Life... Health... Reviews...

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Are you using moisturizer with SPF? You should

About 14 years ago a friend of mine who sold beauty products looked at me and said, “What do you use to wash and moisturize your face?” I told her my beauty regimen, which included using a cleanser in the morning and a basic moisturizer then at night I would usually only rinse with water (occasionally doing a scrub or at-home microdermabrasion) and that was about it. She said, “I’m going to need you to start using a moisturizer at night as well.”


She explained that although my skin was still looking good she could see in my forehead and other areas of my face that I needed to do a better job moisturizing. Then as I learned more about my skin and aging, including what I read in the book “I Feel Bad About My Neck” by Norma Ephron, I began consistently using daytime facial moisturizer with SPF of at least 30 along with a nightly cream. My regimen has worked well for me and although I complain about the little wrinkles, lines and changes that have made themselves known, I know that my skin is in very good condition.

Now if you aren’t using, at minimum, a daily facial moisturizer with SPF coverage, then I encourage you to do so. Ideally it’s best to use a daily sunscreen on all of your exposed skin, but at least ensure your face is covered.

I noticed SkinCeuticals has two ideal products to use SkinCeuticals Physical UV Defense SPF 30 and SkinCeuticals Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50. Daily moisturizers with SPF coverage tend to be a little costlier than regular ones, but they are a fabulous investment and the last quite a long time. Consider trying the SkinCeuticals line, which provides innovative dermatology products that have been proven to improve the overall appearance of your skin.

What’s your skincare routine? Let me know in the comments and tell me what your favorite product is.


Guess what she’s having? And add your name suggestions

It hasn’t been that long since I told you I’m going to be a grandmother (you can call me Ge-Ge), but what I didn’t know at the time is what my daughter is having. She found out at her recent OB appointment that she’s having a little girl!

That’s exactly what we wanted. LOL. Yes, I said we. After finally adjusting to the knowledge that my daughter will be a mother, which will ultimately make me a grandmother (grandmother!), I’m pretty excited about the new little girl that’s coming our way.

She’ll arrive some time near the end of September and there seems to be so much to do between now and then. For Amber, there’s school and preparing for the little one and for me there’s taking care of my other three children, scheduling little people’s birthday parties and planning for the mom-to-be celebrations and everything else involved with taking care of a home and family.

Amber's sonogram You know that feeling you get when you see a precious little one who has just arrived in your family? Well then you probably already know that the feeling starts with the first time you hear or see the little one. You know, the heartbeat… the sonogram. I had the shavings of that feeling with the first ultrasound picture Amber shared with me and when I saw the most recent one the feeling got a little stronger. Especially since the little one had her hands up in the air. It appears she was waving (at me, of course!), but Amber says she was hitting at the sonogram thingy every time it was pressed against Amber’s tummy. She’s naughty and willful already. She even kept turning her face each time the technician tried to get a shot. Once when the doctor walked in she turned her head when she heard his voice and as soon as they tried to capture that shot she looked right away. 

I’m going to let you in on the fun, but don’t tell Amber or her boyfriend. I’m taking name suggestions. Amber would like to stick to a name beginning with the letter “A” and, of course, I love that idea (hence my children’s names: Amber, Andre, Amareah and Anna!). So, give it a go: What are your baby girl name suggestions? Also, if you know what the name means then include that in your comment as well.


SkinCeuticals: Innovative skincare product

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile then you know I have a thing for skincare products. I love cream and lotions especially if they’re going to ensure the healthy and beautiful appearance of my skin. That’s why when I learned about SkinCeuticals I had to read about the product for myself and also share what I learned with you.

SkinCeuticals provides innovative dermatology products that have been proven to improve the overall appearance of your skin. The products are made with pharmaceutical grade ingredients and have optimal concentrations of active ingredients. The entire SkinCeuticals program woks as a complete system to provide maximum results.

The product line has 12 products including clarifying cleanser, epidermal repair, equalizing toner, physical UV defense SPF 30 and simply clean. With a mission to improve skin health, I think SkinCeuticals would be a great skincare product to try.

What do you think? Have you tried SkinCeuticals? If not, would you? Take a minute to tell me what you think in the comment section and share what your favorite skincare product is.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Renting textbooks {giveaway}

Guest post by Ann P. Williams
I thought books were expensive back in the 80s when I was in college, but now, the prices are unheard of.  Well, not exactly.  I hear my college-age nephew complaining about how much books cost.  It is not pretty.  However, there is a way to fight the high college textbook prices--rent them.  Yes, that's right, you can now rent college books from  (Now, why didn't someone think of that when I was in college?)

Anyhoo, some of the perks to renting your books are:
  • you can save 40-90% off of bookstore prices
  • you get free shipping both ways
  • you can even can highlight in the textbooks
  • they offer flexible renting periods
  • and donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented!

Here are a couple books for you to check out the price difference for a rental--you will see a huge savings:

Wondering how exactly it works?  Check out this video to learn more.

To help get the word out, Campus Book Rentals is offering a $50 coupon to one of my lucky readers.  Just enter the easy rafflecopter giveaway below!

Disclosure:  I was not compensated for this post in any fashion.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Breaking news: I’m going to be a grandma

Yes, really. I’ve known for a few months now and have been waiting for permission to share. Well, in total honesty, I’ve also been waiting to adjust to the news. My beautiful daughter Amber is going to be a mommy at the end of September.

As any parent, I have high hopes, expectations and wishes for my children and, of course, I’ve learned that things don’t always work out like we’d hoped. I’ve adjusted and, most importantly, Amber has as well. Her excitement is evident and I know she’s going to be an awesome mom.


