Be a Cheerleader – to your friends

First, a little Kingdom to State Comparison

I was at the side line to my sons first American Football Game in High School, where they, as the Junior Varsity (B Team) were going to get their behinds handed to them by the Varsity (A Team). It was crazy fun, with stadium seating, huge flags, concessions and team swag on every spectator. Half time came around and on come the cheerleaders and drill team to perform. I wondered if this was a way of appeasing the girls who weren’t allowed to play football at the time but was quickly schooled on how this was it’s own kind of competitive sport, with gymnastics, tumbling and hard choreography. I was also made aware by a cheer Mom that her daughter had been doing cheer 5 days a week since she was a small child and this 5 minute, mid game performance had cost her, the Mom, thousands of dollars in lessons, travel, competitions and glitter hairspray. I mean their outfits were pretty fabulous and I realized I could never have made the Cheer Squad because my hairline was too high and my pony tail was weak.

High School in England was a little different when it comes to sports and extra curricular activities. You might be athletic enough and enjoy sports to where you play on the team but that would generally involve a couple of lunchtime practices or a practice after school with a competition on a Saturday. You could easily partake in multiple teams without it overlapping. The same 2 P.E. teachers where over all teams and they couldn’t be more places than one at a time. Sports team usually included Soccer for boys and Netball for girls, maybe a swim team and Athletics or “Track” if you’re in the U.S. Fancier schools may have had you playing Rugby or Field Hockey and sometimes tennis or even cricket but it was always a side gig to our education and took zero of our school day. Rarely did my working parents even come to my games and it certainly wasn’t a big deal that I actually got my colors (or lettered) in multiple sports. You were handed a sew on patch at the end of year assembly which you wore for bragging rights on the skirt you wore for said sports. Rarely, you’d hear of a kid who showed promise, getting whisked off to a soccer academy or have a coach get interested in properly training someone if they had won a county meet which would be equivalent of doing well at state I suppose.

So why the sporty ramble and what business does it have on my blog?

It’s definitely not a “glory days” thing although I have wondered what I might of played had I grown up in Utah or how good I might have been with proper couching but no, actually I got thinking about what happens after graduation. You’ve spent the last 10-15 years, making a sport your life and then you play your last game or perform your last high kick, fist to the hip, punch the sky, move and then ……. it’s over. I’ve wondered why people invest so much time, energy and money into something that used to be a fun side gig to keep you active and healthy and what do kids actually learn besides how painful double ACL repairs are?

Well I believe we learn how to work hard for ourselves and others. We learn how to take a hit and get up and keep going. We learn that no matter how bad we want to be the best, someone will come along and beat us and we probably learn that glitter is no respecter of our new car seats.

Today I can tell you, the greatest lesson I learned from both playing and watching sports, is that wether you’re a 5 year old that’s hitting a baseball for the first time or the Multi Million pound Soccer star with a shoe deal, you 100% rely on the cheerleaders in your life

and cheerleading never ends!

Today I can tell you, it’s my favorite sport to participate in and before you picture me in a tiny skirt with pom poms, actually that might be a fun halloween costume but I’m really talking about cheering for my friends in life.

We play better with a support team

and I absolutely love when my team wins, so I:

