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What my marriage has taught me about myself

With my 3 year anniversary coming up in less than a month (we’ve been together for 7 years),  I have been reflecting on what a different person I am compared to what I was before getting married -before I met my husband and overall how much I have changed since meeting my husband.

It’s not Rainbows and Roses

Marriage is work but not hard work.

Yes, we’ll have disagreements. Yes we will be annoyed at each other.

I knew this before we got married but when things seem bad, it’s a good reminder.

 No one knows your feelings until you voice them

I was really good at keeping my feelings in. Not voicing the problems I had going on in my life.

They may have been small but my problems were still my problems and I needed to vent and get the feelings out somehow.

My Husband, Josh is a blunt person and will tell it like it is whether it’s good or bad, he certainly doesn’t sugar coat anything.

Being around him helped me be more blunt with my issues and letting my voice be heard.

 Not being the doormat

I was always there for my friends whether they needed someone to talk to, a place to stay and money – anything they needed.

People would tell me to do things and even though I didn’t want to I would do it anyway because I didn’t want to let them down or be difficult.

I would only hear from certain people when they wanted something from me.

Once I started to voice myself certain people would say I was rude and selfish.

 At first it would really bother me, maybe I was rude to them – maybe I am just being selfish.

The more I asserted myself, the more I was starting to see that I was being taken advantage of.

I may have lost some people in my life but  I am no longer a doormat.

Laugh more

Some people can be way too serious and way too emotional.  

Josh is the most even tempered and calm person I have ever known.

Sometimes I look at him and I know how lucky I am to be married to him. I can’t help but smile and let whatever silly thing that was upsetting me fade away. 

He has taught me to smile and laugh more and to be my goofy self.

Loving myself

I am so thankful that I have someone in my life who loves me just as I am.  

He loves my crazy quirks and my goofiness.

I am especially lucky that he loves me regardless if I’m skinny or if I gain weight.

He’s not trying to change me.

If I’m having a self-hating day, he picks up on it and knows exactly what to say to make me feel better about myself.

Life is the most wonderful, precious gift you could ever be given

The world was created to be enjoyed.

We have all been given a box of crayons - a box of crayons called life.

We get one shot at this life – draw a masterpiece!


Favorite Summer Hair Care products 2016 (so far)

Here are some of my favorite summer hair products so far, I know we are only into July but I have loved these products and had to share. 

Some products are new to me but I absolutely loved using them and have repurchased the product. Some are favorites for the past few years. 

I use one or two products together or on their own depending on the day (if hair is cooperative).

Here are the products and a quick summary of what I liked about them.

  • Favorite last few years
  • Adds body & volume
  • Creates Texture
  • Leaves hair soft and shiny

  • Creates volume
  • Refreshes hair
  • Not chalky
  • Does not weigh down hair
  •  Nice scent

  • ·         Leaves hair touchable
  • ·         Volume and texture
  • ·         Not tacky or sticky

  • ·         Another favorite for years
  • ·         Helps control curl whether natural or with curling iron
  • ·         Leaves hair soft and silky
  • ·         Hair is not tacky or stiff
  • ·         Adds body and volume


  • Uses a Argan and Monoi Oil blend
  •  Nourishes and repairs dry hair
  •  Lightweight formula
  •  Detangles and Defrizzes
  •  Hair has a beautiful shine

To see my makeup and skincare favorites, click HERE!



1. Detangle dry or wet hair
The first advantage of finger detangling is the absence of limits. You don’t have to wait until your hair is wet in order to get rid of tangles. According to hairstylists at Hair Salon New York, if you detangle your hair with fingers patiently, you won’t have to be afraid of the dreaded breakage.

2. You save money on tools
Many women have a whole arsenal of brushes, which becomes bigger and bigger over years. If you use tools to detangle your hair, you have a decent excuse for wasting your money on them. Finger detangling eliminates the need of purchasing too many brushes and combs, thus saving your money.

3. This method is less harsh
Since your fingers are much softer in comparison with your brush, the whole process is considered to be less harsh for your locks. According to experts at Hair Salon New York, finger detangling also means less hair loss! You should still follow a well-known technique – start from your ends and gradually move to the roots.

4. You learn your hair better
This method of eliminating knots and tangles is a good way to learn your hair better. When you start working with your fingers regularly, you’ll learn to assess the condition of your hair. Thus, you can detect annoying problems and start looking for effective solutions!

