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.

anti-aging products. Valentia  Even Glow Serum, anti-aging, aging with grace, beauty products

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.

Valentia, Even Glow Serum, anti-aging, aging with grace, fabulous and 40, beauty products

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.

EPSON scanner image

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.

DIY Orange Sea Salt Scrub

This post may contain affiliate links, but all opinions, ideas, and photos are entirely my own.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts, orange scented bath salts

When I was in Arkansas for a recent conference, they had the most amazing sea salt scrub in all of the bathrooms at the hotel. Let’s face it folks, I don’t get out much, so I’m not overly accustomed to this sort of thing. Then B took us (yes, all of us) out for our 11th anniversary last week, and a sea salt scrub was awaiting me in the restaurant bathroom too. Bug and I washed our hands, used this scrub, and talked about how wonderful it was. Then I saw a post by my friend, Censie from Building Our Story, and she shared how easy it was to make her Lavender Vanilla Scrub at home.

I had a plan. You might have guessed by now that it involved sea salt and some super soft hands. You might (OK, you were) have been right.

DIY orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, bath salts

I wanted this stuff in my house. I wanted my guests to feel as special as I do every time I step into a bathroom with this hand-softening magic. She made it look SO easy. And guess what? It really is! I used Censie’s initial “recipe” and changed it up to fit my color and “flavor” preferences, and it was a huge hit with me, with Bug, and with my neighbors (more on that later).

DIY sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts

Want to make some for yourself?

What you’ll need:

  • Sealable glass or plastic container (I used mason jars)
  • 2 cups Epson salt
  • 2 cups course sea salt
  • 3 tbsp orange extract
  • 1/2 cup olive or coconut oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 5 drops red food coloring to give it the orange glow (this is optional and you should never use too much or your hands will show it).

DIY orange sea salt scrub, orange sea salt scrub, DIY bath salts
What you’ll do:

  • Mix the Epson salt and sea salt in a bowl. Make sure you get rid of any clumps.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the orange extract, coconut (or olive) oil, and food coloring together.
  • Pour the liquid mixture into the salt mixture and stir thoroughly.
  • Carefully put the mixed salts into a mason jar (or container of choice), and you’re done.

This stuff is ah-mazing and I use it every day. So does Bug. It’s great for making your guests feel special, it’s super easy, and it’s an awesome gift. We were invited to a cookout over the weekend and I brought a mason jar full to the hostess. She put it out on her bathroom sink and by the end of the night, every women in the place was asking if I sell it. It’s that delicious to your hands.

The possibilities are endless since there are so many scent and color combinations you can try. Who knew feeling this pampered could be this simple? Not me, until now anyway. Try it out for yourself and let me know what you think. Sure, you can buy this in the store, but I honestly think this DIY version is even better than the stuff I used in those hotels and high-dollar restaurants. My hands have never felt, or smelled, this good!