Some Month End Reviews

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wow. June has been super busy. Nick had his graduation from preschool and we had a luau party at school to celebrate. I was super busy with my gift baskets for local customers with the end of the school year (the district finished here on the 24th). We had Ben's 3rd birthday party, his actual birthday spent with just the 4 of us, and now we are enjoying some company with my brother and niece from NC.

In my busy mode, I have neglected to review some of my recent etailer loot.

For the first time in a long time, I've had some major misses. For the most part, however, I have had some great finds! Here they are:


Bathed & Infused

First, I want to talk about my first Bathed and Infused purchase. I am very, very pleased with it. Curtis and Nicole are a husband and wife team who own this company in Colorado. Customer service is top notch, as are the products. They have a massive scent menu, as well as a very nice offering of products.

I ordered three Body Mists: St. Lucia, Gidget, and Peach Hyacinth. I also ordered an In Between Cream in Peach Hyacinth. Turnaround time during their busy sale was very quick. I ordered on a Monday or Tuesday and had my order in 7 days. That's impressive! Product presentation is also wonderful: clean lines, professional, and creative. My order arrived in a Chinese take-out style container with blue shred and an even bluer fortune cookie! Cute packaging. This would be very gift appropriate.

I really adore the St. Lucia and the Gidget mists! Gentle and wholesome ingredients are in the mists, and the scents are of medium intensity.

St. Lucia is described by B & I as "... one fresh coconut! Coconut milk gets a green update. Think of sipping coconut milk in a lush island forest." The description is very accurate. I love coconut and coconut blends, and the green notes in St. Lucia lend a different take on your standard foody or tropical coconut. This is a keeper.I would reorder this scent and highly recommend it to others!

Gidget is described as "The epitome of sweet innocence and summer love. A good-girl tropical blend of mango, coconut, and pineapple for an afternoon in the surf. It's the ultimate!"

Gidget is wonderful as well. It is a light fruity scent if that makes sense. It is not an in your face bowl of tropical fruit. It is subtle. I smell the pineapple note the most. This is a very fun daytime scent. When I sprayed it on, it made both boys smile and they asked if they could "smell like Capri Sun, too". I had to laugh because it smells nothing like that drink, but it's interesting to know how my little fellas like to describe how Mommy smells. If you like soft fruity notes without it being a Starburst/artificial fruit scent, then this is DEFINITELY right for you. I like it!

I also ordered the two items in Peach Hyacinth. Peach Hyacinth was what I wore in high school and college. I loved it. I wore it daily and to smell Victoria's Secret Peach Hyacinth brings me back to my younger days, the days of my first true love, college fun, carefree afternoons under a tree reading my Poli Sci books and jotting down ideas for my sociology papers.

If I could only wear one scent again for the rest of my life, it would be Peach Hyacinth. Alas, it has long since been discontinued and I have a new and unopened bottle I covet and sniff on occasion. I keep it in a cool, dark closet and won't use it. Kind of silly, I know.

I have blended my own PH interpretation and tried with literally 20+ different combinations of peach and hyacinth oils to get an identical scent. I have come close, but never exact.

I was hoping beyond hope that B& I would have a dead ringer. I will let them cure more, but the peach is a very different peach note. It is a
very pretty fragrance, but it's not like my beloved Victoria's Secret Peach Hyacinth. I have tried it on my skin as well and I get more hyacinth than is nice, though!

I am very glad to have finally ordered something from Bathed and Infused. I would highly recommend this company based on my own experience, especially products in
St. Lucia and Gidget. They also have several paraben-free items from which to choose. Overall, I am super impressed and would love to order again!


Several days ago I also received my Cleanse Your Soul order. Once again, I am
very happy with my Creamy Oil order. I am enjoying my Tropical Iced Tea and Coral Sugar scents especially! I am going to be brief about this, because I recently did a review on the Creamy Oils...if you are looking for GREAT customer service, very affordable prices, a huge scent menu, and some great products (just ask Judy which are paraben free), you cannot beat Cleanse Your Soul. Judy is a real gem and I think everyone should go out and buy her Creamy Oils and try them at least once!

I wrote about Sue at MCS discontinuing her Whipped Sugar Scrub until fall. That is my favorite scrub ever! I ordered a 15 ounce Creamy Dreamy Scrub from Judy at CYS to use while my MSC scrub is on hiatus and adore the formula! It is the perfect blend of sugar to oil/butters for summer--not too oily and not too grainy. I scrub daily, so this is great. So now I have a summer time "holy grail" caliber scrub, too! I tried a blend of Lemon Buttercream Sables and a Yellow Marshmallow Cake cake scent. They smell heavenly together!


I branched out and tried some new Etsy etailers during Etsy's YART event, with some success and also some less than stellar results...

I have never have been unhappy with an Etsy purchase until a couple of recent YART Sale orders. A scrub I ordered from a popular shop was really nice in terms of the actual product and scent. I liked the actual scrub, but was overcome with cigarette smoke in the mailing envelope and tissue paper. The label of the jar also smelled strongly of smoke, so I transferred it to another empty jar I had. It's too bad because the actual product smelled super yummy and it was nice overall. I just wouldn't reorder because of the cigarette smoke issue.

Another, a soap company from which I ordered two bars of palm oil free soaps, was also disappointing. I ordered 2 bars of soap advertised as "4.3 ounce" bars. They weighed in at just about 2 ounces and one bar had huge gashes covering it, rendering it inappropriate for giving to my friend as planned. That bar arrived in a ziploc kitchen bag and the other bar was wrapped in a tulle gift sack. The seller said she mis-weighed them and would change the listings. She was very friendly, that was not the issue, but I would not reorder for the aesthetic reasons.

