Still love

In this day and age of nearly everything being available at one's fingertips-- aka e-shopping- I find there are still some things that I don't think I will ever replace in my beauty regime.

Topping the list would have to be emu oil. I have very dry skin and emu oil really seems to be my holy grail for moisturizing. I don't have a particular brand that I am hooked on since I order from various places like Snowdrift Farm or Majestic Mountain Sage so I usually buy from whichever one I'm making an order with because I hate to pay extra shipping for this necessity. Since emu oil is from a bird, it does have a certain "chicken fat" smell but I add a few little things to it that masks the chicken fat smell. One thing I add is coffee essential oil. I love coffee and figure that maybe the essential oil has a bit of caffeine in it-- which is good for the skin. It does give it a nice earthy coffee scent. I then also add a bit of lavender essential oil. I am not a fan of lavender but it is very good for dry skin so I add a tiny bit to boost my emu oil's skin care properties. Mixed with the coffee it's actually rather decent. My dogs both enjoy smelling me when I have just applied my emu oil-- I think they like the chicken fat smell though. LOL After cleansing my skin, I apply a few drops of emu oil concoction to the palm of my left hand. I then run the fingers of my right hand under the tap water and sprinkle several drops of water into the emu oil. Then I rub my hands together and gently pat onto my skin. No matter what other moisturizers I've tried, I always end up mixing in my emu oil routine. An aside-- there's a blood type diet that has my blood type as being a meat eater-- it seems my skin is the same way because plant based moisturizers often make me break out. =/ Emu oil is actually very cost effective as a moisturizer for me-- a few drops really do the trick.

Along the same lines as emu oil is humidifiers during the cold months. In summer, there is plenty of humidity where I live even when we have a drought, but as soon as fall starts drying out the air, I get out the humidifiers. I have one in my bedroom. One in the main part of the house and one in the basement. The kids also have one in each of their rooms. I notice a difference when I go to bed without using the humidifier during the cold months-- my skin doesn't like it at all.

For foundation application it is always my own foundation-- you knew that was coming-- seriously it's the best for my skin because I formulated for my skin in the first place. But I have to give a big shout out to My Minerals Bath and Body- MMBB-- because I use one of the sprays every time I apply foundation. My favorite is the Concord Grape because it smells like a tart, freshly picked grape- reminds me of my childhood where I would visit my maternal grandparents. They had grapevines with I believe concord grapes-- the skins were actually rather tart so you'd squeeze the grape and it would pop out of the skin and not have all those tannins from the skin. I've used the rose, neroli, and various others but my favorite is the Concord Grape. Another must have from MMBB is the jumbo buffer brush. It is the best brush for damp mineral application EVER. You know I'm a brush-ho so I know what I'm talking about. Lisa talked me into it and I am eternally grateful because I LOVE it. I got my daughter one and she too was amazed at how fast and easy foundation application is using it.

Another longtime love is sugar scrubs. I have pretty much eliminated sugar from my diet but it still has it's place in my skincare routine. I make my own face scrub using the cheapest sugar I can find (Walmart brand) because the crystals are nice and small- much better for the face. Then I use a little honey to mix it into scrub consistency. Sometimes I will use natural unscented soap- lather it up in my hands and then mix in a little sugar for a quick scrub. This sugar scrubs does wonders for refreshing my dry winter skin. For body scrubs I like the natural sugar because it has big crystals- my body can take them. =)

Natural soaps are another must have for me. I do my own emu soap- a melt and pour base with additional emu oil added to it. For my face, I never scent it- although I guess I could use lavender essential oil. I try to stay away from citrus essential oils for my face because most of them make one a little sun sensitive.

Last is my haircare- my go to product, even though pricy is Wen cleansing conditioner. Since I color my hair monthly-- started seeing grays at 20 and just too vain to go gray- my hair needs TLC. Wen leaves my hair clean but well moisturized. I've tried going back to shampoos but quickly find that they overstrip my hair so I keep paying for Wen. Another booster for haircare is Argan oil. I purchase it at Sally's Beauty. I add a little to the color when I'm coloring my hair. A drop can be applied after cleansing. I sometimes even apply a little to dry hair-- especially in winter.

Those are the things you will always find in my beauty routine now, and for a long time in the future I am guessing.

DD's Xmas jewelry

Been meaning to post this for a while. For Christmas I got my daughter a lot of sterling silver rings and thought I'd share with you.

First is some yellow cabochon that I found at TJ Maxx for under $30. I love the stone because it is see through and kind of like a magnifying glass. Then it has various colored gems set along the sides. 

Next is an amber one. I love amber because of the inclusions. Later I found another amber ring at TJ Maxx that is more arty so I also got her that one too. 

Next is a created ruby- I didn't realize it was created until after it arrived but I liked the ring enough to keep it because it was also a cabochon rather than faceted gem. 

Here's the amber one that is more arty-- I bought myself one but the amber fell out a few weeks ago. It was really cool because it was kind of an east/west setting.

