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Relax with Grace & Stella Lavender Skin Care Products

Lavender is an exceptional and highly sought-after ingredient in beauty products due to its remarkable benefits for both the skin and overall well-being. Its potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help soothe and calm the skin, making it ideal for sensitive or irritated skin types. The gentle floral scent of lavender also offers aromatherapeutic advantages, promoting relaxation and reducing stress, which can positively impact skin health. Its natural antibacterial qualities aid in combating acne-causing bacteria, while its ability to boost circulation contributes to a healthier complexion with a radiant glow. Whether used in lotions, creams, oils, or serums, lavender proves to be a multifaceted botanical that nourishes, revitalizes, and enhances the beauty of the skin. 


If you are looking for some relaxation and pampering, you must check out the lavender line of body products from grace & stella. Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.


lavender spray (SRP: $26) — Spray all night. Soothing your atmosphere is just as important as soothing your skin. Get ready for the best sleep of your life with this mood-lifting spray for your linens, pillows, and room. Infused with lavender flower water, aloe extract, and chamomile flower extract to calm your worries and combat insomnia. It is also backed up by real aromatherapy science to treat headaches and relieve tension. An absolute must for peri- and menopausal women!


lavender essential oil (SRP: $26) – Calm yourself.  And don’t let a summer headache get you down. This 100% pure lavender oil provides pain-relief that makes you go "ahh"! Promoting relaxation and used to treat anxiety, headaches, depression, insomnia, and more, it is the upgrade your self-care routine has been craving. You've never known a more peaceful sleep - lavender oil is infamous in the aromatherapy world for boosting sleepiness and relieving stress and muscle tension for a relaxed body. It also offers anti-inflammatory properties, and treats fungal infections, allergies, eczema, nausea, and menstrual cramps.


lavender dr. pedicure foot peeling mask (SRP: $26/2 pairs & $34/4 pairs) — Down for the peel. 

Are barefoot summer days and long walks on the beach leaving your feet rough and calloused? This viral and gross-but-satisfying exfoliant foot peel is packed with powerful alpha hydroxy acids (including lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid) that will completely shed the dry, calloused skin off feet. It's formulated to penetrate deep into the skin barrier to soften and repair feet, transforming and peeling them to reveal the fresh skin underneath. Hello, baby-soft feet. Buy them here


lavender body lotion (SRP: $25) — Do your skin a favor.  Amazon’s Choice and Overall Pick, this effective, anxiety-relieving but not-overpowering daily body lotion is enriched with the relaxing scent of lavender essential oil to promote calmness and wellness, and the nourishing properties of shea butter to instantly hydrate skin and maintain moisture for up to 12 hours. Does the sun, chlorine or saltwater have your skin looking like raisins these days? This smooth, intensely-replenishing, lightweight formula melts effortlessly into your skin, leaving it soft, supple, moisturized, and smelling oh-so-good.

just the facts:

●      truly clean!

●      100% Vegan

●      cruelty-free - Leaping Bunny certified

●      no dyes are used in any products 

●      paraben-free

grace & stella is available on Amazon and graceandstella.com

Thank you so much to grace & stella for the lovely products to try out. We love them! 
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Easy Ways To Take Care of Your Mental Well-Being

With the hustle and bustle of life, it's easy to put yourself and your needs on the backburner. However, when you ignore your needs, you'll find that you eventually burn out. When you face burnout, you might find that you are tired more than usual, have greater anxiety and are unmotivated to do even simple tasks. 

When things get terrible, you might find that you have to see a doctor or use holistic learning materials to feel better. To avoid letting things get out of control, you need to take time for yourself. Here are some simple ways you can take care of yourself physically and emotionally. 

Choose Good Foods

If you have a diet primarily made up of processed, fatty foods, you're probably not feeling the best. A poor diet harms how your body functions. You will likely find that you lack energy and have a hard time thinking clearly. 

To avoid feeling crummy and not thinking clearly, you should eat whole foods. Your body needs the vitamins and minerals in fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. If you eat meat, choose lean, lower-fat options. 

Work on a Hobby

When you do things you love, you will likely find that you're more relaxed and can think more clearly. Hobbies don't have to be anything overly expensive or creative. You could enjoy a nice warm bath and read a book. Work in the garden while listening to a podcast. If you love woodworking, then build some cabinets. You just want to make sure that you're doing something you enjoy. Your life shouldn't just be about other people and work. You matter, too.

Learn To Say No

Sometimes telling someone you don't want to do something can be challenging. You don't want to come off as rude and have them think poorly of you. However, your mental well-being should always be more important than someone's feelings about you. If you don't have the time to do something or it will be too much of a stretch to make it happen, just say no. Explain to the person that you wish you could help, but you just won't be able to work. Anyone who respects you and cares about you will understand. 