  • Support their businesses
  • Celebrate their great news
  • Wear their team merchandise
  • Hold them and Lift them when a tragedy occurs
  • Donate to their fundraisers
  • Tell them what I love and respect about them
  • Notice when they do something hard
  • Thank them when they support me
  • Tell them what a great parent they are
  • Encourage them when they are struggling to push through
  • Support their relationships
  • Support their kids
  • Tell them they’re good enough for the promotion
  • Defend them when someones trying to get in their way
  • Or simply comment on a post to show they are seen
  • Tami quit her 30 +year career to buy a food truck and LOVES it. (Redneck Sisters at Flaming Gorge)
  • Di a salon owner and Connie a hairstylist and realtor, have a successful Hair Extension Company. (@SalonShag, @ExtraHairExtensions)
  • Dre + Heather own a thriving Medical Spa where everyone is family and seen. (@Beauty. Lab.Laser)
  • Ashley is a single Mom to a busy pre teen & used covid downtime to get her Real Estate license whilst also working a full time job from home. (@realtorashdawson)
  • Amber & Jessika have so many talents and skills which include Fire fighter, realtors, MMA fighter and parent but they both excel at parties and laughter. (@homes4saleutah1)
  • Whitney has built a successful skincare line from the ground up. (irisandbeau)
  • Ben has a supplement company as well as many other ventures (@realathlete.life)
  • Krista has built and run successful Dental Hygiene and assistant schools for years before opening a pilates studio. I could throw in that as a single Mom she raised 3 amazing kids with masters degrees and world class competitive ballroom and trophies to their name. (reformerdiva)
  • Verna my Polynesian Princess who at over a decade older than me has been my Mum and Fitness inspiration for over 20 years.
  • Erin had to date a fair number of No’s before she found the perfect Yes.
  • Saeeda is my greatest example of working for change. As a small Asian female from a strict Muslim upbringing, she stepped into the the old white man world of Law as a Barrister at the Old Bailey. She was a probation officer and then trained Parole officers for years before becoming a deputy Governor in a big London Prison. Her desire is to provide the services and rehab that their “clients” need to make them successful in life. We don’t all start out with such privilege and she has no guile or judgement just pure love. She has had to claw her way up the slippery ladder that laughed at her for trying but she said ” why not me?” and she made it.
  • Shari is the most inspiring and beautiful human around. As a wife, mother, nurse practitioner and kick ass injector, she is also fighting stage 4 cancer. She is smarter and more educated than most of the medical doctors she has to work with and has been seeking alternative options to remain healthy and around for her babies. She is kicking cancers ass! (@sharisfightclub)

Seriously, I am so blessed to have so many bad ass, successful people who are also incredible humans, surrounding me. I have also lost people I adored who didn’t get to live their lives for long enough. So if you woke up today, it is a gift not everyone gets, look around your circle and cheer on someone you know that needs you.

Don’t quit cheering at graduation. Cheering is for life and right now I’m cheering for you all. You’re amazing.

Break the Rules -Style

It makes me cringe when I hear or read that over 40’s shouldn’t…..you fill in the gap here. (wear a short skirt or their hair long, go dancing at a night club or have tattoos)

What over 40’s shouldn’t… is give a crap about anyones rules for them.

Some Club in San Francisco

I seriously grew up thinking this rubbish. I didn’t go out dancing at 30 because I thought I was too old! I watched everyone around me for approval and followed ALL the rules when it came to fashion. I was a boring version of what was trending for the most part.

As a teen, I would take the train into London and knowing that there, in the city, there are NO rules about style, I could really be me. I’d put together outfits I wanted to wear that were risky and edgy. I felt amazing. I’d wear clothes inspired by some hip hop video or something I’d seen in a magazine, an outfit I’d NEVER wear in my own neighborhood. I loved it. I felt fierce.

Fast forward to now and I really don’t follow anyones rules. I know what I like and I definitely cover parts that aren’t my favorite but that’s completely personal to me and my body.

I still find myself “inspired” by other peoples style choices. Let’s face it, there’s some icons out there who are well over 40, 50 and beyond.

I look at people my own age or around about it and I wonder, who would dare tell them about those archaic rules.

Yes, Ms Halle Berry (54) No short skirts or short shorts for you!

Hey, Miss J-Lo (51) Nothing too revealing!

OMG! is that a crop top??? So nasty!

Um excuse me ladies, The Rules say No Bikinis!

Hoda Kotb(56), Padma Lakshmi(50), Courtney Cox(56), Gwyneth Paltrow(47) Gwen Stefani(50), Salma Hayek (54), Me(49)

What about your hair Halle and Erika Giradi(49) Don’t you know it’s supposed to go short and natural after 40 Not before?

Well the pixie is cute and edgy but long is pretty sexy too.

Cover those Arms Jennifer Aniston(51) It’s a rule girl!

I mean you might be killing it at the gym to have them but we don’t need to see those old arms.

Iris Apfel you Icon (99) The rule says: Avoid super loud colors or Black. Ha Ha Ha

As she laughs in our young, 50 year old faces.

