Trades of Hope...Empowering Women Out of Poverty

I'm in love. 

I was invited to a Trades of Hope Facebook party. Trades of Hope empowers women out of poverty through job creation and sustainable business.

And their products are works of art.

I ordered a bracelet, ring, and earrings set in silver, and a turquoise wrap bracelet. The wrap bracelet can be worn on the wrist, ankle, or choker style around the neck!

They are quality pieces and a beautiful example of the strength and artistry of these extraordinary women. I'm thrilled to be able to wear them and give to something bigger than myself. 

If you want to take a peek at the beautiful jewelry, bags, and scarves they feature, my friend, Emily Moore, has her beautiful website here!

Pure Hyaluronic Acid Serum

             click the graphic for more information!

            click the graphic for more information!

Any of you who know me, know I love lotions, creams, and serum. My husband calls me goo-girl. LOL! As I've been getting older, I'm always on the lookout for face creams that really have a great bang for the buck.

And since being on tamoxifen this last year - which blocks estrogen from working - I've REALLY noticed the effects on my face. So, I read a bunch of articles that suggested Hyaluronic Acid and retin A. I still need to get back on the retin A ($$$) but I found this Hyaluronic Acid...and love it.

It keeps my skin plump and hydrated, and I can totally tell when I skip it in my regimen. 

Here's some info:

  • NATURAL & ORGANIC HYALURONIC ACID SERUM- Improve skin texture and brightness with intense moisture and balance. Hydrating facial moisturizer with 100 percent pure hyaluronic acid serum formula.
  • Proven anti-aging skincare properties fill-in and diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles.
  • See a noticeable difference with visibly plumper, softer and smoother skin with this anti-aging hyaluronic acid serum.
  • GENTLE & EFFECTIVE; including, those with sensitive skin. Vegan, Paraben-free, oil-free, no dyes, no fragrances or fillers. (Clinical Strength Pro Formula)

Hugs, loves, and peanut butter!

Total Hydration in Sweet Peach

            Click the image to find out more...

           Click the image to find out more...

So, if you know me, you know I love chapsticks, lip balms, lip gloss, and all things moisturizing.

I cam across the Chapstick 3 in 1 Total Hydration, and I love it! The feel and texture is amazing, though I admit I have to reapply throughout the day. It isn't necessarily long lasting, but it makes my lips extremely happy, so I don't mind.

And the sweet peach sent is to die for, the wild acai berry, too!

Hugs, loves, and peanut butter! 

Hugs...a Contact Sport!

One of my most important must haves...hugs!

I need hugs like most people need to breathe.

But apparently, my love hurts.

You know in movies or hallmark commercials how one person opens their arms with a beautiful smile on their face, and the other person returns the gesture with the same look of adoration?
Yeah…that doesn’t happen in my life. My children wince, my husband protects his vital parts, and my friends step cautiously back. LOL!

 I mean seriously...look at that smoochie face! His...not mine.

My daughter told me, in a matter of fact, take-it-like-a-woman, kind of tone. “Mamma, your love hurts.” This was after my inquiry as to why she winced when I had reached for her.
Honestly, in my defense, my exhuberant hugs are backed by science and for the health of not only myself but those I love. Especially my children and husband.

You see, when I look at my children, a tight, twisting energy builds in my chest ... read more.

Argan & Sea Buckthorn Age-Defying Cream

 Click image for more information.

Click image for more information.

Since I am sliding firmly into my 40's at 41, the skin around my eyes fights to stay well hydrated.

I adore Tilvee products, especially the age-defying cream with argan & sea buckthorn. All the ingredients are purposefully chosen for their clean and effective properties. The lovely scent is barely there, and more important, the texture is creamy decadence that absorbs into the skin leaving behind a silky smoothness. 

A little bit of TLC is always a luxury. Treat yourself right.

Loves, hugs, and Peanut butter!


Nutiva Coconut Oil

                      Click photo for more information

                     Click photo for more information

I am a huge fan of coconut oil for many reasons, and Nutiva is one of my most favorites.

