Shop Small to Make a BIG Difference!

Each year, GF likes to encourage others to “shop small”, and support small businesses who are often struggling to stay afloat with so many bigger, often cheaper, options available. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016 is “Shop Small Saturday,” an annual, nationwide event, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, that encourages others to seek out small businesses to support who are also likely trying to provide an amazing holiday experience for their families! Not only are you helping contribute to your community (or theirs, as the case may be, since several of our shop small businesses on this list are online only or perhaps out of state from you), but you can find unique treasures for nearly anyone on your list – even the person who “has it all”. 

If you’re out and about, you can look for this symbol (or similar) to denote a small business. Go in and give them a “looksee”! Never know what hidden gem you may find! A lot of restaurants and bars will also display this symbol, so stop for a bite there instead of a fast food chain.


This list will be re-shared on GF’s Facebook and other social media, throughout the holiday season. It may grow, as we stumble upon more fabulous places, worthy of note, and simply because without the support of consumers, local and small artisans, shops, business owners, etc., may not have the support (financial and otherwise) to continue providing amazing, custom and creative visions for the rest of us to enjoy. 
Also know as “Small Business Saturday”, you can read more about it here. We strongly encourage you to shop small, as much as you can this holiday season – whether it be on Shop Small Saturday or not (let’s face it – some of us just aren’t quite ready for it to be Christmas yet) – and throughout the year! Here’s some of our favorite small businesses, to get you started! Please do share this list, feel free to contact us if you know a small business that deserves to be on the list and we also strongly encourage small businesses to patronize other small businesses, and allow that spirit to cycle! 

Please remember: 

  1. As noted, several times, custom work takes time. If you’re so much as remotely interested in a custom piece from any of these vendors, please contact them directly, ASAP, for more information, including creation time and shipping. Don’t discount a custom piece if it simply can’t be done before your holiday of choice! Wrap a picture/handwritten note/card or accessory (say, a pretty pair of earrings to go in the custom jewelry box you ordered) and explain the situation. When your custom piece does arrive, it allows the season of giving, to continue! 
  2. Check back as we repost the list (it won’t be a full blog, so make sure you follow us on FB and Instagram) to refresh your memory and see any potential new additions. 
  3. This was a success last year and we heard from several fans and business that they found the perfect gift/designed or shipped orders, as a result of GF’s list! How exciting! However, please remember the spirit of this season is kindness. If something isn’t for you, or anyone on your list, simply move on. Different folks means different strokes – negativity towards an artisan or their craft(s) is not well tolerated here. 
  4. Most of these businesses have FB pages too! Give them a like to stay updated on new creations and special events they may be hosting or participating in!!!

RAINBOW GODDESS DESIGNS

rainbowgoddessdesigns.com. 

Handmade crowns to beautiful, handmade jewelry creations. Flowers, feathers, mermaid, Native American, Dia de los Meurtos, even unicorn horns! She does custom work, too…just beware custom work takes time (since every piece is handmade) and so does shipping. Unique gifts for that person who has everything! Super affordable, too! 

Von’s Pick – I love the unicorn horns and matching tails because what little girl wouldn’t want to be a unicorn for Christmas?!? The peacock feathers and swords in exotic colors really set them apart. I also love the beautiful mermaid crowns, because y’all know I’m a mermaid by day! 

MY LIP STUFF

Mylipstuff.com

The most AMAZING lip balms you can get your pucker on! 700+ flavors, earth and animal friendly, custom flavors and labels, all made with love and the perfect amount of shine and “glide” to give you a perfect pout. Don’t forget to check out the other products as well, because the Healing Body Butter stick is a miracle in a tube. You will never use Neosporin again. 

Von’s pick – Pink Cake and Nighttime are my favorite balms, but the Healing Body Butter stick is something I never leave home without! It’s healed everything from minor cuts and scrapes, to deep wounds and even bruises, faster than any product I’ve ever used. 

PERFECTLY POSH

Thepamperedmom.po.sh

Perfectly Posh is a relatively new skin care venture but one I’m glad was made. Vegan and paraben free, they’ve got you covered from head to toe – literally. Amazing scents and only the finest in essential oils and ingredients, it’s a difference you can see and feel. Best part? Everything in their huge catalog is under $25! 

Von’s Pick – Moisturize 911

If you stuff one stocking with PP this season, stuff it with this amazing crème, full of brightening, toning and complexion perfecting ingredients to make your holidays truly glow. If you do order, and want to “treat” your hostess with the mostess (I get points) you can use my link here:

https://www.perfectlyposh.com/p/?pref=5181648

PINK ZEBRA

The most amazing wax warmers and scents to fill your home with holiday cheer. Forget those little cubes! Pink Zebra uses what they call “sprinkles”, which make for easy mixing and matching scents and you control how much scent you want! I’ve also not had any problems with this product doing what those little cubes did; melting plastic combs that are designed to withstand 500° temperatures, simply by placing a new cube on top of them and forgetting over night. They will work in any standard/electric wax warmer, but at PZ prices, check out some of the super cute ones they offer. Plus, they offer “soaks”, to make your own car air fresheners, scented toys, etc.! Have a warmer under the tree and a jar of sprinkles in the stocking! Or, make it a semi-handmade gift by creating uniquely scented car fresheners for friends and family (subtle hint to the teen who leaves half a pizza in his car until it’s unrecognizable or a sachet for Aunt Mary’s quilt closet). 

Von’s Pick – Pumpkin Amber is my go-to scent whenever I need a little pick-me-up! Less PSL, a touch more warmth from the amber and a splash of citrus make this scent relaxing and refreshing. Store bought pie? No problem! The Warm Apple Pie scent will have family and friends fooled in no time! 

POPPEDIFY

The. Best. Gourmet popcorn, second to none! Hand popped, in small batches, one bag to 100! And, sooooo many delicious flavors to choose from! Just the perfect amount of light, crispy, crunchy, “candy” coating (like kettle korn), this would be perfect in a Christmas Eve box, as a stocking stuffer or for co-worker gifts and holiday parties. Make sure you order extra because it goes fast and you’re definitely going to want your own! 

Von’s Pick – The Pumpkin Spice is decadent, but I adore mixing the Cherry and Cinnamon together (it’s like Cherry Sours and Cinnamon Bears candy, both which I love). Even not being an eggnog person, their Eggnog popcorn is divine! 

TWISTED SEAS

https://poshmark.com/closet/twisted

Beautiful and eclectic jewelry and handmade creations. Think classic pieces like cameos, meets Steampunk, Gothic and more. Every piece is handmade with amazing attention to detail and custom orders are accepted. Contact them directly to see if they can help create your ideal piece, as well as for pricing and times to create and ship. 

Von’s Pick – I love the twisted classics, like the gothic cameos (mentioned above). I also like quite a bit of Steampunk fashion, and these aren’t the same Steampunk you can find all over the net. Delicate, feminine and classy; it doesn’t scream “Steampunk”, rather just “unique”.  

THE MITER BOX

http://www.themiterbox.org/

Beautiful wooden creations, by a husband and wife team, many with Celtic knot work or more Renaissance themes. The shop is online only and as mentioned, custom work takes time. Please contact them directly (not us at GF), to ask how long an order make take. They are an SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, if memory serves) household – so if you have any SCA fans/members on your list, I’m sure they’d treasure a gift from one SCA household, to theirs! 

Von’s Pick – Reagan (the wife part of this duo) has been a friend of mine for many years. Some of the beautiful, exotic woods she uses – in naturally rich, gemstone colors – are my favorite to see! She works with a deep plum one called “Purple Heart”, and I’ve been hinting to my husband that I can never have too many jewelry boxes! 

CATA VINOS

http://www.catavinoswines.com/

If you’re in, around or passing through Tucson, Cata Vinos is a wine lovers dream, tucked away off the street and hidden so well, if you blink, you’ll miss it. Most every wine is under $15 a bottle and they do offer tastings with palette cleansers (snacks), as well as wine by the glass or bottle and cater to special events. They often have a food truck onsite for special tastings and offer tapas style, small plates of meats, cheeses and olives for an additional fee, during tasting. Indoor and outdoor seating, a nice way to unwind after a long day of work or shopping, and maybe even find a gift for the wine lover on your list, while you’re there. 

Von’s Pick – Craig and I have never had a bad wine here, however the one we adore (and celebrated with for our local wedding reception when we returned from California), is a sparkling moscato and the name has completely escaped me. Owner, Yvonne, always remembers, so if you tell her Craig and Evonne, the two blondes sent you, that would likely tip her off! 

ELISA’S SOUL KISSES

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Elisasoulkisses

Handmade metaphysical tools, gems, oils, jewelry and more. Some very unusual finds, she also does auctions and flash sales on Facebook. 

Von’s Pick – The Hitman Protection Oil is the best! Infused with stone chips and herbs to help add a layer of protection against negativity and attacks, both psychic and physical, the clean, lightly citrusy scent is relaxing, refreshing and I wear it often for its anti-negativity benefits. Especially when out in public. The scent alone makes it perfect for anyone who likes a light, springy, slightly floral perfume oil. 

VIBES UP

http://shop.vibesup.com/

Products produced with ground crystals and other healing elements; range from bracelets to nail polish to their famous Earth Energy Mats, and are said to do everything from ease back pain to keep drinks colder, longer, based on this technology. They have a ton of products to chose from, so there’s bound to be something for everyone on your list! 

Von’s Pick – Not going to lie. I have quite the wish list here for Santa! But, after trying a very small piece of one of their original mats, I’d strongly suggest these! I’ve had a lot of migraines lately (tis the season, right?) and I can place one of these small pieces on my head, where the headache seems to center, and within minutes it’s gone or near gone. Make sure you read about the technology itself and some of the over 100 ways loyal fans suggest using it! 
Some of these businesses may look familiar from last year’s list – simply because they are so extraordinary! Some, have craftspeople who were on last year’s list, but have elected to showcase different talents. Some, are entirely new!  We strongly encourage you to support these and all small businesses, the community and the artisans behind this work – whether it be the little Ma&Pa diner who always makes your favorite dish just right or the amazing talents who sew, craft, create and astound everyone with their work! 

