Reduce your Amazon Packaging

Between the packaging, the transportation fuel, and their ability to get orders to customers within a few hours, there’s no denying that Amazon has a huge carbon footprint. The fact is: online shopping requires massive amounts of energy and resources, but there are several things that we as consumers can do to minimize that footprint. Click below for their article and how this quick and easy site contacts Amazon for you to help to reduce plastic packaging !

Contact Amazon: Tell them you want less packaging.

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It’s been awhile…all things fall!

I’m not exactly sure the last time I posted a story, recipe or how-to on here but I’ve definitely been thinking about this little blog space. It’s been awhile because, life! The kiddos are almost 3 and 1 and change. As my tagline says, chaos is a friend of mine. The dogs, kids and husband are a million moving parts. Things that always happen in the fall: pumpkin spice lattes, fall scented candles, pumpkins and layers.

The weather here in WAshington is 100% changing. For awhile there into September it was pretty warm and delightful, but now here late October is and it’s chilly and rainy. Hopefully Halloween won’t be too chilly and the rain will hold off a few days.

Olivia has decided to be Jasmine for Halloween, she wants her little brother to be Rajah, Daddy to be Aladdin and me to Abu… it was very nice of her to decide for the whole family. Luckily I’ve found costumes for her and Jack but have yet to find an adult Aladdin  and an adult Abu costume! For a kid who doesn’t like candy she sure is getting into the spirit of Halloween. Below I have the kids costumes linked, I can’t wait to see how cute they turn out!  I’ve seen quite a few AWESOME family costume ideas but never have seen a whole Aladdin family costume. Whats your favorite family costume? We’re going to attempt to carve pumpkins tonight!

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Hair Products

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I am a big fan of  my’pregnancy hair’. My girlfriend who is also pregnant texted me a few days ago saying how great her hair is these days, that she even doesn’t have to wash it everyday which is something she’s NEVER been able to do before.

In the past unless my hair is professionally blown out I too used to wash it every day – out of necessity  not desire. Whether it’s hormones, the weather, lack of humidity, age, water…or all of above I too love my hair right now.

My new routine consists of an awesome blow dryer and two products.

Step 1: Kerastase Nectar Theremique

Apply a quarter sized amount to towel dried hair.

BENEFITS

1. Protects dry hair from blow-dry and styling tool damages
2. Makes hair easier to style
3. Polishes the hair surface for a double anti-roughness/anti-dullness action
4. Hair fiber is deeply nourished
5. Hair is left shiny with a perfect glazed-like finish

Step 2: Blow dry normally

I fell in love with this insanely powerful blow dryer about a year ago, BeLissPRO Titanium Italian Dryer it has really cut my blowdrying time in half.

Step 3: HerStyler Argan Oil Hair Serum I’m pretty sure I got this for free from a mall kiosk salesperson… but I love it and would happily pay for it when I run out. A penny size will do, a little bit truly goes a long way. This serum repels moisture and prevents frizziness in humidity. Argan Oil Hair Serum can be applied to soaking wet hair before styling, or sparingly on newly styled hair as well.

 

Skin Care

My mother taught me many lessons throughout my life so far… but two major things have stayed in my head on a daily basis; 1. Don’t drink soda – it WILL go straight to your hips. 2. Take care of your skin, you’ll thank me later.

To touch #1 for a moment… this is true. The sooner you stop drinking soda the sooner your future body will thank you. To keep this short, the #1 & #2 reason on the “9 disturbing side effects of drinking soda” are:

1. Weird Fat in Weird Place: drinking soda leads to dramatic increases in fat buildup around your liver and your skeletal muscles, both of which can contribute to insulin resistance and diabetes.

2. Diet-Soda Belly: Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two regular/diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion!

bottom line: Gross, stop drinking it.