After turning 40 and being on tamoxifen for breast cancer, my hormones are all kinds of messed up. I can't blame it all on the meds because I'd had trouble with them before my diagnosis as well. But now...holy frustration! The result of the hormone issues is insulin resistence. Me and sugar are not friends.

Now that I'm a breast cancer survivor, staying cancer free is priority, so for me that includes keeping sugar out of my diet, or to a minimum as much as possible. Besides, I feel SO MUCH BETTER when it isn't in my diet. Do I miss the yumminess? Sure. But do I love feeling good? Most definitely!

So enters my coconut oil. I follow a ketogenic diet full of healthy fats, and coconut is my favorite. I cook with it,and  put it in my coffee and protien shakes. It is also great for removing eye makeup and as a body and hair moisturizer. It really is a super food in all ways.

My favorite way is satisfying my sweet tooth. One of my favorite desserts is a peanut butter fat bomb. It makes not eating sugar completely worth it to me. A tablespoon of organic peanut butter, a tablespoon of nutiva coconut oil, a bit of xyletol and cinnamon, mix and enjoy! Or I make a few ahead and put in the freezer. They harden and I can enjoy them later!

Hugs, loves, and peanut butter (and Nutiva coconut oil! LOL!)

Bing Crosby at Christmas

I love Christmas. I love the memories I have from when I was a little girl, way back when my mom was alive. I love the food and the music and the decorations. And most of all, I love making memories with my own children that I hope they carry into adulthood. 

I can't get enough of Christmas music. It simply makes me feel good, and one of my favorite go-to voices is Bing Crosby. 

                              Click photo for more information.

                             Click photo for more information.

Fawn Fritzen

By now, you've probably realized I love traditional vocal jazz.

Think of legends like Tony Bennett, Ella Fitgerald. Contemporaries like Diana Krull, Thisbe Vos, and now I'm introducing you to Fawn Fritzen. 

There is such a beautiful quality to her voice. Light and crisp. She is passionate about her music and it shows.

You can find Fawn on Facebook, her Website, and Youtube.

She is a delight to follow and a delight to listen to. I know you'll be happy you did.

I love following her journey, celebrating her successes, and enjoying her art. And I understand her drive. It is an amazing gift to be able to do what you love.

Thank you Fawn!

Marina Zettl and The Kats

I have found some of my FAVORITE musicians through Facebook!

Marina Zettl is one of them. Her voice, the style, and the writing is beyond satisfying in so many ways. I just love her and her crew!

This is one of my favorites. It is simply one of many but, as a romance writer, I get such a kick out of it. And it is catchy! If my kids hear it once, they sing it for the next three days. I love it!

Learn more and be entertained on her Website!

Check her out on Facebook!

Follow her on Twitter!

You will love to have found a new favorite!

You're welcome. LOL!

Tropical Mango Shea Sugar Scrub

                                     Click here for more information.

                                    Click here for more information.

Oh my gosh! The delicious tropical mango scent takes you on an immediate vacation--and I can always use a one of those. The scrubbing sugars feel amazing, and I must say, they have a lot to do with the compliments I get on how soft the skin on my arms are.  Paired with the body butters, there's no stopping the silky softness of your skin!

I wish I had one in every flavor!

3D Fiber Lashes

Oh my gosh. You guys! I can't get enough of 3D Fiber Lashes! I love makeup and have played with so many different kinds but this is one of the first one that delivers on its promises and then some! I can't get enough.

It's like a drug and the supplier of my beautiful habit is Victoria Velasco!

And they've improved the formula ~ which I never thought was possible. Now long, lush, lashes are my staple!

My Husband, Brian

It seems so obvious, but the obvious things are so often over looked. 

Brian is a Must Have I can't live without.

The day over ten years ago that I went to Brian and told him I wanted to be  romance writer, he said, "Go for it. You've done everything else you set your mind to."