Get Moving

Exercise is sometimes thought of as a wonder drug because even a little bit can make a huge difference. Find ways that you can move more each day. Perhaps go for walks in the evenings after dinner, or go to the gym before work. No matter what you do, you're going to see an improvement in your mood and thought processes. 

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The Best Nail Products To Simplify Your DIY Manicure Routine

Taking the time to sit and do your nails at home is so much more than a task to achieve appealing nails, as it's also a form of self-care, specifically for those who enjoy nail art.

And while there are several essentials you should have in your nail kit to create a variety of designs, such as Orly black nail polish, french manicure products, nail polish remover, and others, we've listed a few products that will simplify your DIY routines. These products will enable you to achieve glamorous and detailed designs without having to struggle at all. 


A Nail Stamp Set
There's no doubt that you've probably already seen a ton of nail stamping tutorials on various social media platforms. And while nail stamping is incredibly satisfying to watch, it's even more gratifying to try. 

Nail stamp sets are also pretty inexpensive, although the cheaper sets don't always work too well, so you should rather spend a little more for a quality set that will last you quite a while. 

Adhesive Nail Stickers
Quality adhesive nail stickers are another fantastic product you won't regret trying out. These are exceptionally straightforward to use, as you stick them on and paint over the nail with a quality clear top coat to seal the adhesive sticker in properly. 

What's more, you can achieve the most detailed nail designs with adhesive stickers. And because there's such a massive variety to choose from, you can switch up your nail set every week, and you'll likely never run out of new design ideas either. 

Half-Moon Guides And Straight-Line Guides
With half-moon guides and straight-line guide adhesive nail stickers, you'll be able to section off areas of your nail and paint precision lines without any hassle. These products are an absolute must-have for every nail kit as they ensure you can create professional nail sets with ease. 


Peel Off Latex Polish
We've all experienced the frustration of messing while painting our nails and then battling to remove the dry polish from skin and cuticles without ruining the design. Fortunately, there's a perfect solution out there in the form of peel off latex polish.

This latex polish is painted around the nail to dry. Once it's dry, you can paint your nail comfortably and then peel off the latex polish to reveal an impeccable manicure with absolutely no mess at all. 

Press-On Nail Sets
Press-on nails may have previously been considered tacky and unappealing options for a quick manicure. Although things have changed quite a bit, there are quality press-on nail sets out there that you won't regret buying. 

The quality press-on nail sets won't fall off at the slightest touch, and some can even be reused a few times. These are perfect for those days when you don't have enough time to do your nails.

Nail products and sets are also great gift ideas for beauty lovers. However, there's no reason you can't gift yourself these excellent products to simplify your nail routines and achieve professional results every time.
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Effective Ways To Beat Depression While In Isolation

While there is still no real way of knowing when the pandemic will near its end, depression rates skyrocket; as a result of self-isolation, lockdown measures, and the many impacts of the viral outbreak, more people around the world are fighting depression. As social creatures tend to turn to others during stressful and emotional times, isolation and social distancing are fueling depression. However, there are several effective ways to overcome bouts of depression during the pandemic. While you should seek medical advice in instances of severe depressive episodes, we have listed a few practical ways to protect your mental health during the global crisis.


Keep Busy And Stay Connected
Procrastination is undeniably the thief of time, as the saying goes. However, it is also the thief of joy as procrastination often leads to feelings of overwhelming guilt and helplessness. While crafting a schedule and making use of time management apps can help you keep busy, you should also make a point of staying connected, not just with the world around you but also with your friends and family. A support system is a vital key in the treatment of even severe depression. Staying in touch via video calls and instant texting apps doesn’t have to be boring either because you can find a ton of fun virtual holiday party games and ideas on cityHUNT.


Get Sunlight And Fresh Air Everyday
It may seem like mundane advice, although fresh air and sunlight can aid depressive moods. The benefits of fresh air and sunlight are even backed by science, so even a short time spent outside each day really can improve your mood and help you overcome depression during the pandemic. Even if you don’t have a yard and only have access to a small balcony, merely enjoying the outside environment and being exposed to the elements can substantially lift your mood. The more time you spend outside, the lighter your spirit will be.

Search For A New Hobby
A new interest can make a massive difference to anybody as uncovering passions is often considered a self-discovery journey. While searching for a new hobby or interest can be as simple as thinking about what sparks curiosity and joy, it is essential to consider relaxing options. Some things may be out of the question due to the pandemic, although DIY arts and crafts, gardening, and countless other activities are still great options. You may even learn a new skill or discover a talent to be developed.