As mentioned, please let us know if you know a small business who needs some holiday love and we’ll check it out for the reposts. Yes, shopping small may cost a bit more, but you’re helping someone like you buy their kids gifts and put food on their table, as opposed to supporting some faceless CEO getting his/her 5th vacation home. 

  • Other ideas:
  • Visit a flea mall/antique mall/ garage sales/swap meet or check out one online for your area. Also consider “gently used” games/CDs/movies/books from a local small business that deals in such (Zia, Hansen’s, Bookmans). 
  • Offer to “trade” services with friends and family, instead of buying a gift (i.e., as a hairdresser, say coworkers all exchange services – I give the nail tech a hair cut and style, (s)he gives me a pedicure). Or, I offer my tattoo artist a cut and color in exchange for a small tattoo. 
  • If you’re giving a pet as a gift (always make sure the animal is wanted and the recipient able to care for the animal), adopt and don’t shop. Shelters need that donation, especially this time of year!  
  • Host company holiday parties at small restaurants/bars as opposed to big, multimillion dollar hotels and resorts. Smaller spaces encourage mingling and if the establishment doesn’t provide food, find a local caterer to do so! 
  • Shop farmers markets for in season ingredients for holiday meals. Or, ingredients like fresh honey for DIY gifts. 
  • Check out local vineyards, breweries and distilleries for the booze lover in your list. 
  • Here, we have what’s called the 4th Ave Street Fair, before the holidays. It’s in the artsy area of town and while it used to be far more local vendors, it still encourages shopping from smaller businesses – both those set up for the event and those who line the streets year ’round. Look for events like that by checking social media and local circulars and newspapers. 
  • Think charitable donations in lieu of traditional gifts. But! Wait for it! GF will be doing a blog soon on some legit ones and the etiquette behind gifting charity instead of goods. 

Think twice this holiday season! And shop small! 

Shop Small to Make a BIG Difference!

Each year, GF likes to encourage others to “shop small”, and support small businesses who are often struggling to stay afloat with so many bigger, often cheaper, options available. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016 is “Shop Small Saturday,” an annual, nationwide event, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, that encourages others to seek out small businesses to support who are also likely trying to provide an amazing holiday experience for their families! Not only are you helping contribute to your community (or theirs, as the case may be, since several of our shop small businesses on this list are online only or perhaps out of state from you), but you can find unique treasures for nearly anyone on your list – even the person who “has it all”. 

If you’re out and about, you can look for this symbol (or similar) to denote a small business. Go in and give them a “looksee”! Never know what hidden gem you may find! A lot of restaurants and bars will also display this symbol, so stop for a bite there instead of a fast food chain.


This list will be re-shared on GF’s Facebook and other social media, throughout the holiday season. It may grow, as we stumble upon more fabulous places, worthy of note, and simply because without the support of consumers, local and small artisans, shops, business owners, etc., may not have the support (financial and otherwise) to continue providing amazing, custom and creative visions for the rest of us to enjoy. 
Also know as “Small Business Saturday”, you can read more about it here. We strongly encourage you to shop small, as much as you can this holiday season – whether it be on Shop Small Saturday or not (let’s face it – some of us just aren’t quite ready for it to be Christmas yet) – and throughout the year! Here’s some of our favorite small businesses, to get you started! Please do share this list, feel free to contact us if you know a small business that deserves to be on the list and we also strongly encourage small businesses to patronize other small businesses, and allow that spirit to cycle! 

Please remember: 

  1. As noted, several times, custom work takes time. If you’re so much as remotely interested in a custom piece from any of these vendors, please contact them directly, ASAP, for more information, including creation time and shipping. Don’t discount a custom piece if it simply can’t be done before your holiday of choice! Wrap a picture/handwritten note/card or accessory (say, a pretty pair of earrings to go in the custom jewelry box you ordered) and explain the situation. When your custom piece does arrive, it allows the season of giving, to continue! 
  2. Check back as we repost the list (it won’t be a full blog, so make sure you follow us on FB and Instagram) to refresh your memory and see any potential new additions. 
  3. This was a success last year and we heard from several fans and business that they found the perfect gift/designed or shipped orders, as a result of GF’s list! How exciting! However, please remember the spirit of this season is kindness. If something isn’t for you, or anyone on your list, simply move on. Different folks means different strokes – negativity towards an artisan or their craft(s) is not well tolerated here. 
  4. Most of these businesses have FB pages too! Give them a like to stay updated on new creations and special events they may be hosting or participating in!!!

RAINBOW GODDESS DESIGNS

rainbowgoddessdesigns.com. 

Handmade crowns to beautiful, handmade jewelry creations. Flowers, feathers, mermaid, Native American, Dia de los Meurtos, even unicorn horns! She does custom work, too…just beware custom work takes time (since every piece is handmade) and so does shipping. Unique gifts for that person who has everything! Super affordable, too! 

Von’s Pick – I love the unicorn horns and matching tails because what little girl wouldn’t want to be a unicorn for Christmas?!? The peacock feathers and swords in exotic colors really set them apart. I also love the beautiful mermaid crowns, because y’all know I’m a mermaid by day! 

MY LIP STUFF

Mylipstuff.com

The most AMAZING lip balms you can get your pucker on! 700+ flavors, earth and animal friendly, custom flavors and labels, all made with love and the perfect amount of shine and “glide” to give you a perfect pout. Don’t forget to check out the other products as well, because the Healing Body Butter stick is a miracle in a tube. You will never use Neosporin again. 

Von’s pick – Pink Cake and Nighttime are my favorite balms, but the Healing Body Butter stick is something I never leave home without! It’s healed everything from minor cuts and scrapes, to deep wounds and even bruises, faster than any product I’ve ever used. 

PERFECTLY POSH

Thepamperedmom.po.sh

Perfectly Posh is a relatively new skin care venture but one I’m glad was made. Vegan and paraben free, they’ve got you covered from head to toe – literally. Amazing scents and only the finest in essential oils and ingredients, it’s a difference you can see and feel. Best part? Everything in their huge catalog is under $25! 

Von’s Pick – Moisturize 911

If you stuff one stocking with PP this season, stuff it with this amazing crème, full of brightening, toning and complexion perfecting ingredients to make your holidays truly glow. If you do order, and want to “treat” your hostess with the mostess (I get points) you can use my link here:

https://www.perfectlyposh.com/p/?pref=5181648

PINK ZEBRA

The most amazing wax warmers and scents to fill your home with holiday cheer. Forget those little cubes! Pink Zebra uses what they call “sprinkles”, which make for easy mixing and matching scents and you control how much scent you want! I’ve also not had any problems with this product doing what those little cubes did; melting plastic combs that are designed to withstand 500° temperatures, simply by placing a new cube on top of them and forgetting over night. They will work in any standard/electric wax warmer, but at PZ prices, check out some of the super cute ones they offer. Plus, they offer “soaks”, to make your own car air fresheners, scented toys, etc.! Have a warmer under the tree and a jar of sprinkles in the stocking! Or, make it a semi-handmade gift by creating uniquely scented car fresheners for friends and family (subtle hint to the teen who leaves half a pizza in his car until it’s unrecognizable or a sachet for Aunt Mary’s quilt closet). 

Von’s Pick – Pumpkin Amber is my go-to scent whenever I need a little pick-me-up! Less PSL, a touch more warmth from the amber and a splash of citrus make this scent relaxing and refreshing. Store bought pie? No problem! The Warm Apple Pie scent will have family and friends fooled in no time! 

POPPEDIFY

The. Best. Gourmet popcorn, second to none! Hand popped, in small batches, one bag to 100! And, sooooo many delicious flavors to choose from! Just the perfect amount of light, crispy, crunchy, “candy” coating (like kettle korn), this would be perfect in a Christmas Eve box, as a stocking stuffer or for co-worker gifts and holiday parties. Make sure you order extra because it goes fast and you’re definitely going to want your own! 

Von’s Pick – The Pumpkin Spice is decadent, but I adore mixing the Cherry and Cinnamon together (it’s like Cherry Sours and Cinnamon Bears candy, both which I love). Even not being an eggnog person, their Eggnog popcorn is divine! 

TWISTED SEAS

https://poshmark.com/closet/twisted

Beautiful and eclectic jewelry and handmade creations. Think classic pieces like cameos, meets Steampunk, Gothic and more. Every piece is handmade with amazing attention to detail and custom orders are accepted. Contact them directly to see if they can help create your ideal piece, as well as for pricing and times to create and ship. 

Von’s Pick – I love the twisted classics, like the gothic cameos (mentioned above). I also like quite a bit of Steampunk fashion, and these aren’t the same Steampunk you can find all over the net. Delicate, feminine and classy; it doesn’t scream “Steampunk”, rather just “unique”.  

THE MITER BOX

http://www.themiterbox.org/

Beautiful wooden creations, by a husband and wife team, many with Celtic knot work or more Renaissance themes. The shop is online only and as mentioned, custom work takes time. Please contact them directly (not us at GF), to ask how long an order may take. They are an SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism, if memory serves) household – so if you have any SCA fans/members on your list, I’m sure they’d treasure a gift from one SCA household, to theirs! 

Von’s Pick – Reagan (the wife part of this duo) has been a friend of mine for many years. Some of the beautiful, exotic woods she uses – in naturally rich, gemstone colors – are my favorite to see! She works with a deep plum one called “Purple Heart”, and I’ve been hinting to my husband that I can never have too many jewelry boxes! 

CATA VINOS

http://www.catavinoswines.com/

If you’re in, around or passing through Tucson, Cata Vinos is a wine lovers dream, tucked away off the street and hidden so well, if you blink, you’ll miss it. Most every wine is under $15 a bottle and they do offer tastings with palette cleansers (snacks), as well as wine by the glass or bottle and cater to special events. They often have a food truck onsite for special tastings and offer tapas style, small plates of meats, cheeses and olives for an additional fee, during tasting. Indoor and outdoor seating, a nice way to unwind after a long day of work or shopping, and maybe even find a gift for the wine lover on your list, while you’re there. 

Von’s Pick – Craig and I have never had a bad wine here, however the one we adore (and celebrated with for our local wedding reception when we returned from California), is a sparkling moscato and the name has completely escaped me. Owner, Yvonne, always remembers, so if you tell her Craig and Evonne, the two blondes sent you, that would likely tip her off! 

