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Proskins SLIM 28 Day Challenge Week 2 Update

Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's the second week of the of the Proskins SLIM 28 Day Challenge. I have been wearing the Proskins Slim anti-cellulite leggings for 14 days now. Read my previous posts here and here.
proskins challenge
My results are a mixed bag. I see a slight decrease in my measurements and a bigger difference in the look and feel of my legs. So while my legs don't look like bowling pins yet, they are firming up and silkier to the touch.

I think the biggest change I have experienced since I started wearing Proskins is my outlook on fitness. I realize that working out 1-2 days a weeks is not cutting it. A product like Proskins is only going to work if I do my part (as in: quit the cookies and ice cream). I am redoubling my efforts to eat clean and exercise more.

On that note, here are my challenge results to date:

Baseline Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Hips 41" 40" 40.5"

Top of thigh 25" 25" 24"

Widest part of thigh 23" 22.5" 21.5"

Above knee 15.2" 15" 15"

Below knee 13" 13" 13"

Widest part of calf 12.5" 13" 13"

Why is My Pediatrician Asking Me If I Own a Gun?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Something interesting happened at my preschooler's recent wellness exam. Dr. S started the visit by asking the usual questions about my child's development (how is her appetite? any behavioral issues that you are concerned about?).

Then she paused and said, "this next question is, um, awkward but I have to ask...is there a gun in your home?" [Note: she didn't say that answering this question was voluntary]

I was taken aback and sputtered out a defiant 'no.' Then immediately regretted it. In my rush to deflect any negative stereotyping I didn't stop to consider the sociopolitical and legal implications of this line of questioning. [If you think there are no hidden biases in healthcare, education and law enforcement, hold that thought until the next paragraph]

US Navy 110715-F-NJ219-161 Air Force Capt. Kristine Andrews, a pediatrician from Montgomery, Ala., explains common flu symptoms to a patient's moth
By U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Courtney Richardson [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
I kept replaying the conversation in my head on the drive home, as I often do when I realize that I mishandled a situation. I am not a gun rights advocate, but I still felt my rights had been violated. I mentioned the exchange to my husband and he was puzzled too, especially when I told him about her thoughtful analysis of why I didn't have a gun in my home. Her exact words were: "that's interesting. I find that my parents who live in the flats and have been exposed to gun violence never own guns, but I find that parents who live in the hills are more likely to be gun owners." Okaaaay. Why did she assume that I have been exposed to gun violence?! Where does she think I grew up?! See how quickly her innocent question about gun ownership went merrily down the wrong path?

But I digress.

Hubby and I did some snooping and found the origins of this new question. According to snopes.com" On January 16, 2013 President Obama announced a list of 23 executive actions intended to address the issue of gun violence in the U.S., one of which is to "clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors from asking patients about guns in the home." Nothing in the actions instruct doctors to ask patients either.

So it's not a law, it's a policy. One that seems to be loosely interpreted, adopted and applied by states in anticipation of Obamacare. It started in 2011 when Florida passed a preemptive law that barred doctors from asking about gun ownership except in specific cases such as if a patient was severely depressed or experiencing violence in the home. A federal judge stepped in and issued a permanent injunction on its enforcement and the state/NRA has been battling the medical community since.

I am pro gun control. Heck, I would love to travel back in time and prevent guns from ever being invented. But something about this gun ownership question rubs me the wrong way in its political charge. I understand physicians have a mandate to discuss hazards in the home with parents to ensure the safety of children. In light of statistics that show gun-related deaths among youth remain unacceptably high coupled with recent high-profile shootings of children it seems reasonable that firearms in the home would warrant scrutiny. But let's take a step back.

Are shootings among the top causes of accidental deaths in kids? According to this article, the leading causes of death from unintentional injury are: falls, poisoning, fires/burns, choking, and drowning. The pediatrician did not ask me if I used baby gates to block stairs. She did not ask me if I kept medication, household cleaners and other toxic chemicals secure. She did not ask me if I owned a fire extinguisher (although she did ask about smoke alarms and Carbon monoxide detectors). She did not ask if I knew the Heimlich and CPR.

My concern is that focus is shifting away from the major culprits of accidental deaths in kids in the interest of pacifying people like me who want gun control. Policies and laws governing the health and safety of our children should not be politically motivated because they tend to be toothless and risk having the opposite outcome. Parents came simply refuse to answer. That wouldn't be breaking the law. They can also lie. What parent is going to admit to keeping a loaded handgun in the unlocked nightstand? This policy is weak and pointless.

What do you think? I am off to sign up for a refresher CPR course.

Glamour Never Sleeps with New I.N.C. Home Bedding Collection

Monday, August 26, 2013

I spent Saturday at Macy's Union Square in San Francisco with other Everywhere Society Bloggers ogling a supermodel and hanging on the every word of a home decorating genius.

