Stephanie Marxen, Avon Rep
Avon. Yes it's still around! I can remember my mom having Avon parties and being so excited about all the perfume and lipstick samples. Well, thanks to my Avon Lady, Stephanie you can still attend an Avon Customer Appreciation Open House every December. Stephanie offers a one stop shop Holiday Open House. Lots of Avon products to sample, smell and try on for size. Stephanie also has other handmade products from friends for you to browse. Of course no party is complete without delicious foods and cocktails.
My favorite thing to stock up on is LIP GLOSS. I love the Avon Lip Gloss. I have all the colors. I also thought it was perfect to get sample sizes for my daughter's stocking. Then I thought why not treat myself? So I decided to buy a beautiful heart necklace.
Thinking about unique holiday gifts? Check out Stephanie Marxen, Avon Rep! Shop now, get the ultimate invite around the holidays and pamper yourself!SMAC Approved!
Check out the hompage for a great AVON Giveaway!
Are you looking to replace your current daily facial cream to an all natural product? Well, then Repair and Protect: Sea Buckthorn Daytime Facial Cream by Sibu Beauty may be the answer for you! The Sea Buckthorn berry come from the Himalayan sea and contains over "190 bioactive compounds that help to restore, revitalize, and protect youthful beauty."
I used the product for about 3 weeks. The facial cream is light and does not feel heavy when you apply it to your face. After about a week, I definitely felt that my skin on my face had a softer feel and natural "glow."
Yet another plus is that my skin did not experience any acne breakouts. Sometimes I do experience this with other facial creams.
The only downfall about the cream was that it had an orange scent. The facial cream contains orange essential oils so it has a mild orange scent. I personally do not like facial creams that have a scent or would prefer an option to purchase an unscented facial cream.
*Full Disclosure: Social Moms Around Columbus was given this facial cream in exchange for a review-as always, opinions are our own.
Enter to win this facial cream on our Homepage!
Entrance to Woodhouse Day Spa in Dublin.
A few months ago, my sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate to Woodhouse Day Spa which is located in Historic Dublin. I had never heard about this place before so when I went to the website, the homepage said it voted "Best of 2012" by Columbus Monthly and Columbus Alive magazines. I knew I wanted to get a massage so I read about the variety of massages offered and settled on the "Woodhouse Escape." It includes a series of five treatments: a bamboo scrub, volcanic stone massage, neck, shoulder and scalp massage, followed by reflexology on the feet. I also wanted to get a pedicure, so I opted to try their organic sugar scrub pedicure.
Upon entry into the lobby, you are greeted by the staff at the reception desk, and seated by the fireplace. The first floor has various products for you to peruse through if you don't feel like sitting down and reading magazines. Then, a greeter arrives from the elevator (all beauty treatments are on the 2nd floor) to greet you and take you in the elevator. She asks if you would like something to drink-"coffee, wine, soda or champagne." Champagne? Why, yes of course! She then guides you to the women's changing area which has lockers, showers and bathrooms. She offers you a robe and key for your locker. Upon exiting the changing area in my robe, the greeter handed me a champagne glass and then I was led to the lounge/waiting area. In the waiting area, there was a fire place, cozy chairs, an infused water station and magazines. There were some women there also socializing with their friends too! (So jealous!)
Next, the massage technician arrived to whisk me away to the the massage room. She informs me that because of the series of treatments, she will perform bamboo scrub and hot stone by sections. i.e. legs, arms, back, front, etc. I have had scrubs before but this was first time having a volcanic stone massage. The stones initially go on hot and then as she starts gently gliding across your skin, you really feel like you have escaped to heaven!
After the scrub/hot stone massage, the technician then waves a lime oil in front of your nose. She then proceeds puts it on her hands as she starts massaging your neck, back and scalp. I have to say that the scalp massage was the best! This is where I really think I could have taken a nap with someone massaging my scalp. The zesty lime scent also made me feel that I was on tropical island rather than Ohio!
Lounge/wait room area with infused water station.
