Thursday, May 14, 2015

Summer Cold....or Seasonal Allergies? (and just where the heck I've been!)


Sometimes it's just so hard to tell if a runny nose or aches are a sign you've caught a cold or if you're suffering from seasonal allergies. Having never suffered from allergies until later in life, I often think of how many times I've 'treated' myself for a cold when it was actually allergy symptoms I was experiencing!

With summer right around the corner, no one wants to be sidelined by a pesky cold or allergy, but it's important to find out what exactly is behind the symptoms. Cold-Eeze, makers of the #1 pharmacist recommended zinc cold remedy, has sent along this handy chart to help us figure out that ever tricky question of "cold....or allergies??" 


I've actually printed out a copy of this and attached it to the inside of our medicine cabinet as a handy reference! 

On a side note: I feel like I've been away forever - I was in L.A. for a week and just got back from Key West - where I discovered a "fixer upper" is going to take us years to fix up doing it ourselves --- but I like a good adventure, so this should be fun....or rage-fueled. We'll see. I came home with the determination to watch every DIY house renovation show I and soak up everything I can...and don't they make it look sooooooooo easy in a tidy half hour tv episode? I never see sweat stains the size of Pittsburgh under their arms......or hear a string of every cuss word known to man (and a few new ones) spill out of their mouths!! I also got my first blood blister on my finger....which, two weeks later, I still nibble at thinking it is some sort of blueberry remnant, despite the fact I haven't eaten any blueberries.

I also have discovered the wonderful workshops Home Depot gives, which I believe will be infinitely helpful --- things like installing tile, drywall, painting - and fun things like building planters, outdoor serving stations, and more.......and they're free!! I have to say, I'm pretty confident in my toilet installation skills now! 

So that's what's been going on here....on the blog front, I've got some great reviews and a couple of giveaways coming up in the next week, so stay tuned!!

Wishing you all a healthy and cold-free summer!

xoxo,
Gigi


Thursday, April 30, 2015

10 Things To Know About Ticks & Preventing Lyme Disease


Lyme Disease is one of the fastest growing health epidemics with the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) estimating the number of cases in the United States to be around 300,000 a year!

You may have heard celebrities such as Yolanda Foster ("Real Housewives of Beverly Hills"), singers Avril Lavigne & Darryl Hall, and actor Richard Gere, share their experience with Lyme Disease publicly. You or a loved one may have even experienced this tick borne disease yourself.

With May being Lyme Disease Awareness month, and Summer just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to share a bit about Lyme and how we can best protect ourselves against this often debilitating disease.

1. All ticks, including Deer Ticks, come in small, medium and large sizes - 
and they crawl up - they don't jump, fly, or drop from trees onto your head and/or back. If you find one attached there, it most likely latched onto your foot or leg and crawled up to where you found it higher on your body.

2. Ticks don't live in the middle of your yard - they thrive in the area where your lawn meets a wooded area or anywhere that's shaded with high humidity. To help create a visual reminder of when you're entering a tick-dangerous habitat, you can create a 'barrier' by placing a layer of wood chips between the grass and the woods edge.

3. Lyme Disease isn't just something you have to worry about in the warm months. Ticks can be active even in the winter! Deer Ticks in particular are not killed by freezing temperatures, and will be active any winter day that the ground is not snow-covered or frozen.

4. Ticks carry disease-causing microbes. Tick-transmitted infections are more common these days than in past decades. With a drastic increase in deer populations (which can even be found in semi-urban areas in the eastern and western U.S.), the trend is for increasing abundance and geographic spread of Deer Ticks and Lone Star Ticks.  Scientists are finding an ever-increasing list of disease-causing microbes transmitted by these ticks: Lyme disease bacteria, Babesia protozoa, Anaplasma, Ehrlichia, and other Rickettsia, even Encephalitis-causing viruses, and possibly Bartonella bacteria. I remember back when I was younger, tick bites were more of an annoyance - but now a bite is much more likely to make you sick, so it's even more important to check yourself.

5. Only Deer Ticks transmit Lyme disease bacteria. The only way to get Lyme disease is by being bitten by a Deer Tick, or one of its relatives, found around the world. When on a hike, make sure to stay in the center of the trail and refrain from sitting on the ground, woodpiles, or fallen logs - all places where ticks love to live.