Get Quality Sleep
The effects of sleep deprivation are often driving forces in depressive moods, which is just one of the many reasons quality sleep is so important. Because even minor sleep deprivation can negatively impact your mood, it is crucial to ensure you can get a good night’s rest every night. If you aren’t entirely sure where to start, adjusting your sleep environment, opting for natural sleep remedies, and improving sleep hygiene are practical steps in improving sleep quality.
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Pamper Yourself With Cleanlogic Bath & Beauty Products (Giveaway)

This year has been quite a challenge for so many of us, and it's important to not forget about taking care of yourself inside and out. Some people are still a bit nervous about getting beauty or skincare treatments done away from their house, with good reason. The great thing is you can still take great care of your skin without stepping foot outside of your home! 

Cleanlogic offers a variety of antimicrobial bath and beauty products that will get you set up with your very own at-home pampering kit. Cleanlogic’s products have antimicrobial protection to slow or prevent the growth of bacteria and mold, are animal-test free, Control Union Certified, and made with clean ingredients and recyclable packaging. Cleanlogic is also dedicated to supporting the over 25 million people in the United States who are blind or visually impaired with packaging that includes functional braille, and a portion of all sales that are donated to blind and visually impaired charities.



We received a few Cleanlogic bath items to try out for ourselves including: Dual Texture Exfoliating Facial Pads ($5), Detox Purifying Charcoal Body Scrubber ($5), and the Dual Texture Exfoliating Body Scrubber ($5). 


The facial pads came in a pack of 3, so I gave one to my daughters, and kept the other one for myself. Both of my girls work out and do yoga, so they were excited to try these out on their faces. As for myself, I have patchy skin. I tried this facial pad out for a few days to see how it would work on the dry spots, and to my surprise, it helped tremendously. I was able to gently yet effectively exfoliate my face and neck, revealing glowing and smooth skin. I love feel of the smooth side. It practically glides across your skin!


Speaking of dry skin, I have noticed for months now that my body overall has been a bit drier than usual. I gave the detox purifying charcoal body scrubber a try to see how it would work for me. I like the handy strap that is on the scrubber, which makes holding it without dropping it a lot easier. I have used it with either body wash or soap, and I like how well it lathers. This scrubber offers a gently scrub that you can feel, yet it's not harsh at all. I had no idea how bad my skin was until I got out of the shower and towel-dried myself off. My skin had that peachy-blush hue to it because that super dry layer had been exfoliated away. Even my moisturizer went in easier and seemed to really absorb better. 


We definitely recommend these fabulous products for anyone who wants to improve their skin texture. Self care is essential, even more so during the pandemic. Cleanlogic has so many great skin care items, and even a line for men. They offer FREE shipping on $20+ orders, and are even including a free holiday gift bag with purchase of select items. This definitely makes gift-giving a whole lot easier. Cleanlogic products make great holiday gifts or stocking stuffers. 

GIVEAWAY!!!

Our friends from Cleanlogic have offered a gift set for one lucky reader to win. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway  

This giveaway is open to U.S. Residents only and ends on November 1, 2020. Must follow rules in Rafflecopter. One winner will be chosen randomly. Mom Files is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!
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How a Simple Facial Benefits Your Skin

Keeping your skin healthy requires a bit of work. Of course, you should use a high-quality moisturizer each day and sunscreen of at least 15 SPF. You also need to cleanse your face daily. The things you do on a monthly basis matter, too. Once per month, you should visit a Spokane facial spa for a complete facial. This addition to your skincare routine provides deep cleaning and specialized skin treatments that improve the skin’s health. 


The term facial refers to a skin treatment comprised of multiple steps and multiple skin treatments. It usually includes:

  • steam to open pores,
  • face masks to treat special problems such as acne or wrinkles,
  • exfoliation to remove dead skin,
  • cleansing to deeply clean the skin,
  • facial massage to stimulate proper blood flow,
  • application of creams, lotions, or serums to treat the skin’s special problems.

You could go in for a general facial, but your skin will benefit the most by choosing a special treatment that hones in on the special skin problem and provides it with a focused treatment. Some options include moisturizing facials, firming and restoration facials, and extraction facials. If you are interested in exploring the benefits of getting a facial and finding out what treatments might work for you, you should start by searching online for a reputable aesthetician in your area. For example, if you are based in Pennsylvania, you can search "facial near me in Harrisburg, PA" to find the best facial offerings in and around Harrisburg. You should always book a consultation before getting any full facial treatments. 


A facial removes dirt, toxins, and oil buildup from your skin. It removes dead skin cells through deep exfoliation methods like microdermabrasion. By unclogging your skin’s pores, the facial products can better absorb into the skin to do their job. Undergoing an extraction facial removes blackheads and whiteheads plus treats pimples to quickly clean up breakout and prevent new ones. An anti-aging facial slows down the skin’s aging process and prevents wrinkles. This includes a facial massage that results in increased oxygen flow and blood circulation plus professional level anti-aging creams and serums to deeply penetrate the skin and result in a visible difference as well as enhancing elasticity and collagen production.

