Simple Steps to Look Younger

Folks, I'm no spring chicken. I have a few years under my belt and it's showing on my face. (Laugh lines are anything but humorous.) I may not be able to reverse the signs of aging, but I can prevent it from getting worse and look good in the process. Here are a few things I've been doing to stay looking young.

Drink Water

Water is everything to your skin. In fact, it's made up of over 60% water. If you're not well hydrated, your skin will show it. You'll look dry, wrinkled, and tired. Water helps plump up the tissue under your skin, which smooths out wrinkles and fine lines.

Worried you're dehydrated? Pinch the skin on the back of your hand. If it doesn't flatten out immediately, you should be drinking more water. 

Topical Vitamins

Eating a good diet will definitely give your skin a youthful glow, but it can't do everything. Your body only delivers a certain percentage of vitamins to your skin. To make sure you're getting the right vitamins to the right places, apply topical creams, oils, and lotions. Want to lighten age spots? Try a cream containing vitamin C. Reduce wrinkles? Look for products containing retinoids derived from vitamin A.

Less Makeup

It seems like strange advice to wear less makeup to look younger, but there's good reason. Heavy makeup settles into lines and creases, making wrinkles look even deeper than they already are. If you walk out of your house looking like, as my mother would say, a "painted lady," the natural glow of your skin won't show through. Dull skin is old skin, so don't cover up the hydration you've worked so hard to achieve.

Sun Protection

The sun is not your skin's friend. Yes, it's warm and creates vitamin D and beautiful tans. But it also gives you wrinkles, sagging skin, discoloration, and cancer. Be smart when you go outside, even if it's cloudy. Apply sunscreen on any exposed skin, including your neck and hands. Wear a fabulous wide-brimmed hat for even more coverage. And never forget sunglasses. Squinting leads to wrinkles!

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Instant Gratification

Sometimes you just need a little boost of confidence when you look in the mirror. It's possible to fake out your own reflection with products like Sudden Change Under-Eye Firming Serum. Within three minutes, it reduces the appearance of fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness and lasts all day. I mix mine with a little foundation, but you can use it alone too.

The image below is unedited. No filters. No retouching. Can you tell which eye I used the serum under? Isn't that amazing?! You smooth a couple of drops from the inner corner of your eye out, wait three minutes without laughing or smiling, and boom. Magic.

Take pics of your own before and after to post on social media using the hashtag #InstantRetouchWithSuddenChange.

You can find Sudden Change Under-Eye Firming Serum at CVS, Duane Reade, Rite Aid, ULTA, Walgreens, and Walmart. I found it for less than $10 at my local Walmart. Cheaper than fillers! But if you'd rather win some, Sudden Change is giving away three $100 gift cards to retailers that carry their product! Clean out your beauty bag and fill it with new makeup and beauty essentials. Enter HERE but hurry! You only have until May 1, 2015 to win.

To learn more about the Sudden Change brand, visit them on the web at www.suddenchange.com and LIKE the brand on Facebook

This is a product-provided, sponsored conversation that contains affiliate links. I received a package of Sudden Change Under-Eye Firming Serum for my own personal use. All opinions, text and experiences are my own.

Posted on April 24, 2015 and filed under Hey Gorgeous.

How to Throw Amazingly Epic Avengers Party

A huge thanks to Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser for sponsoring this post. All opinions are mine all mine. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

Growing up, I would have called anyone who loved comic books a geek. Yes, I was a snob. But my life changed forever when MARVEL released The Avengers. I fell in love with superheroes! And I'm not alone. I have a clan of friends that are just as obsessed as I am. Each new movie release turns into an epic party. With MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out in few weeks, I decided to host a family-friendly movie marathon to get us psyched. 

The great thing about party planning prior to a movie release is stores are stocked with licensed merchandise. I've never been able to find so many themed supplies as I did looking for Avengers items at my local Walmart. It worked out great that we were doing a movie marathon because check out all the MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron snacks! Perfect for the grownups and their kids.

