Saturday, January 29, 2011

Why I LOVE Groupon (and the like) and How it is Helping Me on My Path

So I've been pretty clear that I'm turning my focus on me and I've mentioned that I simply adore all the deal websites that have popped up in the past year or so. I don't work for these websites, but I definitely promote them to friends and family because I don't feel like it needs to be my beauty secret. Why not share the love?

A few years ago, I thought my single, free wheeling days of facials once a month, body scrubs now and then, shiatsu massages - I thought I was done with all that now that I had my family. For one, I've been pregnant or nursing off and on for the past 6.5 years! I have a 1 year old, a 3 year old and a 5.5 year old so I've been in baby making/rearing mode with my body and you don't put glycolics and other acids on your skin when you have another person to think about. For two, it's hard to leave little ones with unpredictable schedules in someone else's care. As they get older, it's easier for me to leave them with sitters or family. Of course as they got more numerous, it gets trickier again! And the last point is, that stuff is really expensive and it all adds up. I felt like I didn't want to spend tons of money on my face and body when I could be using it towards something that the whole family could use.

Enter: I'm done having kiddos and I'm done nursing, I have two in preschool and my one only naps once a day and is eating all adult food now, and the multiple coupon websites that are bringing spas to a way more affordable place.

It's ridiculous what you can get out there! I have already had microdermabrasion ($50 instead of $125) and purchased a 3 pack of laser hair removal ($99 instead of $750!) and a mani/pedi ($29 instead of $60). I have been waxing my bikini line for years and pay $35-$65 every month or so a pop. Never in a million years did I think I'd be able to afford Laser - this was brought to me by Eversave. These discounts are my partners in getting my face/skin and beauty regimen back in line. If this had been a few years ago, I'd never have gotten started with the medi spas. I'll keep you posted as I see/do more.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blizzard Blog Hop AND Fun Weekend Blog Hop

Blizzard  Bloghop 2010 hosted by Household 6 Diva


I'm new to blogging and this sounded like fun so I thought I'd participate! Seeing as how I'm number 175 on the list for the Blizzard Blog Hop, and number 11 on the list for the Fun Weekend Blog Hop let's see how far this takes me! Can I even do two blog hops at once? I hope I'm following the rules! Just be gentle, I'm trying to find like minded friends to follow. So welcome to any stragglers from the Blog Hops! I hope I'm doing this right and I'm happy to incorporate any feedback you have for me.

My name is Sydney, I'm the mother of a 5 year old boy, 3 year old boy and 13 month old girl but my story does not end with children. I'm approaching 35 and I'm taking on some long forgotten goals of bettering myself- inside and out. Exercise, weight loss, skin care, new reading material - they are all part of the master plan of my becoming the well rounded person I want to be. If I just hang my hat on the title mommy, in about 16 years, I'm going to have a rude awakening, and I know it.

Another Snow Day. ANOTHER SNOW DAY

How the hell am I supposed to be better in my thirties if I can't get out to my exercise class to work out? I love my three kids. I love them and am devoted to them and that's why I stay home with them. But sometimes, I need that few hours in the morning with just one (see how I am not evening talking about being ALONE? I'd settle for just being with the toddler!) so that I can get out and do a few things. Exercise, run an errand, anything!

Speaking of getting out and doing a few things (which is a pipe dream) I really need to make my nails a priority. The women and mothers I see out there who are put together looking usually have really nice looking nails as well. Even if I don't get regular manicures, I need to at least file and buff my own nails more often.  I can afford in both time and money to get manicures about once a month, but I'd like to do regular up keep as well. Hmmmm. Any suggestions for a DIY manicure kit?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Know I Want to Be Better in My Thirties But Sometimes...

Sometimes I just want to eat the whole box of that damn Cracklin' Oat Bran Cereal that I just picked up for my kids. If you've ever tried this stuff you understand that they should leave off the rest and just call it Crack. It's like little oatmeal cookies and it's good straight out of the box or soaked with milk. You know it's good stuff when you pick up the small box and it's two times heavier than the box of Cheerios you picked up to mix with it. Anyway, here is my tale of woe: Starting to come down with a cold, couldn't make it to BabyBootCamp today because I had a doctor's appointment, my Mr. BIMT left for a business trip and we are getting ANOTHER snow storm. That means no preschool tomorrow, no husband to help out, no exercising for me and I should probably eat the cereal. But I won't. But I want to. But I AM wearing workout clothes just so I could be the cliche stay at home mom who runs around in yoga wear but DOESN'T GO TO YOGA. Blech. Why don't you help me out and tell me what motivates you? How can I get my attitude back where it should be?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dermatology Visit AKA Trying to sell me $300 Worth of Products for $600 AKA My Visit to Dermatology Partners inc PART 2