Once I came back to real world, I was then escorted back to the lounge/waiting room area. By that time, I had finished my champagne and went to get some water in the lounge area. The water was infused with oranges so it was quite refreshing! Then, the nail technician came greet me and take me to the pedicure room. The pedicure room had about 6 chairs and the women in there were all chatting it up with one another. She then asked me "Would you like something to drink-wine, beer or soda?" I said, "I didn't know you had wine here?" She said, "We have just about everything!" She then sat me down in the pedicure chair and I put my feet in the tub. The nail technician left and then returned with my glass of chardonnay! She started the sugar scrub on my legs and calluses on my feet. After she cleansed off the sugar scrub, the hot stones appeared again and she rubbed them on my legs. (Love the hot stones!) She finished off by polishing my toes in a pretty metallic amethyst color.
I really felt pampered at this place and would go back here. I would even make a "girls night out" with friends because it was so warm, inviting and best of all, relaxing!!
Bulging vein on my left leg.
For years, I have had these ugly bulging varicose veins on my legs (see left picture!) and I have wanted to get them removed. Several years ago, a doctor said they would have to strip my saphenous "dead" vein and the smaller veins around my left leg. Since, the saphenous vein was considered "medical" through insurance and the smaller veins were considered "cosmetic", I never followed through on getting this done.
Now fast forward to 2012! Lasers have helped to minimize downtime and incisions in the treatment of varicose veins. In January of 2012, I had my first consultation to discuss my options. They performed an ultrasound on both of my legs. The doctor advised that I would need two surgeries-one would be the laser procedure for closing the saphenous vein in my left leg. This procedure is called EVLT-Endovenous Laser Therapy
) The next surgery needed would be Microphlebectomy
-this is to make small incisions to veins that are just below the surface of the skin. The goal is to remove some of these veins so they are not bulging anymore.(http://www.theskincentermd.com/microphlebectomy-varicose-vein-treatment
) The doctor said I should do this procedure in both legs. I decided only to do the left leg because that was where the bulging vein is located. After the consultation, the Skin Center had to get approval from my insurance to perform the procedure. Both surgeries were considered medical. My insurance would cover the surgeries after I met my deductible.
In March, I went in for my first EVLT-Endovenous Laser Therapy surgery. I had an option to take the valium and have someone drive me back/forth from surgery or not to opt for the valium and drive myself. The doctor's office informed me that I would have 9 shots in my leg so that would be the only pain I would have through the surgery. I was also told to wear some loose pants or shorts so I could put them on after the procedure.
After I arrived, I put on a gown and took the valium. Then, I waited for 20 minutes for it to "kick in". The nurses then whisked me away to the surgery room-there were two nurses, a doctor and the ultrasound technologist. They were all happy when I arrived since they said my vein was easy to find-compared to the prior surgery that they had just completed. Then, the 9 shots were injected up and down my left leg. It hurt! Who likes needles!! After that they made a small incision in my left leg and put a small tube up my leg. The, they asked me if I felt the liquid in my leg and advise of the pain level on a scale of 1-5. I said it was about a 3 and they increased the pain meds. After that, I had to wait 9 minutes. The staff was very friendly as we talked about kids and politics during this time. The ultrasound technologist was monitoring my leg-she was working with the doctor to close the saphenous vein. Finally, they taped up the incision, wrapped my left leg in a bandage and told me not to take it off for 24 hours. I was also instructed to take ibuprofen every 4 hours to help minimize pain and swelling. Additional instructions, included wearing compression hose for 2 weeks and resting for the balance of the day. Next day, I was back to doing dishes, laundry, etc..lol!
Left leg after one month after EVLT surgery.
In March, I came back for my second surgery. This time I was given valium and demerol. (Again, someone else had to drive me back and forth to the surgery!) This was going to be the Microphlebectomy
surgery. Total time was about half hour for the surgery. I didn't look but there were many incisions involved. Afterward, incision were taped up and a bandage wrap around my left leg. Further instructions included: elevating my feet for 24 hours, taking ibuprofen every 4 hours, and wearing compression hose again for 2 weeks.
I just went back last week for my one month check up. I still have bumps across my legs-which the doctor said that would subside over time because my veins are still healing. (See pics below!) He said that in another few months, my leg should be healed. If not, I may have to have another Microphlebectomy
surgery. Let's hope that my leg heals in the next few months so I don't have to go back!!
In the end, I am glad I got this done because it has really been bothering me over the years looking at my unsightly bulging vein. The downtime was really minimal and there really wasn't a lot pain associated with both procedures.SMAC Approved!
