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Archive for the 'Beauty' Category

Fluffy to Fabulous! A work in progress.

Fluffy to Fabulous!  A work in progress.

Well, I have debated for months about doing this post.  Partly because it’s a bit personal, partly because I didn’t want to publish what I am doing, and partly because it’s just embarrassing (how did I let myself do this to…myself?).

“Um, hello, Jenny Craig?  My name is Dot…(slight pause)…and I’m fat.”

Yep, I’m pretty sure that’s how that phone call began the last week of May, 2011.  Several things have led me to the point of calling Jenny, and I’ll give you the brief rundown.  I’ve always been the “bigger” girl, not necessarily fat, but curvy for real with soft hips, thighs and killer ta-tas.  I stabilized at a near perfect size 14 at the end of high school, and relished the attention from men in college.  I enjoyed my body the way it was and did little to no dieting and/or exercise.  I know, bad BAD Dot.  My first real attempt at losing some serious weight was right after college graduation.  I signed up for a year with LA Weight Loss.  It may be great for some, but after a few months it was just not the program for me.  Having to go to the center three times a week for weigh-ins and discussions about your salad lettuce varieties and bowel movements…no thanks.  Trying to get over there three times a week was inconvenient enough!  I had two gigs with Weight Watchers, one before I got married and one right after.  I did like the program and I lost about 20 pounds each time.  It was easy to count the points and track my food and stuff, but the other women who attended the meeting time I chose to go to were super irritating.  I was the youngest by far, and these old and older ladies just sat there and yapped on and on and on…it’s a 30 minute meeting ladies!  Just spit it out and move on!  I’m all for encouragement and inspiration, but I do not care to hear your life story in EVERY meeting.  So…I stopped going.  Twice.

Now fast forward almost 7 years and two kids later.  I have not only accumulated “happy marriage weight”, but I also have leftover baby weight (and I wasn’t exactly tiny before I got preggers) and some emotional-eating related weight due to my dad’s unexpected illness and ultimate passing when my first son was 8 months old ~ he was 56.  And this past May when my second son was 8 months old, my mother-in-law suddenly passed away due to diabetic complications ~ she was only 51.  This is some heartbreaking and scary stuff!  I had that “A-ha” moment that Oprah talks about so frequently, and knew that if I could avoid all the potential health hazards that come from just being overweight, that I had to jump on that pronto.  No time to waste.  I want to be around for all three of my men, and I want to see my grandchildren grow up.  I have to make some changes.  NOW.

Having tried the diets that ask you to check in at meetings and allow you to feed yourself has not worked for me, so I seriously researched Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.  I needed something that provided the prepared food for me while I learned portion control.  Jenny won overall because I liked the client reviews more and the food options were more up my alley.  I called Jenny the last few days of May, set up an account and had my first food delivery on June first.  No meetings or centers to go to, I weight in once a week at home, and I have one consultant who calls me once a week during nap time.  I sifted through the entire menu the first month or so, and now only get the things I really really like, while still feeling like I have enough variety.

Now, here comes the part where I hold my breath, cringe a little and tell you my stats.  I’m making significant progress and am seriously committed to this change in my life, so here we go:

June 1st, starting weight ~ 246.8       (OMG – I know)

Today, September 27th ~ 201.0

Current total: 45.8 pounds GONE.  Y’all – that is more than my almost-three year old!

I feel better, I sleep better, I am learning the right things to eat and how much of them.  The feelings of deprivation have changed dramatically…it’s easier (note: easier not easy) to turn down treats and temptations (sweet tea especially, large amounts of pasta and bread and ice cream).  I still get Starbucks once in a while, but my grande Cinnamon Dolce frapp. has turned into a tall Cinnamon Dolce frapp. with skim milk and no whipped cream (hey – it still tastes good!!)

And another awesome thing entirely unto itself – my clothes don’t fit!  I bought two pairs of cheapy jeans at Target for transitional purposes (my pants were bagging off my ass and I could pull them up and down without unzipping them), and smart girl here INSTEAD of buying a boatload of fall and winter clothes and upsetting my hubby with the Visa bill, I bought two wide belts – one woven brown leather and one black stretch with silver accents – to belt all my too-large shirts and sweaters and get through the winter.

My goal is to be the foxiest version of myself, and to have all my weight lost by next summer.  I’ve lost 45 pounds, and have about 50 pounds to go (seems extreme, but think here ~ I’m only 5′5″ – 150 pounds is right for that height).  I want to be healthy and active for my little boys and a goddess for my husband (he’s always made me feel like I am, but I want to feel it, too).  Is it weird to want my sons’ friends to think their mom is a fox???  I mean, later on in high school and college…not in kindergarten.  And NOT that I intend to do anything like Stiffler’s Mom!  Just saying.

Here are some of the “before” pictures I am sending to my JC consultant.  I need to get on a fitted shirt and my transition jeans and get Matt to take a picture for me.  You can make your dreams happen.  You can reach your goals.  But you gotta get off your tush and DO something about it.  It won’t happen all by itself, and as many times as I wished for a bag of Tinkerbell’s pixie dust, to the best of my knowledge, it doesn’t exist.