ELISA’S SOUL KISSES

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Elisasoulkisses

Handmade metaphysical tools, gems, oils, jewelry and more. Some very unusual finds, she also does auctions and flash sales on Facebook. 

Von’s Pick – The Hitman Protection Oil is the best! Infused with stone chips and herbs to help add a layer of protection against negativity and attacks, both psychic and physical, the clean, lightly citrusy scent is relaxing, refreshing and I wear it often for its anti-negativity benefits. Especially when out in public. The scent alone makes it perfect for anyone who likes a light, springy, slightly floral perfume oil. 

VIBES UP

http://shop.vibesup.com/

Products produced with ground crystals and other healing elements; range from bracelets to nail polish to their famous Earth Energy Mats, and are said to do everything from ease back pain to keep drinks colder, longer, based on this technology. They have a ton of products to chose from, so there’s bound to be something for everyone on your list! 

Von’s Pick – Not going to lie. I have quite the wish list here for Santa! But, after trying a very small piece of one of their original mats, I’d strongly suggest these! I’ve had a lot of migraines lately (tis the season, right?) and I can place one of these small pieces on my head, where the headache seems to center, and within minutes it’s gone or near gone. Make sure you read about the technology itself and some of the over 100 ways loyal fans suggest using it! 
Some of these businesses may look familiar from last year’s list – simply because they are so extraordinary! Some, have craftspeople who were on last year’s list, but have elected to showcase different talents. Some, are entirely new!  We strongly encourage you to support these and all small businesses, the community and the artisans behind this work – whether it be the little Ma&Pa diner who always makes your favorite dish just right or the amazing talents who sew, craft, create and astound everyone with their work! 

As mentioned, please let us know if you know a small business who needs some holiday love and we’ll check it out for the reposts. Yes, shopping small may cost a bit more, but you’re helping someone like you buy their kids gifts and put food on their table, as opposed to supporting some faceless CEO getting his/her 5th vacation home. 

  • Other ideas:
  • Visit a flea mall/antique mall/ garage sales/swap meet or check out one online for your area. Also consider “gently used” games/CDs/movies/books from a local small business that deals in such (Zia, Hansen’s, Bookmans). 
  • Offer to “trade” services with friends and family, instead of buying a gift (i.e., as a hairdresser, say coworkers all exchange services – I give the nail tech a hair cut and style, (s)he gives me a pedicure). Or, I offer my tattoo artist a cut and color in exchange for a small tattoo. 
  • If you’re giving a pet as a gift (always make sure the animal is wanted and the recipient able to care for the animal), adopt and don’t shop. Shelters need that donation, especially this time of year!  
  • Host company holiday parties at small restaurants/bars as opposed to big, multimillion dollar hotels and resorts. Smaller spaces encourage mingling and if the establishment doesn’t provide food, find a local caterer to do so! 
  • Shop farmers markets for in season ingredients for holiday meals. Or, ingredients like fresh honey for DIY gifts. 
  • Check out local vineyards, breweries and distilleries for the booze lover in your list. 
  • Here, we have what’s called the 4th Ave Street Fair, before the holidays. It’s in the artsy area of town and while it used to be far more local vendors, it still encourages shopping from smaller businesses – both those set up for the event and those who line the streets year ’round. Look for events like that by checking social media and local circulars and newspapers. 
  • Think charitable donations in lieu of traditional gifts. But! Wait for it! GF will be doing a blog soon on some legit ones and the etiquette behind gifting charity instead of goods. 

Think twice this holiday season! And shop small! 

POSH Spice! 

Don’t cringe! We’re not going to to discuss the rumored Spice Girls reunion. That’s not really what I want, at least. 

No, I’m talking about Perfectly Posh skin care. Chock-full of yummy smelling, good for your skin ingredients, this line is perfectly decadent.

Perfectly Posh is a US based company, featuring skin and hair care products that are vegan (with the exception of milk, honey and beeswax in some products), does not test on animals, is void of petroleum-based products (a huge deal in our house since Craig’s Toxic Exposure was as a result of petroleum distillates in solvents and inks) and paraben free, utilizing the finest natural ingredients and essential oils for naturally beautiful skin. 

My Posh sample pack included – 

  • Fall Out Girl body soap chunk
  • Boho Soul Fat Yummy hand crème 
  • Olive My Love mild face cleanser
  • Never Grow Up anti-aging face serum
  • Never Grow Up anti-aging face crème
  • Dawn On Me daytime facial oil
  • Moisturize 911 caffeinated tightening face crème 

Good things come in small packages! Cash, jewelry and Perfectly Posh! All those beautifully packaged little pouches of luxurious scents, silky textures and complexion perfection! Plus, I’m a sucker for a handwritten “thank you” note – its a dying art.

I’m also a sucker for beautiful handwriting, since I can’t read my own 90% of the time! I was relaxed before I ever got the pretty pink package open!

All of these samples were hand-picked by my Perfectly Posh consultant, Kristen, based on a short series of questions about my skin concerns and scent preferences. No form to fill out. Just a brief, one-on-one chat about my skin issues and goals. 
Kristen is a stay at home mom, one of the toughest jobs around, and started with Perfectly Posh on the search for natural, affordable skin care products that left her feeling pampered. Being a stay at home mom with young children, pampering is often left by the wayside, and she found Posh gave her that, in whatever few moments she had, leaving her feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the day (and probably the kids here and there), making her a better mom and a better “her”. 

“It’s amazing how far a little pampering can go to make women (with or without kids), feel rejuvenated!”, Kristen states. 

And, fewer, truer words have been spoken. 

Now, I’m 35 but typically guessed in my mid to late 20’s. As a teen, I had horrible cystic acne that left pocking and scarring, which took me years to repair. Even into my early 20’s, I was still battling horrible acne along both jaws, to the point I appeared to have some futuristic, alien disease. Nope. Just horrible acne. Dermablend was my everyday foundation and I refused to leave the house without it because I was simply so embarrassed and self conscious about my skin. And, I wouldn’t be caught dead letting someone photograph me or taking a selfie without a Kylie Jenner style, 200 step makeup application. 

I then discovered the miracle of good skin care, which not only helped me repair the damage done, but also shlepped years off my appearance. In fact, I’m now regularly asked what my secret is and rarely believed when I state simply, “good skin care and a good skin care routine”. One day a week isn’t going to get that glow back or soften the signs of aging. You have to be diligent (but, that’s another blog). In fact, I was complimented three times last week alone, by complete strangers, wanting to know what foundation I used. I may wear a light BB cream for special events (and that’s mostly for the SPF), but even that’s rare these days. 

Halloween decorating with Craig about a month ago – not a drop of makeup. Hell…don’t even think I brushed my hair before pulling it up/back!

Clean and fresh skin for bed. I know its a pain folks, but ALWAYS take all that makeup off before bed! Leaving it on can clog pores, break/make eyelashes brittle and over time, the residual build up will dull your complexion, especially if you don’t exfoliate regularly!

Go karting with hubby for a Saturday date day! We played 18 holes of mini golf, before this picture was taken, too. Nothing but my BB cream (mascara, waterline liner and lipstick), in Arizona heat of 100°+ for Labor Day! Another perk to a great skin care product and routine is using less makeup (should you choose to wear any), because your skin isn’t “drinking it up”, and easier application! I’m done in five minutes and ready to go, with makeup that’s going to stay put and not slide off an hour later! I’m not constantly fussing and checking it, either. Skin care is the true foundation of gorgeous skin, whether you decide to enhance it with makeup or not.

I’ve tried a lot of skin care, too. Drug store to department store, $5.00 to $500.00. Especially since GF came into existence. I won’t lie – I definitely have my favorites! However, with everything in the catalog being under $25.00 a pop, Perfectly Posh just moved up my list! 

Not only do these products smell amazing, they’re gentle, rich without being heavy and in the week I’ve been using them, I’ve seen results (especially with my favorite amongst the products I tried, but we’ll get to that in a minute). With something for every skin type, including products with charcoal and volcanic ash to combat dull skin, Black Sea salt and honey to exfoliate and turmeric and Shea butter to give skin, what they call, “the Midas touch”, let’s start with my experience and get you familiar with some of the products before you go blowing up Kristen’s inbox wanting to know what she recommends for you. 

Main skin complaints for me, personally: 

Dull skin, dry skin (I live in a desert and my NY skin does not approve), unevenness, tightening/firming and reducing pore size. 

My scent preferences are irrelevant for the most part. That’s definitely an individual thing. Not that skin concerns aren’t, but far easier to narrow complexion offenders than scent – and they have a lot! That mostly applies to their body soaps (Chunks) and hand creams, in my opinion, anyway. 

Fall Out Girl body soap chunk – I liked this glycerin based body soap quite a bit! It removed the grime and grossness of the daily grind, never felt greasy or heavy, left my skin soft and I used far less lotion! In fact, Craig asked if I’d switched body lotions because my skin didn’t feel as dry and look as ashy. A little goes a long way, because it lathered so nicely. Never mind the name; the scent is pomegranate and blackberry which smells wonderfully fresh and fruity. It’s not for the faint of heart! The scent is a bit strong (if you’ve followed GF very long, you know my husband is very sensitive to scent, and while he liked it, he just simply uttered, “too strong” when I shoved it under his nose. After bath he didn’t mind it though). Cocoa butter and pomegranate seed oil are the package selling points, as far as ingredients go. After this fabulous “chunk”, I’ve got my eye on some of the ocean scented ones – because y’all know by now, I’m a mermaid at heart! Kristen also recommends these, especially the citrus and fruity scented ones. In fact, this is her absolute favorite product by Posh! When your hostess and her rep say it’s good, you should trust us! 

I was so excited, I couldn’t even wait to snap a shot before I ripped into that Boho Soul hand crème! While the chunks are decedent, they are glycerine based (at least Fall Out Girl is), which means they will “melt” faster if you just leave them on the side of the tub or in a shower caddy. Invest in a covered soap dish (look in the travel section at your local dollar or big box store), to keep glycerine soaps fresher, longer. Its also going to reduce the messy soap puddle it will inevitably leave in it’s wake, and who wants to spend an hour scraping half your delicious soap off the tub or caddy? Plus, once it melts down IN the dish, you can simply dip your fingers in and make sure you get every last, precious drop!

