A Mom’s Secret Weapon to Looking Human

Self tanner is my #1 secret to looking awake… or really just alive! I put it on my face/neck/chest and arms once a week during winter AND summer. The only thing I do differently during summer is that I use a self tanner that’s a bit darker and less moisturizing. My favorite time to apply is about an hour before bed, and I throw on an oversized tshirt—please don’t wear your favorite Victoria’s Secret pjs! Staining sometimes happens.

There are many great brands out there… and there are many not so great ones. In MY opinion, Neutrogena is by far the worst when it comes to color and fading/wearing off. The color tends to be on the more orange side. Even with the perfect application of any of the Neutrogena self tanning lotion/gel/mousse/spray there are streaks. When it starts wearing off it falls off in scales and you end up looking like a reptile as opposed to fading evenly. L’Oreal is a little better when it comes to application due to a better color guard, but it wears off the same way. The best of the drugstore brands that I have found is Banana Boat. Specifically, Banana Boat Sunless Summer Tanning Lotion. I use the light/med in the winter and deep dark in the summer. Sorta a drugstore brand but not really is Ulta’s Sunless tanning continuous spray. It’s under $10 and there are often BOGO offers AND it’s AMAZING!!! It has the perfect color and fades evenly and is a breeze to apply!! If I’m feeling blah in the morning and haven’t used sunless tanner in awhile I will spray this on my face (hold about 12-20in away so it applies evenly) and proceed to get ready–doing my makeup last and using a mineral foundation as you don’t want to rub your face. The tan will develop within a couple hours and adds a beautiful glow under your makeup. You’ll walk by a mirror in the afternoon and go “Wow! I look like a million bucks!”
Also, another tip that will save you a lot of frustration—many people have trouble with their hands/wrists. Well after suffering from years of orange wrists/spotted fingers/brown palms—I have figured out the perfect, easiest technique! Apply the self tanner and skip your hands and about 2-3in of your wrists. Scrub your hands front AND back really well. Regardless of whether you used a mousse/lotion, etc. ALWAYS use a mist spray like Ulta’s Sunless Continuous Spray on your wrists/hands. Don’t worry about the brands being the same or color matching perfectly— just spray/lightly mist the tops of your hands and undersides of your wrists allowing the mist to also spray on the forearm and underside of your arm… it will all blend in so don’t worry, just be sure not to spray your palms because with this technique you do not want to wash your hands after. I have tried using mitts/latex gloves, etc. and I would always end up with funny looking fingers/wrists. This way has been super easy and the most effective at creating a flawless look.

Sunless tanning..."must-have" tools!!

The Top 10 Reasons I am Jealous of Lady Mary of Downton Abbey

Lady Mary employs a fulltime nanny and can skip off to tea or go horseback riding without making plans weeks in advance and then worry about the sitter not showing.

Lady Mary can eat slowly–enjoying every bite of tarte or quiche. Babies and children at the Grantham dinner table?? I think not!

Lady Mary doesn’t need to go thru the exhausting & downright painful ‘shopping for clothes after baby experience’. She doesn’t need to squirm her way into the size 4 jeans while trying to avoid that woman in the dressing room mirror or worry about the cut being too low and looking like a teenybopper. Her outfits are carefully selected, custom made or tailored perfectly to her lithe figure–and if she did indulge in an extra slice of pie–there are industrial strength corsets and someone to tighten them to her 18″ waist—at her beck and call.

Lady Mary lives in a 50,000sq ft house with well over 100 rooms— plenty of places to hide from children…. and husbands for that matter!

“I just want to be left alone to read my book!!!”

Lady Mary has the most perfect complexion that I have ever seen. A natural beauty with flawless, ethereal pale skin. If I went that pale—I would be thrown in the morgue. She can pull it off. I could not.

Lady Mary doesn’t have to spend an hour straightening her hair with her arms going stiff to get her locks polished and regal looking. She has Anna, her personal maid.

Lady Mary doesn’t clean, yet her house (ahem… castle) is spotless, and she can lounge around without guilt.

Lady Mary doesn’t have the distraction of technology/cell phones getting in the way of having genuine adult conversations…especially with the men as they hang on her every word!

Lady Mary has an incredible, out-of-this-world library. Not like she uses it but just to have it available to her! *drool*

Lady Mary doesn’t have to be woken up by a child staring at her and asking repeatedly for chocolate milk…. seriously… repeatedly. A broken record.

The Tummy Tuck Adventures Part 1

I hate the name ‘tummy tuck’. Just looking at it screams ‘self-absorbed’, ‘self-centered’, ‘shallow’. The name abdominoplasty just sounds better to my ears. I think it has to do with the guilt I feel for wanting this procedure done when it is not absolutely necessary. It’s elective. I wonder if other mothers who have had this procedure done or those that have just danced the idea around in their heads have had similar thoughts. Well I am shoving those thoughts down the garbage disposal and am going thru with it. For 2yrs (Well actually longer than that as when I was pregnant with the twins I could physically feel my stomach muscles be ripped apart and see the stretching of the skin with my eyes.) I have dreamed of having my stomach put back together again. I’m not concerned with my weight. I believe weight comes off with proper diet and exercise… period. I’m 5’3 and weigh between 120-126lbs…yes I could stand to lose another 10lbs but that just comes down to my lack of consistency in exercise… no excuses there! However, exercise cannot repair my stomach or take off the extra skin sagging above my pubic bone area.

After the twins were born via C-section (No choice there due to Kate being breech!)—- my abdominal region was literally destroyed. Diastasis recti, where the muscle of the abdominal region separate was moderate to severe, and the lose skin was definitely there. At this point I need to add my husband always, to my annoyance, says ‘Be proud! You carried twins–4 kids in there! How could you think that gross?’ Um… this makes me want to scream and or cry. Ok, maybe I shouldn’t think it gross or be so self conscious about it, but I. AM. If that makes me shallow and a bad person so be it! I can’t help it. I wish I could put him in my head, he just doesn’t understand. Do men understand? Can they understand?

So, where am I at in the process of having my long awaited abdominoplasty? I am at the very beginning. I just had my consultation yesterday. Talk about feeling embarrassed, try having a Dr. view your most self conscious area of your body— studying, prodding, measuring, pushing. Ugh. I kept reminding myself ‘he does it all the time–breathe’…’ he has seen much worse–breathe’. After that was done, I received the consultation quote for the procedure, including hospital fees. $7600.00. Yes, $7600.00. Breathe. No, insurance doesn’t cover it, and no, you can’t use funds from your HSA. Double ugh. I am looking into the payment plans and the Care Card and discussing dates with the husband–as he would have to take off a few days to help out at home. Yes, when I do get it done, before and after pictures will be posted.

To be continued….