I.N.C. brand ambassador Camila Alves and HGTV designer Vern Yip were in store to celebrate the launch of I.N.C. Home. We had the pleasure of previewing five stunning bedding sets inspired by the runway:
  • Medici: a dramatic, yet sophisticated red
  • Bloom: an ageless bold floral print
  • Prima: a blend of nudes with black lace details
  • Cleo: a tastefully designed animal print
  • Incline: a new take on classic white
INC Home collection

This home collection was created to inspire people to bring fashion into the bedroom. As Vern said, "bedding is clothing for the bed."

You can see touches of glamour such as sequins, gold accents, ruffles, and pleats throughout the collection, but it was also designed with practicality in mind. The textiles are refined and also comfortable (the sheets are made from 100% modal fabric). I can tell you that laying on the Incline collection was a sensory pleasure trip. I wanted to climb under the covers and take a nap!

Did I mention most of the pieces in the collection are machine washable? Imagine not having to schlep your entire bedding set to the dry cleaner!

As far as cost goes, this is collection is considered a good value for the quality. Full retail price for the duvet cover, decorative pillows, European and standard shams is around $600. If you wait for a big holiday sale (cough, Labor Day, cough) and use coupons you can bring that total down to $450 and use the savings to buy the matching sheets. Shop in store or online!

Disclosure: I am a member of the Everywhere Society and Everywhere provided me with compensation for this post. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed herein are my own.

Proskins SLIM 28 Day Challenge Week 1 Update

Friday, August 23, 2013

I'm 7 days into my journey on the Proskins SLIM 28 Day Challenge with their slimming, anti-cellulite leggings

I can say without the slightest equivocation I am loving them. These are the first leggings I feel sexy in! They are sleek and oh so slimming.

To be honest, I only wore them three days during the past week (you're supposed to wear them a minimum of 8 hrs/day for maximum effect). I have worn them to bed, underneath my slacks, and to workout. I loved, loved, loved running in my Proskins...no chaffing! I put them in the wash after each wear, which was my first mistake since I don't do laundry everyday.

You live and learn.

I am going to have to stick to using them as pajamas to keep up with the recommended amount of wearing time.

So far I can report some incremental loss in inches...woo-hoo for one inch off my hips! I can also tell you that the skin on my legs are more supple (probably from the emollients). Here are my results in numbers:

Baseline Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4

Hips 41" 40"

Top of thigh 25" 25"

Widest part of thigh 23" 22.5"

Above knee 15.2" 15"

Below knee 13" 13"

Widest part of calf 12.5" 13"

[Guest Post] The Working Mom’s Guide to Office Décor

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Being a mom who works outside the home is tough. Not only do you have to juggle things at the day job, but you’re constantly thinking about the daycare or school situation, piano lessons, soccer practice, how to make healthy meals for your family and any number of other things. You rarely have “me time” and it is quite possible that you spend your work days missing your spouse and kiddos.

Thankfully, there are ways to keep reminders of your family around all day long. A lot of working moms revert to taping up their children’s colorings or macaroni-pasted wall art and calling it good. However, wouldn’t it be better to decorate your office or cubicle in sophisticated décor that still felt like home? Here are some ideas to get you started.
  • Customized wall art: To make a big splash on the walls of your office or cubicle, create a piece of wall art featuring your favorite photo. This typically doesn’t have a frame and therefore looks clean and crisp, with nothing else to distract from the smiling faces of your family. You can also choose a variety of layouts, designs and sizes, so you’re sure to find something that fits your style and needs.
  • Digital photo frame: Find an out-of-the-way spot on your desk to place a digital photo frame, where you can feature a constant slideshow of your favorite pictures. If you get stressed out during the day, take a few minutes to watch the photos and remind yourself of the blessings in your life.
  • Photo books: Another fabulous way to capture your best memories is to create a photo book. Place captions inside and detail your adventures. Then, put the photo book(s) on your bookshelf or somewhere easily accessible in your cubicle. This is a fun way to show coworkers who stop by your office photos from your trip to Hawaii or your kid’s first birthday party.
personalized desk decor
(l-r) Shutterfly desk plaque, customized wall art, photo cube
  • Desktop plaque: If you don’t have much wall space, have no fear – your office space can still contain stylish reminders of your family. Specifically, create a personalized desktop plaque, which is a frameless collage or favorite photo on a small chic mount.
  • Display cards: What do you do when you get a card from your spouse or kids? Many of us bury it in a drawer, but wouldn’t it be more meaningful to display them? Use a shadow box or a stylish bulletin board to show off cards from your family that mean the world to you. If you’re feeling blue during the day, take down a card and gain encouragement from the words.
  • Photo cubes: These wooden cubes display your pictures in a clean, creative way. Place them next to a vase of flowers and you have a simple, yet chic way to display your favorite photos.
  • Ornaments: If the holidays are around the corner, purchase a small tree and hang ornaments that feature your kids’ smiling faces. What better way is there to brighten the holidays than that? 
Of course, it’s still perfectly acceptable to hang up your children’s artwork or anything else that will remind you of your loved ones. The key is keeping your décor simple and uncluttered, so put such artwork in one localized spot or use a fun bulletin board to display it. In addition, you don’t need to break the bank in order to decorate with style; brainstorm other thrifty office décor ideas or have fun creating DIY décor with your kids.