No mesh, sheer, tattoos or sweats it goes on and on…

and I break them all.

So here’s my Style “Rules” for any age:

  • Wear what you love
  • wear what makes your heart sing
  • wear what makes you feel fierce or comfortable or confident
  • If you have a body part you’re not fond of, cover it
  • If you have one you love, show it off.
  • You make your own rules

And Remember:

So let’s have some fun

Follow me on Instagram @kingdomtostate and tag me in pictures of you breaking the dumb age rules.

No More Diets for Me.

This is me! Post Covid-19 Quarantine. No gym, No diet plan, No carefully curated before and after picture. Just me, in my pj’s, feeling content with life.

You see the thing is, for the past 20 years, I’ve either been “on a diet”, just finished a diet or am in need of going “on a diet” and I finally stopped.

No More Diets for Me!

I have more “Before” pictures than I could add here and as embarrassing as it could be to share them, here they are. The real me, unedited.

The first ones here are from 2002 but my very first “before” picture was in the year 2000.

It was my very first step on this yo-yo journey and it all began when I wasn’t even an ounce overweight.

My hunny wanted to try a weightlifting program he’d read about and I enjoyed sports and physical activities. He needed a bit of moral support, and me being the super wife that I am, decided to join him.

It was a 12 week program with diet and exercise. I surprisingly dropped 2 clothes sizes, packed on some muscle definition and lost a bit of body fat in that 3 month period. I didn’t have an accurate way of measuring back then so the scale was my guide and despite obvious physical changes, I only saw that scale weight as a disappointment.

All I can remembered feeling at the time, was embarrassed of how big my bum still was. Wow! kids today would’ve been coveting that ripe peach.

In 2001 I went on to have another baby, number 4 for me and after gaining 50lb again with that pregnancy, despite my desire and effort to be a “fit” Mum, I had some fat to lose, so I figured I’d get back on my “diet”.

Sound familiar anyone? down then up, down then up. I lost and gained the same 20lb over and over.

The sad part of the story comes with the lack of “After” pictures I could find.

I scrolled as far back as my phone goes and only found a few. The ones I have, showed me pulling faces, clearly embarrassed to be “posing” in my less than perfect state. I couldn’t see the shoulders, the abs, the face or the biceps. Only the lack of something, a flaw, those damm thick thighs.

Now you may think I just never finished my programs all the way but that is just not the case. Clearly, my family pics taken a few months after each of my “befores” show me more lean and I can tell I was looking better but for some reason, I was unsatisfied. It wasn’t good enough. Not worthy of the pictures.

Funny story: It was a time when everyone seemed to put decals of their latest marathon conquest or extensive bike ride brag on their car windows. Boyd decided to put my Bodyfat % in a decal on my back window as a joke (I had measured my body composition in a bod pod)

We walked out of a restaurant and saw a couple of guys puzzled over the “17.2” on the glass. One looked at me and said ” what’s that? two thirds of a marathon?” with a smirk. to which I smugly replied ” nope, it’s my body fat percentage” and he became wide eyed and said “right on!”

He was impressed and I was proud of myself for a change.

Over the years, I’d tried so many plans.

  • Body for Life
  • Weight Watchers
  • Transformation challenge
  • Slimming World
  • Sexyfit
  • Counting Calories
  • Counting Macros
  • Keto
  • Intermittent fasting
  • I even went to a camp in Colorado for a week.

I’m sure there were more and several I did multiple rounds of but the truth is:

THEY ALL WORKED!

They worked for the period of time I stuck to them and as soon as I reached my goal weight or size or body fat %. I was done.

Time to celebrate.

Bring on the free meal, the cheat meal, the cheat day the cheat vacation. As soon as I reached the goal, I could go back to “normal” eating which included drive thrus, all you can eat buffets and quite often, things I just wouldn’t normally even want.

After years of this pattern I finally got to the point where I just didn’t start. I made jokes about working on my “Before” pics, that I had a free day in 2012 that hasn’t ended. I ate like it was my last meal ever because I knew at some point I’d be back at it, depriving myself again. I had to make the most of this moment. Food and I did not have a healthy relationship.