6. For most tick-borne diseases, you have at least 24 hours to find and remove a feeding tick before it transmits an infection.  Wearing light colored clothing makes ticks easier to find.  Getting into the habit of doing a quick daily tick check at bath or shower time can be helpful in finding and removing attached ticks before they can transmit an infection - this is because the Lyme disease bacteria take at least 24 hours to invade the tick's saliva.

7. Deer Tick nymphs look like a poppy seed on your skin and, with about 1 out of 4 nymphal Deer Ticks carrying the Lyme disease spirochete (and other nasty germs in the northeastern, mid-Atlantic, and upper mid-western U.S.), it's important to know what you're actually looking for. They're easy to miss, their bites are generally painless, and they have a habit of climbing up (under clothing), and biting in hard to see places. Have a loved one help you check (or use a hand mirror to check where you can't see)

8. The safest and easiest way to remove a tick is with a pointy tweezer. Using really pointy tweezers, it's possible to grab even the poppy seed sized nymphs right down next to the skin. The next step is to simply pull the tick out like a splinter.

9. Clothing with built-in tick repellent is best for preventing tick bites. An easy way to avoid tick bites and disease is to wear clothing (shoes, socks, shorts or pants, and shirts) with Insect Shield® tick repellent built-in - and don't forget to protect your pets too!


10. Tick bites and tick-borne diseases are completely preventable. There is really only one way you get a tick-transmitted disease and that's from a tick bite. You can lessen your risk by reducing the tick population in your yard, wearing tick repellent clothing every day, treating pets every month, and getting into a habit of doing a quick body check (daily).




Insect Shield Tick Repellent Apparel, featuring EPA-registered technology, offers clothing and gear with built-in, effective, and convenient insect protection.

Features include:

*Repellent is in the clothing and gear – not on your skin
*Lasts through 70 launderings
*No restrictions for use
*Appropriate for the entire family
*No need to re-apply
*Repels mosquitoes, ticks, ants, flies, chigger and midges including those that can cause Lyme disease, malaria , an other dangerous insect-borne diseases.


If you're interested in insect repellent clothing for the entire family, Insect Shield would like to offer My Fab Fit Forties readers 10% off their purchase! Just use code: NOLYME at checkout!



You can find out more information about Lyme Disease prevention, as well as stay up to date with new products and sales, by connecting with Insect Shield socially on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest!

I know everyone will be spending more time outside (with less clothes) with the warmer weather coming, so please make sure to check yourself and your loved ones (including your four legged ones) for ticks so you can really get out there and enjoy the Summer and beyond!!

xoxo,
Gigi

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Head to Minted for Beautiful Affordable Art and More!


This is a sponsored post on behalf of Minted. I will receive a shop credit 
as a thank you sharing my opinion of their website & products in the following post

I first learned of Minted after receiving a gorgeous wedding invitation in the mail and asked the bride-to-be where she found them! When I visited the Minted site, I discovered they not only had invitations for every occasion, holiday cards, stationery, and save the date cards, but so much more! 


Just some of the unique Save-the-Date cards available!

Minted is an online design marketplace where you'll find a collection of one of a kind art from world class artists - the site is user friendly, has something for everyone's taste and budget, and it's a great place to visit when you're looking for that thoughtful unique gift.

Since we'll be starting the renovation of our little vacation shack soon, I've really been hit by the decorating bug and have started thinking about wall art (assuming we don't tear the house down or kill each other prior to getting to the part where we actually hang things on the wall).  I hit Minted's art collection and was blown away by just how much they had to choose from!

Their search function is so easy to use - you can filter the search to pinpoint what style you're looking for (dozens of choices), color(s), size, shape (landscape, portrait....), and type (drawing, foil pressed, painting...) - and my favorite part....

...you find a print you like....



and, when you hover your mouse over it, you'll see the size range the print is available in....



Now, if you're like me, even if you look at a tape measure, it's hard to actually visualize what the piece might look like that size.....but Minted does something that I think is such a great idea....they show you the print in every size....



How helpful is that?! I also like how you can read about the artist and the story/inspiration behind each piece of art.

You can also see ideas on how you might group the piece of art with other works - another helpful feature for those of us not blessed with a natural eye for that kind of thing!

Here are just a couple of my favorite pieces of wall art from Minted:

"Dalliance" by Artsy Canvas Girl Design


"Landscape Study III" by Laura Bolter Design

"Bloom in Blue" by Deborah Velasquez

........and because this one reminds me so much of my beloved Harry....

"Wild Rabbit" by Betty Hatchett

Most prints start at just $22 and go up from there depending on the size and if you choose a frame (there are several styles of those to choose from too!) - so you can make Minted your one stop shop for art for every room in the house!