His unwavering faith in me has been both humbling and exhilarating. In his eyes I can do anything. In his eyes I can be the best version of me in any moment. I don't know what to do with such beautiful support sometimes.

It is because of him that I ever made a business plan, that I made a point of going to conferences and writers meetings, and workshops. He pushes me and challenges me and tells me if I want it...

Go get it.

He is why I was able to make my dreams come true. Thank you, Brian.


P.S. I Love You...

                                                      Click  the photo for more information.

                                                     Click  the photo for more information.

I LOVE P.S. I Love You ! And there are a few of my critic friends who wonder why. They automatically think it is Gerry, An I really enjoy Gerry's movies, but it is what that character does for the woman he loves as he's losing his life.

He brings her back from the dead.

He pushes her to find the passion she once had and to fill her life with it. It is so hopelessly romantic I get choked up just thinking about it. It is simply beautiful.  *Yes, I know it's just a movie* But then again, it's not.

Because, this is exactly what my husband, Brian, has done for me. He has supported me, pushed me to do what I needed to do, challenged me to go after what I want, and to take my passion seriously.

He's told me it's okay to fail, because that is how I'd learn, but as long as I was putting my all into it, he'd be right there supporting me every step of the way. Every step. And even better, he was able to do this for me as my strong, healthy, and alive husband!

*Now you know why I have watched this movie 100 times and will watch it 100 more and then again.*

Thisbe Vos ~ Beautifully Jazz...

I am a HUGE fan of traditional vocal jazz, and I ADORE Thisbe Vos. Smooth, emotional lyrics that set the mood and tell a story. If you haven't heard her, you really need to. 

I listen to her albums, Sophistication and Under Your Spell, while I write.  My fingers fly over the keyboard as I lose myself in another world. 

She really listens to her fans and gave us an amazing gift last year that delighted us. I hope for all of you it is made public soon. 

One of my favorite things about Thisbe, is her kindness toward her fans. She stays connected, shows appreciation, and becomes a friend. I'm a fan for a life time, and I can't wait for her next album! 

Click on the photo above to visit Thisbe's website and like her Jazz page on Facebook!


A Drop of Red will do Me...

  A little Gascon Malbec in one of my mom's old lead crystal glasses.

 A little Gascon Malbec in one of my mom's old lead crystal glasses.

I looooove red wine. With that said, I have the tolerance of a wee little baby. LOL! But the taste, the texture, and the weight of it as it melts from my tongue are all experiences I want in my life again and again. My favorite is a medium to dry, full bodied red. Gascon Malbec is one of my favorites. I love a good wine that's like taking a bite out of a thick juicy steak. Sign me up and make it a double. But then stop because that's all I can handle. *hangs head in shame*

My Lips Will Tell Ya...

 Click the photo for more information.

Click the photo for more information.

My husband calls me goo-girl because I am addicted to moisture. Lip balm and body butters are my heaven. I totally gross him out. LOL! The texture, the sweet, warm scents - I can't get enough, and I'm always applying more. One of my favorite lip balms is Eco Lips organic, pure & simple lip balm in coconut. It's like Hawaii on my lips all year round.

Can't Live Without my Body Butter...

I discovered this gem when I was pregnant with my first child. I slathered myself with it every night before I went to bed and didn't get any stretch marks. With that being said, I'm sure I lucked out with some good genetics. LOL! But this lotion has remained my staple ever since. The moisture lasts all day, and nothing else has come close. It's warm nutty fragrance makes my husband think of cookies,  which I love, and it leaves my skin soft as silk. I don't use anything else. 

The Bee's Knees...

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             Click the photo for more information.

Any one who knows anything about me, knows I'm a freak when it comes to peanut butter. Truth be told, I love all peanut butter. I'm really not snobby about the kind or texture. With that said, The Peanut Butter Co. The Bee's Knees is seriously, The Bee's Knees! It is just the right amount of salty and sweet. When a spoon is in my hand, I have to be careful not to eat it like pudding!