I didn't want to serve food straight out of bags and boxes. That's not how I roll! To make it look a little more put together, empty out your non-homemade food into your own bowls.

If you're serving soda or water bottles, serve them in a bucket or something decorative that goes with the scheme of your table. 

My girl Alyssa and I created paper rosettes for above the food table, including a rosette shield in honor of my favorite Avenger, Captain America. *swoon*

I knew that the kids coming wouldn't be interested in sitting through one movie, let alone multiple ones, so I set up a table full of MARVEL's Avengers toys, games, and books that I purchased at Walmart. With items just for them, they're more likely to leave the adults alone to enjoy the movies and everyone gets to have fun.

To finish out the decor, I used reactant foil and toner copies to make art prints of my favorite quotes from MARVEL's The Avengers. They're so shiny!

At the end of the night, our guests chose their favorite quote print to take home with them.

No party is complete without a superhero-worthy photo op. After donning our MARVEL temporary tattoos, we stepped in front of our makeshift Stark Tower to boom, pow, and zap some pics! Even though the masks were from the kids' party aisle, some adults had fun with them too.

I picked up my sweet MARVEL's Avengers shirt at the same time as all the other supplies. What a score for around $10!

As you can see, I had a little too much fun shopping with Alyssa for this party at Walmart. Avengers Dr Pepper 3 for $10? Don't mind if I do! (PS – I evidently can't keep my mouth closed in a picture.)

Needless to say, we are sufficiently amped up for MARVEL's Avengers: Age of Ultron to come to theaters. I've even pre-ordered my tickets!

Can't get enough Avengers? Download the Super Heroes Assemble app in iTunes or the Play store. It gives you behind-the-scenes looks into MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron. Also when you're at Walmart or Walmart.com, scan Avengers displays for even more fun!

For more details, visit www.walmart.com/avengers.

Posted on April 24, 2015 and filed under Food & Fun, Stuff & Things.

New Food Night

Boring dinners? Stuck in a rut? Here's the solution.

My kids aren't generally complainers, but meals got to the point where we were having the same 10 or 12 meals over and over again because that's what they wanted and I knew they would eat. They were healthy and successful, but the grown-ups were getting bored. And that is bad for two reasons. One, we started eating out WAY more than we should. Two, the kids meals, when we ate out, were usually waffles with loads of sugary goodness/badness all over it. So dinner became less healthy and more expensive. Something had to change.

We instituted New Food Night. Knowing my children there would have to be a set of expectations or rules. But more than that we wanted it to stay positive. I didn't want to say no this and no that. These were the rules we came up with.

Rule 1. SMILES & SILENCE

With Rule number 1, they couldn't complain or whine. I explained it like a cooking show (and we watched some) where there were judges and they didn't say anything about the food until after they had tasted it.

Rule 2. TASTE THREE BITES

Our little saying is, “Take three bites; It’s not many. If you still don’t like it you can have Peanut Butter and Jelly.” There were somethings that didn't turn out well (even the grown-ups didn't enjoy). We always had a simple alternative like oatmeal, cheese tortillas and fruit, or PB & J.

 Rule 3. THREE PRAISES & THREE CHANGES

This rules gives them a chance to voice their opinion in a controlled manner. Instead of “OH, MOM! I hate it, it’s gross!” It needs to be three praises. Sometimes all the good they could say was, “It looks pretty on the plate.” If there are veggies, they usually want them changed to the veggies they prefer: broccoli, carrots, corn.

Since we've instituted New Food Night, we have some new favorites. Peppered Salmon and Asparagus, Dr. Pepper Pork Chops with Spinach and Pasta, Black Beans and Rice go with everything. And now they ask when the next New Food Night is coming. They've even started to look up recipes and cook themselves. 

Would you add a New Food Night to your dinner routine? What's the first meal you'd have your family try?

Posted on April 22, 2015 and filed under Stuff & Things, Food & Fun.