Do you like my cluttered desk? My toes look fab though! I bought a Posh Nails Groupon and was all excited then noticed it was not for Posh Nail Bar but Posh Nail Studio. Posh Nail Studio has a Westerville address but is basically on the edge of New Albany. I made my appointment a few days before I had to attend a wedding. I thought, I have to have perfect toes because I was unsure what shoes I would find to go with my little black dress. Typical me I always wait until the last minute. I got off the highway and found Posh Nail Studio just minutes away from the exit in a very desolate strip mall. In fact, it's only Posh and a deli in the plaza. I went inside and there was a couple customers getting nail work done. I was promptly waited on and told to choose my polish. My first thought was neutral since I had no idea what color my shoes would be. I sat done at the pedicure chair and my tech, Lilly asked if I had a special occasion coming up. I told her a wedding and described my dress and that I still had to find colorful shoes. Lilly looked at my polish choices and said these colors will not work. She said I would look "back to the future or like a girl that hangs out on the corner". Wish I could have seen my face when she said this. Lilly went over and picked this deep purple (looks black) for my toes and a very neutral beige for my fingers. Both polishes had no shimmer. I was very skeptical and did not want to look like "goth chick". Lilly gave a great pedi and mani. As far as the studio, it was rather plain inside and was lacking music or a tv for their patrons. After leaving I went to DSW and found my shoes. Lilly was right this polish was perfect and very trendy right now. Thanks Lilly! SMAC Neutral http://www.poshnailstudio.net/
This is my second attempt in trying the at-home foam permanent haircolor. (Read about my first attempt. http://smacolumbus.weebly.com/4/post/2011/05/color-hair-foam-mona.html). I mixed the Number 1 bottle (liquid to mousse colorant) into the Number 2 (liquid to mousse developer) bottle. Then, attached the foaming pump to the Number 2 bottle and rotate it gently--do not shake it! Once you press the pump, the foam will dispense -you want it to dispense into the palm of your hand. Then, put directly on to your hair. The foam disappears once you apply to your hair. Once you have completely saturated your hair with the foam, you have to leave it on your hair for 30 minutes. After that, you rinse your haircolor out and use the Number 3 tube. (Healthy shine conditioner)
PROS: Easy to apply, no itchy scalp, the conditioner and nice fruity scent.
CONS: I am wondering if it is better to pump the foam directly onto the scalp. The directions say to pump it into your hand but with gray hair you need to apply it directly to your roots and then massage the color into it. When you apply the foam color into your palm, you are not necessarily getting the color to your roots. Also, 30 minutes is a long time for the haircolor to process. I like the hair color to process in 15 minutes or less.
Once again, this is where the traditional cream color is better for gray coverage. The traditional bottles have a pointed tip in which you apply the color directly to your roots and it give you the best coverage-on your roots and your hairline around your face. I am wondering if this product is better for women who don't have to cover their gray hair...so let me know what your thoughts are about this or other haircolor products!!
SMAC Not Approved! (For gray coverage!)
OK, so for a little while I got a little "Groupon Crazy" and was buying anything and everything! I purchased this Thai Yoga Massage way back in the spring and I had no idea what it was. (Way to to go with the impulse buying!) I figured...I like THAI food, I've taken a YOGA class and I love MASSAGES. So, why not BUY? The Thai Yoga Massage (TYM) was offered by Elizabeth Miller from Reden Yoga in Clintonville. I took my leisurely drive down High Street and I was enjoying the feel of the quaint homes in Clintonville. I actually forgot how much I loved this area of Columbus. Reden Yoga is in a corner brick building and was very neat and tidy upon entering. There was a nice waiting area on the main floor. The building is shared buy other tenants but it seemed well organized for the patrons. Elizabeth Miller came to the waiting area and greeted me and brought me upstairs to her massage studio. The "studio" is nothing elaborate like a Charles Penzone, but frankly that does not matter to me. The studio was basically a room with a mat, a small table and and a coat rack. Elizabeth and I sat on the floor and chatted before we began. Elizabeth explained that the Thai Yoga Massage was a "pull and release" method almost like a plunger. I had to mentally prepare myself to let all my thoughts go and let my body be a rag doll. This is harder than you think! I used my past experience with yoga by focusing on my breathing instead of what Elizabeth was doing with my body. After an hour of push/pull of limbs, back, neck and hips I was definitely a "rag doll". This was VERY DIFFERENT than your typical salon massage experience, but different in a good way. The whole clearing the mind and focusing on something as simple as your breath is relaxing and almost a way of freeing yourself of the stresses and the bonus is you feel like you had a workout without the blaring aerobics music! SMAC Approved! http://redenyoga.com/
What do you think of when you hear the phrase "Skin Peel"? I always think of a woman's face being bright red and blotchy. I then see her trying to explain to her friends who ask her "What happened to your face?" So, I was reluctant when we were selected to try a skin peel. I knew Valerie couldn't do it because her face is extremely sensitive, so she was out! That meant I was to be the "guinea pig" and had to try it out. I didn't want to walk around with red blotches all over my skin and have to explain to random people that I was doing a 6 week skin peel! So, I waited and kept staring at the box and started to read the directions. The box directions said it was a glycolic peel and stated that you could use it twice a week for 6 weeks. After the 6 weeks, the box promised that I would "notice an improvement in fine lines and wrinkles and notice a more even skin tone, texture and radiance."