The best facials come from a trained aesthetician, a professional who undergoes training in how to apply facial products and treatments and how to best perform facial massage. An aesthetician can analyze your skin and recommend a daily skincare routine that also benefits your skin. During the process of these monthly treatments, the aesthetician examines your skin for suspicious spots and moles. They alert you to any problems found. 

Facials help with more than common problems like acne and wrinkles. You can also get a facial that helps treat problems like sun spots, sun damage, rosacea, and eczema.

While a facial might sound like something only for the wealthy, it remains an affordable service at most spas and helps improve your skin’s look and health. That makes it more than simply an occasional treat, but an imperative part of a healthy skincare routine. Every four to six weeks, you should undergo a facial. While you can do a mini-facial at home in between visits, your aesthetician provides important advice, tips, and services that go beyond what you can do yourself. Their special training makes them especially adept at noticing skin changes that could point to a more serious issue such as skin cancer.

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Healthy Ways Today’s Women Can Deal With Stress

According to the American Psychological Association, women are more likely to experience stress than men and less likely to feel confident in their ability to manage it. Another study published in the Journal of Brain & Behavior found that women are twice as likely than men to suffer from severe anxiety and stress. Dealing with that stress can be very complex, especially when it affects other areas of the body.

Stress that comes as a result of a physical accident can be deeply compounding. For example, if you were to get into a car accident, the stress associated with the healing process and figuring out your financial situation can make the issue worse. According to the Barnes Firm, a team of California injury lawyers, taking action towards getting a fair treatment can help you deal with a stressful situation. It’s not uncommon to suffer from anxiety when you believe you’ve been wronged in an accident. But it works the other way around, too.

Many people fail to realize that stress manifests itself in the body to create physical pain. When you don’t know how to deal with that physical pain, it creates an even more stressful scenario.

Your body reacts to your emotions and too much stress and pressure creates a burden on your overall health. With that in mind, it’s important to start thinking about how you can deal with stress and live a happier and healthier lifestyle. Here are healthy ways that women can deal with stress.

Photo by Oluremi Adebayo from Pexels
Non-addictive Pain Management

As previously mentioned, stress can quickly become pain in the body. Whether you’re an over-pressured athletic woman or a mother suffering from chronic back pain after birth, knowing how to address pain—regardless of the source—is crucial.

Stress is particularly linked to lower back pain, which many women suffer from. If you find yourself struggling with chronic pain, it’s important that you take a non-addictive approach to pain management. With America in the midst of an opioid crisis, the last thing you want is to rely on pain killers that mask root causes of stress and create a physiological dependence. Instead, focus on non-addictive technology like the Energy Cell and alternative options like the solutions listed below.

Meditation

Meditation is a commonly used practice for stress relief and relaxation. It broadens your conscious awareness and helps you to rid your mind of all the busy and hectic thoughts by encouraging inner peace through breathing and balance. With regular practice, you are essentially training your mind to react better to stressful situations, thereby controlling your body’s dreaded “fight or flight” reaction to anxiety.

Despite the fact that there are a myriad of clear benefits of meditation for women, many people struggle to get started. The concept of meditation can be overwhelming, and the desire to “get it right” can create even more stress as you embark on a new mission. However, with just a few minutes per day, you can successfully get better and better. Many mobile meditation apps are designed with beginners in mind. If you prefer in-person instruction, seek out local meditation centers and classes.

Therapy Sessions

Women’s issues can directly correlate to mental health, especially when you consider the historical challenges that have plagued women. Adverse portrayer in the media and society, oppression, and even motherhood are all contributing factors that play a role in mental health. Studies have also shown that women are more likely to develop eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia.

Unfortunately, there is a major misconception regarding the benefits of therapy sessions and who therapy works best for. The fact is, almost everyone can benefit from therapy. However, because many people stigmatize therapy as a go-to treatment for those suffering from serious mental illness, it prevents individuals from getting the counseling they need. Although there are many types of therapy, what’s key is that each addresses proper coping mechanisms for handling stress.

For example, cognitive therapy addresses how negative thoughts infiltrate your mind throughout the day and further contribute to stress. It allows you to examine negative patterns of thought and helps you learn to condition your mind to think positively. And perhaps most importantly is that therapy can also help you unearth underlying causes of stress and anxiety that may be preventing you from moving forward in your life.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Regular Exercise

Healthy exercise habits and mental health go hand in hand. Not only does exercise help boost your overall health, but it plays a critical role as a stress reliever. Your level of athletic experience and fitness doesn’t matter; anyone can do a little exercise (don’t overwork yourself and do what’s best for your individual body) and feel better.