5. You can combine with tools
You don’t necessarily have to abandon your tools and completely switch to finger detangling. It would be even better if you combine finger detangling with a regular combing/brushing. Learn what works better for your hair and develop your own schedule.

Find more useful tips for your hair here

This guest post is by Victoria Howell


If you would like to Guest Post 
please email me 

*Post will need to fit the style of this blog*


Have you ever heard about skin icing? Skin icing is something I have been doing for years, it’s part of my beauty routine.

It basically is using cold water or ice cubes on the skin, it’s also one of the most popular modern beauty rituals.

It contributes to better looking skin. It has long been used in spas and skin care treatments because of its numerous skin benefits.

According to health experts, skin icing is able to:
  • Refresh the face
  • Prevent the formation of wrinkles
  • Fight acne and blemishes
  • Improve blood circulation and give the skin a healthy complexion

Skin icing should be done in the morning and/or evening. Follow these instructions:

1.            First, cleanse your face thoroughly.

2.            Wrap one or two ice cubes in any other kind of soft cloth like a dish cloth.

3.            Once the ice starts melting and dampens the cloth, you should apply it to the face.

4.            Hold the washcloth on different areas of the face for about one to two minutes.

5.            Then using circular movements, move the ice gently up along the chin and the jaw line, up the cheeks, and along the forehead and nose. Be careful with the sensitive area underneath your eyes.

6.            Let the wetness from the ice cube dry. Finish with toner and moisturizer.

Here are some more benefits:

Smoother Skin
Skin icing helps tighten and shrink enlarged pores by helping to unclog pores that can appear larger due to debris and excess sebum. Skin icing tones skin and makes it look smooth.

 Pore Primer
Skin icing is not an expensive skin toner and is great when applied before makeup. It minimizes the pores underneath the makeup, helping the foundation look smooth and flawless. Try icing your face and after that, apply your primer.

 Improves Circulation
Skin icing improves blood circulation. Ice tightens blood vessels and less blood goes to the skin surface. In cases of inflammation or swelling, skin icing is great. The body responds to the cold treatment by sending an increased flow of warm blood to the treated area.

 Great for Puffy Eyes
Skin icing reduces swellings, and thus reduces the bags under your eyes.

 Wrinkle Buster
Icing relieves the signs of wrinkles and slows the creation of new wrinkles.

Control Blemishes
Additionally, skin icing is great for pimples, because it reduces swelling and redness. The ice also eases irritation.

You can use the skin icing technique once you notice a new pimple. It will slow the inflammation. This will reduce the size and number of blemishes. You should hold an ice cube on the acne for several seconds. Repeat the treatment every other day.


  • You do not always have to use a cloth when you apply the ice cubes, but it is recommended that you use gloves so that the cubes will not melt right away.

  • You should not worry in a case you cannot use ice directly on the skin. You will get the same results, by holding the cubes with a soft cloth.

  • Extreme cold can damage the small capillaries under the skin, so don’t use the ice cubes right out of the freezer.

  • Avoid using ice if you already have broken capillaries and do not use it for too long.

  • If you do not feel comfortable, you should stop the treatment. The icing should not be applied for more than 15 minutes.

  • If you want to have better results, you can add lemon, rosewater, green tea, cucumber, chamomile tea, and other skin-friendly ingredients to the water for the ice cubes, depending on your skin type.


Beachy Waves using a Curling Iron - Great for Short hair

Today I wanted to share my technique for getting those loose beachy waves with a curling iron. 

I like to start mid way through the hair - not at the lowest part of the head, only because I find it is getting covered anyway. 

I start by curling loose curls on the lower layers and finish by using the curling iron like a wand for the top of the head. 

I find this gives that tousled look along with some great volume. 

I spritz some Marc Anthony Dream Waves Beach Spray  onto my hair and scrunch the hair.

I also like to use Big Sexy Hair Powder Play Texture Powder, this keeps the curls from becoming one big wave throughout the day (Watch the video for a great tip on how to use texture powder).

This may take time to get used to but once you have the technique down, it will take no time at all!

Hope you like this style :)



Summertime is heating up and that means another confusing trip to the sunscreen aisle. 

Board Certified New York Dermatologist Dr. Kally Papantoniou gives you what you need to know before you lather or spray.

Do you really need SPF 50 or higher?

SPF refers to the ability of a sunscreen to block ultraviolet B (UVB) rays, which cause sunburns, but not UVA rays, which are more closely linked to deeper skin damage. Both UVA and UVB contribute to the risk of skin cancer.

