She is why I'm busy

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

My Niece Aysia

This is my adorable niece Aysia.

She is very smart and received an honor roll award magnet that she bestowed upon me for proud display (see below)

My question is...................How can such a smart and beautiful girl be such a dummy sometimes?? (see Don't be dumb!! and upcoming Aysia's Advice on Livingwelldaily.

My poor, sweet niece...............gotta love her!!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Suckish appointment

Well, they just totally blew me off through flattery and comforting words.  Pretty much they told me it was still too soon for the swelling to be totally down, that my face is not off center and that it looked good.  I have another follow up appointment on the 30th with the original doctor who will then review the final results and let me know if there is something else that needs to be done.  So, we will still have to wait and see.  SUCKS

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Sooooo Saaaadddd, bad results!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, I know I am overdue in my updates, but I have been soooo sooo sad and just couldn't do it.  Clearly, my expectations were WAY TOO HIGH in regards to the results of the hydrafacial.  I don't know exactly what I expected, but it was more than I got.  For all the discomfort of it, you would think I would see some results, but NOOOOOOOOOO!!  I actually think my face looks worse.  Is that possible?  I got a bruise on my left cheek from the procedure, and I still have it.  I totally got swollen and my right side still is.  Wow, really???? One side of my face looks longer and wider than the other.  Not happy at all.  I actually spent yesterday licking my wounds.  It was my first day without my daughter since the procedure, so I finally had the opportunity to mope about it (can't do that when you have an active 5 year old daughter that may not understand!!) So, yesterday, I sat around and ate everything and watched the home and garden channel over and over and over!!  I have four new pimples and my face is splotchier than ever.  I went back on Friday, because I really think the person who did it, did it wrong.  I wanted to speak to her, but she wasn't in and won't be in for two weeks, so I talked to her supervisor.  She was very sympathetic and told me that it was still too soon to be totally back to normal, but she made an appointment for me on Monday with a doctor to check my results.  We'll see.

So, I weighed myself yesterday and I gained almost a pound.  Now if you consider that I was losing an average of  2.1 pounds a week, that is like a 3 pound gain, right??  I blame it on the hydrafacial, totally.  It has me depressed and I think I eat more or crave bad foods when I am.  So sad!!  Hopefully, things will be better after my appointment on Monday.  I am hoping they will fix the problem.  Maybe give me another one for free with a better physician.  hmmmmm.......we'll see. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Finished the four week program - YEAH

Today is officially the end of the "4 weeks to gorgeous skin" plan.  I have totally found a life-long program.  Why I waited until almost my mid-forties to start taking care of my body and skin is beyond me.  I looked through the photos and I can't really tell a difference in them, but when I look in the mirror, I can totally see a difference.  Plus, when I put on my make up, it seems to look fresher and more youthful.  My skin is still very oily, but not as bad as before.  I don't think I am going to post the photos on line (do I really want to post all of my imperfections for the world to see, with no make-up to conceal the flaws??), but I will show them to my sisters to get some insight into the improvement of my skin.  I am still going to keep the photo journal for the "before" and "after" when I get the hydrafacial. (This Tuesday and I am so EXCITED!!!) It will be interesting to see.

I lost 8.4 pounds in 4 weeks doing this program.  That averages to 2.1 lbs per week, which is a very healthy weight loss.  This is quite amazing since I had three different servings of ice cream....YESTERDAY, not to mention a bag of popcorn and McDonalds for dinner.  It was a treat filled day, what can I say!

At first, I couldn't figure out why they didn't just have us do all the stuff right at the beginning, rather than wait it out week by week, but now I understand.  Doing everything right from the start would have probably been overwhelming.  I think I needed the week to get accustomed to one thing before introducing something new.  Whatever the reason, it worked and I will continue doing this forever.  I feel better and I think I look better.  So, even if no one else notices, I notice and that is good for my confidence. 

I can't wait to share the results of the hydrafacial.  9am on Tuesday!!!  I will take an immediate photo before and an immediate photo afterwards.  Then, once my face calms a bit, I will take another photo.  These, I may share, depending upon how dreadful I look.  (I don't take a good picture as it is, so imagine how awful it can look with NO makeup)  No matter what, I will show them to the sisters again and see what they say.  I'll let you know.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Minimize your Wrinkles - UPDATE

I decided to treat myself to a reward for staying with my skin program for a month, so I scheduled a HydraFacial at a dermatologist's office.  This is the new Microdermabrasion.  It uses a diamond attachment that scrapes off and then sucks up the dead skin cells.  Then, they apply a concentrated face serum.  I wanted to get Fraxel done (basically lasering off the top layers of your face!!) but it costs $3600.00!!!  Yes, I printed that correctly.  Since that was WAY OUT OF MY BUDGET, I sprung for the HydraFacial AND the optional pre-treatments. (A cream I put on my face everyday for a week before the procedure).  This costs a reasonable $165.00 as opposed to the whopping $3600.00.