 

Boho Soul Fat Yummy hand crème – Again, loved this lightweight, non-greasy hand crème that didn’t gunk up my rings! I find I often skip using lotion, especially hand lotions, because it’s not worth the effort to clean my bazillion rings (most of which have pavé accents, A.K.A., little diamonds of endless frustration when it comes to cleaning them – and it’s both hands) afterwards. Spiced fruits, Amber and Oud wood make up the scent, which turned a lovely, musky sandalwood scent after mingling with my body chemistry. Coconut and Apricot kernel oil, again, a little dab did hands to elbows without a second thought. The difference was noticeable immediately too. Another of Kristen’s picks; she says the Big Fat Yummy Hand Crèmes can even withstand dishwashing after use! I’d test that theory, but then I’d have to fess up to the hubby that I’m really not allergic to it. 

Check this out! Boho Soul on the initial application. I ONLY applied to my hands, to make sure the scent wasn’t going to overpower my husband. Notice the very subtle line of demarcation (the color change), right where my hand meets wrist? That difference was from a single use! You can see the softer, more even tone to the texture of the skin on my hand, as well.



Olive My Love mild face cleanser – This was my least favorite of the lot. Olive and Avocado oil, it claims 6-8 drops will develop a nice lather on dry or damp skin. I must be doing something wrong, because I cannot get this to lather. Not even a bit of bubble. My cosmetology instincts tell me the oils are a bit heavy and preventing that, especially since it also contains sunflower and lavender oils. It doesn’t feel heavy on the skin and it did cut through my mascara with little to no effort. My skin felt clean and looked great. I think, personally though, another of their cleansers might be a better fit for me. In fact, I think the BFF exfoliating daily face wash might be one catching my eye. That, or one with the volcanic ash, that may be a bit more aggressive. Kristen swears by the Pore-fect Deep facial cleansing bar, which offers a deep clean and tightening benefits. Lasting her an average of four months (and retailing for only $9 bucks! Let me tell you…the one I currently use retails for $60) so I may be adding this to my list for Santa as well! I’m not typically a fan of bar cleansers for the face, but at that price, I can get over it (unlike my dishwashing allergy *cough, cough*). 

Never Grow Up anti-aging face serum – Designed to be used in conjunction with the crème, this semi-viscous liquid is designed to tone skin before bed by patting into wrinkle-prone areas. Includes caffeine, lots of lavender and even watermelon seed oil, so it has a light, relaxing scent, perfect for before bed. 

Never Grow Up anti-aging face crème – Follow up the serum, by applying this a bit more generously to entire face and neck. Again, all the products are light-weight and non-greasy, so I’m going to assume we’ve established that. Coffee, olive and avocado oils, rose extract and exactly 3/4 of the fruit section of the grocery store, I did feel it was relaxing and easy to wear and a big peeve of mine…absorbed immediately so it didn’t stain or rub off on bedclothes. 

Dawn On Me daytime facial oil – “Lime, Ginger & Other Essential Oils”, I applied this before Moisturize 911. Very citrusy smelling (I commented to a friend after the first use, I smelled as fresh as an orange grove in spring), it suggests applying under makeup and is certainly light enough to do so. 

But, the winner (they’re all winners, so let’s say the “gold”) goes to…

And, the gold medal goes to…Moisturize 911! So special, in fact, it received the moment of glory; posing atop my beloved mermaid pillow! This AM pot of coffee for the skin, deserved it!


Moisturize 911 caffeinated tightening face crème THIS was by far my favorite! Vitamin C, glycerin, orange and an extra caffeine “kick”, this is your morning pot of coffee for your skin! It states it can be used 2-3 times daily, but honestly, once was all I needed for a beautiful glow and a definite difference in tightening, brightening, evenness and firming. I totally understand why this is one of the company’s top 10 sellers! If you only try one Perfectly Posh product, I’d highly recommend this one!  Even my husband noticed after I applied this, saying my skin looks, “softer, brighter and prettier. It always looks healthy but it looks even healthier.” My husband isn’t one to not notice a new haircut or that I’ve lost weight – Craig is quite observant to even the most subtle changes I make. He’s also always flattering, but every bit as honest as I am (just typically a lot more tactful about it). If he doesn’t like something, or he thinks something isn’t flattering, he will say so (which is why I now avoid neon green nail polish). Today, though, after five days of Perfectly Posh pampering, he immediately commented when he got home about how nice my skin looked and inquired what I was doing differently because it looked, “even prettier than normal”. I’m sold! 

Day 1 – Fresh out of the bath, after using Fall Out Girl, Olive My Love, Never Grow Up serum and Never Grow Up crème. Forgive my crooked smile – I had my forward helix (very hard cartilage ear piercing) re-pierced the day prior, and smiling hurt.

Day 5 – After an application of Moisturize 911, and having used all the Perfectly Posh products, noticeably tighter, brighter, more radiant skin! No makeup, no filters, not even a digital pimple popper (concealer).

“Oh my Posh!” Not the most flattering shot, but I wanted to show the eye area and how much my pore size shrank and became more consistent. And, forget crow’s feet! There’s not even a feather around these eyes!


Now, I mentioned before that the key to gorgeous, glowing, youthful skin, in my opinion, is a good skin care product and routine, which would be another blog. Very true. There’s a lot of stuff to know about getting the most out of your skin. If you’re going to invest in a great skin care line like Perfectly Posh, let’s take a quick, “crash course”, so you can make the most of your pampering and truly reap the rewards every single day – when you’re sleeping in an extra half hour before work because you don’t need that time to do your makeup, every single night, when you’re not hunched over the sink with a putty knife, trying to scrape it all back off and especially every single time a stranger asks you your secret to such great skin. 

Day 6 – Craig and I attended a Koi festival, which was held outside, and then a wine and food tasting. What better way to see how Perfectly Posh reflects than under three, different light sources, at multiple times of day? I am wearing my standard BB cream, a touch of blush, eye makeup and lip gloss. The only thing I touched all day was to reapply lip gloss, once! This was, of course, after using Dawn on Me and Moisturize 911. My makeup practically applied itself! I was sad to wash my face with Olive My Love about 9:00PM, before bed, but my skin felt amazing! Clean, soft and my Never Grow Up serum and crème absorbed right in. Talk about compliments on my skin! “Oh my Posh”! And, poor Craig! I kept yelling, “Look at it! LOOK. AT. IT!”, at random intervals.I ADORE the way my skin looks and feels! It honestly looks airbrushed!!!


Laying the foundation 

There’s a metric shit-ton (yes, that is an actual unit of measurement) of products to choose from for skin. Everyone is different, and much like wine, why  there are so many brands and varietals to pick and choose from; something for everyone. 

However, like in cooking, there is a “holy trinity”. Skin care products aren’t cheap, especially when you get into all the “extras” which we will in a moment. The best way to start, especially if you’re new to a skin care regimen, is with what I consider to be “the holy trinity”. 

1. Cleanser 

This should go without saying. Like you clean your body, you need to clean your face. Consider creamy, milky, non-foaming cleansers for dry and delicate skin and more effervescent ones for oily and acne prone. An almond sized amount should be plenty to do face and neck. 

2. Toner 

After cleansing, toning is a great way to stabilize skin’s pH balance and allow all the lotions and potions to fully absorb and work to their best ability. It also helps to remove any traces of soap residue left behind. A great, inexpensive one is Witch Hazel (commonly found near the rubbing alcohol and peroxide at your drug or big box store). Natural and gentle, it’s great for cuts and bug bites as well. To use, simply dampen a cotton ball or pad with tepid water and then apply a bit of the Witch Hazel. The water soaks in first, allowing you to save a bit of product and cash by not using quite as much, leaving the Witch Hazel right on top so you’re really getting every last bit on your skin. The cotton ball/pad is already soft and clean coming out of the bag and doesn’t need any help. 

3. Moisturizers 

Both day and night. Day creams should be light enough to wear under makeup (should you choose) and contain SPF. Make sure you’re using a portion about the size of a dried banana chip to get plenty of SPF coverage. Night creams will be a bit heavier; more dense and saturated, to help undo and prevent environmental damages as well as good ol’ genetics. Because they’re more concentrated, you’ll only really need a M&M sized amount. Even oily skin needs to be moisturized! Look for ones that contain salacylic acid, alpha and beta hydroxy acids or even tea tree oils to combat shine and acne flare-ups. Dry skin benefits from extra moisturizing goodies like honey, avocado oil, coconut oil and ingredients to help firm and tone like collagen and elastin, or some of the PP ingredients we’ll get to in a second. 

Kristen agrees! Her number one tip for healthy, glowing skin is moisturizing. 

“Hot water is drying, as it strips oils and moisture from your skin. It’s so important to moisturize to keep skin youthful and radiant.”

Hence, this being one of the steps in the trinity; especially in dry climates or as skin ages, moisture levels in skin deplete, which is a huge factor in premature aging, fine lines, wrinkles, sagging and uneven skin tone. The best method is prevention, and you’re never too young, or too old, to start reaping the benefits of what daily moisturizing can do for your skin. 

*Please note: Perfectly Posh’s day creams DO NOT contain a SPF! They do, however, sell a separate product called My Hero, that has a SPF of 30 via zinc oxide (honestly, all you need. A 50 or 70 has not been proven to provide any added protection). Whether you opt to go this route, or use a SPF bearing BB cream or foundation, just make sure you’re getting it on, somehow. UVA and UVB protection is a huge factor in preventing skin cancer and premature aging! 