So fast forward to today and answer the 20lb question:

How am I here looking all slimline and sexy when everyone else gained weight in quarantine???

The truth is, I have no real answer but I can tell you this:

About a year ago, I told myself, no more diets. I thought about all the things I’d “learned” over the past 20 years, about food and threw it away. All carbs aren’t bad, fat isn’t bad, eating only bacon isn’t fine (even if you loose 20lb in a month, true story) Fast food doesn’t give you acne, I don’t need x number of calories, I don’t need more protein, 6 meals a day, or to give up caffeine or sugar completely. The stories in my head went on and on. When did I give up all fruit because it was too high in sugar???

My new story goes like this:

No foods are off limits.

I eat when I’m hungry and not as a social event.

I Stop when I’m done or have had enough to satisfy the taste.

I eat fruit and veggies and pay attention to energy and activity.

If it leaves me feeling bloated or lethargic? Then sometimes I avoid it.

I Get outside.

I go on a daily walk or bike ride, leisurely not heart rate raising.

I started to exercise at home, just once a week at first with elastic bands, now 3-4 times and I even went to a big gym.

I dance, any chance I get, Zumba, U-Jam, Retro riots.

My man is no longer working in another state so I’m less busy.

I’m less stressed.

I have better and more sex (yep I said it, it matters)

My hormones are balanced.

But mostly, I have a more positive attitude towards my body. It has been showing up for me for years, despite my abuse and neglect. I am grateful that all my body parts function and I am aware that in my worst state, I was still in a place many could only dream of.

I no longer care about the scale or body fat %, just how I feel and that I can perform all the fun things I want to do.

I am fine in a bikini, imperfections and all and am happy to take pictures to document the fun events I get to take part in, I don’t worry about the roll or the bumps.

I Say NO! to diets.

I encourage you to think through some of the stories you have in your head about your body and your relationship with food or exercise. Is it serving you well or holding you back?

About a year ~ recent with no diet.

Then when you’re NOT trying, you could get a “Before” & “After” like this one.

Little Luxuries

Most parents will relate to being last on their own list when it comes to time, energy or getting something new. Our darling offspring always seem to need that enrollment fee or dental work right when we were thinking about a weekend away or new outfit and in fear of being judged a selfish cow, little Jonny’s Fillings always seemed to get priority over, well pretty much everything.

Daybreak 2010

It was in the way way back, or 2008 ish, that my hubby surprised me one day with a “just cuz” gift and helped me realize that I matter too. I was always the “don’t buy me flowers, they’re a waste of money and chocolates make you fat” kind of girl so gifts are hard to do. You can imagine my googly eyed surprise look when he presented me with a box containing, not just a new pair of sun glasses but expensive designer sunnies.

My first Prada Sunnies

It was my first, over the top, unnecessary designer item and little did I know I’d be hooked. Prior to this I’d had a hard time keeping a pair of sun glasses in one piece or just keeping them all together but something about that small luxury item, that special gift, taught me to care for and appreciate it and know that I was worth a little luxury.

Now I have a collection of luxury items from Jo Malone candles to Dior hand bags but it’s still the small things I use every day that I enjoy the most.

I encourage everyone to save up and buy yourself a treat, however small, you are worth it.

Exploring the Kingdom

People often ask me “where should I go when I’m in London?”

Whilst I definitely have my own favorite spots and also places that are not worth your time, I usually refer people to youtube or google to see what interests them most and then I can help from there.

We’re all so different in what we like and our attention span definitely makes a difference as well as our ability to walk for miles or climb steps.

I have a son that loves to explore the history and museums, I mean for HOURS! He also loves the forest style greenery, castles and flea markets. He is happiest in the dull, overcast fog and doesn’t care too much for food.

My daughter on the other hand enjoys art and urban style. She’s into music but doesn’t love crowds or walking a ton, so together we explore galleries and street art along with some super brand shopping. I took her to the first ever HardRock Cafe and also the First ever Dr Marten store in Camden where you can custom build some DM’s.