I went in on the 15th to get the cream and have been applying it generously.  I don't know if it's the cream or the fact that I had to stop the Retinol as of the 12th, but I have 3 new pimples!!  But, the honker in the middle of my eyes is finally looking like a small mole as opposed to the massive growth it once was.

So, my appointment is on the 23rd at 9am and I am SO EXCITED!!!  I know it is not going to give me the results that the Fraxel would, but I do think I should see some improvement.  I have been really good to my face for almost a month, and it should pay off for me.  It's hard to see the improvement when you are looking at it everyday, but the weekly pictures can't lie.  I will have the four photos from the plan and then one after the procedure.  We'll see!!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Week 4 - Minimize your wrinkles

Tough, tough week!  It was so busy that we ended up eating out a lot.  Three times at the fast food restaurants.  Bad, bad me!  Didn't get much exercise in AND two different nights, I fell asleep before washing my face.  But despite being pretty bad this week, I still only got one pimple and lost almost a pound!!  I am down EXACTLY 8 POUNDS for the three weeks.  The new pimple I got is small and I don't think it will develop into a honker, but the huge one that I've had between my eyes for two weeks is worse than ever.  I definitely am going to get back on track this week and start the fourth and final week of the challenge.

By now the only thing left to contend with may be a few pesky lines.  Surprisingly, some of the latest cures come in a bottle - not a syringe - and can be used in the morning and at night in place of your moisturizer or cream.  These are topical solutions that mimic the effects of injectables, albeit not as dramatically.  Dr. Brandt Crease Release ($150; drbandtskincare.com) contains a gamma-aminobutyric acid complex that has the power to relax your facial muscles so they can't contract and form creases; Dr. Loretta Youth Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler ($45; drloretta.com) features potent hydrators, like hyaluronic acid and urea, that draw moisture deep into skin, helping to plump it up; and Olay Regenerist Filling + Sealing Wrinkle Treatment ($19; at drugstores) has silicone to fill in and camouflage lines on contact.

I'll be using the Olay Regenerist in the morning since that is more in my price range.  I will not be using it at night since there is NO WAY I am replacing the Chanel cream until I totally run out and am unable to get new samples.  I have been taking pictures of my face and plan to show the 4 week progression at the end.  Wish me well for this last week!!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Make over your medicine cabinet - update

Hard to believe I've stuck with this for almost 3 weeks.  Talk about commitment (for me at least).  I can tell a noticeable difference in everything about me.  I am trimmer, my face is fresher, and my energy is twice what it was.  I'm definitely a convert now.  What is super sweet is that there were NO NEW PIMPLES THIS WEEK so far.  I still have a leftover from last week (and that would be the one right between my eyes, thank you), but no new ones.  I feel very hopeful about that.  Oh, and I LOVE the Chanel Sublimage that I am using in the evenings.  No wonder it's $400.00 a jar.....it is awesome.  I will have to find some disguises so I can keep hitting the Chanel girls for samples each month.  Family members....if you're reading this, help me out.  I want those samples!!!  I will be posting week 4's plan and my pound loss on Saturday.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

MAKE OVER YOUR MEDICINE CABINET - Week 3 - I wanna look like Courtney Cox

First I just have to say how excited I am that I have actually stuck with something for TWO WHOLE WEEKS already!!  Yea for me!!  I'm telling you, I feel like a brand new person.  I have more energy, I feel more confident and I am beginning to care about my looks again.  I went through quite a frumpy stage where I just gave up.  No more of that!  I am down to just one pimple.  All of the others have gone down, but another one left a red mark.  I guess I can't have it all.  So, are you dying to know how much weight I lost doing my face routine for another week???  Well, I have lost another 3 pounds.  YEAH, that's right, 3 pounds!!!  That means my two week total is 7.2 pounds.  And that is without counting calories AND getting healthier skin.  So, do you think I'm going to stop.  NO.  So, as I continue week one's "FEED YOUR FACE" and week two's "TRANSFORM YOUR FACE", I will begin week three's "MAKE OVER YOUR MEDICINE CABINET".  One thing about week 2, however, is I am not going to exfoliate so drastically every day.  I am going to use a gentle exfoliating cleanser each morning and still use the retinol at night.  So, on to week three's directives....