After the trinity, I strongly recommend:

  • Exfoliating – By sloughing off the dry, dead layers of skin, you not only have a brighter, healthier looking appearance immediately, but save time and product, since it allows product to get straight to the source. 1-3 times a week is plenty and again, skin type will determine how coarse a “grit” you want and how often you may want to use it. Oily skin should look for coarser grits like sand, coffee grounds, walnut shells and extra coarse salt/sugar scrubs, while sensitive and dry skin may better benefit from baking soda, small seeds and extra fine shells/salts/sugars, microbeads or even just a soft, damp washcloth. Usually a nickel-sized amount is plenty. 
  • Masques – Oily and acne prone skin may find peel off masks work better for them, while dry and sensitive skin typically responds better to mud and clay type masques. Water masques are usually well suited for all skin types, but again, check the ingredients! If you have dry skin, you certainly don’t want a clay masque full of salacylic acid to dry it out even more. Once a week or bi-monthly use, makes investing in a good masque easy to do and affordable! Typically masques should be left for 20-30 minutes, and can cram 3-5 times the amount of skin nourishing goodness into the skin in a half an hour, as a week’s worth of creams and lotions. That is not a “get out of jail free card” to avoid daily moisturizing, though. 
  • Eye Cream – The skin around the eyes and lips is thinner, which is why they’re more prone to showing the signs of aging faster than the rest of the face. A good eye cream, dabbed gently into the outer eye area every night, can help head off or reverse laugh lines and crow’s feet. A sunflower kernel sized dab is plenty and I stress gently patting as opposed to rubbing on such delicate skin. Bonus? Because eye creams are so densely packed with nutrients, they also make a great lip balm for severely chapped lips. Just use a clean cotton swab to avoid cross contamination with the eyes and never “double dip”. 

From there, depending on your skin’s needs and your concerns and goals, you can get into everything from Glycolic Acid peels (any concentration over 10% is illegal in the states, FYI), to zit zappers to light therapy and beyond. As I said, skin care is a vast topic and this is just a way to help you get the most out of, what I consider, the essentials. A nice guide to keep handy if you’re building a gift basket this holiday season, as well!

 

***Always read product directions and follow, especially if you get into acids, like glycolic. You can do more damage than good. These are general recommendations and guidelines, being a cosmetologist and based on the products I’ve worked most with. ***

What are some of these ingredients and what can they do for me? 

I was curious too. I can only retain so much information on any given subject, and that’s primarily the information most likely to be used and some random trivia here and there. Even I was curious about some of the “stuff”, that makes Perfectly Posh naturally fabulous. I’m also including a few I see repeating on the products, just in case you were wondering. 

Rough little grains of natural sea salt, colored in a rich, dramatic black, thanks to activated charcoal.

  • Black Sea salt – This one had me from the get-go. It’s simply sea salt, from several locations around the world (Hawaii is very well known, for what you’ll see as obvious reasons), which has been mixed with activated charcoal. Charcoal is fantastic for getting the skin über clean and detoxifying all the junk that’s built up on it. Same goes for charcoal powder and volcanic ash (all three make amazing exfoliating tools – think salt/powder/ash to oily/normal/sensitive. 
  • Caffeine – Becoming increasingly popular in skin care and beauty products, caffeine helps to tighten and firm the skin. Super effective on cellulite, too. 
  • Tumeric – This may have shown up on your grocery list lately because it’s one of the superfoods of the minute. However, topically, it helps control oil, reverse acne scars (wish I’d know about this 10 years ago!) and even skin tone. One thing to watch – if you’re a bronzed babe, regular use can lighten the skin slightly. 
  • Watermelon Seed Oil – An excellent oil for all skin types,  it can firm and prevent a multitude of skin disorders, such as acne. It gently removes excess sebum (oil) and detoxifies as well. 
  • Kaolin – A natural clay; one of the US’ largest sources is Georgia. A soft clay, it absorbs oil and impurities and has a mildly astringent effect. Also known to control diarrhea, we do not recommend eating your skin care, no matter how good it may smell. 
  • Pomegranate Seed Oil – A “dry oil”, it absorbs quickly and helps to firm and tighten skin. Loaded with all the same, health-boosting antioxidants we’ve come to know and love from the juice and those damn little frustrating seeds, that’s now going straight on your skin and skipping the, ahem, scenic route. 
  • Argan Oil – Another trendy cure all, this super moisturizing oil is derived from a nut (if memory serves), which can be found in only a couple places in the world and is traditionally still hand harvested and pressed. It’s very much like liquid gold for your skin. 
  • Grape Leaf and Grape Seed Oil – Prior to GF, I blogged for another site (who shall remain nameless due to their ethics and horrible business practice), and did a review on some lip products containing wine. Yes, wine! While only one of the three products had a powdered wine in it, they all included Grape Seed Oil and Grape Leaf. What I found in my research was wine  (or, more likely Grape Leaf and Grapeseed Oil) helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles and firm skin. So, now you can drink your wine and slather it all over your face, too, for a double dose of its healing and nurturing effects. Salut! 

Oud wood slice – that dark, icky center is where the lush scent and highly prized wood is derived from.

  • Oud Wood – Not an ingredient, rather the scent of Boho Soul had me intrigued. Well, sit down for this little nugget of knowledge, especially if you have a weak stomach. This highly prized scent comes from evergreen trees, native to Asia after a particular mold develops in the tree. The trees are odorless and light in color until this fungus takes over, turning the heart of the tree a rich, dark color with this musky, woodsy scent. So, think of it as the mushrooms of the perfume world. 

What’s with all the citrus?!?

Aside from the blood orange, I do believe the Never Grow Up crème contains all of these juicy fruits!


Not only is citrus acidic yet relatively alkaline on the pH scale, it can help balance the skin’s pH to a slightly acidic 5.5 (where you want it – 7 is neutral, if you were curious, with anything under being acidic and anything over, alkaline). Mildly astringent, it helps clean up excess oil, loaded with Vitamin C and those bright colors aren’t just for show (or margaritas)! New studies have found the bright colors of citrus fruits can actually brighten skin with regular use. Remember that episode of the ‘Brady Bunch’, where Jan wanted to “bleach” her freckles? 

(Don’t lie! We’re not here to judge!) 

The friendly neighborhood pharmacist recommended lemon. Citrus can fade dark spots (in a more concentrated form, ala Jan Brady), even skin tone and give it a brighter appearance. It’s naturally slightly antibacterial (how many household cleansers do you own that smell like lemon? Also, with my husband being so scent-sitive, we can’t use bleach or most household cleansers, nor can I use Barbacide to disinfect my tools as a hairdresser. I use a hospital grade, all five levels needed to qualify as hospital grade and it’s-not-getting-any-cleaner-unless-it-goes-in-an-autoclave, disinfectant called Citrus 2, which is loaded with citrus oils), so it’s perfect for gently removing oils and unclogging pores (maybe where you picked at that pimple with dirty hands) to prevent and treat acne. In fact, during my battle with acne, a good friend and naturopathic doctor suggested drinking lime juice every day. Citrus is good stuff! Inside and out! 

Now, gentlemen! You need to be taking care of your skin as well! Lucky as most men are to age gracefully and become more distinguished looking as they get older, the popularity of metrosexuality in the early 2000’s made it much more acceptable for men to use a skin care regimen. To be honest, like hair care products, typically the biggest difference in “men’s products” versus “women’s products”, is in packaging and marketing (often times, scent). My husband (lucky bastard) is almost 54 and still gets carded buying me a pack of cigarettes. He also uses bar soap – grocery store body soap – on his face, which I admit, makes me die a little inside every time I witness the autrocity. If I nag enough, I can get him to exfoliate occasionally and after almost nine years, I don’t have to hog-tie him to slather on a little moisturizer or a spot treatment (bless him! He gets my acne at “that time of the month”! In fact, about six months ago I had a tiny pimple on my chin and he, being the ham he is, after noticing, followed with all the appropriate melodrama and aplomb, even going so far as to fake fainting and pretend to call Guinness). 

Craig and I at our local wedding reception, May 2015. We were married in California, on the beach, and most of our friends and family couldn’t make the trip, so we had our reception at a local wine bar upon returning to Arizona. Gorgeous (and all mine, ladies and gents), he certainly doesn’t look much, if any, older than I do! Lucky &*%#&@!


However, I can see where a lot of men probably wouldn’t want a bunch of pink and white products scattered around their bathroom, especially the bachelors. That’s just asking, begging even, for relentless teasing from friends and the “raised brow” of suspicion from any potential love interests who may stop by. While Perfectly Posh’s packaging is clean, trendy and what I’d consider gender neutral for the most part, it’s also targeted to a younger age range, in my opinion, which, while Craig wouldn’t care (he’d just blame me, plus he’s pretty secure in his masculinity), I see where some guys may be a bit concerned (I can hear my 21 year old son whining, “Really Mom?!? Pink?!?”, even though he does a better smoky eye than I do).Never fear! Posh has got the guys covered, too, with a line dedicated to the dudes! 

Give “twinkle toes” a whole new meaning!


Head to toe, too, Posh has products to spoil your scalp and treat your feet. After a long day of standing and walking at the Koi festival, the Rubby Scrubby stick for feet, with naturally exfoliating beads and peppermint has my dogs begging for a pedicure! I’m a die-hard fan of that product that comes in the big, green tube, out of a famous, New York apothecary, that uses a couple initials and a last name (they do a minty lip shine, that freshens breath, too – you know the company), but I’d love to see how Posh stands up to my tried-and-true. Kristen recommends Snarky Bar – a Shea butter and sugar bead scrubbing and exfoliating bar – she says it keeps her feet in tip top shape between pedicures, and the rest of her skin glowing too. “Think of it as a soap and loofah all wrapped up in one!”, she tells GF. And, if you weren’t aware folks, those loofah balls hanging in your shower should be replaced at least once a month. They’re a breeding ground for bacteria. Save yourself the cash, and the headache, and grab a Snarky Bar instead. 


While we’re on the subject of lip glosses, Perfectly Posh has your pucker pampering needs as well! That one I have my doubts about, simply because I’ve been a My Lip Stuff junkie for so long, I have doubts any lip balm can hold up to the kissable softness, shine and 700 flavors of MLS. I’ve been an addict since 2006, and view other lip balms with a great deal of suspicion and skepticism. MLS’ Healing Body Butter Balm also has Craig and me hooked, so not sure I could belly-up to try Posh’s The Healer Skin Stick, either. Stranger things have happened; so we may have to just for the sake of skin science. Kristen recommends it! As a stay at home mother of young children, I’m guessing she knows a lot about “uht-ohs” and “boo-boos”, and while I do love my Healing Body Butter Balm, the vanilla and citrus might be a bit more soothing to young noses. 