It helps to join fitness classes dedicated exclusively to women, or even women-only gyms. These classes or facilities can decrease intimidation you might feel during exercise, and may offer equipment or facilities designed exclusively for the female body. Lastly, it’s a great way to network and meet new, like-minded friends.

What’s most important is consistency. It’s not uncommon to opt out of exercise when you’re stressed, simply because the idea of exercising seems stressful as well. But if you remind yourself that this is merely a preliminary barrier, you can work past this first hurdle with ease. Keep this in mind: you will almost never finish a productive run or workout session and return home regretting the work you put in. If you practice looking towards those feel good emotions you get when you’ve completed a routine, you’ll be able to better prepare yourself to take the first step time and time again.

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Stress Diary

Maintaining a stress journal is a great way to learn to cope and self-analyze. Some studies suggest that routine journaling can strengthen immune cells called T-lymphocytes. As a stress management tool, it has the ability to wonders. When you express your thoughts coherently, you’re able to release pent up feelings and decipher your emotions in a productive way. As you record feelings of stress, you’ll start to notice patterns and consistencies from a high-level overview. You can opt for a traditional journal for logging your stressful moments, or use a stress diary template for guidance.

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New Eyeglasses Update

You might have read a few weeks back about my latest lifestyle change. I have become a new eyeglasses wearer. My vision has definitely changed a good bit in recent years, that's for sure. My main issue is with reading or seeing fine details up close. I was given a prescription for bifocals but was recommended to go with progressives. This turned out to be a huge mistake. I gave myself a solid couple of weeks to get used to them but just couldn't do it. I felt dizzy and disoriented most of the time while wearing them. I had the same issues when wearing the sunglasses which was a bad thing especially while driving.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels
I went back to the eye doctor's office and explained my situation. They suggested that I go ahead and get single vision glasses and use readers for reading and computer/phone use. It took less than 24 hours, and I tested out my new glasses and sunglasses. What a difference! I could see without feeling dizzy. I did have to upgrade my readers from the old ones I had. I had no idea there was such a thing as multi-focus reading glasses. You don't have to constantly take them off to see things that are further away. I can see everything just as well as I can with the prescription glasses. This made me feel a bit annoyed because I spent a lot on the prescription specs. I guess at the end of the day I still needed to get my eyes checked by a professional.

Since I had to get the new eyeglasses and sunglasses made anyway, I went ahead and took advantage of my 30-day exchange time and got better frames for both. You can find prescription glasses on Overnight Glasses. I am so thankful that I can see everything so crisp and clear. Colors are so much more vibrant, and it's nice to see all of the little details I apparently have been missing for a while! I feel so much better overall. If you haven't gotten an eye exam this year yet, this is your friendly reminder to go book that appointment now. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by.
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How to Take Care of Your Mental Health this Winter

Photo by Anh Nguyen on Unsplash

It is no secret that there has been a spiraling mental health epidemic in recent years. Unfortunately, in winter months people are more at risk of illnesses like Seasonal Affective Disorder, and the dark nights can feel a little more than scary for some people. It is easy to dread this season when you have had bad experiences in the past. However, there is nothing to say it can’t be different this time around. Luckily, lots more tips and tricks are making their way out into the open now that the stigma around mental health is being broken down. To ensure you have the right help, make sure you take note of a select few.
Photo by Trang Doan from Pexels
Eat a balanced diet

When winter is just around the corner, it can be much easier to turn to comfort food as a way of helping you to feel comforted during dark nights. Although indulging in your favorite snack in moderation is a great addition to your diet, you should also make sure you are eating enough vitamins and nutrients. In fact, there are some foods that are both easy to put into every meal, but which are also full of the vitamins your brain needs to help fight depression. It should also be noted that there are also substances that should be avoided, such as excess amounts of caffeine, alcohol, and drugs. If you feel as though you have slipped into a drug dependency at this time, it’s best to see help from a trusted drug addiction center to get you back on track.

Keep your exercise routine

It is widely regarded that having a good exercise routine can do wonders for both your physical and mental well-being. Colder and shorter days can make it feel impossible to keep on top of your current exercise schedule. The gym may seem like a world away, and your regular morning runs will be less appealing when it’s still dark outside. This is where many people decide to make the most of home exercises, as it removes a lot of the stress involved with making it to the gym n harsh weather conditions. While it is recommended that you complete some higher intensity workouts using equipment such as dumbbells, there are some exercises which have been proven to work better for your mental health. For example, yoga has been linked to lowering rates of depression and anxiety, and is a great way to handle excess stress around the holiday season.
Photo by freestocks.org from Pexels
Make use of natural light

In winter, the levels of natural light only take up a short space of the day. This is mainly which leads to problems like Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Ideally, you should be outdoors as much as you can, so that you can soak up all the vitamin D your body needs. Taking long walks are a great way to do this. However, there will be days where being outside is not what you need. When this happens, you can maximize the natural light in your home, or you can invest in a special UV lamp so that your body can keep producing the vitamin D it needs to keep your mind healthy.