Here's what to stock for daily use:

Cleanser - A mild formula, such as Aveeno Ultra-Calming Moisturizing Cream Cleanser ($7; at drugstores), with calming feverfew, is suitable for most skin types, a.m. and p.m.  I'm pretty oily, so I am going to opt for a gentle exfoliating cleanser by Patricia Wexler MD with salicylic acid. 

Sunscreen - The most essential part of any skincare routine is daily, year-round use of a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF 15 or higher.  (Make life easier by choosing a moisturizer that incorporates one.) A really good one is Shiseido Future Solution LX Daytime Protective Cream SPF 15 ($240; macys.com) with hyaluronic acid.  Now, if I could afford this, I would be able to afford some nice facial treatments from a doctor, but since I can't, I am going to use Patricia Wexler Moisturizer SPF 30 or get that sample of Prevage (see below). 

Antioxidants - Even with sunscreen on, some UV rays will still get through.  Having antioxidants on your skin provides an extra level of protection against free radicals.  Layer an antioxidant serum, such as RoC Multi Correxion Skin Renewing Serum ($25; at drugstores), underneath your sunscreen.  Or, for maximum convenience, use a product that does triple duty (moisturizer, sunscreen, and antioxidant), such as Prevage Day Ultra Protection Anti-Aging Moisturizer SPF 30 ($125; elizabetharden.com), which contains the free radical fighter idebenone.  I'm going to try the RoC as it seems more in my price range.

Night Cream - The best time to give your skin an extra dose of nourishment?  While you sleep and your body shifts its attention to cellular repair.  Try Chanel Ultra Correction Lift Ultra Firming Night Cream ($165; chanel.com).  I'm going to try to get a sample big enough to last me a couple of weeks, but most likely I'm going to have to use something else.  I'll let you know.

Eye Cream - The skin around the eyes ages faster than the rest of the face because it's thinner and has fewer oil glands to keep it hydrated.  So by the time you hit your 30s, you'll need to add a cream specifically for this area, such as Estee Lauder Time Zone Anti-Line/Wrinkle Eye Creme ($44; esteelauder.com).  I'm going to try and get a sample of this one too.  If I like it, I'll fork out the bucks, otherwise, I'll downgrade to a $20.00 option.

Well good luck with your skin and wish me luck too.  I'll give you a midweek update.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Transform you face - Update

Well, I don't have Cate Blanchett's skin yet....not even close, but I have hope.  The two pimples that I still had from last week are finally disappearing, but one is definitely leaving a red mark.  CRAP!  Plus, I have one new one almost right between my eyebrows, one next to my nose and another at the corner of my mouth.  How lovely is that!! As far as the daily exfoliating goes, I should have bought new pads.  I don't think the ones I had leftover from almost a year ago have the same strength.  They're a little dry, so I wet them with a bit of water before applying each morning.  My face is redder and seems much more sensitive right now.  If I wipe my face too hard, it leaves a red mark for about 10 minutes.  It feels tighter, but not dry.

I've had a little trouble keeping up with the healthy eating.  I just can't seem to get those vegetables in!!  Plus, it is so darn expensive.  I have to shop about 2 times a week to keep up with the fresh fruit and veggies.  Plus, when I decide to cook a recipe, I almost always have to buy some of the ingredients.  I need to be a bit more organized with my planning and then that part should get easier.

I couldn't help it and ended up weighing myself early.  I won't share the results yet, since weight fluctuates so much from day to day, but lets just say, it looks very promising!!

This next recipe sounds delicious and I am hoping it will help me get those vegetables in.  I'm going to try it tonight!

Feta chicken with Greek vegetables - Serves 4

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
2 whole bone-in, skinless chicken breasts, split crosswise.
1 medium Spanish onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 plum tomatoes, quartered
1 medium eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups fresh spinach
1/4 cup crumbled lowfat feta
2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano
4 whole-wheat pitas, warmed