Another of Kristen’s favorites is the Gender Bender “chunk”, but perhaps not for the reasons you may think. Shea butter, palm oil and activated charcoal offer deep cleansing and detoxing without sacrificing moisture, but Kristen says this the best makeup brush cleaner she’s found! She swears by it; stating cost effectiveness, longevity and ease of use, beats her old $20 a bottle cleaner, bristles down! This is another one folks (and I’m guilty too) – you should be cleaning those makeup brushes at least once a month or anytime they go on any face other than your own. Not only will your makeup look less “muddy” due to all the product build up, but they too can harbor bacteria and contribute to cross contamination on the face. An acne break out could be the least of your problems. Wash until water runs clear, blot excess water then allow to dry flat to retain shape. 
Another “fun fact” about Perfectly Posh is their You Deserve It foundation, which aims to, “share pampering, bringing [sic] their message that everyone deserves to take a minute or two for themselves each and every day”. It’s not selfish – it’s about nurturing oneself, inside and out, to be the best you, you can be

To check out the foundation and some of their projects, visit You Deserve It! 

Also, if you’d like to help out your hostess with the mostess here at GF, you can order these multitudes of skin care miracles in tubs and tubes and jars by clicking on MY personal Perfectly Posh link! Get glowing, glittering skin and help a sistah out! Yes, folks! I’m that hooked. It’s my new addiction (at least this one is healthier than most of my other ones!). Trust me! You’ll be just as hooked, just as fast! Think of it like skin crack!

Perfectly Posh Would also make fabulous gifts for holidays, birthdays and other special occasions for: 

  • Teachers
  • Hair Stylists/Nail Techs
  • The In-laws (or, to stash in their room/bathroom when they visit)
  • Babysitters
  • Team Coaches
  • Team Moms
  • Co-workers
  • Friends
  • Neighbors (especially that nice one who always pulls up your trash cans)
  • Pet Groomers 
  • Doctors and Nurses
  • White Elephant Parties/Secret Santa
  • A Favorite Waitress/Sommelier 
  • Teenage kids’ GF/BF 

And, so much more! Think of the Big Fat Yummy Hand Crèmes alone! Male or female, how many of those folks above constantly have their hands in water or chemicals and could use a little TLC? You don’t have to be all “up” in their business either! 


I’m hooked. No, I’m not a consultant, and as always, have not been paid to provide a positive review. However, I strongly encourage you to give Perfectly Posh a try! I cannot stress that enough! Worst case, you hate it (which you totally won’t), I’ll send you my address and your can pamper your hostess with the mostess here at Glitter Fantasy (who has a birthday coming up, too *cough, nudge, wink*). 

Trust us! You’ll thank me (maybe with some PP) when you’re constantly being asked, “Oh my Posh! Your skin looks amazing! What do you use?!?”. 

Posh gratification. 

Perfectly Posh for the perfect complexion! Being a MUA, I would swear this had been airbrushed! And, yes, my husband and I supported “Safety Pin Saturday” which, if you’re not familiar, is a simple display to designate a person as “safe” to anyone being harassed or threatened. A small gesture to show we’re friendly, will not judge and help assist you out of whatever situation is making you uncomfortable.


*If you have any doubts, please take a moment to refresh yourself with our PR and review policies, by clicking our “pages” link at the top left of the main page. We never accept bribes, or threats, in any form, in exchange for a positive review. Please see our review policy for more information. 

**None of the images (skin/personal) have been edited in any way. No filters, no Photoshopping; they are raw and un-retouched. 

***Images: Personal, candlesupply, Pinterest, AATEA, Rhysa Photography, stocksy, perfectly posh

      Don’t Fall Victim to This Horror Story This Halloween (or ever)!

      ~~~*WARNING – this story includes graphic photos and images some may find disturbing or a trigger*~~~

      Tis the season for scary stories, however, this isn’t the type most people have in mind when they imagine sitting around a bonfire with a flashlight and some s’mores. While it is graphic, it does contain a very important message, that’s often overlooked. 

      Yes, this happened to me. Yes, the photos are 100% real and un-retouched. 

      If you’ve followed GF for awhile, you may know that I have quite a few chronic health issues. My husband and I also have a great deal of stress in our lives, both as a result of our health problems, as well as other, more personal issues. I do my best to keep GF an upbeat, lighthearted, fun place, full of the beauty this world has to offer, instead of focusing on the negative. Last week though, I had two scares, if you will, that I feel compelled to share since they are both things we (as a society) often take for granted. 

      Well, one thing really, but two different incidents. 

      The people we trust with our health. Namely, doctors and pharmacists

      Craig and I see our PC (Primary Care Physican) monthly, because we both take narcotic class painkillers (oxycodone), which in AZ is a controlled substance and therefore we have to have a new prescription each month as opposed to automatic refills. 

      We also use three different pharmacies, between us. Our main pharmacy doesn’t keep enough oxycodone on hand to fill our monthly prescriptions, nor do they keep enough Valium (which I’m on). So, he uses “X” pharmacy for his oxy and I use “Y” pharmacy for my oxy and Valium, due to which takes who’s insurance, and we use “Z” pharmacy for everything else. 

      There’s the backstory. 

      Now…last week (Monday, the 26), we went in to our PC for our regularly scheduled, monthly prescription refill. Also, I was put on two more medications; one of which I have used in the past and one which I had not. We dropped them off at pharmacy “Z” to be filled, but being backed up, waited until the next day (Tuesday) to pick them up. At that time, my hubby dropped off my other scripts to pharmacy “Y”, to be filled and ready Wednesday. 

      I got into a lengthy phone conversation that night with my friend and neighbor, after I had taken this new pill. After about four hours I said, “yanno what? Just come over! My ear’s going numb!”. Craig was doing some work for his son and being exhausted, decided to crash at his house for the night, instead of making the long drive, late at night, when he’s tired and has to be up early. He does this often so it didn’t bother me – besides, I was enjoying a “girl’s night” gossip and giggle fest with my friend (who, coincidentally, shares almost identical medical problems). 

      One minute we’re laying back, relaxing…I’m showing her some reflexology points on her feet to help reduce pressure in other areas, when suddenly I look up and it’s not my neighbor anymore. It’s a little, old, Asian man (think George Takei in about 20 years). The room was spinning. Words didn’t make sense. I’m asking her who she is and she even sounded like an older Asian gentleman. My vision is blurry. My heart feels like it’s about to pound through my chest. 

      I’ve never done acid or ‘shrooms or any kind of hallucinogenic drugs before, but what I imagine the equivalent of a “bad trip” to be. 

      The last thing I remember with any clarity at all, was reaching over and grabbing a knife I keep in the end table for protection and thrusting it into my outer thigh. 

      Look to the right-hand side of my thigh, above the knee. This was about an hour after the inital stab and the bleeding had subsided.

      Blood was, needless to say, everywhere. My friend, bless her, stayed with me until I “came down” and my husband could get to me, I stopped hallucinating, applied pressure to stop the bleeding, tended the wound and bandaged it. She was covered head-to-toe in my blood (which, I do remember reassuring her I didn’t have any blood-borne pathogens like HIV or Hepatitis), and being a true friend, which is hard to find these days, she didn’t care. She cared about taking care of me. I also remember trying to stand and my itty bitty, 5’4″, 100# wet, neighbor caught my 5’9″, 150# ass. 

      First cleaning. Salt and alcohol. Old school. My friend told my husband while she was on the phone with him, waiting for him to get home, “I’m a tough bitch”! No way! She’s the tough one, not bailing and staying cool when most people would have freaked.

      I’d love to tell you more – including why on earth I decided to shove and eight inch, serrated butcher knife about 3″ into my leg – but, I can’t. I have no clue what possessed me to do so. 

      The knife. As she was on the phone with Craig, she grabbed the medical information pamphlet that came with the new prescription. I was suffering from all six of the top, stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200, go straight to the ER side effects.

      My husband naturally, was upset and furious. He called our PC who said I was “obviously beyond medication and needed to be in a psych ward and he’s not a psychologist”. I might add, he didn’t even have the balls to come to the phone himself, rather had his RNA deliver that information. 

      Not satisfied with that answer, he called the pharmacist at pharmacy “Z”, where it was filled. He knows us well and within two seconds found the problem and apologized profusely for not catching it himself, since he filled it. 

      The new medication and one I’ve been on for about a year don’t play nice together. Apparently, I was lucky I only suffered what I did, since this combo could have lowered my BP too far, too fast had I chosen to go to sleep (which, I was planning to do until I got into the epic phone marathon with my neighbor) and stopped my heart. This combination is apparently a huge NO, and being my only prescribing physician for the last year and a half, my PC should have caught that. He showed no remorse or responsibility for what could have very realistically left my husband planning a funeral, and showed absolutely no concern for “squeezing me in” to clean, check and stitch the wound that resulted from his fuck up. 

      Cleaning and changing the dressing yesterday. Thankfully it was a “clean” wound. The bruising extends 2-3″ around the wound and the pain from groin to ass, knee to hip.

      Naturally, having hit nerve and muscle, and being in a great deal of pain, my husband picked up my prescriptions from pharmacy “Y”. They’re notorious for changing the manufacturer on my Valium every couple months, but later that evening as I reached in to grab one before bed, lights off, watching a movie and keeping my leg elevated, I kept gravitating towards a pill that was significantly larger and smoother in texture than the others in the bottle. 

      I reach over and turn on the light to see what the fuck is going on, and apparently I must have been the 500th customer at pharmacy “Y” last month, because they threw in a “freebie”…which, ironically was in the same class of drugs as the one that damn near killed me (I looked up the number online to find out exactly what it was). It wasn’t the exact same drug, but like hell if I’m taking any chances! 

      One thing in this photo does not look like the others. I’d never even heard of this pill before, nontheless taken it.

      Here’s the thing folks – doctors, nurses, therapists, pharmacists – their job is to help us. Part of why they take what’s called the Hippocratic Oath, which is a vow to do no harm. Yes, mistakes happen. But, they seem to be happening more and more often; not to mention with more severe consequences. 