Beef Wellington- Bread Street Kitchen

She’s also a fan of “Masterchef Junior” so we had to hit up the Bread Street Kitchen which is one of Gordon Ramsay’s Restaurants where we had the “Beef Wellington experience” Asha also got a tour of the kitchen and apparently this is one of the establishments he regularly visits and does in fact yell at the staff when anything upsets him.

As for me, Well this is home, so I head straight to the local grocery store and stock up on junk food. I visit family and friends, ride the train and people watch like it’s an olympic sport.

Going underground

It’s probably a known fact, I also like to shop when I’m in London, or at least look around the shops for style inspo. There’s so many places that are unique to the city so I may put together a post on places to check out when visiting but my favorite and easiest go to is, Selfridges on Oxford Street and the Topshop just across from the Oxford Circus tube Station (there’s 3 top shops on Oxford street alone) also New Bond Street for Luxury Boutiques and Bicester Village for Luxury outlets. Westfield in Stratford is a huge mall and right next to the Olympic park so that can be a great stop but the market at Camden is fun for nik naks and one off gifts.

London has always been my favorite city in the world with New York very close to equalling that love. I encourage everyone to go there once and spend a few days. It’s a melting pot of cultures and the energy is on fire.

Well worth your time and money.

I’m Out of Town

I seem to say this a lot lately.

LHR -SLC Delta Airlines

I never dreamed I’d spend so much time on a plane.

I used think people with frequent flyer status had such a glam life full of adventure. Jet setting off around the world to see the lights and landscape of far away exotic locations but the reality is, most people are traveling for work and it’s just a time consuming form of transportation. An extremely long commute and you quickly get sick of cheezits, which is about all you get on a plane anymore.

SLC-JFK Jet Blue Airlines

Boyd and I have recently joined the ranks of couples who work and live in different states and whilst I get all the “wow, so exciting and it must be nice to travel so much!” or “how nice to have time to yourself” comments, I can safely say it’s not. It sucks actually.

We started out trying to see this as a fun adventure but in the very first week we realized, we don’t like the separation. He leaves and I’m the single, working parent, doing all the general life jobs until I hop on a plane to go and see him for a few days. He’s in NYC working his ass off and then going home to an empty apartment with no kids, no wife, and no big hairy dog. It’s lonely.

This change came about suddenly and while there was no solid forward facing plan in motion, we did think it could make for a fun adventure. Our kids are grown and less in need of us (or so we thought) and flying back and forth isn’t that big of a deal when you have the means to do it but even if you’re a Kardashian with a private Jet, it still takes a ton of time and more of it is spent apart than together.

So that’s why I’m “Out of Town” so much lately and why, when I am home, I don’t have as much free time to do stuff. On the bright side….

OMG,WE HAVE A PLACE IN NEW YORK!

Hudson Yards in the back ground.

How I Pack for a weekend away

Salt Lake International Airport 2019

I don’t know about you but whenever I travel somewhere, I seem to think I need to dress differently than I do in the rest of my life. I picture the fashionista in New York or executive business woman in London of which I am clearly neither, then compare my usual daily attire and realize I’m a bit scruffy and need to up my outfit game if I’m going to feel half way decent about myself. Instead of rushing out to buy sequined floaty kaftans, or a designer trouser suit and briefcase which I’d never actually wear in real life, I take a deep breath and step into my own closet and see what I have to work with.

I try to plan outfits that will make me feel good in the environments I’m in, as a beach getaway to California is a little different than a weekend full of shows and parties in Vegas. I consider the weather forecast which plays a huge part in layers, outerwear and footwear and can keep my packing more stream lined if I know the places and events I’ll be attending. I do my fair share of wandering and spontaneous stuff too, so it still needs to be adaptable for day or night. I’ve traveled enough to know the things I wear mostly and the things that rarely make it out of my suitcase so I have cut down on overpacking. I have a regular kit for toiletries and makeup which I can restock and tweak as I go and my “go to” city walking shoes and coat that seem to make every trip.