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Blanch asparagus in a large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, 2 to 3 minutes.  Drain stalks and plunge in a bowl of ice water.  Drain again and pat dry; set aside.  Heat oil in a 6 - 8 quart heavy-bottomed ovenproof pot over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper and add to pot.  Cover and cook, turning once, until slightly brown, 5 - 8 minutes.  Stir in onion and garlic; replace lid and cook until soft, 4 minutes.  Stir in tomatoes and eggplant.  Replace lid, place pot in oven and cook until eggplant is tender, about 18 minutes.  Remove pot from oven and stir in asparagus and spinach; sprinkle with feta.  Replace lid and let rest 15 minutes.  Stir in oregano and season with salt and pepper.  Serve by placing a piece of chicken on top of the vegetables and the pita on the side.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sample menu for "Feed Your Face"

When I started the "Four weeks to Gorgeous skin" program, that was exactly what I wanted....Gorgeous skin.  But, when I lost 4.2 pounds by following the "Feed Your Face" advice for week one, well you can guess that I was pretty excited!!  And apparently, some of you were too.  I was asked by a couple of readers to give a sample menu of the foods I ate for that week, so here is what my family and I ate.  (Please read "Four weeks to Gorgeous Skin - Feed Your Face - for details on the suggested food to eat)

First - What are serving sizes
1 Fruit = a whole medium fruit; 1 cup of berries; or 1/2 cup cut fruit
1 Vegetable = 1/2 cup chopped veggies; 1 cup of greens
1 Whole Grain = Slice of bread; 1/2 cup cereal or grains like brown rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, whole wheat.
1 Protein = one egg, 3 ounces of fish or meat, 1/2 cup of tofu or beans
1 Fat = 1 tsp Olive oil, six nuts or 1 tblsp ground flaxseed
1 Water = 8 ounces

I want to start by saying that when I started the "Feed Your Face" week, I had decided to try to feed my family mostly organic foods.  All of our eggs, milk, fruits, vegetables, bread, and almost everything else was switched to organic.  Anything that we used to eat that contained white flour was off limit.  Since we needed to get whole grains in for the program, we switched all pastas to either brown rice pasta, whole wheat pasta, quinoa or spelt.  We switched our bread to Rainier Organic Bakery Ezekiel 4:9 and all of our lunch meats, sausages or hot dogs were switched to nitrate/nitrite free, no fillers and no antibiotics used.  Basically, we were trying to go without preservatives or chemicals.  Now imagine trying to shop like that.  HARD!!  Plus, not everyone carries this type of food, so you have to shop around.  Good luck!  Anyway, here's the menu.

Breakfast - I take my supplements with my milk in the morning
Tomato/cheese one egg omelet, toast with real butter, sliced kiwi, 1 cup milk
Boiled egg, slice of ham, blueberries, 1 cup milk
Whole multi grain oatmeal, blueberries, ham, 1 cup milk
Plain yogurt with berries and stevia, toast with real butter, 1 cup milk

Lunch - I get the majority of my water between lunch and dinner and I eat my dessert after lunch instead of after dinner!

Bowl of chili (see recipe), slice of toast with real butter
Ham/cheese/tomato sandwich, apple
Tuna/Cheese/tomato open face sandwich, grapes
Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with tomato soup
Cheeseburger patty with tomato and lettuce, 1/2 cup quinoa

Snacks - Try to go no longer than 4 hours without eating
1/2 cup Bean dip and 20 "Guiltless Gourmet" Corn chips
20 raw walnuts and apple
3 slices of turkey on a whole wheat tortilla
Low fat cheese stick and unlimited blueberries

Dinner - Don't eat ANYTHING after 9pm.....preferably 7pm
Chili, cornbread, salad
4 ounce Chicken Breast, tomato/mozzarella salad, Quinoa
Spaghetti and Meatballs, Salad, slice of toast
Sesame Noodles and Salmon, steamed broccoli
2 whole wheat fajitas, brown spanish rice, bean dip and "Guiltless Gourmet" tortilla chips

I hope this helps you on your way to the better skin AND slimmer waistline.  I let you know how my second week goes.  Here's another recipe to keep you on track....

Chicken Tacos with Drunken Beans - Serves 4

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
Salt and pepper to taste
Nonstick cooking spray
3 med slices nitrate free turkey bacon
1 garlic clove, minced
2 med fresh jalapenos, minced
1 large can refried black beans
1 sm can (14.5) fat free chicken broth
1 bottle Corona Light
1 Cup shredded romaine lettuce
1 cup chopped roma tomatoes
4 - 6' Ezekiel tortillas

Salt and pepper chicken and grill til done.  Slice or shred and set aside.  Brown bacon.  Add garlic and jalapenos and cook 1-2 minutes.  Add beans, then 1/2 can broth and stir until smooth.  Stir in beer and heat through.  Serve next to the tacos.  YUM