      Why did I share all this with you? Because it never occurred to me to question my doctor about whether or not there may be an interaction with any of my other drugs. I assumed being the only one seeing me for 1.5 years and the only prescribing physician I have as of present, he either knew my scripts well enough or would have at least glanced at my chart to refresh his memory. Doctors are busy. They see tons of patients every day. I get it. 

      This nonchalant behavior from the medical community is unacceptable. Our lives are very literally in their hands, and when they chose to ignore that fact, is when they need to look into a new profession. 

      I urge you. Please double check with all of those who provide medical assistance to you and your loved ones – especially when changing a medication, adding or stopping a medication or changing doseage of a medication – and/or if you notice any new symptoms/side effects, plan to take OTC (Over The Counter) or herbal/dietary supplements, or your medications don’t seem to be working as effectively anymore – ASK. 

      Asking your doctor is probably your best bet (not in my case, but I’m going to consider it extreme), however, pharmacists are also a fountain of knowledge. Don’t be afraid to look up drugs you may be taking or planning to take online and have a list of questions to ask your doctor or pharmacist if necessary and always read the information that comes with your prescriptions. Every time you fill it, in fact, since information often changes and your pharmacist may forget to mention it or be unaware. 

      Please feel free to share this story! It could save a life! While I’m currently very, very sore and my entire right quadricep hates me, my husband destroyed the pills in question, according to pharmacy “Z”‘s instructions and seeing as how it does not seem to be improving and pain is waking me every 3-3.5 hours (when my painkillers wear off), I am planning a trip to UC (Urgent Care) in the next day or so to see if they can do anything to at least ease the discomfort (numb it and give it a good scrubbing, maybe a muscle relaxer or anti-inflammatory to coincide with my oxy) because they at least check my medications every time  I go in. I am also in the process of finding a new PC, as I no longer trust or respect the one I currently have and I will keep y’all updated. 

      Again! Share! It could save a life! 

      SOUPer Sayisfying (and Sexy, Too)! 

      Even though we live in hell (also know as Arizona), I crave fall. It’s my favorite season and I adore everything about it. 

      Unless we make a trip up the mountain at just the exact right time, we miss any real fall color. It literally happens over night, and being off by a week or even a day or two, can make the difference between seeing those luscious crimsons and fiery oranges, and seeing the same dead, dirt brown that blends with everything else here. 

      We have several mulberry trees in our yard that go from green to gold and then dead. Also, an overnight thing. And, honestly? Doesn’t count. Not when you pine for radiant rubies, glorious golds, opulent oranges and vivacious violets, all mixed in a dazzling array, sprinkled with the last bits of Summer’s shades of emerald, kelly and lime; a final farewell. 

      The weather cools a bit – this mostly means it will be 100+ during the day and 40- at night. The only freaking state I’ve ever been in I’ve had to blast the AC during the day and the heater at night…in November. 

      Sweater weather? Hah! Try, if “death by heatstroke”, is your ideal way to go, then by all means wear a sweater. Layer it over a tank top though, because I guarantee that sweater is coming off by noon. If it doesn’t spontaneously combust first. 

      The afternoons are nice though. The sun “softens” and the scent in the air does change a bit. I’ve mentioned before, we live north of the metro and at a higher elevation, so we do get a bit more of the fall feeling here.

       The days are shorter and every so often you get a slight chill in the air that makes you crave something, warm, comforting and satisfying to eat – both to warm your body and soul. 

      What’s more warm and satisfying than soup? 

      Can you smell it? that warm, soothing scent, filling your home…and belly!

      I’ve been craving soup for days now, since a front came through and gave us a few stormy days and nights. Not cold…just rain and thunder and the kind of weather that makes you want to curl up with a good book or movie, a cup of coffee or cocoa and have a bowl of…soup. 
      I’m not typically a soup person. I’m pretty picky about what kinds of soup I’ll eat, when and how. Many have ingredients I can’t or don’t eat, if we’re at a restaurant or buying pre-made. Many just taste watered down and flavorless to me. I do enjoy making my own (as you’ll notice on the list I’m about to share, potato soup did not make it simply because it was shoved down my throat as a child and unless I make, what I call, “mashed potato soup”, which is basically a loaded potato soup made with both mashed potatoes, made from baked potatoes, and small chunks of potatoes I bake to a crisp or fry, I don’t touch it), and it’s a cozy way to warm up a chilly house, on a chilly day and satisfy your hunger (let’s face it…after you’ve smelled it simmering for hours, you’re starving!) with what you probably already have on hand or can easily get. Plus, substitutions and/or omissions/additions (like, I’m allergic to pork, so I just omit it), make soup a hard thing to screw up. 

      (While writing this blog, I must say, I had the most hilarious conversation with my sis, because as I was sourcing graphics, I asked her what she thought made soup, “sexy”. Let’s face it…it’s not the most fascinating thing to look at. As a PSA, do not search for “sexy soup” via Google. At the very least, wait until you’ve made some of these beautiful bowls, before you do.)

      Here’s my top ten SOUPer soups, that I’ll eat or make, pretty much anytime (well, nine – the last is one of my husband’s favorites and a soup staple for many), in no particular order. These aren’t my recipes – I rarely write recipes down and I’m even less likely to measure what I do and don’t add – and, as previously mentioned, I work a lot with what I have on hand. But, this is a jumping off point to bring family dinners, or cozy company, into fall. 

      1. Broccoli Cheddar 

      Classic! Who doesn’t love cheese! Even kids get into this if you keep the bits of broccoli small enough! Sneaky way to add veggies! This is a Panera copy-cat recipe of their famous version. If you’re in a hurry and still want a great Broccoli Cheese soup, Bear Creek brands makes a fantastic one (look for a dark green bag in the soup aisle, near where the boxes of chicken noodle packets are). Plus, the dehydrated powder makes it easy (once you get the hang of it), to make a cup, a bowl, or a whole pot, to taste. Also stores well and is “non-perishable”, so all you do is literally add water and heat. Fantastic if you’re traveling, camping or otherwise unable to store perishable items for long periods. 

      2.Hot and Sour

      Classic! My fave at any Asian restaurant (although, Miso runs a close second). Traditionally considered medicinal, a spicy way to warm up your day! Add mushrooms, onions, bamboo shoots – all found in the “ethnic food” aisle of most major grocery chains, in cans, bottles or jars. If you want protein, but not meat, firm tofu, cut into thin strips or small cubes, is a great way to go. Miso broth, like found at Trader Joe’s in the carton, or paste, makes a great, vegetarian broth substitute for most soups. Add some of the aforementioned veggies or tofu and it’s a delicious, healthy way to warm up as well. Look for brown or red Miso; it has more cancer fighting benefits and flavor. If you’re not familiar, good Miso has a light, refreshing, slightly chive/scallion (table onion) flavor. 

      3. New England Clam Chowder

      Yes, we can debate all day whether Manhattan or NE is better. It all boils down to whether you want that creamy goodness, or a tomato based, soup version of Clamato. If I’m feeling Manhattan, I treat it the same way I do a Bloody Mary. So, I do make both (and we all know by now how much I adore a good Bloody Mary!), but there is something about NE style that keeps it my fave. Bacon is becoming very popular in NE clam chowder. And, while I use turkey bacon, does add a nice touch. Cook your bacon of choice and then use the drippings to sauté onions, even some of your potatoes. Add all that goodness to your chowder and then add the cooked bacon in before serving or crumble on top as garnish. Cheese and croutons are also fantastic! 


      4. Cream of Mushroom

      It’s not just for cooking! However, if you have leftovers, let them cool, pour into ice cube trays and freeze (stash the cubes in a freezer safe storage bag once you’ve popped them out of the tray), and add to chicken or rice dinners later in the week. 

      5. Squash Soup

      As in Butternut. I’m sure pumpkin or other hearty, winter squashes would work as well with this recipe – just make sure you find baking pumpkins, which are smaller, as opposed to Jack-O-Lantern types, which can be very bitter when cooked. If you use pumpkin purée, make sure it’s the 100% pumpkin and not pie filing (which has less nutritional benefits, added sugars and spices you may not want in soup, as well as a “thinner” consistency). Don’t forget the nutmeg (I use Chinese Five Spice), which really does illuminate the flavor of your squash! Even if I’m just baking acorn squash, Five Spice is a must! 

      6. Chili

      Not a soup, per se, but still warm, hearty and satisfying! Accessorize (yeah, I went there!) with sour cream, cheese and tortilla chips or some people add ketchup and saltines. However you like it, it’s easy to add or swap proteins to work with what you have (I use ground beef and some kind of steak/roast type meat in mine). Swap beef for turkey for a lighter alternative. Or, use chicken and white beans for a white chili. Options here are endless! Five alarm or luke-warm, it’s up to you! I also love adding corn and garbanzo beans to mine. Great way to use canned veggies that may be reaching their shelf life and get kids to eat them! 

      7. Gumbo

      Traveling through Louisiana last May, on our way back from New York, we so desperately wanted to get some good gumbo! It was hot and humid and just not gumbo weather (not to mention, we were on a bit of a time crunch at that point…and money crunch. Hey, that 2016 Dodge Charger surprised me; averaging 28 MPG, but still). Don’t deny yourself this Creole classic because of okra. The slimy texture adds to the base of the soup, lending to its thicker, more stew-like consistency, as opposed to using a roux (flour/butter/milk/cornstarch/however you roux). And, like chili, add veggies and proteins you have on hand. Just remember, a good gumbo has a “surf and turf” protein ratio. 

      8. Smoky Eggplant Soup

      Mediterranean  flavors are some of my favorites! Finish this with some pita bread and a sprinkle of good feta cheese? Heaven in a bowl! Personally, I’d add some zucchini and yellow squash as well. Slimy eggplant? Slice and dice the night before, salt and cover in paper towels. Refrigerate. The salt will help pull out the excess moisture and the paper towels soak it up. Works for any eggplant application -grilling, frying, stuffing, Parmesan-ing, etc. 