That’s the first time I’ve said that. My daughter is going to be a mom. A mother. A parent. A child I raised is going to have a child. It’s quite a surreal experience. I can’t even imagine… but it won’t be long before I won’t have to. :-)

It’s also a little surreal because I’m still raising children. I think somewhere in the recesses of my mind I thought all of my children would be grown before I became a grandparent. Well, it is what it is and speaking of “what it is;” she finds out on Thursday and you’ll be almost the first to know.

Last week a friend of mine who works for asked me to write an article about being a mother. At first I told her I would probably write something from the multi-generational parenting perspective, but when I told her about Amber’s pregnancy she thought of writing an article about giving my child advice on having a child. So that’s what I did.

I think the article turned out really well and it would be great if you’d check it out. It’s called Suddenly Grandma. And before you even let the word slip from your mouth, I will not be answering to Grandma! I’m too young (looking) for that. Just call me Gee-Gee (GG?).

So, in the spirit of giving the advice: Read my Black America Web article then come back and give me advice on being a first-time grandparent.


Plan a visit to London

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London & Worldwide Apartment Booking Service find centrally located apartments at just the right rates. It’s run by Polly and Robert Arnold who have 22 years of experience in London Apartments, and they want to help people have the best possible experience in their city. They’re Londoners who have lived there all of their lives as well as raised their three children there.

Polly and Robert offer personalized services for each client and helps them to meet their needs. Imagine strolling down the streets of London seeing the sites you’ve always dreamed of then going back to your own London Apartment in the evening.

Are you going to visit London for the 2012 Olympics? Have you been before and want to visit again? Then let the Arnolds help you find the perfect place among their list of lovely London Apartments.

Whether you’re traveling with your family or visiting for a corporate event, you will find the right place for you through London & Worldwide Apartment Booking Service.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother’s Day… especially to single moms

For about 20 years I’ve been a parent and 15 of those have been as a single parent. Being a single mother has it’s own set of challenges. I’m not sure I focus on those challenges from day to day, but it’s especially noticeable when I spend Mother’s Day alone. And when I’m alone with the children on that day there are so many mixed emotions that I’m always between tears and joy for almost the entire day.

I said I wasn’t going to do anything today, but how actually is that possible when my three young children – ages 4, 7 and 8 – are home with me? I mean, I can be lazy and stay in my pajamas all day, but I’ll still have to fix meals and do all of the 100 million things required when one has children.

In my opinion, there’s something special about a husband, significant other or baby daddy honoring you on Mother’s Day. I think a friend of mine put it best, “Without no you, there would be no them.” That same friend was going to buy his ex-wife a Kindle for Mother’s Day, but his children said their mother had hinted about a certain perfume she wanted so he bought that. How sweet, I thought, as my eyes teared up.

I have to pause and say that of all the people – read: men – that I’ve spoken with they are very considerate of their ex-wives or baby mamas. Why, I’ve asked. The majority have simply said, ‘because they’re the mother of my children.’ Some pay mortgages or rent, some pick up kids from school everyday or get them every weekend, I know a couple of guys who go to the exes houses each night to tuck kids in (no, it’s not the ones who are still “relating” with the moms. LOL)… In fact, I’m amazed at some of the things they still do. I even have a few girlfriends who have confirmed this. Wow, I think, it must be nice…

But, I digress…

Then there are the moments, like today, when I was laying down in my room while talking on the phone with my mother and my little one, Anna, came into the room then climbed into the small space next to me and the edge of my bed. After a few minutes, she lifted her little, sleepy face and said in the tiniest voice, “Happy Mother’s Day…”

I nearly melted…

Before that I received a six-page text message from my oldest Amber who couldn’t be here (I think it’s the first Mother’s Day we’ve spent apart) and, among other things, she said, “…I just wanted to say that you’re the best mommy ever and I’m pretty lucky. I’m so glad that I can come to you with anything and know that even if you don’t like it, I always have your love and support no matter what.”

IMG_20120513_142720Later after breakfast as I sat on the couch wanting to spend an hour of quietly watching the boob tube, my girls came out with their Mother’s Day cards that they’d just made for me. The cards, on the left here, are so adorable, and the best thing about Amareah’s card was she had put a dollar in it (see below). Boy, that brought a smile to my face and joy to my heart – what a generous little daughter she is. How sweet is that. Anna’s card, the yellow one, is so cute. I love how she draws her people and when I asked her who was in the picture she said me, herself, Andre and Amareah and we’re playing in the park. What an imagination, huh? IMG_20120513_142740   IMG_20120513_142753






Andre gave me a drawing first of me and him standing under a rainbow (the red one below); on the other side, which I didn’t get a picture of, is an abstract drawing (my favorite), with flowers, etc. I guess later he remembered he’d done something in school because he came in with a card he’d either made in class or art. The flower, which you can see on the pink one below, is actually made from his fingerprints. How cool is that?



It’s those things that make me happy and know that I’m doing a good job with my children. They touch my heart and make me feel good, but I have to keep that in mind when – like now – I have sequestered myself in my room after listening to the children fight, yell, cry and scream while playing the Wii.

I’m laying here on the bed, in the dark, with that mixture of feelings going on again. Somewhere between teary and utter joy. Well, I guess that’s the life of a mother anyway, huh?

Happy Mother’s Day ladies. I truly hope you’re enjoying yourself as well as feeling the love, honor and respect that you deserve. Or doing whatever makes you the happiest today.

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