Before I end this post, I have to mention one more thing that I thought was really cool -- the Minted Design Challenge -- where artists can submit their designs for various categories like "Corporate Holiday Greeting Card", "Digital Invitations", and more....these submissions get voted on by other Minted users....and the winners not only get their designs sold on Minted (where the artist earns a commission of course), but there is also a cash prize (even up to 20th or 30th place!!) ---- so if you're artsy & creative, or know someone who is, you have to look into this!!

You can also stay up-to-date with Minted on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. Make sure you pop by their blog, Julep, and check out all the Minted related DIY, printables, and loads of wedding, party, and holiday ideas!

xoxo,
Gigi




Disclaimer: This was a sponsored post on behalf of Minted. I will receive a store credit as a thank you for sharing my opinion of their website and products with my readers. As always, my post is based on my own honest opinion of, and experience with, this brand. Yours may differ

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Gym Bag Beauty Essentials


With the arrival of Spring, we're also reminded that Summer is just around the corner.....which means bikinis, sundresses, and shorts!! Time to start hitting the gym, which can always be challenging when there just never seems to be enough time in the day.  One thing that can help your daily workouts run smoothly - especially if you're fitting a trip to the gym in before work or during a lunch break - is to make sure you have your gym bag packed and ready to roll! Here are some great products that can help keep you fresh and beautiful on the go!





1.       Ban Total Refresh Cooling Body Cloths in Energize: Keep up with your active lifestyle with ease. Try Ban® Total Refresh® Cooling Body Cloths to instantly cool the back of your neck and décolleté  -- or use for an all-over refresh during any time of the day or night.

2.       David Kirsch Wellness Kirschbar: The KIRSCHBAR, created by fitness expert David Kirsch, the  is the only meal-replacement bar that gives you all the nutrition you need for a completely satisfying meal or post-workout snack. It’s 100% natural, gluten-free, and made from 20 grams of high quality,as well as easily digestible protein and 6 grams of fiber.

3.       KMS California HAIRPLAY makeover spray: Split-second style refresher and dry cleanser. This spray absorbs oil and builds bulk to refresh limp or day-old styles. Perfect for quick style touch-ups and in-between shampoos.

4.       Lavanila Laboratories The Healthy Mini Deodorant: This all-natural, freshly scented deodorant provides superior, long-lasting odor protection. Soothing essential oils blend with powerful anti-oxidants and beta glucan technology for daily defense and nourishment.

5.       Rimmel London Wonder’lash Mascara with Argan Oil in Waterproof: You can now get the Moroccan Argan oil your hair loves in this Rimmel mascara! Condition lashes and break through clumps for full, smooth volume. The unique brush’s super soft bristles coat each lash perfecting, separating them from root to tip. You can also easily get those tiny corner lashes,creating an effortlessly eye-catching look. Your lashes are left smoother, sleeker, and more defined than ever.

6.       Orico London Coco Spritz: With just one quick spritz, you'll get an all day coco boost, leaving skin cleansed, nourished and protected. The main ingredient, Coconut Water, is an excellent humectant and intensely hydrated and locks in moisture to encourage a healthy radiant complexion – especially after perspiring. Chock full of nutrients, each bottle provides anti-bacterial and antioxidant benefits which can also reduce the appearance of blemishes or redness!

7.       Scunci Everyday & Active™ 3x Stronger Braided Hair Ties:  With a no damage braided weave, these hair ties hold three times stronger than regular no metal elastics to help keep hair out of sight (and out of mind)!

8.       NYC New York Color Smooth Skin BB Crème Instant Matte: Refine your skin instantly with this long-wearing crème with an beautiful matte finish. Both smoothing and hydrating, this bb crème leaves skin looking healthy & silky smooth without even a hint of shine.

9.       Burt’s Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser: Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of surface dullness, this cleanser, infused with Daisy extract, can help give you an even skin tone in as little as 4 weeks.. Made with a multi-fruit complex, this cleanser effectively removes dirt, oil and makeup. When you make it a part of your daily regimen, you'll be rewarded with a brighter and more even complexion, naturally!

xoxo,
Gigi

Friday, April 10, 2015

Clearer Healthy Skin Awaits with the Bright Therapy SL50 Evolution Laser



Many people seek out laser therapy for a wide range of reasons, but professional laser therapy can cost thousands of dollars.  I called a local Dermatologist's office and asked how much a laser treatment for acne would cost and was told, depending on the treatment necessary, it would either be $250 per treatment (with 3-4 treatments minimum needed) or $450 per treatment (with an average of 4-6 treatments needed).  Needless to say, you could very easily spend a lot of money in a very short amount of time!

