Hot Flashes & Cool Lotion

My skin is going through quite a change, as I go through "the change of life" at the age of 32. Now, I am a self professed moisture junkie from head to toe as well as a drug store beauty product addict! My husband calls me "the ultimate consumer." If I read about something in a magazine, I want to try it! Yes, I realize this is a bit obsessive, but hey, we all have our things.When I read about the new New Olay Total Effects Cooling Hydration, I thought to myself, that sounds like heaven! "Cooling and hydrating" now your speaking my language! You mean I don't need to put my head in the freezer after applying moisturizer? No. Seriously! So what is the Olay Moisturize Plus Cooling Hydration and what does it promise to do? This oil-free daily moisturizer provides 7 anti aging benefits in 1 lightweight formula, complete with vitamins and minerals and Cooling mint extract for an invigorating burst of freshness. Total Effects Plus Cooling Hydration fights 7 signs of aging by: minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, soothing dry skin with cooling moisturization, fighting dullness for a healthy-looking radiance, gently exfoliating to smooth and even skin's texture, refining to minimize the appearance of pores, with antioxidants, helps protect skin's surface from free radical damage, hydrating to firm the appearance of skin, oil-free, fast-absorbing, dermatologist-tested, non-comedogenic (won't clog pores).

Sounds good right? Well, I put it to the test for 7 days and here is what I found. Things I liked: light weight, non greasy, soothing, noticeable change in skin (over all) in 7 days, cooling, just plain feels good. Things I didn't like: The smell is a little over powering / strong on the first use. It's not a bad smell, just very flowery. But, as I used it more, I didn't notice the smell so much, I wish the bottle was bigger! But you don't need much at all. A little goes a long way. Not only did this moisturizer improve the overall look and feel of my skin, it also did what it says it will do- Imagine that! The change is by no means drastic, but my skin feels fantastic (still using the product 2x's a day). The "cooling" formula is a lot more subtle than I had expected but it is very soothing. So much so that after I apply it, I often find myself taking a deep breath and relaxing, for just a second, before I get on with my day.I also found that keeping it in the refrigerator and applying after a shower if straight up heaven. The moisture also lasts all day long and does not disappoint through my sweaty work outs and hot flashes!In short: Would I recommend this product? Absolutely! Would I buy this product in the store? Yes! I have always loved Olay products and this one is my new winter favorite!

Special Days, Special Eats

Since I am a stay at home mom I have the luxury of taking my mornings slow. Depending on my mood, or what we have going for the day, some breakfasts are more involved than others. When a holiday rolls around (any holiday both big and small) I get all excited about making "special breakfasts". All that usually means is theme flavored pancakes cut / grilled into holiday shapes. For example, the kids can't wait for fresh raspberry filled heart pancakes topped with cool whip on Valentines Day. It's a silly little tradition we've been able to enjoy the last couple years. I hope we carry it on for a long long time.This year for Halloween I can't wait to try this new recipe below. Doesn't it make your mouth water? Yummy! I thought maybe I'd add a chocolate chip or two for decoration.

Pumpkin Spice Pancakes: 2 1/3 c. bisquick, 2 tbsp. sugar, 1/4 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg, 1/4 tsp. ginger, 1/3 c. pumpkin, 1 1/4 c. milk, 2 eggs, 1/4 c. vegetable oil. Beat all ingredients until smooth. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter onto griddle. Cook until edges are dry and turn. Cook until golden brown. Serve with maple syrup.

Sun Scars

I want to address sun damage today. But first, I would really like to thank you for all the great comments on my last Olay post. Some of those ideas I've heard before and some are brand new! I even went out and picked up a few of the items you all listed to try. I also revisited some old faithful friend Witch Hazel. Of course, drinking tons of water and eating at least an apple a day and lathering up with sun screen are staples in our house too. I have to say though, there was one comment that really struck me. The reader mentioned "love" as her secret. I really liked that and it reminded me of something. Growing up I was super akward and my mom always told me, "The more love and kindness you have in your heart, the more your inner beauty shines through on the outside." I think she was onto something.