Be prepared – I don’t want your retinas to burn!

For comparison, that’s my sister on the left.  She’s a smidge taller and has always been very svelte.

Watch out – rear view!  This is just a week after I started JC.

With my son, in September 2010 (about 6 weeks after son #2 was born)

Current pictures will be added soon, I promise!  Just wanted to share the news and major transition I am making.  Hell, hopefully you guys will be like my fabulous Jenny consultant and keep me accountable! (Now tell me to start doing cardio ASAP).

OK – it’s not perfect – I’ll get a good one up soon, but this was a few weeks ago on a Sunday outing with my boys.

November 1, 2011 UPDATE:

53 pounds total!  Whooo!

Here is a recent one (November 2011)

58.6 pounds lost (December 2, 2011)

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July Favorites

~July Favorites~

I’m stealing this idea from my sister’s blog: www.einthepink.com

I am gigantically preggy, due in just 8 days (but praying little man decides to emancipate himself from his snug watery quarters NOW).  I’m hot.  I’m crampy.  I’m uncomfortable.  And definitely ready to have this baby.

Anyhoose – here is my quicky for this week:

On this lovely summer day, I thought it would be appropriate to share some of my July Favorites to end the week!
My all-time favorites are stargazer lilies.  A) their scent is just divine – sweet and feminine.  LOVE IT!  B) hello – they’re PINK!
Most of my musical selections in he car now involve kid’s channels for my almost 2-year old, but when I get a few minutes to myself I’ve been blasting Edwin McCain’s greatest hits & Cowboy Mouth.  I’ve also been cranking up the volume for Hey, Soul Sister – my current happy song, California Gurls (don’t know why I like that one), and Your Love is My Drug.  The last 2 may not be awesomely deep songs, but they make me happy, so who cares?
I have not seen a lot of movies this summer – hell, I haven’t seen a lot of movies since my son was born!  But the hubby and I went to see Toy Story 3 on our adult weekend away in June and I loved it!  I love the first two as well, but this one was cute and fun, and it gave me the satisfying ending I needed.
Since I can’t drink right now, I don’t have any froufy drinks to name, but sweet tea is a year-round southern staple.  It tastes even better when it’s a jillion degrees outside!  And Chic-Fil-A lemonade – one word: YUM.
I have made time for some pleasure reading lately, and I’ve gone through a few good ones.  Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields, Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger, I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass and My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares.

I have not been wearing or smelling perfumes lately, a lot of scents I just can’t handle right now.  But I love the smell of my son’s Johnson & Johnson lavender bubble bath that we use religiously.  I love the way he smells after a bath just before bedtime.

hmm…..summer indulgences have changed drastically since having children, but I still make time for a monthly pedicure.  It’s been a treat to myself every month for the past 8 years.  I gotta say it’s a definite fave – especially right now.  Having your feet and legs rubbed and feeling the cool tingle of the peppermint lotion before a perfect application of bright polish is so lovely!

Nail Polish Color:
It’s a retired OPI color, but I tracked down a few bottles online after our nail salon ran out – “Strawberry Fields”.  It’s bright, hot pink with some shimmer.  I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement shade, and I think Orly’s “Oh Cabana Boy” is as close as I can get!

May be cliche, but being 9 months pregnant in the middle of July, ice cream is an obsession.  Frozen yogurt, milkshakes, ice cream – whatever.  Add some M&M’s to it and I’m deliriously happy.

Well…I guess see above.  Ice cream in combo with the heat is really a perfect fit!!
Have a lovely weekend, guys!  Hopefully the next post will be announcing the arrival of babykins!
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Pedicures – a monthly must have!!!

Pedicures – a monthly must have!!!

With warm weather already upon us, I feel it necessary to write about a must-have for women everywhere: pedicures! I have been a pedicure addict since I graduated from college, before that point it was just an occasional thing – if I felt like it, if there was a special event, etc.  But ohhhh – the combination of nail care and foot/leg rubbing is too much to pass up.

Sure, I can do it myself, and if I need an emergency heel buffing or polish touch-up, I do.  But for under $30 a month, why not treat myself and go to a nail salon?!  I’ve been going monthly with my little sister and my brother’s wife (before she was his wife!) for almost 8 years now to a local nail place.  We’ve gotten to know the people that work there ~ we’ve watched their business grow, learned about their family overseas, watched their adorable son grow up, and experimented with almost every color polish ever made and had funky designs added to our big toes just for fun at certain holidays (snowflakes for winter, snowmen at Christmas, Ace of spades when we went to Vegas, and happy little flowers with crystal centers for spring and summer).

But it is an unbreakable warm weather rule for me ~ do NOT wear sandals of any kind unless you have your toes done!  It doesn’t matter if you sand those heels down yourself and slap on some clear coat, or hit up a frou frou salon.  Whatever your preference, just get the job done before sandal season!!!  It is completely heartbreaking to see a killer pair of wedge sandals on someone and then see her crusty feet and unkempt, too-long nails sticking out of them.  Be kind to your feet ladies, and be kind to the people that are admiring what’s on them!