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February Ipsy Bag Review

I got my Ipsy Glam Bag for February last week, and I wanted to share my thoughts on the products. First of all, if you're not familiar with Ipsy, it is a subscription-based service that costs $10 per month with free shipping. There is no contract and you can even mute your subscription temporarily if you want. You receive 5 beauty items based on your personal profile, and the makeup bag of the month. I have been a customer for 2 years and I am obsessed with Ipsy! 

So this month's bag is called "unzipped"

Here's what's inside the bag:

  • PÜR Mini Fully Charged Mascara
  • Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Pink Clay Mask
  • Mellow Cosmetics Precision Liquid Pen Eyeliner in Black
  • Beauty Basics Eyeshadow in Lavish
  • Luxie Beauty Blending and Shading Eye Brush 249


The bag itself is so pretty, and super feminine. I love the shade of pink paired with the black lace. 

The eyeliner really wasn't anything special. I think I am sick of liquid liners in general. I may need to adjust my profile so I get fewer of them. That mascara though? It is so good! I love how full they make my lashes look without being clumpy of stiff. I am such a fan of premium mascaras. However, if you don't like using mascara then I would definitely check out magnetic lashes (they are super easy to use!).

The face mask was nice. I loved the scent and how my face looked. The downfall was that I felt it was a bit drying for my normal skin. If you tend to have oily skin, this would probably work well for you. I probably need to research and see if they carry a moisture-boosting version.
I am such a fan of makeup brushes so I was happy to add this blending and shading brush to my mini-collection. The eyeshadow is a pretty shade that has a shimmery finish. It lasts all day, so that's a plus for me.
I tell everyone that my month Ipsy Glam Bag is the BEST $10 I spend each month. It's so nice to feel like I am getting a treat that's just for me. What is amazing is that most months, I will get 1-3 full size products. It is such a good value.


If you are considering an Ipsy subscription, you meed to go for it! Also, you earn points towards more products when you do the online reviews (which takes very little time). I have 535 points that I am about to cash in for a freebie!

Thanks for stopping by. Have a great week!

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Staying Healthy On A Diet

When your favorite jeans feel tight, or you feel exhausted all the time, you may decide it's time to lose weight. When you commit to shedding pounds, get motivated to stay healthy too. When you cut calories, be careful not to eliminate nutrients that fuel your body. Enjoy a balance of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats each day. Following a few simple ideas will help you lose weight and stay fit.

Lose Weight Slowly to Keep It Off

When you change your eating habits, you want to see immediate results. Be careful not to lose weight too quickly, though. Fad or crash diets that let you drop more than a few pounds a week are unhealthy and hard to maintain. Crash diets often cause water and lean muscle loss. Slow weight loss allows you to lose more fat and maintain muscle mass.
Fast weight loss can also cause long-term health problems including liver damage and gallstones. Stick to a diet that will give you the number of calories you need each day for your height and goal weight.

Choose Low-Calorie Foods Packed with Nutrients

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Limiting your food intake doesn't mean you can't stay healthy and be full of energy. Your body needs proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to function properly. Without proper nutrition, you won't have the energy to work out and enjoy life.

Eat quality foods to get the nutrients your body needs every day without adding extra calories. Fill your plate with leafy greens to get your allowance of fiber, potassium, and folate. Fruits offer nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin A, and various B vitamins. Choose lean meats, beans, and legumes for your low-calorie protein sources.

Beware of Diet Foods, Artificial Sweeteners, and Natural Syrups

Foods touted as diet or low in fat are often heavily processed and may contain chemicals. While diet foods may lack sugar and fat, such foods can be far from healthy. Some low-fat foods are packed with sugar to replace the missing fat. Sugar-free foods often use artificial sweeteners. Sugar substitutes can leave you craving more sugar, and even raise blood sugar levels and cause diabetes.

Eating natural foods is healthier than consuming processed foods. However, foods labeled natural and organic aren't always low in calories. Note that natural sugars still count as sugar in your diet. Agave syrup, coconut sugar, and honey are all sugars.

Stay Hydrated

Image via Flickr by Rubbermaid Products
Your body needs fluid to run efficiently. In fact, over half of your body is made up of water. Since you lose fluid each day through sweat, evaporation, and urination, you need to drink filtered water more often to replace lost fluid. To make it easier to drink water, take a bottle on the go and keep a water bottle handy at work. Use a refillable water bottle to save money. If you get bored with drinking water, add some lemon, lime, or cucumber slices to add flavor.