I've noticed that the older we all get, the more our inner selves seem to show on the outside.  There is something really beautiful about that idea. Especially for people who's hearts are bursting, because in the end, that is the only kind of beauty that truly matters. Anyway! Thanks for listening to my little self exploration there! With three little girls I am always reminding myself of what really matters. So, this week, with some help from the good people at blogher and Olay, I thought it would be good to focus on sun damage, and turning back the clock. Hey, inner beauty is where it's at, but taking care of the outside never hurt anyone either. I spent my entire life in the sun as a competitive swimmer, water polo player, and life guard (from age 4 all the way through college). In those days, because I didn't burn (olive skin), sun screen wasn't something I thought about. None of us did!

These days, living in California, and teaching my kids to swim all summer long, I lather myself and my kids up like a paranoid crazy person! Knowing what we know now, sun safety is a must. No acceptions. Battling a lifetime in the sun, I like Olay because it gives me a second chance. I feel like I'm doing my skin a favor. I'm also making smarter choices in my life. I eat well, drink tons of water, and exercise daily. I take care of my skin and my children's skin (from head to toe). I know there is no magic potion and their is no way to change the past... but I sure as heck can try! I've been using Olay for a month now and my skin feels soft and new! It is a great option for these cold winter months. I feel good both inside and out! No matter what your trying to change, have faith in yourself and the rest will fall into place. Feeling good on the inside will always show on the outside. Don't take turning back the clock too seriously and do the best you can for you every day.

Better Breakfast, Better You

What better choices am I making this year? Well, I've done the new year's resolution too many times to count. Two years ago I made the change for good and I have lived those words everyday since. See that post here. Once you are happy with the person you are inside the rest just falls into place. I learned to set a good example for my kids and finally I lose weight healthy and for good. This year, my number one goal is to mellow out a bit. Because I truly love it, I work out everyday (6-7 days a week), eat very well, drink tons of water, and make the most of what I've got. This year, my goal, take it down a notch. I'm not gonna change the good habits and discipline, just ease up a little. Maybe indulge more often in my favorite glass of wine or yummy dessert. Hey, what's the point if we don't enjoy the little things, right? Life is short. We can still lead healthy lives and enjoy them at the same time. I'd also like to help other people find the time to exercise and make healthy choices too.

For two years straight, before we added our children to our gym membership, I got up every single morning at 4:30 am to hit the gym. It was rough some days, but it was the best thing I could do for me. It was my time and it made me a better wife and mother. Now that our kiddos are part of our membership, they get in on the fun too! Exercise and a healthy lifestyle are part of our daily routine, a routine that starts with a great breakfast, see It's important for us as parents to not only encourage our kids to be as active as we are, but also to have a healthy relationship with food. My grandfather always used to say, "We should eat to live, not live to eat." That has always stuck with me through my weight ups and downs over the years. A relevant point, our bodies are machines, and we should treat them as such. Weight, for most of us is a constant battle, but when you find something that works for you and your family, stick to it.

Good nutrition is the best place to start and. I've found that eating a well rounded diet, and eating oten (every couple of hours), I'm less likely to make poor choices and more likely to maintain a healthy weight. Eating a protein based breakfast has been the key to my success. To learn more about the benefits of a protein based breakfast see the weight loss blog that i mentioned earlier. So why do I love breakfast so much? When you love cardio, like I do, you know when you have not fueled your body correctly. There is nothing worse than being half way through a run and realizing your reserve tank is on empty. Or being in spin class and thinking, I've got nothing left! That's why a good, well rounded breakfast is a must. If your looking to make some changes this New Year, start from inside and work your way out. Anyone can make changes for good, when they are happy with the person they are inside. Every day is a new day and a new chance for a fresh start. Make yourself a great breakfast and let the rest fall into place. Happy Resolution Season all!