Eyebrows — The Bra for your Face

Within these past few years I've learned how important it is do my eyebrows, yet it has become the most loathsome component of my makeup routine. I hate trying to figure out what brow shape works best for my facial structure, what shade I should fill my brows in with, how thick I should make 'em, trying to get the brows to look like sistahs and not twins, etc. And the plucking! Oh how I hate the plucking! Early in my youth I made the decision to take a razor in between my brows to prevent the sisters from joining together and my brows have been suffering ever since. Sorry girls. 

That was me a few years ago with awkwardly plucked eyebrows. Yikes. I've been needing a professional and stat. 

And then came Kelly to the rescue. Jill challenged me to not pluck my eyebrows for about 4 weeks and that was the hardest thing ever! We made an appointment with Kelly at the Anastasia Studio at Nordstrom. My eyebrows had started to resemble werewolf cubs, growling at anybody who came near and Kelly helped tame those puppies.

She's so precise, figuring out the best eyebrow shape for your bone structure and the best color to fill those brows in according to your skin tones. She measured, waxed, tweezed, lotioned, massaged, and filled in those furry bad boys.

I feel like a new, confident, (and super relaxed) woman. I'm so glad to not have growling werewolf babies on my face. The shape and color work splendidly with my face structure and skin tone. My eyebrows are, dare I say, on fleek.

I even stole a pic of Mama Spiffy getting her eyebrows worked on. It's amazing how much her eyebrow color matches her hair color.

Friends, I just want to tell you how important well-groomed eyebrows are. They really are like a bra for your face. They add lift and frame the face, separate your eyes, can make your eyes look bigger, and add that extra oomph.

Thanks so much to Kelly for rescuing my eyebrows!

If you live in Utah and want Kelly to work her magic on you, she's generously offered $5 OFF an eyebrow service! Click on the image below to download and print the coupon. But hurry! It expires at the end of May.

Posted on April 15, 2015 and filed under Hey Gorgeous.

Pallet Arrow Wall Decor

I've been meaning to jump on the reclaimed pallet wood bandwagon for a while now, but haven't known which project to make. When I saw these wood arrows from Cherished Bliss, I knew that was the project for me. So I pulled out my pallets from storage and got to work to decorate a neglected wall in my bedroom.

This project is simple and quick. Once your pallet is taken apart, you can have three decorated arrows in a little over an hour!

Supply List

Measure the pallet wood to your desired width. Mine are 15 inches, but yours may be larger or smaller, depending on where you'll hang them. Adjust your miter saw to cut at a 45-degree angle. Cut 12 pieces at your desired width.

 

    Decide which side of the boards will face up. Some pallets are rougher than others. Because we're gluing paper to the surface, choose the smoothest side.

    Cut your decorative paper to cover the size of your boards. With your foam brush, spread Mod Podge across the top of each board, covering them with the paper. Press down and smooth out any bubbles.

    With a sander or sandpaper block, sand the edges of the board, separating the paper from the wood. Lightly sand the top of the board, distressing it as much or as little as you like.

    Once all of your boards are distressed, turn them over and line them up, forming an arrow shape. Screw in mending plates with a drill and #6 screws. Repeat this where each board meets.

    Add a sawtooth hanger to each arrow. If hanging them as I did, place at the top center. Turn over to double-check that everything is lined up. Then hang them up, spacing them out a few inches apart.

    I hung mine between the blank space above my desk. They fit perfectly between the window and the wall. Maybe I'll look up more often when I'm working. Where would you put these arrows in your home? Do you have a pallet that's waiting to be transformed?

    For 6 more ideas on repurposing a pallet, check out this post at Hazel & Ruby!

    Posted on April 14, 2015 and filed under Make It, Stuff & Things.

    SNAP Conference Packing List

    Conferences creep up on bloggers like sponsored-post deadlines. Suddenly it's time to submit your post, but you're out of daylight and Mod Podge. Not this year, folks! I created a printable packing list just for my fellow SNAP-pers. Now all we have to worry about is fitting everything into our suitcases!

    Just click on the image above for the download link. Can't wait to see you at SNAP!

    Posted on April 9, 2015 and filed under Print Me, Stuff & Things.