Bright Therapy has made it possible to achieve beautiful skin right at home with their anti-acne, anti-aging SL50 Evolution Laser Therapy. This low level laser therapy (LLLT) device - aka a cold laser - can help rejuvenate your skin by stimulating blood circulation, reducing fine lines & wrinkles, speeding up healing time, reducing inflammation, and relieving acne prone skin.



Not only can this red/infrared laser help with anti-aging and acne, you may find it effectively treats minor cuts & bruises, herpes, cold sores, stretch marks, scars, and more.  You can also use it to improve the appearance of cellulite, eczema, and varicose veins.

The SL50 can also be beneficial in treating joint diseases such as arthritis, muscle & ligament strains, heel spurs,  and spinal ailments like scoliosis, intervertebral disk hernias, and post traumatic pain.

Looking to stimulate hair growth? Yep, this laser has you covered there too! Believe it or not, there are tons of additional benefits of using the SL50 that I haven't even mentioned!! 



Using the device is super easy.  Initially, you charge the unit for 8 hours and then you're ready to go.  It comes with safety goggles, like the ones you'd use in a tanning booth, and you need to use these every time you use the laser.

After testing your forearm for any photosensitivity, you can choose from a timed setting anywhere between 1-20 minutes, with 10 minutes being the recommended time per area you'd like to work on.  You can also choose between a red/infrared setting and even put it on a massage setting (which I like a lot because it makes the 10 minutes go by a little faster and makes my skin feel even better afterwards!!)



Once you've got it set (and your goggles are on!!), press against your skin and hit the start button on the back of the device.  You can also keep the laser slightly off of your skin if you prefer. I used it every day and, for the first week, my skin actually broke out....but I was expecting this as the instructions said it was normal to experience an increase in acne for 1-3 weeks while the laser worked on drawing bad bacteria out. Luckily, after the first week, my skin was back to normal and looking good! The only other negative (and I don't even know if that's the right word to use) is I found it hard to sit in one place for 10+ minutes....but it has been easier to get my mind into a relaxed state as the weeks have passed.

I liked that it comes in a handy storage/travel case and you also get a one year limited warranty! The SL50 currently sells for just around $300 and, when you compare it to the cost of laser treatment therapy, it really will pay for itself after just a couple of uses!



You can connect with Bright Therapy on Facebook and Twitter!

Whether you're looking for effective acne treatment, another tool in your anti-aging arsenal, or a way to help with other skin & joint issues, with the Bright Therapy SL50 Evolution Laser, you'll get the benefit of the sun's energizing wavelengths without the harmful UVA rays, in one convenient pain-free, drug-free, safe way!!

xoxo,
Gigi






Disclaimer:  I received the above product at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  The above review is based on my own honest opinion of, and experience with, this product.  Yours may differ. #SSEvolution




Retinol Firming + Face Serum by Wing Homme. A Little Something for the Guys!



For as much as I love beauty products, my husband isn't quite as thrilled....despite constantly chasing him around with lotions and creams saying, "Here...just try this!!!" --- somehow thinking if I could just get that dab on him, he'd see what all the fuss is about!! While he is blessed with smooth balanced skin that's never overly oily or dry, he is getting older and the little lines are starting to pop up........which he recently began pointing out.  Of course, like any good beauty-pusher, I saw that as a prime opportunity to say, "Well, I might have something that could help ya out....but you have to help me....help you..."  <---I knew I'd be able to practically apply a "Jerry McGuire" quote to my real life one of these days!

When his response was along the lines of he didn't want to have a bathroom full of "beauty" products, I said "no problemo".  He said he didn't want to smell like flowers all day.  Again, "no problemo".  With that, I whipped out a bottle of Retinol Firming + Face Serum by Wing Homme. Honestly, the timing couldn't have been better.  I think I even did an evil laugh in my head at the beautiful timing of it all.  Finally, I had him where I wanted him...and was pretty sure he'd thank me for this later.

Spoiler alert. He did.



Containing Retinol, Vitamin C, and Hyaluronic Acid, this light creamy serum is the perfect storm of ingredients to help exfoliate and firm skin, nourishing and plumping it out, while minimizing fine lines and wrinkles and helping to repair sun damage.