However you choose to decorate your office, remember that it’s possible to have a grown-up looking office with family mementos – ones that will remind you of the treasured gifts in your life, even in the midst of a hard day’s work.

Heather Hewitt is a seasoned writer and guest author who enjoys connecting people with thoughtful products, services and ideas as they relate to crafting, photography, gift giving and personal expression.

Wordful Wednesday: A Party to Remember

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Here are some snaps from Marlie's 4th birthday party that she shared with her classmate. It was a Toy Story-inspired theme with cow-print balloons, red bandanas, and boot-shaped mugs for all the kids. The icing on the cake were the pony rides in our driveway and petting zoo in the backyard. The kids had a truly good time and the parents enjoyed watching their kids go gaga over Sugar, the pony. I really wanted this party to be memorable for her so I went all out. Before you think I spent her college book fund on a party, let me assure you that the whole event was deeply discounted by daily deals, coupons, and prize winnings...never pay full price is my motto! Plus, we shared the costs with another family. Take that savings tip to the bank : co-parties for your kids' birthdays!

What I'm Watching on #Netflix

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Summer is almost over and that means the end of reruns on television as the season premieres rollout in a couple of weeks (Downton Abbey! The Walking Dead!). I have enjoyed watching movies and catching up on shows (Scandal!) through my trusty Netflix subscription. Here are my picks for this week from Netflix Instant Watch

TV Show:
Call the MidwifeCall the Midwife. The BBC know knows to do drama! What other network could turn the routines of childbirth into primetime gold? The show is based on the memoirs of a plucky young British woman as she learns the midwifery ropes in a convent in London's rough East End. It's the 1950s and England has just enacted a national welfare system, so now the poor have access to medical care. The midwives deliver baby after baby under some dire circumstances and consult with doctors on an as needed basis. Make no mistake, the midwives were in charge.

The Oder of the MythsThe Oder of the Myths. Damon loves to tell me that his hometown Mobile, AL is the birthplace of Mardi Gras. This centuries old revelry also remains a mysteriously segregated event. This documentary explores the history and socioeconomic constructs that continue to keep the white and black Mardi Gras balls and parades separate. It seems both groups like it that way. The scenes to watch are of the white debutante who returns home to participate in the court. She brings her liberal boyfriend. He express discomfort at first, but watch how quickly he adapts to attending all-white events where the only black people in attendance are the entertainment and catering staff.

Happy 4th Birthday Marlie

Friday, August 16, 2013

Dear Marlie,

Yesterday was your 4th birthday! Sorry I am late with your annual birthday letter. It seems like everything gets done a day later since I went back to work. Have I thanked you lately for the grace you exhibited during this transition? Change is not easy, but you have handled my new working-mommy hat with the poise of someone 10 times your age. I am proud and grateful for that!

I think I am more excited than anyone that you are turning 4. I have heard great things about 4. I hope year 4 is awesome because year 3 was a doozy. It's wasn't like you were a demon-child, not at all. It just took time for me to get used to you coming into your own. And, boy did you ever assert your independence!

From getting dressed to eating breakfast, you had an opinion about everything and your own way of doing it. Beware the person who gets in your way. They are in for the dress-down of their lives. I can tell you won't be somebody who suffers fools. And I admire this quality in you.

I learned to tolerate your sass to a certain extent and teach you to know where the line is drawn. I am glad that I found the right balance between letting you speak your mind and being careful to redirect you from being rude or disrespectful. It's a balancing act on a thin tightrope, but we got there through trial and error.

You're feisty spirit remains tempered by your kind nature. You possess a mature compassion and are quick to offer help. Your love of creatures and animals warms my heart. It's also been a joy watching you become a truly remarkable big sister. You really look out for your little brother and you are so sweet to him, even when he is being not so nice to you. I love that you make him laugh and teach him things like how to eat ice cream. I promise he is going stop biting you (and me) once he stops teething.

I have to admit that your budding geek/nerd gene was the most exciting part of your development this year. You talk robots and superheros with your daddy like a true fangirl. Then you ask me a million questions about the Earth, moon and stars and expect answers. Your inquisitiveness is getting more complex and it keeps me on my toes. I look forward to nurturing your curiosity.