Lesson #2 – Skin Care. I’m a creature of habit and once I’m locked into one I generally stick to it, this habit I will NOT need to break. Growing up in Miami you see some GORGEOUS women with GORGEOUS skin and then you see some gorgeous women with HORRENDOUS skin, they definitely didn’t have a routine. Clearly the beautiful South Florida sun rings a bell for those of us lucky enough to live there and you Wisconsin folk may say, “psh I don’t need to worry about this said ‘sun'” but yes, ladies and gentlemen we all do. If you can afford facials you can get this information from your esthetician about what works best for you but even if you can’t afford getting a facial every other month some of the products below should be STAPLE items in your daily routine.

Step 1: Exfoliate
Clarisonic
My go to is Clarisonic… many companies have come out with similar products for as low as $30 and they all essentially do the same thing. For best results you should use this two times a day; in the morning to create a clean canvas for moisturizer and make up and at night with a cleanser to remove make up and prepare for your nightly routine. Observe how it breaks down make up 6x better than just using make up remover, helps improve the appearance of skin tone, texture, elasticity and firmness in mature skin and makes skin look and feel softer, smoother and healthier looking.

Residue from manual makeup remover:

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The glorious makeup breakup with Clarisonic:

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My morning routine then continues with this delicious toner that I got in the British Virgin Islands, but you can find here in America!
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It’s Epicuren’s Protein Mist Enzyme Activated Toner – A unique spray containing natural organic surfactants which enable its enzymes, proteins and vitamins to penetrate through the skins natural surface tension. It’s ~ $24 (& smells delicious!)

I then add a product that was recommended for my skin type – an antioxidant made by SkinCeuticals- they have great products.
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Antioxidants are important because they help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging, acne and skin cell damage…so get some.

After the toner & antioxidant serum have completely dried, before make up, I moisturize (VERY IMPORTANT FOR GREAT SKIN!!)…always purchase a moisturizer that has SPF in it!!
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I strongly believe in Bobbi Brown products because they work very well with my skin (visit a higher end retail store’s makeup counter and ask someone to walk you through which products may be best for your skin).

Go ahead – now you can put on your make up, enjoy your day, come home and let’s get started with the nightly routine.

Step 1: Clarisonic

Step 2: I use a intense line defense serum from SkinCeuticals
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this refreshing treatment hydrates the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Step 3: Once your skin is dry its time to moisturize again! Night time is also the time to help out those under eye bags/sags/future sags… so get some under eye cream separately – the eye skin is EXTREMELY delicate in comparison to the rest of your face and it should be treated that way! I use these two Bobbi Brown night time moisturizers.
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Hydrating Eye: this cream leaves the eye area soft, smooth and refreshed for HOURS!
Hydrating Gel Face Moisturizer: Tropical Grass Extract hydrates instantly and increases the skin’s natural ability to hold on to moisture. Vitamin E provides anti-oxidant protection against environmental damage.

Once a week I do a mask, I do not have a preference yet of which mask I swear by… but this one is good.
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It’s description: Natural vitamins and mineral-rich extracts even out skin tone, gently soothing and refining, helping to remove dead skin cells and erase the effects of environmental debris. A blend of vitamin A and citrus peel extract works to leave skin brighter and more radiant.

THAT is my routine! Seems daunting but once you do it and see the results – it’s worth it! The proof is in the pudding.

Working From Home

When we first heard we were moving to North Carolina I decided to start my own PR/Social Media/Marketing Firm, The Manley Group. (Visit us @ www.themanleygroup.com) I decided that the third bedroom in our home would become my office for one of two reasons; 1. I refuse to pay for an office space in a building – its entirely unnecessary in this day and age! 2. The second guest room in our house is ‘special’. The owner of the home had it painted as an underwater scene… observe….photo 4photo 3photo 1photo 2so that’s the office… because we don’t have a small child who would enjoy this under water scene… aside from my husband Christopher…. we decided its best suited as an office. Working from home has been great thus far, aside from not having a desk yet. My coworkers are nice, they’ve welcomed me, we’ve got a security  guard, a dishwasher and some ‘working over your shoulder’ types. They’re pretty funny too. Take a look:

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