So before I started the skin peel, I thought I should take some "before" pictures.
The directions stated that I need to start off by using a cleasner on my face before using the product. After that, I needed to use a "Step 1 Activator Pad" and apply it all over my face except for the eye area, lips and any area of sensitivity. Then, I was to observe my skin for "redness, discomfort, stinging, burning, itching, tightness, tingling and peeling". I did notice the first time there was some tingling but then that went away after a few minutes. After 10 minutes, I was to use the "Step 2 Neutralizer Pad" and apply it to my entire face and then rinse with water. The final step was to apply a moisturizer. (The box included an extra activatior pad/neutralizer pad for you to test your skin for sensitivity)
I did this for twice a week for a period of 6 weeks. After using the product over time, I did not experience any tingling feeling on face anymore. The tingling feeling felt more like an astringent you put on after you use your cleasner. Now, the big question: did it work? I have to say I really don't have a lot of wrinkles so I think it was hard for me to judge if my "finelines" were dimished. But I have to say that I do agree with the fact that my skin does have smoother texture and radiance that I did not have before I used this product. Also, since this was a gentle product, I didn't have to walk around with that blochy/red look that I have seen on most people after a skin peel. I would recommend this product to anyone looking give their face a little glow, even texture and even reduce some wrinkles! SMAC Approved! http://www.neostrata.com/product/exuviance+performance+peel+ap25.do
Full disclosure: Social Moms was compensated for a Exuviance Performance Peel 6 week supply.
Do you feel better when you’re tan? I do!! No matter what my weight is or my age, I always feel better when I have some color. As I get older (and wiser), I find myself using a higher SPF each year and wearing a hat. So, have you ever wondered how to get a tan while being healthy*? Is that possible? Yes, and I did it.
A few weeks ago a friend asked me if I had ever spayed tanned or used a tanning lotion like Jergens Natural Glow moisturizer. She is very pale, as am I, and going to the beach in June. I share her same mind-set that just the mere thought of putting on shorts or a bathing suit with these pale legs is scary.
After this conversation, I began to think about how cool it would be to get a tan while remaining healthy. Thoughts of coming out orange or uneven scared me. I thought of how orange Robin Williams’ character was after a spray tanning booth in "Old Dogs". However, the more I thought about it, the more curious I was of trying it. I chatted with a neighbor who had spray tanned several times in the past. She recommended Dolphin Beach Tan so I checked out their website, dolphinbeachtan.com ,and called. Two days later, I headed over to Dolphin to try it – they only accept walk-ins. They suggest to shower prior, and not having on any lotion, face moisturizer or deodorant on to obtain the best results. When I arrived, the employee, Christy, was super helpful going over all my questions, and discussing which coloring I should pick. My options were light, medium and dark (which with my coloring she did not recommend). I chose the light since it was my first time. I signed the paperwork, paid and headed to the back. The price was right, $28.88 and for new clients there was a "buy one get one" special.