Organization is the key

I have found pouches and packing cubes to be really helpful. The first set I bought were so life changing for my packing that I started gifting them to people as I thought everyone needs this travel hack and now I have replaced them with cute girly ones, so even better. This method has made it so I can fit everything I need into a “carry on” bag which usually leaves my second bag with room for shopping.

Here’s the method:
  • Lay out daytime outfits- can any pieces overlap for night? choose things that won’t show dirt or crease really bad.
  • Lay out evening outfits- can any pieces overlap for day? adding accessories and a clutch can jazz up a fairly simple outfit.
  • Gather accessories – belt, jewelry, hat, scarf, clutch etc these turn the simple things into a stylish look.
  • Count out underwear and socks with an extra of each. make sure they work under your chosen clothes. Do you need nude or strapless? and I always throw in a warm pair of socks for the hotel room floor.
  • Sleepwear- some trips you just don’t need any (wink)
  • Gather toiletries and see if anything you use can be downsized to save space. I refill travel size bottles and keep to my same routine as at home.
  • Make up & brushes – Keep it simple. Your usual daytime routine plus an extra option for evening with some lashes or a brighter lipstick and your not filling your whole suitcase up.
  • Electronics, chargers, wall plugs and hair tools.

Once each of your pouches are filled, you can play a little tetris and arrange them in the suitcase.

If I need a winter coat or heavy sweater/hoodie, I carry it onto the plane and I usually take a holdall as my “personal item” or second carry on, with my purse, handbag or wallet inside it. Other than that, I keep the holdall pretty empty so I can shop.

On my last trip back from London, I took my, almost empty, holdall and completely filled it at the airport with Duty Free Items. To clarify, I bought over 5 Kilos of Cadbury’s chocolate!

One thing I’ve learned as I’ve gotten older is, sometimes the best opportunities come at very short notice and you just have to be ready to roll at a moments notice. Having a method or system to pack figured out, cuts the stress down immeasurably and you’re much more likely to say yes to those opportunities.

Aesthetics-Where to start

In an ideal world, we’d all have had a top notch skin care routine and regular visits to the med spa since our mid 20’s but to be honest, most 40 somethings weren’t taking selfies all day as our face morphed into our mothers so we didn’t notice the need for such things until one day, we saw ourself in someone else’s picture and thought “DAMN!” I need…….something??? The question though is, what?

Rough dehydrated skin,
no lips, no brows, unhappy selfie

There are so many factors that determine how our skin ages from genetics and lifestyle to air pollutants and climate. The way we’ve protected it in our youth plays a factor and for the most part, if you’re an 80’s child, you didn’t use protection at all you used baby oil and fried yourself. We all wanted the glow but unfortunately that abuse shows up later on our skin along with any other abuse we’re now in therapy for.

So to answer the question, where to start?

Botox

My answer will always be botox (or dysport or jeuveau or xeomin) If you want the quick fix, the biggest bang for your buck, then a neurotoxin placed correctly in the forehead and eye area, will relax and soften those lines or prevent new ones forming. It’s the best place to start. Botox is charged by the unit and ranges from $9-12 per unit. Patients are getting between 20-60 units and occasionally more but I would plan for around 40 starting out. It lasts around 12 weeks for most people but your lines don’t just reappear on day 90 so some can stretch out visits. There are also coupons and incentives from the manufacturers so ask about those but don’t settle for the closest groupon, still look for someone recommended and experienced, they might even price match if you ask.

Borrowed image

Consultation

This should really be number one but I say skip straight to botox then ask questions. Don’t be afraid to consult with an experienced Aesthetician. Most of us are fluffy, feel good people, it’s why we do what we do. I know it’s scary to walk into a med spa,

“my first time was hilarious. I had some questions about laser hair removal and before I knew it, I was in the back room with a couple of disposable razors trying to get rid of my 70’s situation. Feeling fresh and clean, she started my treatment and it wasn’t until she flipped me over on my face did I realize I even had hair back there. Like a pro, she grabbed a razor, finished the job and voila, I was a believer.”