Dr. Papantoniou explains that, “The SPF rating is a measure of the time it would take you to sunburn if you were not wearing sunscreen as opposed to the time it would take with sunscreen.

“SPF is not a consumer-friendly number,” says Dr. Papantoniou. "It is logical for someone to think that an SPF of 30 is twice as good as an SPF of 15 and so on. But that is not how it works." 

According to Dr. Papantoniou, “An SPF 15 product blocks about 94% of UVB rays; an SPF 30 product blocks 97% of UVB rays; and an SPF 45 product blocks about 98% of rays."After that, it just gets superfluous,” she says. 

Sunscreens with higher SPF ratings block slightly more UVB rays, but none offers 100% protection. 

Dr. Papantoniou recommends SPF 30 - 50 products to her patients, depending on their skin type and medical history.

How much sunscreen should you use?

You’ve probably heard people say to use an amount the size of a quarter. 

You’re actually supposed to use a shot glass full of sunscreen on all exposed areas to get the full benefit. 

“And here’s something else you probably don’t know,” says Dr. Papantoniou.  “SPF only refers to UVB rays. There is no ratings scale for UVA protection. So look for the words “Broad Spectrum” on the label and specific ingredients. The most important ingredients to for UVA protection are avobenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc oxide.”

DO wear sunscreens rich in antioxidants

Natural antioxidants are the latest breakthrough in sunscreens and are a safe way to boost our natural immunity to the sun's harmful rays. 

When layered or combined with a sunscreen, they add an extra level of protection. 

Some known antioxidants are green tea polyphenols, vitamin C, raspberry seed oil, astaxanthin, ferulic acid and reishi mushrooms.


MYTH: Your daily facial moisturizer needs to have SPF.

FACT: “Only one of the products you use each morning needs to have SPF of 30 or higher,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “SPF is SPF, regardless of whether it’s in your foundation or moisturizer.”

MYTH:  Using multiple products with SPF gives you greater protection.

FACT: “SPF isn’t an equation,” says Dr. Papantoniou. “You can’t use an SPF 15 primer and an SPF 20 foundation and get SPF 30 coverage. Your sun protection is only as strong as your highest SPF, which in this case would be 20.” 
Of course, if you’re dabbing foundation or moisturizer on only small areas of your face, it’s wise to double up on products that contain SPF to ensure total coverage.

MYTH"If you're wearing foundation, you don't need sunscreen. A layer of makeup will protect your skin from the sun."

FACT: Makeup will not act as a barrier for UV rays, even if it has an added SPF. 
"Testing has shown that the SPF protection from a makeup product alone is insufficient. That small amount of SPF is always a nice addition, but not enough to protect your skin," says Dr. Papantoniou. 

Always apply sunscreen (or a moisturizer with broad-spectrum sun protection) under your makeup. 

If you're worried about your skin looking greasy, there are plenty of great mattifying products for the face.

Here's a reminder of how to properly protect yourself:

1. Always wear a hat and sun protective clothing if you're going to be out for long periods of time.

2. Avoid the mid-day sun.

3. Don't be tempted to use that tube of sunblock you didn't quite finish last year.  New summer, new sunblock.

4. Slather on generous quantities of sunblock at least 30 minutes before you head outdoors: 
To achieve the SPF level on the label, you need a teaspoon on your face, and a shot glass-worth for your body. 
Don't forget your ears, your lips, your hairline, and your scalp or part lines.

5. Reapply every couple of hours, especially if you've been swimming or exercising.

Dr. Kally Papantoniou is a Cosmetic Dermatologist, Board Certified by the American Board of Dermatology.  Dr. Papantoniou is also a clinical instructor at Mount Sinai Health Center in New York City. She applies expert techniques and the newest technologies to treat her patients. Dr. Papantoniou focuses on providing her patients with the highest level of care, with special interests in natural and healthy alternatives to treatments and disease prevention. Connect with Dr. Papantoniou  via twitter @DrPderm or her website


L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt Mascara Review

When I saw the new L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt mascara at Walmart that promises to create a tightline effect, I had to put it right into my shopping basket.

L'oreal Voluminous Butterfly Sculpt has a neat looking mascara wand. There are bristles on only one side and the other side is totally smooth. 

There are longer bristles along the sides and one row of short, stumpy bristles down the center. They start close together at the top and then open up as you go down the brush.

When you apply this, you're supposed to put the brush up against your lash line and those tiny little bristles in the center get right up against the roots to deposit mascara between your lashes for that tight-lining effect. Then as you comb the brush up and out, the longer bristles are supposed to separate and fan out the lashes.

