Want Great Skin At Any Age?

I’m often asked, how do I keep my skin looking fabulous? I had to think about it for a bit because what I’ve found works best on my skin isn’t an expensive cream or youth serum, acne solution, or wrinkle reducer. In fact, I’d like to attribute my youthful appearance to my olive complexion, Italian genes, and smart sun exposure. However, my beauty secret is much simpler – it’s great self-care: sleep, stress management, staying hydrated, good nutrition, exercise and using natural oils on my skin!

Yup, nothing has worked better on my skin than natural oils: coconut, olive, emu, avocado hemp and jojoba oils, to name a few! I know, I know, I used to think using oils on my skin was bad too, but it turns out, our skin is made up of oils and thrives on the nutrients provided by them. This is why these oils absorb quickly into the skin and don’t leave a greasy, shiny layer behind. Why would we want to work so hard to strip out of our skin the actual nutrients it needs to thrive?

I switched to natural skincare just about seven years ago now, and I’ve really liked how my skin looks and feels. With continued use, I began noticing a smooth, dewy appearance to my skin and wrinkles much less visible. (Yay for those of us over 40!!)


I recently performed a test against a well-known beauty line for two months to see if it could produce any differing results. Not only was it more expensive, but I hadn’t noticed any significant difference in my skin.

Just after two weeks of going back to the oils, I noticed the tone and texture of my skin improving once again. This was proof enough for me!

Today, there are numerous companies conveniently packaging products with all natural ingredients but price points vary. I’ve been using Dragonfly Traditions for over three years now and instantly fell in love with the product line!

It was a pleasure to meet Pheobe Collins face to face at Paleo Fx last year.

Pheobe is the owner of Dragonfly Traditions, a natural skincare line that’s not only effective but affordable!! My morning and evening skincare routines are simplified and I feel good about using natural products that are nature’s medicine on my skin. Products with no added chemicals, preservatives, additives, and especially, no endocrine disrupters. Click here for a list of each oil used, what it does for your skin and what use it’s best for.

You’ll find information on her website about how to use each of her handmade products as well as an included pamphlet with each purchase. I also LOVE that Pheobe makes herself available for any questions you may have – all you have to do is reach out!

I believe in this product so much that I’m proud to announce Inner Strength & Beauty has teamed with Dragonfly Traditions to be able to offer you a special discount code on every purchase!! Simply type in the discount code BEAUTY to receive 10% off every order!

AND… we are having a PRODUCT GIVEAWAY!!!! Pheobe has two amazing NEW products I’m absolutely crazy about – HB5 Serum Gel and Oil Cleansing Pads. We’re giving away one of these fabulous new products to two lucky winners drawn on June 1st!

To enter, simply place your Dragonfly Traditions order and your receipt will be automatically entered to win!

You can find a complete list of products here.

Summer will be here soon. Now’s a great time to get your skin clean, moisturized and prepped to soak in some Vitamin D from those sunny Summer rays. Be sure to also check out Pheobe’s great warm weather products: All Natural Bug Spray, All Natural Deodorant (which works amazingly!!) and her fantastic Lip Shimmer too.

Happy Shopping 🙂

Do you use oils on your skin? Have questions? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Ready To Improve Your Beauty Sleep?

There’s so much information about sleep on the internet. A wealth of knowledge at your fingertips, but do we use it? Do we change our habits to actually get enough sleep each night in our hustle and bustle world? Sadly, we don’t. Sleep tends to be the first thing we give up to make room for other things. I know, because I used to do that very thing! Continue reading “Ready To Improve Your Beauty Sleep?”

What Will I Do With My Life?

What will I do with my life…this is the big question isn’t it? I know it’s the question running through my beautiful daughter’s mind as she embraces leaving high school behind and searching for her future out into the real world. I’m proud she’s ready to make an impact on the world, even if she’s unsure of what direction life will take her.

Shouldn’t we always be striving to live a life full of betterment? I know I’ve asked myself this question time and again: “What will I do with my life?” I know I want to have an impact on people’s lives; to empower, encourage, inspire and excite people into living a life that is true to their heart, their dreams and their passions. Doesn’t matter to me if those I inspire are age 11 or 80, the more the merrier. The thing is, I think we should never stop asking ourselves this question, no matter our age. There’s always possibility of doing anything we put our mind too and searching for a way.

It’s important to strive to define ourselves as we find our place in the world. Maybe take our passions and find a way to make a good living from them; fulfilling the creativity and talent within us and inspiring others to do the same. With any luck, we can create a career worth waking up for each day and never feel like it’s work. A life not only full of memories, but full of people who’s lives we touched along the way.

I want my kids to live a life true to themselves. To really go for their dreams no matter how big, because they’ll never know what they can achieve without reaching for those dreams and trying. Through process of elimination or achievement they get to know themselves just a bit more. With each no, yes, or impossible task that seems out of reach,they begin to realize with each success their potential that lies within. Confidence takes hold. Soon, there are no impossible tasks, there’s only drive, determination and perseverance. Anyone can have this!