Remember to focus on proper nutrition when you cut calories. You can lose weight and stay healthy and vibrant when you choose quality low-calorie foods and drink plenty of water.
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January Ipsy Glam Bag Review #IpsyGameFace

Every month I look forward to receiving my Ipsy Glam Bag in the mail. I subscribed about two years ago, and I'm hooked! I tell everyone that it is the best $10 I spend. You get a cute bag, 5 beauty products, and FREE shipping for ten bucks! I can easily spend $10 on dumb stuff, so this makes good sense. Also, makeup. Over time I have received products from some of my favorite brands like: Tarte, Smashbox, Urban Decay, Bare Minerals, Caked Makeup, and Doucce to name a few. 

My glam bag subscription has become a part of my self-care routine, and it's nice to look forward to something that is just for me. My older daughter has her own subscription and often gets different products than I do. We have so much fun sorting through our goodies and sometimes trade items. I am digging the January "Game Face" themed bag. The bag itself it so cute. It has a sporty, retro feel. 

Inside the bag: 

  • NYX Professional Lip Lingerie in Beauty Mark- goes on creamy with a matte finish. I do love the color, but it has a slight sticky feel initially. Once it wears in, it feels a whole lot better. 
  • CIATÉ LONDO Fierce Flicks Liquid Eyeliner- I actually gave this to my younger daughter because I have tons of liquid liners already. This one is supposed to dry quickly and not smudge. Perfect for the cat eye look. 
  • BellaPierre Cosmetics StayPut Brow Gel in Licorice- I love the way it is packaged. The brush is on the top of handle and the product is in a jar on the bottom. I tried it and don't really care for it. The gel didn't apply as well as my normal brow makeup. I gave it to my older daughter and she seems to really like it. 
  • BeFine Skin Care Exfoliating Cleanser- made with all-natural ingredients brown sugar, almond, and oats. It leaves your skin crazy smooth, and soft. It also moisturizes. I will definitely be buying this in a full-size tube. 
  • BioRepublic Skincare Sheet Masks- I got two: Aloe Rescue & Pomegranate Crush. I haven't tried them yet, but the product description makes them sound promising. Here are the details: These eco-friendly masks are 100% biodegradable. Aloe Rescue has phytocollagen, aloe vera extract, and Vitamin E to soothe and moisturize dry skin. Pomegranate Crush is loaded with antioxidant-packed pomegranate extract and vitamin E to hydrate, brighten, and smooth *all* skin types.



I am happy with my January glam bag overall. Even though I couldn't use all of the products myself, my daughters were able to. It makes it worth it. I can't wait to see what I get in February. If you are interested in receiving your own monthly Ipsy Glam Bag, you can use my sign-up link. I will get 250 points for every sign-up I receive to use towards products. If you become a subscriber, you can refer friends and get points too! They add up quickly since you get more points if you do a quick review on the Ipsy site. So far I have cashed in so many points that gave me around 6 freebies. 


Ipsy is a great way to try products out before you consider buying the full size. Do you have a favorite monthly beauty subscription? I'd love to know! 
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How Being Middle-Aged Has Changed My Life

I have been going through so many changes this year. It has been an unfortunate year filled with loss in a lot of different ways. I have really learned who is truly in my corner, through good and bad. It turns out that number has tremendously dwindled, and I struggled with it. I have been taking time out for myself to rest, refresh, and reset almost daily. If I'm not close to 100% emotionally and physically, well then I'm simply no good to anyone.