Christy walked me back, to the room which was clean as was the machine. To get a spray tan one stands in a Mystic Tan booth. Christy explained the process, going over how/where to stand; there are four positions; front, back and each side, so you’ll be even. She went over how to apply the "barrier cream" which was a thick lotion to apply to the palms of my hands, feet, fingernails (I had a French manicure), between my fingers and toes, on my achilles tendon and any areas where I might be was super dry; knees & elbows for some. This prevents an orange color in those areas. She also explained where to put the hair net on so the spray is close to my hairline, and what to do when I was done. Then she left.
I got ready, pulling my hair back, putting on my hair cap and applying the barrier cream. Into the machine I stepped, standing in position 1 and hitting the glowing orange button. The machine began to talk to me, preparing me it was going to stray. It sprayed top to bottom then I changed to position 2, then 3 and 4. After the spraying was done, the machine fans clicked on to dry me; back then front. Less than 3 minutes of spraying and drying and I was done. After I stepped out I was surprisingly dry. The key now was to not shower or sweat for 6 hours so you don’t wash off the tanning solution. I wore old clothes just in case any residue of color would transfer. I didn’t have any issues however, I would wear old clothes again just in case. I didn’t feel like I looked tan
however, as the day went on, I could tell. It was subtle and that’s exactly what I wanted. I loved putting shorts on that afternoon!! My friend who gave me the idea came over the next day and loved my tan. She commented on how even and natural I looked. I am very pleased and am looking forward to my second session. Since I am heading to Florida in late May, I decided to try the medium color a few days prior and see what happens. If you’re wondering, the spray tan is supposed to last 5-7 days, fading slowly. It’s been three days and I don’t see any fading yet I went last week just prior to me leaving for Florida. I did the medium and was very tan. I was pleased and looked as though I had been at the beach for many days. I felt that the medium faded fasted but it got me through those first few days of wearing the bathing suit and sundresses. I would definitely do it again.
* Okay, there are chemicals involved so if you’re a purist, you may not feel it’s healthy but tanning in the sun vs. spray tanning. It’s a health alternative in my eyes.
To read Dolphin Beach Tan’s Q&A on their spray tanning, check this out;
John Frieda Hair Color box-shade deep brown/black.
Have you noticed the latest tv commericials in home hair coloring-"Color foam hair color!" I mean just about every brand offers it now. So, since I have to "wash that gray right out of my hair", I decided I would try it. Like I said, since there is a variety to choose from, I thought I would start with what was on sale and what I had a coupon for that week. I decided to use John Frieda. It was on sale at Meijer for $11.99 and I had a coupon for $5.00 off.
Now, I am a creme color hair color user so this foam thing was new to me. First, you had to pour the liquid color into the foam bottle. (See picture) Second, you had "TILT it only 5 times!" Third, you had to squeeze the bottle from the middle in order for the foam to come out from your hand-tennis ball size as they referred to it in the instructions. (See picture) Now, I like a kid, thought that this was neat! Fourth, you had to put your hair into some sections as you apply the foam.
See the color beginnning to mix!
This is where I have to beg to differ! I mean I don't have stick straight hair so it wasn't that easy to put my hair into sections. I know I wasn't using tennis ball size handfuls of foam either because the instructions said that you should be able to "put the foam 5 times in the front and 3 times in the back until your hair is fully covered". I think someone needs to rewrite these instructions. (See picture below) I think it took me about 15 smaller balls to get around my head. Also, they say that your hair should look like a "frothy" when done. (see instructional picture below) I didn't think my hair looked as "frothy" when complete. I did leave it on for 30 minutes and rinsed it out.
I used the John Frieda conditioner and it wasn't as rich and creamy as the the other hair color conditioner that I normally use after I color my hair. (Meaning that it didn't make it as silky soft!)
Foam into hand!
After I was done, I took a look at my hair and still noticed some gray hairs around my face. I probably didn't put the foam here as heavy as I should have but I did put some on it! So here are the PROS: Easy to use, no feeling of wanting to itch my scalp, color rubs off skin quite easily-it does color your hair! CONS: I don't know if the color gets quite to the root as it should-this is especially important if you are coloring gray hair, there is a limited color range of color-there are only 20 shade offerings but I know I didn't see that many shade colors offered at Meijer!
Bottom line: I still think I need to try another brand or try John Frieda again so the jury is still out for me if this is worth the price...
Color hair in sections!
Instructions from beginning to end!