Last is a garnet with white topaz and yellow sapphires (I think) I really prefer garnet to ruby because most rubies are rather milky and pink rather than what I think is "ruby"All of the rings were under $30 each and DD loves them all. I also got her an iolite ring- really love the gray blue color of iolite-- it's like a good pair of blue jeans-- very wearable. Unfortunately I couldn't locate it for photos. Also got her a neat peridot (her birthstone) ring that was 2 square stones and 2 sterling silver squares in a diamond pattern but one of the stones fell out. =( 

Dieting Wins.

As most of you know, I have been using The Belly Fat Cure by Jorge Cruise for over a year now. Following the simple guidelines of keeping sugar- be that added or natural like fructose in fruit and lactose in milk- to 15 g per day and keeping carbs to about 120 g per day I have lost over 20 pounds and easily maintain it. I will never be considered "skinny" because I am very curvy. You may say, my cup (bra cup that is) overfloweth no matter what my weight. My waist was within the "BFC good" range (below 30 inches) even at my heaviest because I have always had an hourglass figure. For me, my tummy wasn't really a problem except for the pooch-- below the belly button- which is something I had even in high school. I have an extremely large ribcage- pre-adolescent I would be teased about "What is that?" because my ribs stuck out further than my chest. So even though I am only 5' 2"- I am not exactly a "petite." I actually prefer to wear regular length jeans because the rise fits me much better than short/petite ones and my legs are proportionally longer than my overall height so regular jeans are just a bit long on me. Much of my weight is in butt and thighs rather than waistline, so I wasn't expecting much from a diet that is aimed at Belly Fat. I am so happy I found it though because it really has made a huge difference in my life.

The thing I like about the belly fat cure is that it doesn't count calories nor limit fats. Counting calories would be too hard to keep after and I gotta say, I like butter, cream and fatty foods so I would feel deprived (or maybe even depraved) if I had to watch those things. Now the only sugar I use is sugar scrubs. He he he. A surprising thing that I've noticed is that I have not gotten sick-- this may be purely anecdotal evidence but I have not had a serious cold or flu this past year even when my kids and hubby have had them. Rather surprising seeing that I don't eat fruit because of the high sugar content and most people think of vitamin C as being THE cold prevention key.

Here's my own thoughts on why this works for me.
I'm starting to look at food as what it's purpose was in an evolutionary sense. High sugar foods like fruit was only available in late summer/fall-- a time when one would want to put on extra fat before winter. Another high sugar food is milk- before homogenized milk, people really didn't drink milk-- but cream/butter stores much longer. Bacteria tends to thrive in sugary stuff-- it's their food too. So to me sugary foods tended to spoil quickly so they were to be eaten at a time when one would want to put on fat. Also, the most sugar fruits seem to come from tropical areas-- wouldn't have been available like it is now. Even my own mother (in her 60s) talks about how an orange was a treat- usually at Christmas time- because she grew up in a small village in Germany.
Human breast milk is high in fat 4.5% (whole milk is 3.25%) and carbohydrates (mostly lactose.) The brain is mostly fat- over 60% so fat is essential for it's development and infancy is a time of rapid growth so high sugar/carbohydrates would make sense to fuel that rapid development.  People become lactose intolerant AFTER infancy- those that aren't lactose intolerant evolved from people that dairy farmed... makes sense huh? So high sugar foods like milk wouldn't have been part of the diet of most adults- but products that stored longer like butter, cream, cheese, etc would have made that food available more than the high sugar foods.
With refrigeration, food coming from all around the world and other such advancements we have foods that are available to us all year round that wouldn't have been part of our evolutionary diet. Plus there is a surplus of calories- US produces 3500 calories per day per person. Some foods that do store well- nuts, grains, starchy food like potatoes. Meat (& fat) would have been available- smoking and salting preserve these, plus one can hunt year round but only grow food when the weather permits. So to me, probably coming from a colder climate heritage (European decent) high sugar foods would not have been available to my ancestors all year long so I shouldn't probably eat then either.
Something I noticed was that I felt like getting through winter without gaining weight was a win. Since food production isn't limited in winter like it must have been for ancestors, if I was able to maintain weight during the winter months, I felt like I was on the right track. I think that the human body still tries to conserve fat during winter because it's hard to overcome all that evolution. Once spring and summer came and I was doing more physical activity because I enjoy being outside for a workout rather than inside, I would lose some weight and tone up without diet change. Like body says "OK it's summer- food supply will be OK- don't have to hang onto the fat right now." So to me- looking at food in this way makes sense of why my body can handle fats, proteins and such but can't take an overload of sugar without putting on fat.