I have experienced some really great things this year. When I chose to stop focusing so hard on what I have lost, it opened my heart and mind to clearly see how much I have gained.
  • Worrying- I had to put a stop to this. I became so immersed in worry/anxiety/panic that it started to affect my well-being. I had to pound into my head that I can't change or control everything. Obsessing over things that might go the wrong way, or maybe go the right way isn't living. I had to come to a point where I say to myself, "Whatever the outcome may be, I will deal with it". As small as that might seem, it has helped me a lot. Things are going to happen the way they are intended. I can't do a thing about anything that has happened in the past. I can only focus on what's to come. 
  • Putting myself first- Most women don't know what this even means or how you even do it. I have made my health and happiness a priority. That is not negotiable. I no longer feel guilty doing nice things for myself or even indulging in what I want. As long as I don't go above my means, I allow myself the pleasures of life. I don't skimp on things for myself any more. 
  • Eating and sleeping- It's so hard sometimes to eat properly when all you want is cheese fries and sushi. I still fight hard to maintain balance, but don't deny myself of what I really want on occasion. I do drink plenty of water daily, and know if I haven't had enough by the way I feel. I find myself taking naps as I need. I don't worry about the dishes in the sink because they will still be there when I get up. Some nights I go to bed before 10:00. A well-rested Shelly is a happy Shelly. 
  • Protecting my spirit- I have been staying away from watching the news. The negativity really gets to me, especially when it deals with sexual abuse. It has come to the point where I have to deactivate some of my social media accounts for short periods of time. If it's not positively feeding my spirit, I steer clear of it. 
  • Saying no- For most of my life, I have felt a deep obligation to doing things for people. I would feel so guilty to not help. It has come to a point that if my gut tells me to say no, I say just that. The best part is I offer little to no explanation. Now that's some real growth right there! 
  • Ditching the planner- I have spent way too many years planning every single moment of my life down to the minute. I dumped my planner somewhere in my office and life has gone smoothly since then. Sometimes my husband will ask me if I want to take a ride to the beach or up north on a whim. This normally would have freaked me out because it wasn't planned, but now I don't care. I grab my shoes and bag and GO! 
  • Getting in pictures- I learned some time last year that my husband has been sneaking photos of me every time we travel. He would take pictures while I was applying make-up or cooking. I saw some of the photos and was like, you better not let anyone see these awful pictures of me! He didn't see it that way at all. He explained that my true essence shined through as I did the things I would normally do. I was being ME. He simply wants our children to have photos to look back on of me doing things either for myself, with them, or with him. Memories is what it's about. I've stopped being so hard on myself and started hopping in front of the lens instead of behind it. All of my 'imperfections', belly pooch and all are perfectly me, and I have grown to accept them.

Although I have experienced significant growth over the last year, I know I still have more to go. I'm open to it and not letting fear get in my way. So what's next? I don't know, and I don't intend on planning for it. I will let things be. Thanks for stopping by today.
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10 Ways To Keep You Strong For The Transitioning Season

Fall is right around the corner, which means it’s time to bundle up and prepare your body for the cool weather to come. The immune system is a large collection of different cells that have a primary goal to protect your body and attack foreign organisms or matter. Keeping these natural defenses strong is very important for transitioning into the new season and involves a variety of strategies. Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O., a New York City Osteopathic Physician board certified in family and anti-aging medicine is sharing his top 10 ways to keep you strong for the transitioning season.

  1. Exercise on a daily basis: The minimum should be a half hour of walking continuously so as to increase oxygenation to tissues as well as deliver vitamins minerals and hormones to these cells. 
  2. Be sure to get good deep restorative sleep: This should be at least six hours every night. Sleep deprivation not only makes us tired, but decreases function in almost all organs. 
  3. Keep chemicals and preservatives out of the diet: We should eat as organically as possible, with the diet comprised of a variety of vegetables, fruits and good protein sources.
  4. Test your blood for vitamins, minerals, and hormones: Thousands of studies over many years have described that vitamin deficiency is correlated with degenerate disease we can give me in response among many others. This test will guide you as to exactly what nutrients you're deficient in, and what you should take. “There is no better test than this,” says Dr. Calapai. 
  5. Do not smoke cigarettes: This is a no brainer for most, as they contain thousands of dangerous chemicals, which can lead to a low immune system. But if you can't quit smoking completely, give one of these trendy vape devices a shot. 
  6. Be careful with exposure to alcohol: This can have the variety of effects that are hurtful to the body if done in excess 
  7. Maintain a clean home environment: In areas where you spend the most time, make sure that surfaces are cleaned with products that can kill germs or viruses. Use HEPA filtration systems to capture particulate matter including dust, allergens or organisms that can make you ill. 
  8. Wash your hands thoroughly and a few times during the day and avoid other people that have chronic infection, flu or a virus. 
  9. Try to minimize stress, anxiety and irritability: Taking a break for a few minutes during a stressful day can make the stress response much less progressive.
  10. Lastly, be sure to visit your doctor for routine testing and physical exam inform: This ensures you are constantly aware of what is going on with your body.
About the doctor:  Dr. Christopher Calapai, D.O. is an Osteopathic Physician board certified in family medicine, and anti-aging medicine. Proclaimed the "The Stem Cell Guru" by the New York Daily News, Dr. Calapai is a leader in the field of stem cell therapy in the U.S. His stem cell treatments have achieved remarkable results in clinical trials on patients with conditions as varied as Alzheimer's, arthritis, erectile dysfunction, frailty syndrome, heart, kidney and liver failure, lupus, MS and Parkinson's. He has worked with Mike Tyson, Mickey Rourke, Steven Seagal, and Gotham's, Donal Logue; and as a medical consultant for the New York Rangers. Connect with him via twitter @drcalapai or at www.drcal.net
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