Most of us already know we want and need all the things but it’s usually our budget that determines what is actually possible. Most great spas offer complimentary consults and you can ask all the questions you like. Be straight and tell them you’re just getting started, you’re overwhelmed and you have a limited budget. Take notes if you like so you can plan for future treatments. The larger spas often have more equipment and treatments available so they’ll give you more comprehensive information on your options where as a small place with only one laser is going to tell you there’s is the best and while that may be true, start with all the info at least, then shop around for the particular service you need.

Some place’s specialize in just one thing like hair removal or injectables while others have a wide range and can take care of it all. Most places offer package deals or memberships with reduced pricing or incentives to bring friends and shop more. Some get you in and out at the speed of light and others take their time to make sure you’re comfortable. There are many options so get a feel for what would work for you.

Facial

If you don’t want to go the consult route, most places will offer a signature facial on there menu. It usually includes a thorough cleaning, some exfoliation, hydration and protection. If it’s a great facial it will also include a skin consult under a lamp where they can advise you on home care and treatments for your concerns. This is generally less like a sales pitch but don’t be afraid to as questions, you’ll get great info that you can take away and while you may be offered products, you can say you’ll have a think about it because you will after all. The best facial includes massage and something extra like a foot scrub or hand treatment and you should feel generally relaxed at the end.

Late night in Lake Powel, AZ getting our hydration on

Homecare

Armed with the information from your consult or facial, you can build your homecare routine. This will have a huge impact in the long term and will also increase the positive effects of any treatments you’re getting. Don’t waste your money on a treatment if you’re not going to take care of things at home. It’s like going to the dentist twice a year but not brushing in between visits. Whatever is sitting on your skin at bedtime is absorbing in whether it’s dirt and makeup or a delicious serum. Even half ass home care is better than none but ideally, skin needs to regularly be:

  • Exfoliated
  • Hydrated
  • Protected

all of which can happen at home and then the spa trips become about the repair and prevention with an occasional pamper, fluffy thing thrown in.

Skin Better Science-award winning treatments for home care.

I’m going to do a series of what treatments work for what skin concerns but for a quick glossary of services you’ll hear about and to consider:

  • Basic Facials or Targeted facials- $50-150 (all skin types)
  • Hydrofacials, microdermabrasion, dermaplaining- $80-200 (all skin types)
  • Chemical peels $75-200 (various skin concerns, mild to aggressive)
  • Lasers $200- $2,000 + (various skin concerns)

So take a selfie right now and file it away as a “before” picture then ask your best looking friends where they go for things because the chances are they’ll get a referral perk and you’ll be close on their hotness heels before you know it. A year from now your selfie game could be so much stronger or at least your trauma caused by others taking pictures of you will diminish.

Botox, fillers, brows, hydro & vampire facials with excellent skin care regime

The youngsters call it a “glow up”

Feel free to ask questions.

Back to School

I’ve had a child or 4 in school for the past 24 years! It seems like yesterday that my first born was entering William Harding School as a “rising 5”. I can see him in his little uniform, combed hair and gappy teeth, all smiles and excitement. Back then we walked to school, up the road and under the train tunnel, lunch box swinging and always with my second son in tow.

On my actual yesterday, I dropped off my last baby for her very last “first day of school” and found myself quite emotional and not only because it was 6:45 AM.

Holy cow, 24 years is a lot! 24 years of, uniform shopping, permission slips, field trips and registration papers. 24 years of late night assignments and parent teacher conferences. We’ve gone from, sign up to register on day one only, to paperwork every year, to everything done online. My kids have taken classes from Art, Theatre and foreign language to Radio Broadcasting and Digital Marketing. We’ve gone from talking to a teacher twice a year at parent night, to online daily updates of all grades, assignments and upcoming info. I no longer dread that face to face time because I already know exactly what’s going to be said. For the most part, I got the same message, “They’re awesome! I love having them in my class but they need to turn their work in on time.” Grades and performance became less of a draw for me as I realized that raising good humans was my ultimate goal and in that , I feel successful. My kids are all damn good people.

I always thought graduating high school was a given and I used to harass my kids about getting good grades. I paid rewards for A’s because money bribes seem to work in my house but have since been told I’m cheap now and should up the stakes. I’m stoked to have 3/4 of my kids graduated because the truth is, it’s a lot of work and if you struggle with a learning difficulty or any mental health issues at all then school is not even a place you want to be.