 When I first started the BFC I noticed that I was losing a lot in the belly area- even though I wasn't in horrible shape there. For a while, finding pants that fit was NOT FUN. I already had an issue with finding pants that fit butt and thighs without having gaping waist and the quick loss of belly fat made this issue even worse. After a year, I am seeing slimming of thighs, butt and even a little off the bust- so that things are getting more proportional. I was even able to find skinny jeans to fit me.  am very close, w/in 5 pounds, of my HS weight- didn't think of myself as "fat" then.  Not bad for someone who will be 43 next week. I get a treat doing laundry sometimes  because I actually have to  look at the size of pants because I can't readily tell if they are my pants or DD's (and she's tiny IMO.) My size is only one larger than hers. My body imagine has finally had a breakthrough last week when DD & I went shopping for prom dresses. I took photos of her in various gowns and I was in the background of mirror in some of them and I didn't think "Wow, look at how big I look." I still think of myself as looking like I did a year ago. I guess that's why I'm always shocked when people talk about how thin I look now. Like yesterday the other assistant track coach says "Did you lose weight?" then goes on about how he wouldn't normally ask a woman that question but I'm a friend and it seems like a significant amount of weight that I lost. As he put it "I just looked over at you and thought where'd she go?" Most times I see him, I am usually wearing a coat or scarf or baggier clothes but yesterday I just had on a form-fitting long sleeved tee and jeans. In much clothing I look "bigger" because I do have to fit to my chest- still wear large/extra large tops- whereas my butt/thighs are mediums and my waist is actually in small size.
 So when I told him I'd lost over 20 pounds and that YES it was INTENTIONAL-- I am not sick or anything- it felt pretty good. Right now I am definitely maintaining but I am hoping that I will tone up/let go of a bit of the fat on butt and thighs this spring/summer. I definitely get more physical activity in the warmer months. As it is, I do try to get a little bit in during track practices. Like the other day the sprinters had to run 100 M, ten times. I was in charge of this on my own while the coach timed some 400 M sprints. So I would run the kids and then run down to the other end to time. I definitely see a big difference in that aspect too. I am able to run more and have less aches and pains than I did a year ago.
These are the Rocker Skinny jeans I found at Old Navy. They are a velvet spandex but still only size 4 even with my thighs and butt issues.

FOTD-- sorry I was MIA

Hi. Dayna here-- you may have forgotten who I am seeing that I have been pretty lame about keeping up with my blog. So I finally forced myself to do a FOTD today so you wouldn't completely forget me.

Just colored my hair today-- dark ash brown. My hair definitely goes red so every so often I have to hit it with a little ash to tone it down. Seeing that winter is coming to an end, I wanted to get another dark coloring in since I tend to go lighter in summer.

Feb. 21- FOTD
Serious Skin Care A-primer-- I'm trying to use up the last little bit of this. I actually use primer more in winter than summer-- counter-intuitve but for me I like a primer to seal in some of the moisture in my skin. I always like how my less dry summer skin holds MMU better and looks more natural.

Foundation- Dayna-- it's maybe a tiny bit peachy/dark but the days are starting to lengthen and warm up so I'm guessing I'm at my lightest and will soon be a match in no time. It's not an obvious mismatch- as you can see in this photo... doesn't look like the wrong head is attached.

Foundation was applied with MMBB new Neroli/Rose/Caffeine spray. You know I love MMBB sprays. This one has all kinds of goodness in it for my dry skin. Definitely rose scent. I like it but still partial to the crisp grape smell of the concord grape spray.

Sweetheart blush and Illumination Glow

Eyes- Just Browsing Brown for brow fill, Luscious all over lid below crease. Summer Highlight inner corner and brow highlight. Purple Haze outer corner. Lined with HIP Eggplant liner and then topped with e.l.f seal and Poy-ple. Bottom waterline e.l.f. ivory gel liner. Maybelline Full N Soft mascara.

Lips- NYC Lipstain in Persisten Pink-- I really like this one-- definitely a pink stain and prefer their tip-- longer and pointier to other lipstains I have. Topped with Sally Hansen Diamond gloss.

I'm still "assistant track coach" so I spend several hours each weekday doing that. Plus DD is trying hurdles out this year and coach usually has special  practice at local university track for those on Saturday. She still doesn't have drivers license so I go with her and get a workout in. Yesterday we made some hurdles for her to practice with out of PVC pipe. We also went to prom dress store on Saturday to get idea of what kind of prom dress she wants. She's thinking sweetheart neckline (strapless) with ruching (slanted) along bodice with it form-fitting to below hips-- somewhat mermaid style. She's very thin through the hips so this gives her the illusion of hips and more curves. Non-form-fitting dresses worked but just tended to make her look thin and delicate. She hates poufy prom dresses. It was fun shopping with her.

We recently got the pole vault pit back out. I've done a little training twice this week. I not very good but I am having fun which is the important thing.

Must get this posted and head out to track practice. I have lots of stuff that I need to blog about- African Black Soap being the latest thing

My Nerd glasses

One of my old vox buddies blogged about how Nerd glasses are in right now and thought I'd post about my pair of them. For years I have opted for small wire-rimmed glasses and honestly, my transition to nerd ones had more to do with comfort than being stylish. I have a serious prescription so the wire rimmed ones left the nose pad dents on my face for a while. I thought that plastic frames would maybe spread out the weight of my glasses along entire nose piece. The other funny thing about my glasses is that I selected them from the kids' section. When I was trying on frames, I mentioned to the technician that I often found my frames in the kids' offerings. He found these frames and practically insisted these were "the ones." Ignore the kind of goofy look- I actually had my contacts in (have makeup on so no way to put that on without them) so can't really see through them with my strong Rx. Don't I look like I have more IQ points here? LOL