I’ve impressed upon my daughters to recognize the options they have in life by the choices they make. The choice to take action;to put energy into the things that fulfill them.

  • To take chances and not give up.
  • To avoid excuses because they only waste precious time.
  • To acknowledge that they will make mistakes and continue to teach them it’s what they learn from those mistakes that will shape who they’ll become.

I’ve encouraged them to embrace their creativity and vision. Those are gifts not everyone has and something the world needs more of! I’ve also encouraged them to not be discouraged when life gets confusing; the answers will come in time. I want them to plan to provide for themselves and not expect anyone else to do that because nothing in life is owed. I teach them too work hard and always look for solutions: create a solution for a problem instead of being the person with the problem. Lastly, never be afraid to be yourself, even of that isn’t the norm; individuality is so much more interesting than conforming to an ideal.

Why am I sharing all of this with you? It’s because far to often we settle. We settle in our careers, in our day to day lives. We become complacent and forget that we have dreams. We lose hope that we’ll ever make those dreams come true or worse, give up on ourselves. We forget to allow ourselves to reach further and far too often allow fear take hold instead of facing it head on.

I know this, because I was doing the same thing in my life until recent years. We lived through a series of life obstacles that changed our course. Without those obstacles, I’d never have developed the courage and insight to become who I am today and do the things I’m most passionate about. I don’t want that to happen to my daughters and I don’t want that to happen to you. I was reminded of these things as I watched this video.

My daughter, Sami created this video titled “The Future” as an expression of where she’s at in her life right now; a high school graduate with her undetermined future ahead of her. I feel it speaks to many of us, even long after high school. Can’t we all relate to figuring out how life’s going to fit together for us? We don’t have to merely exist, but that we can really make something our of our lives if we want too! All we need is the desire and drive to do so. In fact, I believe it’s half the battle!

I’m inspired to share her talent and passion with all of you. It’s not hard to see she has a knack for video editing; she loves the creativity, technicality and artistry of it and has a great eye! I couldn’t be prouder seeing her try something new, following her passion and searching for ways to discover not only an outlet for creativity, but find possible answers for her future.

To follow Sami or to check out more great videos, check out her Instagram link @samilaine3197 or find her on YouTube here. Keep an eye out for this up and comer as she develops her talent, knowledge, focus and direction and figures out how it all fits into her world of video production. I love that she wants to inspire other’s with her work, I know she inspires me every day!!!

This is a fantastic example of reaching for your dream, whatever that may be for you. Go achieve it!

So… what do you want to do with your life? Are you doing what you’re passionate about? There’s good news -it’s never too late to start! You can’t change the past, so learn to let go and work toward what you want in life, the world awaits!

You Are Never Too Old to…..

“You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream” C.S. Lewis

Isn’t that the truth!! I’ve spent the last few years really exploring what this quote means to me. Why is it that we reach a certain age and suddenly, we think we are too old to start something new? Obviously, this comes at a time when we are quite aware we are no longer in our twenties, perhaps even saying goodbye to our thirties. Yes, many of us may be parents who have enjoyed watching a decade or so through our children’s eyes.  Or others may think their time has come and gone for their dream because they didn’t act upon it when they were younger; but too old? Really?? What’s stopping you?

What is it that you dream about? What do you want to be doing that you haven’t yet done? Are you wishing for the time or making the time to reach your goal or do the things that resonate in your heart and soul? We are excellent at working, taking care of the house, yard, kids, finances – but are we spending time working on ourselves? What opportunities were missed today from not making the time to sit with a friend, or share a story, take a class, learn something new,or go for our dream? If we are waiting for tomorrow to come, when will it ever be here to write that book, take that class, change that career or start that business you’ve been dreaming of?

I was at the park with friends this week on a super warm 90 degree morning  I was there to try some Parkour movements and get outside my comfort zone. I could have passed because it was too darned hot, or because I was brand new, or because I was too nervous to try: but I didn’t!! I allowed myself one hour to experience something new, challenge my body, mind and even my spirit. It even inspired this post! If I didn’t make time for this new experience, I would have missed out on enjoying a morning outside, great camaraderie, succeeding at something new and a chance to learn a bit more about myself. My biggest struggle was allowing myself to dig in: accept the chance of falling or missing my target. Kind of like what we experience in life; taking that leap of faith toward a goal to fulfill a dream while trusting the unknown. It felt good to step outside that box and take that leap. No matter how old we get, there’s always room for something we love to do or want to try if we just make the time. To find time, we make the choice to make that time happen!