Curtis Riverton High School Class of 2009

In a school with almost 4,000 students, 800 graduated with my first son, it’s hard to not feel completely alone in a crowd. It’s like being in London and knowing the chances of bumping into anyone you know is slim to none. My daughter attends a much smaller Charter School, that’s still a publicly funded school but with a parent advisory board that controls a specific curriculum. The number of kids that could graduate this year is under 100 and the principle will drive the school bus to meets and competitions when needed. Whilst they still have teams and clubs that most all kids can attend, they don’t have the massive football stadiums and state of the art auditoriums. They also don’t have 40+ kids in a class room or uber competitive tryouts and auditions that leave incredibly talented kids no longer playing the game they’ve loved for the last 10 years because there’s just too many kids.

A lot has changed in 24 years in the education system but learning how to learn is still an absolute basic life skill needed.

I love that education, whilst provided mostly for free, by the government, is very much in the hands of the student and parent now. There are many options for learning both in traditional massive facilities as well as at home from your own PC. I mean, your kid can just roll out of bed or into the closest school, they’ll even bus them there if it’s over walking distance but there are a lot of kids who are just lost in that world.

My four kids have experienced it all, The 5A largest in state school, the private school, the charter school with additional specialty tutoring and the online adult learning. In the end, each worked out for them.

As an experienced school Mum I will say, get to know what’s out there, get involved, volunteer. I promise you , there are so many options and they all want your child to succeed. Figure out how to support your student, and be the best advocate for them. It makes “back to school” days so much better.

Shout Out to Providence Hall High School, Dyslexia Center of Utah and South Point Academy. You changed my kids lives for the better.

Let’s talk Hormones

I think there’s an unspoken rule that retired men leave home to golf for extended periods just to escape the “crazy” wife. The golf buddies share a knowing nod and console each other meanwhile the women, who’s tried to look hot her whole life is now, literally on fire, with pain, bloating and mood swings that make her want to curl up in a ball or kill someone. It makes me wonder how lesbian couples make it through these years together when the odds are that 50-100% of the couple, is ready to punch you in the face at any given time????

If you ask me though, and I’m going to tell you my opinion anyway, this sluggish, weight gain, loss of interest blah blah feeling, can happen way before retirement. I think the first time I went to a GP with the above symptoms was in my mid 30’s. They did one thyroid test, told me I was fine and I went home thinking he knew best and continued feeling crap with no explanation. Maybe I was just busy and tired. What I didn’t know was, there are multiple hormones to test and the “fine” range is so vast that you can feel crappy at the bottom or fabulous at the top of the “fine”range and who doesn’t want to feel fab? We call it “OPTIMAL”

So fast forward 10 years and imagine my excitement when I discovered that the afternoon slump” the “can’t be bothered to go to the gym” and the “don’t touch me, I’m sleeping” can all be addressed with a blood test and a few hormones. When testing is done by the right people, the results tell you all sorts about yourself. Like I need an iron supplement and some Vitamin B. You may choose to not change anything but the info is powerful none the less.

my regimen

Of course, all I want is everything so I followed instructions for all the things and can testify the my new “balanced” restoration of hormones not only makes me feel like I’m regaining my youth but I don’t have to deal with the crappy pre or menopausal symptoms either.

I know someone’s likely screaming at the computer

“But Nat! HORMONES GIVE YOU CANCER”

Well I ask you “do they though?” go do the research.

Certainly there’s risks and side effects to all medicine, and at a specialty clinic, you’ll be monitored for all of them, but since 100% of my direct relatives have died due to cancer of some sort, I’m pretty sure the odds are against me anyway and I’d rather have a flat belly, good energy and a banging sex life (yeah I said it) whilst not sweating through my sheets and strangling my husband because of course it’s his fault (jk) than the 0.00000001% chance of possible increase risk of cancer.

January 2017

So if you wanna chat about it, leave me a question in the comments and I’ll add it in.

Just remember I am not a doctor but I work with docs who specialize in this and I’m happy to share my experience.