.  I also brush my teeth twice a day and floss every night.  Yes, I believe dental care can effect the aging process.

I drink lots of water and try to fill my plate with mostly fruits and veggies three times a day.  I have recently cut out between meal snacks because I tend to over eat when snacking.  I do eat meat but mostly fish, I love eggs and I try to moderate my dairy and grains.  I definitely see the benefits of a vegetarian diet when it comes to health and anti-aging but I love life and want to enjoy and not feel deprived in any area so I just practice balance and moderation.  I do drink alcohol, but I am perfectly capable of having a couple of beers with pizza or a burger and be done.  A glass of wine with piece of fish and a salad is one of my favorite dinners!  Moderation is key!

When it comes to cosmetic procedures I am very new to this area.  I like the idea of looking fresh, but still natural and recognizable.  My doctor has explained that a great skin care routine is important along with diet and exercise and plenty of water, but at the end of the day you are still going to have laugh lines and wrinkles if you are enjoying life and spending any amount of time outdoors in the sun.  I love to be out in nature and as a natural redhead I have my share of little freckles and some degree of sun damage and wrinkles.  The Retin A process is great for peeling away the top layer of dead skin and after about of month of using this product you can see a more glowing and less lined and wrinkled face looking back at you in the mirror.  However, there are some deep forehead lines that were still hanging around and the only real fix is Botox.

I have not yet had my first Botox injection, but I plan to get it done in about a month.  I am focusing on just the forehead lines.  The doctor has explained that Botox just freshens your look, but when people start getting fillers they can start changing their look.  The decision to schedule Botox was not an easy one for me, I have contemplated it for some time and I admit, not only do I have fears of a reaction but I don’t want to seem superficial or shallow.  I know looks are not everything, but the end of the day, this is the only face and body I will ever have so I am going to invest in it.

Honestly, I like the way I look and do not want to completely transform my face.  Taking pride in how you look should start with your own happiness and self-esteem, but it can also be good for your relationship with your significant other.  When you take good care of your body with a healthy diet and exercise, along with taking extra steps to be beautiful for yourself, it is naturally going to cause your significant other to notice and appreciate the effort, maybe even inspire them to also be at the top of their game.

Men should invest in good skin care as well…a good moisturizer and eye cream really is not something to be embarrassed about.   I get a crazy response from some of my guy friends or guys I have dated when I suggest something they think is girly. If you tan before a vacation, use skin care products, teeth whitener, getting a manicure and pedicure, use hair products…all of that is really no different than going to the gym on a regular basis.   A man who puts a little extra effort into himself is just sexy, trust me, farmers and cowboys need face moisturizer just like the rest of us!

I often write about good character, self-improvement and learning to grow and be a better person.  I think a well rounded individual understands the key to a fulfilling life is to be happy with the inside and the outside…the whole self.  It is not a bad thing to invest in your outside as long as you are making efforts to invest in your heart, soul and the betterment of relationships and the world around you as well.  We all deserve to look and feel beautiful!

With love, health and beauty for all…





Perfection Is Not Real

Forget talking to your kids about Santa or the Easter Bunny.  Lets talk about what really matters, the fact that being perfect is not real and the constant effort to get there is exhausting and futile.  The other night I started watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and something she did made me cringe because I remember being that girl!  The effort put forth to always look perfect by getting up early and applying her makeup so she would look flawless to her man.  I remember going to bed with my makeup on in a similar effort.  In the beginning we all try to put our “best face forward”  but at what point do we take it too far?  At what point do we sacrifice being true to ourselves and our relationship for the appearance of perfection?

Trying to create an image of perfection can be seen everywhere, especially with social media.  People always posting the great vacations, new bodies from working out, those overly posed beach pictures in a bikini doing a meditative yoga pose or, the famous, overly filtered selfies.  The need to create the image of effortless perfection seems to be important to so many.  The truth is we all just want to be loved and accepted exactly the way we are but there is a catch to being to satisfied with where you are in life also.  The truth is, there is always room for improvement in some area of life and we should all strive to learn and grow daily.  However, to constantly learn and grow means taking risks and making mistakes and ultimately….accepting imperfection as reality.