Those little tiny bristles actually did deposit a lot of product at the roots of my lashes, definitely darkened in-between my lashes to create the effect of wearing black eyeliner.

I did find this mascara not to be very build-able, when adding more than 2 coats, it made my lashes clump together, and the more I tried to comb them out, the more product the brush added, making the problem worse. 

Overall I liked how this mascara does create the tightline effect, fans and separates the lashes, but I didn’t like that it clumped up after applying more than 2 coats.

Have you tried this mascara? What are your thoughts?


First Time Spray Tan - What to expect

I just had my first spray tan last month and had to look up a lot of information because I had no idea what to expect. What do I wear? Do I have to be naked? Will it sting? 

We all have lots of questions about how to prepare and what to expect and what to do once you have your tan , I hope I can help you to ease your mind a little, should you have any question please do not hesitate to email, I would be more than happy to help you!

Day before your spray tan:

- Remove unwanted body hair - Shave, wax or use depilatory.

- Exfoliate entire body with a good body scrub.

- Swimsuit (Something you don’t mind getting stained)  Lip balms, hair ties and umbrella, loose fitting clothing for after session and a big towel for your car seat to avoid staining( just in case).

I was self-conscious and wore a swimsuit and shorts, the tech said the best thing to wear if you are self-conscious is a bandeau and boy shorts to get best coverage.

Day of spray tanning:

- Don’t apply any body lotion, creams or oils unless you have very dry skin, then only apply where dry patches are.

- Don’t apply any deodorant or any make up.

- Wear loose fitting clothes like a sundress.

- Arrive at the location for your appointment little early so you can spend some time getting to know what happens, get acquainted with your technician so that you feel comfortable during the session.

Just before your spray tan secession at the salon/spa:

- Change in your swimsuit.

- Remove contact lenses, jewelry.

- Your technician will check your skin and might apply wipes to the skin to remove any residue from lotion, perspiration or make up.

- Your hair will be tied up with a clip or covered with hair net. I’ve heard some locations give you a little hair conditioner to apply along the exposed hairline to prevent any discoloration.

- Apply lip balm on your lips to make sure any solution mist will be easy to wipe off after your session.

- Salon will also provide you with sticky slippers for the feet and the technician will apply a barrier cream to your feet, palm of your hands, nails, ears, elbows, hands, top of the feet, and knees to prevent discoloration.

Now you are ready for your session.

Spray Tan Application:

- You will step into the Spray Tan tent.

- The tech will ask you to get into different positions – easy positions like “face front, lift arm up palms forward”, “arms down neck up”. “Turn to side arm up, arm down”.

- The spray is a cool mist.

- I was at an Organic spa so the spray smelled sweet (I didn’t attempt to taste it).

- It will take 15 to 20 minutes for a complete process.

Right after your spray tanning session:

- The technician will use wet wipes to wipe off anywhere the barrier was applied and will help remove the sticky slippers from your feet.

- Wait 5 to 7 minutes before getting dressed.

- Make sure you put towel on the car seat.

Things to avoid right after spray tan session:

- Avoid any water activity

- Any strenuous exercise

- Anything that makes you perspire

- If you sweat easily like me, plan to go somewhere with air conditioning, like a mall or movie so you are cool for the first few hours while the spray tan is setting.

- No Shower until 12 hours

After 2 and 4 Hours

In 3 to 4 hours you will start to notice color of your tan is getting darker.

After 12 hours you are ready to wash off your initial color guide (bronze color that gives instant color).

You can also decide to keep longer and or if you had a night appointment you can leave it for a night just make sure you have a dark color bedding  to avoid any staining.

First shower after spray tanning:

- Get ready for your shower as normal, use a comfortable cool water temperature (if you use hot water the color may fade) and a very mild body wash, only wash where you need to like underarms, basically rinse off other areas.

- You will see some of the color washing off, please don’t alarmed , that is just a color guide that  helps technician to spray with ease as they can see where there may be streaks and gives a smooth even spray.

- Once done with shower please gently pat dry.

- Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

After 8 Hours

After Showering

How long will your spray tan last:

- This will depend on every individual skin type, it varies person to person but anywhere from 7 to 10 days, it may slowly fade – again depending on skin type and aftercare.

- Moisturize your skin daily.

- Every three to four days exfoliate lightly to even out skin tone or any faded areas and this will help to refresh your tan.

Ask your technician any questions you might have.

Hope this helps a little before you go for next spray tan session J

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