Writing is one of my dreams. I’ve always loved writing and I’ve visualized myself writing for as many years as I could remember. I’m still exploring what I want to write about, but my why is clear. I want to share with you experiences and circumstances that made a profound impact on my life. I’m sharing my passions and vulnerability;  allowing myself to be open to growth, experience new experiences and see where it takes me. I’m living my life with an appreciation for the nature of all things.Along the journey called my life, I’ve experienced greatness, loss, anger, happiness, excitement, disappointment, fear, and love. The highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Some of these have come easy, others with a price. Each of them, however, have been gifts. At least, I choose to see them that way. I believe we are who we are for having lived and experienced these life events. It’s with this appreciation that I strive to seek out my dreams. I’m working on leaving my doubt behind and putting myself out there. Stretching, growing and evolving into the future as, ME -no matter what age. The act of following my dreams and reaching for goals, pushes me to face fears and get uncomfortable. I know, I  know: no one likes to feel uncomfortable, but I think uncomfortable is essential for growth. I make time in my schedule for these things, I no longer wish for time.

By carving out time, I’m able to be a much better mother, wife, friend and business partner. I find it easier keeping up the house, laundry, cooking, caring for the family, and working when I have something to look forward too that I can call my very own. I prioritize my time for things that feed my soul: writing, workouts, walks, yoga, dance, time with friends. I challenge myself with something new from time to keep things interesting or make another dream into reality.  I’m also careful to say no to people and things that may drain my energy or over commit my time. This is my secret for finding my “me” time. Does this mean I never volunteer for parent help at gymnastics or drive on field trips at my daughters school? Nope. It just means I choose what works best for me. I choose to make sure I’m not over scheduled to do the things that bring me joy and keep me healthy and feeling my best first, instead of filling my life with “have to’s or should’s”.  (After all, we don’t want to “should” all over ourselves – do we?!)

So I’ll ask …are you making time to seek out your  dreams or do you find yourself wishing you have more time to (fill in the blank)?  When I hear the words “wish I had more time” or “I’ll try”, I often wonder, why – why do you not do the thing you love? Why do you not make time happen in your day for the things that bring you happiness? What changes can you make today to get you closer to that goal and make it happen? We are only on this earth for a very short while. Wouldn’t that time be well spent doing what we love and reaching for our dreams, so we can be the best version of ourselves? After all, you are never to old to start!

A Mother’s Letter For Graduation Day

Dear My Graduating Daughter:

The time has come, you’ve completed your high school journey and life awaits! The presence of the cap and gown in your room are symbolically marking the the countdown to the first days of the rest of your life. When you were born, graduation day seemed a million moons away. Today, I feel like we walked hand in hand with your first steps, read bedtime stories and played dress up just yesterday. Yet, over time, stories were replaced with homework, steps with keys to the car, and princess dress up with your impeccable fashion sense and beauty products.

I look at you and see a grown, beautiful, confident, young woman ready to begin her adventures in the world BUT I also see my baby, my little girl: a reflection of all my accomplishments and fears as a parent. I see a product of 17 years, hoping I’ve impressed upon you all that’s needed to succeed in this world. I continually scroll through my mind for anything I’ve forgotten to share with you so I can create a crash course with you before you graduate. Yet somehow, I know deep inside, you’re ready to figure out some things on your own. I see the same adventurous eyes in you now as I did when you were a child; the same bright, inquisitive, intelligent, independent, contemplating eyes.  As a mom, I have this impending feeling of goodbye even though we have a long life ahead with new adventures. Maybe that’s just “the letting go” I hear so much about these days.

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We’ve had endless talks about standing up for what’s right, making smart choices, having a voice, and staying true to yourself. Oh how proud I am of your integrity, your intelligence, your drive and compassion. How inspired I am in your creativity, vision, and style in all things. I absolutely love how the world looks through your eyes and I never want you to lose sight of that! It’s truly special and unique: build from it and allow yourself to soar. The world needs your thoughts, your perspectives, your talents and beliefs. Find what speaks to you most in this world and run to it, immerse yourself in it and build a life around it without fear.

I believe we are born with special gifts that are our responsibility to dig deep within ourselves to discover. A voice, a passion within to share with others in hope of appreciation, acceptance and inspiration. Your gift lives within your soul and beats within your heart. It’s expressed through your mind and seen through your eyes; creating, molding, developing and manifesting. Don’t be afraid of it as it’s a part of your spirit. Spend time getting to truly know yourself and what brings you joy, sadness, anger, love, compassion, strength – even fear so you can acknowledge and learn from those things throughout your life. Never look back on choices you make in wonder or regret because life’s a journey. All experiences will continue to mold you into the person you are and who you are meant to be at each phase of your life.

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Always remember that your extraordinary beauty on the outside is nothing compared to your inner strength and beauty within. As you accept that diploma on Graduation Day with happiness, excitement and even some butterflies in your stomach, know that I’m your biggest cheerleader, the one clapping and “woo-hooing” the loudest in the stands, with tears of pride, happiness and absolute love for you during this amazing milestone.  Remember, you’ll never be alone on your journey in life; I’ll be the voice in your head and your heart. You will always and forever be, my little girl.

Love forever,

Mommy