I am not saying the first couple of months of dating a person you should allow them to see you at your worst just to see if they are really as in to you as they say they are…but it is probably better for them to see you at your worst and still accept you than to put out the constant effort of little miss perfect for months to just come down with the stomach flu and realize he is a superficial jerk.  I have found that most men who are worth the time do not really expect or want perfection anyway.  They want to see the silly side, hear the embarrassing stories and share in awful hangover moments when your fake eyelashes look more like windshield wipers the next morning.  Isn’t the goal to be best friends with your forever person?  So if you can’t laugh at yourself with them, then what the heck is the point of the relationship?

Take the pressure off, allow yourself to be human, vulnerable and don’t be afraid to own your mistakes and admit when things are hard.  Accept others as they are, we are all unique and beautiful in our own way.  Maybe perfection is much like beauty, it is in the eye of the beholder; it doesn’t fit one exact standard set in a magazine or on television show.  Maybe perfection does exist just like beauty and love….it can be found in all of us. So look for the love & beauty in all things this new year, and together maybe we can create something a little bit closer to perfect.




Not Hot Enough

I was told a story that left me a bit dumbfounded over the weekend.  It really left me a bit scared wondering…are there a lot of men who really think this way?  I was discussing a past vacation and words that were shared between two males who were discussing their relationships.  One of the men stated that he felt it was only a matter of time before his relationship ended because he just was not satisfied.  He went on to say his girlfriend was just “not hot enough” and he just wanted to earn a lot of money and have a hot, sexy young women on his arm.  This couple eventually did break-up and the guy still often talks about how he misses her and what a great girl she is.  I defended this guys reasons, (the reasons he told me anyway) but I realize now he was saying the nice, sugar coated and logical reasons that a reasonable person could support.  Then when someone clues me in to the selfish and completely ugly truth of how he really felt I am now feeling shocked and disgusted.

This woman is sweet, funny, smart, well educated, successful, had a beautiful home and drove a nice car, she is beautiful, active and in great shape, she was honest and took care of him and you could tell she was really crazy about him.  I thought about her and what she brought to that relationship versus what he brought to the relationship and it just left me feeling more disturbed.  I can understand and be a bit more accepting if a twenty-something says I just wanna be rich and have a hot sexy young woman on my arm, but when you hit 50-years-old and you still think that way there is a problem.  I understand that there is no shortage of grown men and women who are looking for superficial qualities like good looks, money, and a flashy car and that is all they care about.  I just didn’t think it was so common that I would actually cross paths with one of these people.  I am further disturbed by the fact that this guy seems so normal and was actually enjoyable to talk to and I would have never guessed that such a superficial asshole was lying just under the surface.

I wanted to make sense of his words by thinking…people say things they don’t really mean, especially groups of guys drinking and having fun without the ladies around.  Maybe he just spouted off those words and doesn’t really feel that way when it really comes down to having a relationship.  Surely everyone by his age understands that in order to have a truly loving and lasting relationship it has to go beyond money and looks right? Unfortunately, the truth is, our society markets young, hot. sexy women and rich, successful men as the ideal.  Is there not some kind of logical, realistic balance in there somewhere?

I want to stay in shape and be healthy.  I think having respect for myself and my relationship means taking care of myself, my kid, my career, my bills and constantly working on personal growth to bring more to the relationship.  I feel that my significant other does the same.  However, at the end of the day I want my man to know that if he gets some awful sickness and loses all his hair and needs help to the bathroom that I am going to 110% be there.  I don’t think people who only think about money and sexiness will ever understand that kind of love and devotion and I feel sorry for them.

I often speak of the importance of relationships and what it means to truly love and accept someone.  It amazes me the number of people who are over 50 who still do not understand.  If you can take away only one thing in this life I would ask that you take a look at who you surround yourself with….are they all just beautiful on the outside or are they beautiful on the inside too?

With love (inside and out)