      9. Green Chile Soup

      Perfect base to add protein like chicken, and some tortilla strips or crushed Doritos (cheese and chilies?!? Plus, kids and junk food?!?), and have a tortilla type soup. Have it plain one night, soup it up the next. Get the freshest chilies you can – preferably Hatch chilies (from Hatch, NM) – it makes a huge difference in flavor. Watch though – real, Hatch chilies are mild with a deep, green, earthy (almost umami) flavor. If you want spicy, toss in a few jalapeños. For spice with less heat, remove the seeds and ribs of a pepper – this is where the Capcasian, or heat, is predominant. Oh! And, wear gloves when handling spicy peppers. Otherwise, you will inevitably have to scratch your nose, fish something out of your eye and use the restroom almost immediately – and suffer the consequences. 

      10. Chicken and Dumplings

      One of Craig’s favorites, this classic is easy to add frozen veggies or whatever you have on hand, to, without sacrificing flavor. Don’t have time to make dumplings (which are actually super easy)? Canned biscuit dough works in a pinch! He says mine remind him of the Chicken and Dumplings his mother used to make. No bigger compliment than that! 
      Consider adding frozen or fresh tortellini or ravioli to soups. Trader Joe’s has some great lobster ones (refrigerated) and dry with a cheese blend. Dumplings (Asian style) or Crab puffs can also be an easy addition (look for wonton wrappers in your local grocery store; sometimes near produce, sometimes by dairy. They’re refrigerated, so that helps narrow the search. Stuff them with whatever you like – about a TBSP per large wrap. For dumplings, stuff and drop them in – they’ll cook with the soup as it simmers. Crab puffs are an easy mix of cream cheese, spring/table onion or chive and crab or imitation crab, finely diced and blended into the cream cheese. Fry and serve as garnish. Have a bowl of water and pastry brush handy – it makes sealing the edges of the wonton wrappers easier). Pastas,  like macaroni or bow tie can add an extra level of satisfaction (especially if your family is mostly boys/men, who are always starving), as will rice, and both will cook as you simmer the soup. Beans are also filling and fabulous. I love black beans and garbanzos in most everything. Just open the can, drain and rinse, first. 

      Veggies that are still good but a bit wilted or not as appetizing looking can be thrown in to cut down on waste. And, garnish, drizzle, dollop or dunk as you see fit. Most soups can be up-cycled (the mushroom, for example), for late week leftovers or protein/veggie leftovers from earlier in the week can be tossed in to use them up! 

      For some more SOUPer ideas, as well as ways to minimize food waste, check out Good Housekeeping Magazine‘s October issue. Lots of fabulous ideas (and some suburb pumpkin decorating tips, too – which, if you’re hosting a Halloween bash or just a fun family/friend get together, pumpkins, hollowed and cleaned out {save those seeds! Roast them and snack or add as a garnish to your soup!}, with a small crockpot inside, set to warm, makes a super cool way to serve your SOUPer supper! Great for dips and beverages too!)!

      Let us know if you try any of these recipes, or share your own! 

      And, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest! 
      Photos: BettyCrocker, Pinterest, pesto.co.za, societi.co.za 

      Get Soulcial with Soulcial Vibes!

      Do I have your attention?!? Keep going to find out more about this beautiful pic!

      Well, GF fans! It’s been a year already! Can you believe it? We’re celebrating a year of blowing up your social media and blogging here at Word Press! My, how a year changes things! 

      It’s been a bittersweet year for us. My gorgeous husband, Craig, and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary/belated honeymoon  with a 10 day and 24 state road trip to my hometown in Queens, New York! Aside from the weather being cold and rainy, on the front end of a pressure system when we left (late April), what a magical experience! 

      I hadn’t been home in almost eight years and Craig had never been to New York at all! Along the way, we stopped in his hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, where I got the hometown tour. I had been to Iowa, but many years ago. We both experienced states and things we hadn’t prior (like, the Famous Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield, Pennsylvania), the Ohio Turnpike (all I can say is, Gods help you if you get on that highway to hell), a brief tour of the Bayou via Baton Rouge, Louisiana and while hubby is not a fan of cold, wet weather, enjoyed visiting all five of the lower boroughs, the amazing food and 
      didn’t mind the train – hey! We got a lot space at our hotel! That car wasn’t budging for our five day stay! I would guess seeing Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower were his favorite parts, but he also enjoyed Coney Island and a fabulous-as-always anniversary meal at Bobby Flay’s Bar Americain, Central Park, Times Square and all the hidden food gems and culture I could shove down his throat in just five days!

      Coney Island beach – this mermaid isn’t going on vacation without seeing the ocean! Even though it was 40 degrees and raining.


      What a memorable way to celebrate our first wedding anniversary (we’re coming up on eight years together, in a little over a week), by sharing our homes with each other. Not to mention, thanks to Enterprise, who helped us out a month prior (I’ll get to that in a few), we rode in style, with a super sexy 2016 Dodge Charger, that, will never steal my love of Camaros, but I certainly wouldn’t turn down if one came my direction (hint, hint, Santa!)!

      A few of my favorite moments in NY! Strawberry Fields, cherry blossoms in Central Park, Ground Zero, the 9/11 memorial fountains, Coney Island beach, Hershey store in TS and our anniversay champagne toast at Bar Americain.

      My son, Taboo (yes, that is his real name), who I hadn’t spoken to since I gave him up for adoption, to his paternal grandmother, at just over two years old, came back into my life in January. He was supposed to have documents to allow him to contact me when he turned 19, so that could be his choice – as heart wrenching as that decision was – however, his biological father kept them from him. 

      My Mother’s Day gift, from my husband, drawn by my son.


      A week after his 21st birthday, his was viciously attacked and assaulted, leading me to head from Arizona to Connecticut in order to be tested as a kidney donor (you see where the Enterprise reference is, now). I didn’t make it out of New Mexico when I was informed he would be going into FBI custody and I needed to turn around. 

      In a melancholy twist of fate, I was able to see him for an unprecedented five or so minutes, and hold my son for the first time in almost 19 years. 

      Due to the nature of the investigation, I’m not at liberty to discuss too many details – I will however say, I do get to hear from him, on occasion and he is recovering well. 

      Now, as we head into September, and those being just a couple memorable moments of my 2016, I will say this year has been a wild ride. Craig and I are both looking forward to our lives settling down a little…at least with some of the negativity that’s crawled in. 

      Craigs first time on the train!


      Naturally, that’s easier said than done.

      I have found a few ways to help relax and de-stress a bit though! A warm bath, a glass of good wine, some of my favorite incense and being surrounded by my favorite gemstones, my amazing husband and friends, getting inked (which, let’s face it, not as cheap as that bottle of wine), and recently, the wonderful, peaceful radiance of Michi at Soulcial Vibes! 

      Such a lovely, beautiful soul, Soulcial Vibes in on a mission to support and empower everyone on their journey through this thing called life (R.I.P. Prince), by encouraging, inspiring and promoting services, products and good ol’ fashioned wisdom, knowledge and guidance on each individual’s path to their higher self. 

      Well, wasn’t that a mouthful! 

      Broken down, they want you to be the best you, you can be and live a blissful life, chock-full of the good stuff life has to offer, no matter what your beliefs may be or where you may desire your path to lead. 

      This isn’t a quick fix, obviously…and, while there is magic, Soulcial Vibes believes you make your own magic – so, no magic potions or powders or anything – you have to work to attain what you desire to achieve. 

      Michi at Soulcial Vibes just helps facilitate that magic. No gimmicks. No games. No fairy godmothers and fairytale endings…unless you’re willing to invest in one. 

      Now, I don’t mean financially. Michi wants you to invest in you. That is, after all, the first step and main player in your journey. 

      Granted, Soulcial Vibes offers and promotes some wonderful tools that, should that be what calls to you to assist your journey to a happier, healthier life, by all means. For example, they are a huge fan of VibesUp Earth Mats, which I am eagerly awaiting to try for myself! VibesUp also offers everything from bracelets to flip flops to nail polish (yup! I said nail polish!) with the same mineral technology that is highly acclaimed to do everything from ease back pain to aid weight loss to assist with concentration; everything but take off and fly, if you read some of the 118+ benefits and uses of these revolutionary mats/”technology”. I want to wrap myself, like a human burrito in one, since I think all but four of the listed suggestions had me wiping the drool off my screen. 

      Granted, much like cheese is optional on a burger, and not necessarily for everyone, so are these tools. They are simply that – tools. 

      The real magic is in the gentle encouragement and support that radiates and reminds you, as Michi says, “that you are love and are loved”. It may sound a little cheesy, especially if you’re picturing it coming out of my tattooed, pierced, typically foul mouth. If you’ve followed GF for any length of time though, you know I never recommend or promote anything I don’t honestly believe in. I’m honest, if nothing more, and have a list of companies who refuse to send me certain products for review because they didn’t believe me when reading our PR disclaimers the first time, and learned the hard way. 

      I strongly recommend checking out Soulcial Vibes! Especially, on the Soulcial Vibes Facebook Page, where page fans have a plethora of daily good vibes, as well as access to free readings and giveaways! 

      Yes, giveaways! Which include Michi’s wonderful, hand created blessing pouches, which are then customized for the recipient, with amazing devotion, energy and effort in the interest of helping you better yourself and in the interest of your higher good. 

      Wanna sneak peek? Let’s just say this gal was the lucky winner of the abundance blessings pouch, and cannot wait to have her hot little paws on it (end of week)! 

      Just some of the amazing goodies going in my abundance pouch! And, the chunks of the VibesUp Earth Mat!

      Palo Santo wood for added blessings!


      Go! Run (not with scissors or anything)! Check them out! I will keep you updated as my “goody pouch” arrives (especially on the VibesUp Earth Mat pieces being included) and just the very joy of this amazing “prize” (see? The abundance has already started!), has me in a better place and heading off on my path with a better sense of direction and a brighter outlook for the future. 

      As we near the end of 2016, and those winter doldrums start to set in, now is the time to get your Vibe on! Since the energy really does radiate through the screen, sit back, take a couple minutes just for you, grab a cuppa (coffee, tea, that PSL), and a deep breath. May the blissful serenity of my abundance pouch radiate forth, so you too, may enjoy it’s blessings! 

      Then, go check them out and grab your own! 

      💜

      (Oh! And don’t forget to like Glitter Fantasy on Facebook, too!)

      Photo credits: personal, Soulcial Vibes