My husband said he'd give it a whirl and started using it before bed.  There's no scent to it and, while he said it was "a little tacky" at first, it did absorb into his skin and he had no other comments............until about a week later when (like I've said to him so many times when trying new products) he came out of his bathroom and said "Hey, feel my face!! Smooth, huh?!" and I have to say his face really does feel smoother and has a nice healthy glow!



Packaging wise,  it's a nice 0.5 oz tube with easy pump dispenser (that doesn't overly dispense or squirt all over the place which I-can't-stand in products), it's a nice silver/gray/black scheme, so nothing girly about it, although women could certainly use it.  I'm happy to see it still sitting on top of his sink -- so I know it's being used and hasn't wound up in the "pit of things I've given him to try that he doesn't" drawer. I know men, in general, don't have extensive multi-step beauty routines like women, but this one product really covers a lot of bases so it couldn't be easier to use.  Like with anything, once you get into the habit of doing something, it just becomes routine -- and now using the Retinol Firming + Serum has just become part of my husband's bedtime routine.  

You can purchase this great men's skin care product for $32.99 (regularly $39.99).  If, for any reason, you're not completely happy with it, Wing Homme also offers a 100% money back guarantee on their products.




You can follow them on Facebook and Twitter....and make sure to check out their website for lots of skin care tips too!

If it's time to upgrade your guy's skin care routine from just soap and water, check out the Retinol Firming + Face Serum by Wing Homme.

xoxo,
Gigi






Disclaimer:  I received the above product at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  The above review is based on my own honest opinion of, and experience with, this product.  Yours may differ.  #WingHomme

Monday, April 6, 2015

Looking for Glowing Smooth Skin? Try the CPeel Mask by Definitions Skin Care



Before I opened the CPeel Mask by Definitions Skin Care, I wasn't sure what to expect....I had visions of a peel....clear and thin...but then I thought of a mask....thick, hardens on skin......or maybe a peeling mask....something sticky and thin that would peel off....however...this product was none of the above. Even after using it for a few weeks, I'm not so convinced it's a mask so much as it's a skin buffer.  

Containing just two ingredients: Ascorbic Acid and Cycomethicone (100% lab certified), the CPeel Mask is designed to remove dead skin cells and even out your skin tone.  Ascorbic Acid is Vitamin C, a really potent antioxidant which helps your skin produce collagen and elastin, vital in restoring skin's elasticity, leaving it looking youthful and glowing, with less wrinkles! <---yay!! This fruit acid can also help prevent and reverse sun damage and even improve pigmentation issues. The product itself has the consistency of a thick moisturizer and a natural (almost vitamin like) scent -- no synthetic fragrances! The CPeel Mask also contains no parabens, fillers, or dyes, is made right here in the USA, and can be used on any skin type!



To use, I applied just a very thin layer of this cream over my face and left it on for about 10 minutes.  It was barely noticeable when it was on and didn't dry (as in harden) on my face like I was expecting a mask to. Now I'm not complaining at all, I guess I was still perplexed by the name! After 10 minutes, my face was feeling a little warm, but not uncomfortably so.  I took a wash cloth dampened with warm water, and gently rubbed it in circles on my skin before rinsing with lukewarm water.

I use a lot of skin products and generally think my face is pretty smooth....but after rinsing the CPeel Mask off and patting my skin dry, I touched it and it was just so incredibly smooth.....I actually woke my husband up, who had just fallen asleep, and made him touch my face!  (and we'll file that under "You may be married to a beauty blogger if......" (she wakes you up with a request to "touch it" and she's talking about her face!!)

Moving right along...



I liked that it only takes a little bit cream from the 50ml jar to cover my entire face.  I'm still kind of thrown by the mask part of the name....but maybe that's just a hang up I have to deal with! It definitely did peel my dead skin cells away, but not in the way I was used to a traditional peel to.  It was really gentle and my skin was truly healthy & glowing afterwards! I do wish the directions gave some kind of indication on how often they suggest using it.  I've been using it twice a week and haven't had any kind of irritations or otherwise feel like I'm overdoing it, but it would be nice to know what is recommended by the manufacturer!

CPeel Mask sells for $49 and comes with a 90 day 100% money back guarantee if you're not completely satisfied!

If you're looking for an anti-aging product to leave you with smooth, glowing skin, CPeel Mask is a pretty sure bet!!

xoxo,
Gigi



Disclaimer:  I received the above product at no cost in order to facilitate this review.  The above review is based on my own honest opinion of, and experience with, this product.  Yours may differ.