Before I get in to the actual recommendations from the fancy Derm's office, you should probably have a better idea of what condition my face is in. I don't really have tons of wrinkles, just the smile parentheses around my mouth. My eyes are a touch droopier and I may have the beginnings of faint crows feet. Nothing outrageous... I swear! I do however, have freckles and sun spots that come with bringing your children to Morse's Pond all summer in order for them to learn to swim. (see how I blamed my skin on the kids?) I do usually wear a hat in the sun and sunblock and haven't tanned for many, many years. The first thing Luba laid on me is that everyday I needed the following (I'm posting them in no particular order but there is a definite science to the whens and wheres of how you put this stuff on) TNS Essential Serum which everyone has to have. Everyone. And it could have been mine for $250. I linked to the regular priced one in case you don't believe me. That's only ONE preventative product and I'm already $250 bucks in the hole. I also needed the Dermalogica Exfoliant every day (they call it daily microfoliant). I needed a moisturizer but for this I could use a drug store brand that I already use, Cerave PM or she said anything in the  RoC Line would do. She was starting to smell what I was cooking regarding budget. She said I needed a daily sunblock because of the exfoliation of all the products that I would be using. And I was recommended Elta MD SPF 41 for $30. I needed an eye cream but she told me to get a ROC one with retanoids and I bought this one: RoC Retinol Correxion Eye Cream, 0.5-Ounce Tube. I'm. Not. Done. I also needed a Retanoid Cream at night (Retanoids are OTC versus their friends Retinols that are prescription only. She gave me a sample of SkinCeuticals Retinol  and she told me I needed a night cream with strong glycolics, Vivite Night Renewal. She in fact told me that the glycolic is the must have product that I needed more than anything else. And from their office it was $75. I forgot! I needed one more serum for the morning: Skinceuticals Phloretin CF, $152.

And that's it. I didn't mention the daily wash, but you know it was in there. I didn't buy anything other than the $75 must have and went home sad. I realized that I was going to lose my face and continue looking like crap unless we invested an amount that would equal to a family vacation in my skin care. And you know what I listed isn't it for the year, I'd have to replenish in a few month. Depressing. Until I came home and did a few web searches and realized that Amazon was more of a friend to me than Luba.  I found almost everything at Amazon for MUCH less than what my schmancy consultant wanted to charge me. Example: The Vivite Night Cream in their office was $75. When I found it on Amazon for $40, I went right back to Luba and returned it. $35 difference? Really? I bought almost all of it online other than the TNS. I'll post reviews in the next few weeks.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dermatology Visit AKA Trying to sell me $300 Worth of Products for $600 AKA My Visit to Dermatology Partners inc PART 1

I have a friend who swears by her derm for all sorts of peels, fillers and of course botox. I didn't want anything extreme, but after years of doing almost no skin maintenance because of being afraid of the chemical impact in my pregnancies, I was read to hit the hard stuff. I made an appointment at Dermatology Partners Inc in Wellesley, MA. This is supposed to be a fancy derm office to fancy clientle. Looking for skin cancer or curing your rash is not what these people are known for - this is where you go if you are ready to try to turn back the hands of time and have deep pockets to support the venture. I couldn't make an appointment with the head doc, Ruth Tedaldi, so I went with the receptionist's suggestion and met with Dr. Lunder. Dr. Lunder is in her 40's and seemed to be rather cool and unfriendly, until I realized that she'd been hitting the botox in her own office and facial expressions were a bit of a challenge for her. She did a quick skin check on me and then handed me over to Luba. Luba is the head aesthtician who took a look at me and realized that today is not the day she'll finally be able to buy that vacation property on the Cape. In any event she made a bunch of recommendations to me that totalled in somewhere around $1000. I then proceeded to ask her what was MUST have and what I could do without and what I could buy from CVS that would be a good approximation. She told me that for my sensitive but soon to be aging skin, I needed a lot of preventative product and I needed to exfoliate EVERY damn morning. My son just woke up from his nap, so I will continue this later!

Book Club, Books for Fun, Books that are NOT What to Expect When You are Expecting

I'm not just trying to change my appearance, I'm also trying to work on the inside. I don't want to be all about babies/children all the time. I'm working on getting some new hobbies that don't involve researching the next best stroller or feeding apparatus. Don't you sometimes get so sick of just being baby, baby, baby all the time? It makes me feel so boring. Anyway, I reached out to a group of women I know to start a book club. We've met several times all ready and our list thus far has been Freedom: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club) by Jonathan Franzen, Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague by Geraldine Brooks and we're on City of Thieves: A Novel by David Benioff. I have to say, our theme has been a bit of a downer. I'm looking out for books that are not as drama filled because sometimes you need to read something that makes you feel better - not worse. Every time I read some of Freedom, I felt like picking a fight with my husband. It's that kind of book. On the side, I read all the The Twilight Saga Collection (I had to catch up!) and I'm working my way through The Sookie Stackhouse Series  (True Blood on HBO is loosely based on this). Any other book recommendations?