Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lazy Day Spritzer

I love a spritzer.  Whoever thought, "Hey, let me mix something fizzy with something flat," I'd like to thank you.  I wanted something sweet but mostly sour, that I could whip up in a sec, and that isn't full of calories.  And, here's what was mixed!

Lazy Day Spritzer
several bits of ice
5 oz. Check (or other brand) club soda
5 oz. Country Time lemonade, made according to label directions
2 slices of lime

Mix ice with soda and lemonade.  Squeeze lime slices into the mix.  Garnish with additional slices, if desired.

Oh, and as a bonus, it's very inexpensive yet nice looking.  Try it as your poolside staple this summer!


Saturday, May 26, 2012

About Face

Hi there! I'm excited my esthetician friend, Lisa (above), agreed to stop in and share some expert advice from her industry.  She answers for us, "Why is a facial so good for you?"  Here's what she had to say...

When someone says, "I just had a great facial," most people think of expensive creams and glamorous services that cost a bundle.  The hype of the beauty industry has most people believing that a facial is nothing more than a pampering indulgence for special occasions.  That could not be further for the truth.  The health benefits of a facial far outweigh the beauty benefits.  In tandem, however, they produce the healthy glow of beautiful skin we all want.

Facial massage is one of the most pleasurable and intimate aspects of topical facial treatments.  However, it is about more than just feeling good.  It can improve many skin conditions and has a calming effect on the nervous system that helps reduce stress and tension.

Facial massage can greatly benefit acne, rosasea and other inflamed skin conditions.  Acne is a wound to the skin, and increasing blood flow encourages the healing process.  Bringing oxygen to the skin's surface kills the anaerobic bacteria responsible for breakouts and provides significant improvement.  Similar to acne, rosacea and other sensitive skin conditions involve chronic inflammation, which also benefits greatly from the enhanced circulation associated with facial massage.

The exfoliation provided in a facial is a process in which the top layers of the skin are removed, so that the newer, younger cells may reach the surface.  As we age, this "sloughing off" process becomes slower and slower.  When our pores are clogged with dead skin cells, they are "stretched," resulting in the appearance of larger pores.  High ozone levels and pollution are culprits as well, sitting directly on the skin, not only clogging pores, but also being absorbed into the skin's cells.  These toxins are going directly through the skin into our bloodstreams.  Monthly facials and a weekly routine of exfoliation can keep the skin clean and smooth with an even skin tone.  Discolorations fade and often disappear.  The skin looks and acts more like younger skin.

Another major health benefit of regular facials is regulation of the immune system, detoxification, and reduction in fluid build-up.  These benefits are achieved in a facial that incorporates lymphatic drainage.  The lymphatic system plays a vital role in the body by regulating the immune system.  The lymph system, which is carried through a colorless fluid, runs alongside the blood vessel system.  When the lymphatic system becomes blocked, lymphatic fluid builds up and the entire system can become toxic.  Lymphatic drainage uses specific movements to clear the blockages, which helps remove metabolic wastes and toxins through the lymph nodes situated around the face and neck.  The waste that is filtered through the lymph nodes is then eliminated from the body.  The results improve the appearance of the skin by reducing puffiness, rejuvenating collagen fibers, and slowing the aging process.

Lisa Frank
Esthetician, Makeup & Eyelash Artist
Bella Vita Salon and Boutique, Jacksonville Beach, Florida

Thanks to Lisa for the good info...I definitely learned a lot!

Here are some helpful hints on how to get a good deal on a facial!:

  • Subscribe to spa newsletters, which often contain coupons.
  • "Like" your favorite local spas on Facebook.  You never know what they'll send you.
  • Keep an eye on group discount sites like Groupon and Deal Chicken for hefty savings.
  • Call your esthetician and ask for a deal.  Services are often negotiable.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Tried and True Tuesday...Jewelry Junkie Solutions

OK, I admit it...I would be right at home at an Accessorizers Anonymous meeting.  I found this cute idea (link below) for what to do with bangles.  So, a dear friend brought over a specialty ginger ale the other day--thanks, Steve, bet you thought you were just bringing a beverage.  These bottles were perfect for my cause, and I love the sentimental value as a bonus.

Dangle earrings are my favorites!

Earrings are hung on one of those wire cubes for building shelves.  Earrings are spaced perfectly.  I've seen more attractive ways to display earrings, but this is perfect in a pinch and could be hung on a wall also.

Below: the inspiration link.  Check out this site.  Although written in Spanish, any language speaker can find good ideas!


Friday, May 11, 2012

Shrimp Festival Fun

Saturday was kind of a bucket list sort of day.  I'd wanted to go to the Shrimp Festival at Fernandina Beach, FL for as long as I've been a Floridian--9 years now.  So happy that this year a call to my friend about going to see a bike turned into a day at the festival with her, her sister, and my daughter.  It's their family tradition, and what a fun one to have.

Here's a little glimpse into the work of my favorite featured artists there (my opinions are non-compensatory and unbiased).  I also can't forget to mention the many booths of antiques, like this one.  Their presence was especially refreshing because I'm highly unlikely to go into an antique store with my two little demolitionists in tow.

These beautiful glass fish caught my eye right away.  I love their shapes and colors.  For more info, check out artist Rich Fizer's site: .
My photos don't do justice to this artist Kasey Ortoski's use of shells, pearls, and crystals on classic, adjustable headbands.  She also creates custom pieces.  Look at A Whirl and A Twirl:

The displays in jewelry artist Nicole Wayne's booth were unlike any other.  The freely-hanging plaques caught my attention, and then so did the jewelry.  As a person who has done a good bit of dabbling in jewelry making, I'm typically a critic.  But Wayne has a gift for putting components together in such a lovely way.  See more at

So, we went for more than the food.  But, if I could take a picture of the smells, you'd want to be there in a heart beat!  It's always the first weekend of May, and hopefully the date is burned in my memory.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

In Favor of Good Skin

I'm gonna make a confession.  My face is acne-prone; combination of dry, normal and oily; and sensitive to many products.  I am elated enough about a new-to-me product that I'll endorse it here without compensation:  Clinique's Even Better Foundation.

While visiting my aunt, I used hers one morning.  It made skin look even, as the name boasts, and for me, that's a feat.  It also has illuminators, which made skin glow.  Like, expectant mom glow!

I got my own foundation and continued using it.  The sunscreen thankfully didn't make me react.  And, my skin looks more even now after I've taken it off.  That's right.  It is formulated to actually correct skin flaws.

Clearly, I'm sold.  Give it a shot.  This is me at bedtime, wearing the foundation.  No foundation (or even a decent camera, were I using one) can cover my exhaustion, but we're keepin' it real.  Side note: have brag about the new paint on the bathroom walls: a surprise from The Husband while I was away!  The best surprise!