Marlie snacking on tomatoes. She is weird like that.
I love our talks on the way home from school (I really need to start posting Car Talk with Marlie again because you drop mad verbal gems). Today, you asked me how we can see fairies. I told you I didn't know. But you came up with a great idea, which I won't share because it's a secret. 

Thank you for another great year my firecracker, my shining star, my ace. Thank you for being unapologetically you. 



I Begin the Proskins 28-day Challenge Today

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Here's the skinny. I am halfway through my weight loss journey. I am not trying to loss weight to meet some artificial standard of beauty. I want to feel good about myself, and I feel my best when I am fit. I think that's true for most women.

I avoid weight loss gimmicks like the plague, so I was very skeptic when I heard about the Proskins slimming, anti-cellulite leggings. But I was curious too especially when I saw some glowing reviews. My curiosity won out and I joined the Bloggers Challenge. I need all the help I can get.

What is a Proskins? It is a legging that uses compression technology along with anti-cellulite emollients that condition the skin. They have been proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite in clinical trials in Europe.

Each week I will update you on my Proskins Slim transformation. I am looking to firm the skin around my thighs and lose overall inches!

You can join me too and get 50% off the Classic Black Leggings when you sign up to participate in the 28 Day Challenge.

Here's another great deal: Use coupon code: blogshort to save 50% of Proskins shorts through August 31, 2013.

Follow Proskins on social media Facebook | Twitter

I Almost Missed the Latest Mommy War Flare-Up While I Was Away

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Que pasa?! Ca va? WHAT IS UP! 

I cannot believe how much time has past since I last posted in this space. Krissy was thoughtful enough to send a search party and I talked to Nicole on Facebook, but for all intents and purposes I took a sabbatical from personal blogging. 

So, what brought me out of retirement? You know something got my granny panties so twisted that I jumped onto my laptop. It's the the New York Times article about stay-at-home moms clawing their way back into the workforce because life at home raising the kids did not pan out for one reason or another (divorce, economic crisis). To me, the overall tone was that college-educated, professional women are kidding themselves if they think they'd be living a fairytale at home. You can roll up that newspaper and just fan the flames of the latest mommy war. I really don't know why moms re-entering the workforce is even a big deal. Why it should pit us against each other. Moms make family decisions based on what's best for their family at that time. It should go without saying that they can and will often change course. It's not a generational thing in my opinion.

The NY Times expose' comes on the heels of the August TIME Magazine article about couples who consciously chose to remain childless, which is now defined as "having it all." Got that? Having it all means double-income, no kids. 

This is all in the wake of recent "news" coverage of moms who proudly display extended breastfeeding. The horror! Moms who admit they put their marriages first. For shame! And even a British mom who confessed she regrets having kids at all. Burn her at the stake!

Women boxing
By Denis Gustavo [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
I don't blame the media for these articles because they are doing what they do best...selling publications, driving traffic to their web sites. We, as women and moms, do not have to take the bait. We do not need to start judging and posting snarky comments about another woman's truth. It's that simple. You don't agree with Giuliana Rancic's opinions on prioritizing her relationship with her husband? It's your right to disagree, just don't go calling her a bad mom.

The polite phrase is: hey, whatever works for her! 

I Went Bare-Faced with #EclosGoBare!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Do you know what's harder than having problem skin? The answer: growing up in a family of women with flawless skin.

My mother and her mother both have amazing skin. Neither of them wear make up and they don't need to. I, on the other hand, have struggled with acne and blemishes since I hit puberty. I have a cadre of cosmetic products to hide behind such as concealer and corrective foundation.

But what I want more than anything is to have the confidence to go make-up free. My wish was granted when Eclos beauty products reaches out to me with the Dare to Go Bare 2-week skin care challenge. I said yes because my skin has been a wreck from stress and hormones (Aunt Flo came back after I weaned Desmond).

You know I am a stickler for what I put on and in my body, but I didn't have to worry with Eclos. Their products are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic dyes/fragrances, mineral oil or petroleum. Eclos is an anti-aging skin care regimen formulated with Apple Stem Technology extracted from a rare Swiss Apple. FANCY! I have been using the skin prep Cleanser, moisture therapy Regenerative Cream and HydraPrimer SPF 30 religiously for the past two weeks and the results are amazing! See for yourself:

Not only is my skin clearer, the texture of my skin is unbelievably soft and bonus: the dark circles under my eyes are less visible! I did not put on a drop of make up to go to work today, and I do not feel self-conscious. I feel like I am putting my best face forward!

Eclos is available for purhase through online retailers such as Amazon, Target and Walgreens. Become a fan of Eclos on Facebook

I was given a free product or sample because I am a Klout Influencer. I am under no obligation to receive the sample or talk about this company. I get no additional benefits for talking about the product or company.

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