What’s in Your Anti-Aging Arsenal?

For the record, I received product from Valentia Skin Care to facilitate this review. All opinions are entirely my own based on my personal experience with this product.

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Let me just put this out there, I spend a lot of money on my face. A LOT. In an attempt to maintain a youthful appearance, I literally have an arsenal of products that I use daily or weekly. The island climate can be rough on my skin so I have to work extra diligently to defy the signs of aging. Recently, I’ve added Valentia Even Glow Serum to my arsenal which already consists of wrinkle creams, anti-aging concealer, sunblock, teeth whiteners, lengthening mascaras, lip plumpers, and many more products. If I have all of that other stuff, why would I need more, right? Well, honestly, you can never have enough stuff, and I’ve found that no one product works on everything that I need to address.

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The Valencia Even Glow Serum is strategically formulated with powerful natural ingredients to support and enhance Vitamin C efficacy. This antioxidant treatment serves to brighten, protect, and even skin tone to reduce the appearance of aging. It helps to increase your skin’s glow and radiance, absorbs quickly, boosts collagen production, and reduces fine lines and wrinkles. Please take note that I said FINE lines and wrinkles. If you need to take care of deep wrinkles, might I suggest shots in your face? But that’s another topic.

I’ve been using this product daily for about 2 weeks now, and I’ve noticed a difference. My skin is definitely softer and has a softer appearance. Although uneven skin tone has never been a huge issue for me, it has helped with the little bit of an issue that I have there. I’ve also seen a decease in the fine lines around my mouth and cheeks (dang it, I need to stop smiling so much). It’s simple to use. Just wash your face, apply a small amount to face and neck, allow to dry, then apply your favorite moisturizer. You’re done.

The product retails for $35 and it seems like this one bottle will last me FOR-EVER. It’s available on Amazon and totally worth the investment in my opinion. Especially considering all of the other money I dump in my face. This is a great deal!

Valentia Even Glow Serum, beauty products, anti-aging products

Do I look 20? Of course not, silly. I’m more than twice that. Does anyone ever guess my real age? Nope, and I’ll take that. I can still hang with my 30-something husband and feel comfortable that people don’t realize we’re ten years apart. That’s a tall order and Valentia Skin Care is helping me with my mission. So what are you waiting for? Want to look younger too? Then click on over to Amazon and place your order today! Plus, you’re welcome.

Daddies, don’t tell your daughter she’s pretty. Period.

Growing up, my dad always introduced me as the pretty one. Period.

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The Thompsons 1970 – L to R: Christy, Vicki, Cathy, Elsie (mom), and Ron (dad)

My sisters were pretty, but they had other attributes he chose to point out when introducing them to friends and business colleagues.

Meet my oldest daughter, Cathy. She’s so sharp. She’ll be an architect, an accountant, or a lawyer some day.

Meet Vicki, my middle daughter. She’s a natural born leader and very intelligent. She’ll be a teacher and make a difference in this world when she grows up.

Meet Christy, my baby, she’s so pretty. Period.

That’s all I ever got. Pretty. Period. It stuck with me my whole life and that label, that concept, has probably, in some way, been transferred into the minds of my own girls. Period.

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders - Look Ma, I'm up top - no hands - aren't I pretty?

Pal-Mac Varsity Football Cheerleaders – Look Ma, I’m up top – no hands – aren’t I pretty?

My whole life, I’ve been consumed with “pretty”. I was afforded all of my opportunities because I was pretty. Period. There could be no other answer. In high school, I made the cheerleading squad. I was captain in fact. It was obviously because I was pretty. Period.

I got good grades in high school and college. I’m sure it was because I was pretty. Period. Pretty people always get everything handed to them. Period.

Milliken Associate of the Year 1996.jpg

In my 20s, I got jobs, when there were countless applicants, because I was pretty. I wasn’t the smart one. I certainly wasn’t cut out to change the world. I was just pretty. Period. And people admired that and they gave me all of the opportunities I was afforded because of that. Period.