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Product Rave ~ Random

Product Rave ~ Random…

I’ve been a fan of mineral make-up for a few years now, but strayed from my brand the other day and wanted to give a good review to the Maybelline brand Mineral Makeup, specifically the “Mineral Power” Foundation.  I had a few coupons for the drug store and being fully stocked on my shampoo, deodorant, contact liquid, sunscreen (and likewise for the hubby’s stash) I bought a mineral powder/brush set instead ~ hey, with the coupon, it was a complete steal!

I’ve used it for a few days now, testing it’s application and durability, and with this muggy, humid southern heat I am pleased to say it has held up like a champ and I give it an “A” for several reasons.

1) Price – it’s under $10 – very affordable, and you can find it anywhere!  CVS, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Wal-Mart, Target…

2) It comes with its own little brush in case you don’t have one.  While the small kabuki style brush is a bit firmer than the big one I already have, it gets the job done, and I feel it will travel well because of the stiffer bristles.

3) Colors – there are 8 colors, and because it’s a loose foundation powder, you can find a complimentary skin shade and build up your coverage from just a dusting to erase shine, to full-face matte finish.

4) There is sunscreen in it!  Enough said.  Every little thing like this that helps protect skin from sun damage is fabulous.

5) It doesn’t feel heavy or caked on like I was half-expecting of a drug store brand, and it doesn’t “settle” over the course of the day into the lines I admit I’m starting to get around my eyes and on my forehead.

6) I’ll repeat that the last few days in my part of the Carolinas have been sunny, hot & humid PLUS I’m almost 8 months pregnant so my skin has multiple personalities right now.  I’m usually a combo girl with slightly oilier areas on my chin, nose and center forehead.  However, with both pregnancies I’ve turned into oil-slick city, having to change my whole skincare routine to suit this temporary hormone shift.  This make up has carried me through 3 entire days now of moderate to heavy activity, being outside a fair amount, and sweating more profusely than normal (due to both the heat and the pregnancy).  I’ve gotten to my nighttime face washings and noticed that my face – WITHOUT a single touch-up or oil blotting sheet – still looks as good as when I first put the powder on in the morning.  That’s impressive to me.  Hell, I even spent this evening at the pool with my husband, son and sister and was on the receiving end of some minor splashing, and it’s nearly midnight now and my face still is shine free and nearly flawless!

So – if you need something to leave in your purse, in your car perhaps, in your desk at work, at a vacation home, or just need something to travel with that’s inexpensive and reliable – this is a good one to try out.

I’m attempting to put the link to Maybelline’s product page for you for other information: http://www.maybelline.com/Product/Face/Foundation/Mineral-Power-Natural-Perfecting-Powder-Foundation.htm

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O.P.I. Axxium Gel Polish – tried it, love it, gotta do it again!

O.P.I. Axxium Gel Polish

O.P.I. Axxium Gel Nail Polish – Tried it, Loved it, gotta do it again!!!

Alright ladies -

I had my nails done a few days before Easter with this new OPI Axxium gel stuff my mom and sister found, and I LOVE IT! It is awesome to have this long-lasting option for vacations and special events. Me + regular manicures usually don’t go together…it lasts all of 2 days before chipping and looking crappy.

Late last week (2 weeks to date from the first gel polish application) I went to Bliss & Co. Salon in High Point, about 20 minutes from home to get a re-do ~

Thing 1)
I loooooved the nail tech, Ashley, super easy to talk to and let me play with different scrubs and polishes and yummy smelly things.

Thing 2)
I soaked the gels polish off from two weeks before in a glass bowl of acetone – NO DAMAGE to my nails whatsoever! Once the polish was off, she applied my new color choice and dried each hand between coats in the uber OPI light box thing.

Thing 4)
They look amazing, she did a really superb job with the application – cost is $40 for a soak and new “set”, but for first time clients they have a half price special (I don’t know if it’s a temporary deal or just how they do it always).

Thing 5)
The salon itself is gorgeous, and though in High Point, is quite easy to get to! It made me want to walk around and look at everything, and book lots of fancy appointments for hair, body and skin.

Thing 6)
I would definitely go back again for the “fun” nails as a special treat or pre-vacation or special event (especially since you could soak them off at home in 15 minutes or so when their wear is up).

It was truly a pampering experience in a lovely place. Complimentary water, soda, tea and wine is offered, and the ambiance as well as the staff made the drive from Winston well worth it.

Bliss & Co. Salon has my approval & gets an A+/gold star all around!

Can’t wait to plan another girly excursion! And I would definitely vote for the OPI Axxium gels nail polish. Besides the new growth of my fingernails (which is probably in hyperdrive right now anyway due to pregnancy hormones) my polish still looks fresh and immaculate! AMAZING and without the damaging effects of acrylics. LOOOVE this new stuff!

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