Surely, I never got anything based on my merits. I couldn’t. I was pretty. Period.

I’m pretty, I’m thin, I’m nice, and GOSH DARN IT…people like me. That’s my life’s platform. I’m afraid that’s what I instilled in my girls. Because…pretty. Period. That thin thing often brings up talk of  Body Dysmorphic Disorder amongst my pretty (not-so-period) friends. I’m taken aback, but I get it. 

My oldest daughter is thin as a rail, and she’s pretty. My second daughter is struggling with her weight since the birth of her daughter, but by God, she’s pretty. My 7-year-old daughter is basically a stick, but she talks about the fat content in her food despite my constant insistence that she allows me to “worry” about her health while she just enjoys her youth. It’s not pretty. Period.

my babies

You see, I don’t want her, or any of them, to worry or stress like I did. My dad, my high school boyfriend (4 long years), and my 1st husband (10 long years) reminded me how important it was that I was thin and pretty. Period. That lead me to years of binging and purging, anorexia and bulimia, that not many people know about. But I was pretty! Period.

It’s a life-long lineage that stemmed from the fact that my dad said I was pretty. Period. Constantly.

As I look back on my life now, at all of my accomplishments, at all of the jobs I’ve secured, at the financially-secure place I am at now, I realize that it wasn’t “pretty” that got me here. Period. Sure, I might have gotten my foot in the door when I was 20 because I was “prettier” than another candidate, but it wasn’t because I was pretty. Period. I got those jobs, those opportunities, because I was pretty intelligent, pretty charming, pretty entertaining, pretty convincing, pretty funny, and pretty damned amazing. Period.

I’m 47 now and “pretty” doesn’t get me far in life anymore. I get me far in life. I always have. Period. The inside of me is so much more powerful than “pretty” and that’s what I want to pass on to my daughters. Even though I’m sagging, my abs will never be what they once were, I’m still pretty. Period.

So, a message to my dad, and to all of the dads (and moms) out there, please don’t just continue to tell your daughters they’re pretty. Period. Don’t ever end pretty with that period. Instead, say, hey baby, you’re pretty amazing. You’re pretty intelligent. You’re a pretty good reader. You’re pretty intuitive. You’re a pretty great family member, friend, and an all around great person. In fact, you’re pretty good at EVERYTHING you do. Period.

Serve your daughters well. We struggle with pretty enough. Please don’t make us think that is the be all and end all of life. We won’t stay pretty, young, and thin forever. We just can’t. Period.

And I’ve finally accepted, despite what I’ve heard my whole life, that I’m pretty freaking amazing. Not just pretty. Period.

8 On-The-Go Summer Essentials for Moms

For the record, I’m sharing these 8 summer essentials for moms on the go (hey, that’s me) as part of a sponsored post for Poise Microliner through Socialstars. #PoisewithSAM

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So, you’re a mom on the go like me, huh? We’re always heading to the pool, or to the beach, or off on a bike ride, or some other family adventure, especially in the summertime, and it’s important for moms to be prepared for anything, and everything! We need to make sure we have everything the kids need. We need to make sure to have everything the husband needs. Everyone will need to be fed if you’re out all day. But what about mom? We need to be prepared too. And let’s face it, as moms, we have issues. No, I’m not talking emotional scars here. I’m talking “mom” stuff. You know, the stuff that happens to us after we become moms and begin to age a little? Yes, that stuff. It’s not pretty, but it’s a fact of life and when we’re out in the elements, all day long, we need to be prepared. Yes, I do mean the damage the sun can do to our drooping (OK, mine, maybe not yours) faces, and oh heck, I’ll say it, loss of control of some of our functions thanks to the minions. Yes, LBL (light bladder leakage). I’ve already explained that. Being prepared for anything is key!

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One of my family’s favorite outings is bike riding. It’s a huge deal for us and it’s a full day’s event. We need to be prepared. So while B is prepping our bike, or as I like to call it, #GossettBusComingThrough, I’m prepping everything else inside to ready us for the day. He gets the tools for the actual bike (can’t have a low tire, can’t be without seat adjusters, etc.), but I get our “tools” ready for the day. Here are my top 8 essentials for a great family day of bike-riding fun!

bike riding essentials, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage, Galveston

1. Sunglasses for everyone.

The sun is BRIGHT here, y’all. I mean super bright and all of these blue eyes are very sensitive to the sun. We need sunglasses to keep our eyes safe, free of squinting, and in the cases of my “boys”, no sneezing. Seriously, they both sneeze every time their eyes hit the sun. We can’t have that, so I’m always prepared with sunglasses for all.

#PoisewithSAM, Poise Microliners, LBL, light bladder leakage, bike riding essentials for moms

2. Sunscreen.

Like I said, our sun is bright, and HOT. We need to protect all of our skin all day long with a good sunblock. Bubby and B are fair and Bug and I tan with a quickness. Neither is great for our skin (especially mine because, well…wrinkles), so we need to be prepared. We spray down before we leave, and I bring the spray along to reapply throughout the day.

3. A picnic lunch.

When you ride a bike all day long, you get a little hungry. Even though we just do leisurely bike rides (hey I’m not trying to race or anything), it’s still exercise and we get hungry. Stopping at restaurants along the way can get expensive, so I’m always sure to pack a nice picnic lunch and we plan a family-friendly stop along the way. This week, it was a fun park with a little water splashing action. Sandwiches are always best because you can pack light and everyone feels satisfied.

4. Bottled water.

This is a HUGE deal. You need to stay hydrated in all of that hot summer sun, especially for something like a bike ride. You don’t want anyone getting dehydrated, so tossing some bottled water in that cooler/picnic basket is essential.

5. Bug spray.

Mosquitos are BAD here y’all, and they’re demon mosquitos at that. We spray down before we go, and we’re sure to bring more to reapply as necessary. Seriously, the mosquito should be our national bird. HUGE, I tell ya, just huge, and demonic.

6. Cell phone.

OK, for me, this is a biggy for many reasons. First, you’re out and about and something could happen so you’ll need a charged phone in case you need to make a call (might I also suggest a portable charger just in case?). Second, photo opps of course. You don’t want to lug around your big camera, but you still want to capture those fun moments, right? Last, ummm, how else would I post all of the fun on my social media if I forgot it? Right. Never go anywhere without your cell phone!

Poise, bike riding, Galveston, LBL, light bladder leakage

7. The bike.

Well, you can’t go on a bike ride without the bikes of course. Or in our case, one big, extremely long, bike for the entire family. Once he’s done assembling, and I’m done prepping, we’re ready to go and I know that we’ll all be safe and completely ready for a full day of fun!

8. Poise Microliners

But I almost forgot about me. About the LBL. Moms always forget to take care of themselves. But this time, I was prepared and I’ve been prepared all summer. Thanks to Poise Microliners, I haven’t had to worry about embarrassments or walks of shame. Just because pooping out 4 kids has done some things to my body that I don’t care to admit all of the time, that doesn’t stop me from having fun. I just plop a microliner in my panties and don’t worry if I can’t quite make it to the next port-o-potty because I know these thin (seriously, you can’t even tell that they’re there) pads will protect me, just in case. If you’d like to try them for yourself, you can. For free!

Galveston, bike riding, Poise, LBL, light bladder leakage

Another successful weekend for our family, without incident, and fully prepared. This OCD comes in handy sometimes. Plus it keeps me feeling protected, protective, young, and prepared for anything. Are you ready when you head out of the house this summer? Don’t worry about the little things, and don’t you dare worry about embarrassment just because mommy issues have you wondering if you should stay at home. LBL is a thing, y’all, and you aren’t alone. 1 in 3 women have issues with light bladder leakage. It’s just a thing. Put Poise on your list and you’ll never have to worry again!