These were the first Etsy orders I haven't been totally happy with. I did experience friendly customer service, however, from both of the owners above when I emailed my concerns, so that is great...I have always found EXCELLENT customer service on Etsy!

Here was my one winner of YART bath and body orders:


I would like to tell you about a great salt bar from Crazy Times Candle & Bath! This Appleton, Wisconsin husband and wife team makes one great bar of salt scrub! It is a spa-type fragrance with green tea and ylang ylang. Very herbal... I love salt's purifiying and exfoliating abilities, and this bar is just wonderful. If you want a bar of salt soap to detox your skin, look no more! Crazy Times offers fast shipping and a high quality bar of salt scrub without palm oil.


I have re-read my blog about my numerous orders. I have inventoried my beauty stash (I have 3 times more bath and body items than makeup, which is incredible for someone with a rolling makeup trunk, LOL). I have said before: I have TOO MUCH STUFF. I DO NOT NEED MORE THINGS.

I could "shop" my own stash and not need to buy another bath and body item for a good couple of years, and that is a conservative estimate.

I took a step last night. I asked Tom to change my Paypal password--something he will sometimes do when he thinks I'm getting carried away anyhow...He is the financial guru, always with plans for various accounts, savings, retirement....he sees the long term and always plans for it.

I am the one who doesn't plan very far ahead. You know, I am blessed to have a very comfortable life. I am so lucky to stay home with the boys and always be there for them--for preschool events, walking Nick to school...I will not miss anything and I am thankful that we can lead a comfortable life and have me be here always for the kids. That being said, I realize that I do not need to buy things that I am not in need of. Does that make sense? I will not order anything new in terms of bath and body products, as I need nothing.

I told him that when I order supplies for kzm Facial Care Boutique, that I will do it in the evening and he'll log me in to pay. This way I will let my Paypal funds continue to accumulate and each month transfer half to my savings and the other half I plan to donate to the Lustgarten Foundation. Sounds like a much more SENSIBLE (the saving $ part, which DH is so good at) and CHARITABLE (I will be able to donate even more to an organization I value so much and will be able to help them even more).

Now I am eager to see how much money I will save and add to my charitable fund this July from my online spending diet! So whatever would have been spent on bath and body is going to be saved and donated!

Something else learned...I have a true "tried and true" now when it comes to my favorite products! To qualify as my "tried and true", they are companies from which I have ordered and been happy with Customer Service, Product Quality, and Ingredients Used in the Recommended Product. Once I find a shop I love, I order and are some which fit the bill for me:

HANDMADE PALM-OIL FREE SOAPS: Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps on Etsy

ULTRA-MOISTURIZING SCRUB: Mad City Soap --aka Mad City Sue-- Whipped Sugar Scrub (cooler months)

SCRUBBY BUT NOT TOO OILY SCRUB: Cleanse Your Soul Creamy Dreamy Scrub (summer)


HOME FRAGRANCE: Starring...! Fragrances Soy Tarts

A Heavenly Scented Home Once More...Thanks to Starring...! Fragrances

Starring...! Fragrances is a California-based company owned by the Peldon sisters, Ashley and Courtney.

They started their company making decadent smelling fragrances in the second half of 2006. Their presentation is beautiful with gorgeous bottles and gold accents fit for a star. Their scent blends are lovely and truly delicious-smelling.

The company has branched out and they now carry a wonderful selection of organic and paraben-free products for bath, body and home. I had heard from a tart-loving friend of mine that Starring makes some wonderful soy tarts, so I just had to take a peek at the website.

I stopped making tarts for sale several months ago and I have some saved for holiday giving and some fall favorites...just 5 of my favorite scents. When I made tarts, one would think that I would have a million of them to burn, but in all honesty, I was always giving them to friends and family or I just plain didn't have a chance to turn on the burner! Now that I have lots of extra time combined with the fact that Cannon's new sensitive stomach dog food is herring & sweet potato (a horrid scent combo, if you ask me), I have been in need of some new high quality soy tarts!

I went to the Starring website last week and ordered about 20 tarts. They are WONDERFUL. Not one of them is a miss. I am currently burning Bread Pudding, which happens to be one of my favorite comfort foods. This smells like the real deal--like the Paula Deen bread pudding served at Lady & Sons in Savannah. Yum. It is on my electric burner in my kitchen and can be smelled upstairs, even at the opposite end out on my enclosed porch. The throw is amazing. I am a soy wax girl. These are soy and are very clean burning.

They're so good that I went and ordered many, many more this morning.

The best part? In addition to the heavenly aromas, the price simply is unbeatable. I have purchased tarts from so many retail and etail shops, as well as traded with friends. Some of these tarts sell for 2 bucks a pop. Starring...! Fragrances makes phenomenal tarts for an insanely low price. All of my tarts were $0.45 to $0.50 each!

My five favorites of the bunch thus far (on cold sniff, only Bread Pudding has been burned):
Sugar Crumble Oatmeal Square, Golden Apple Harvest, Pumpkin Fruit Cobbler, Bread Pudding and Rainbow Serpent (which is Caramel Warm Nutmeg Cookies; this one is probably my favorite!).

If I find an online shop I love (think of my love for Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps), I am a loyal customer, and Starring...! has won me over.

Check out this wonderful etailer at

Edited at 6:50pm to add: I am so in love with these! I am now burning Golden Apple Harvest and it smells incredible.

Update on July 2nd: I am on my third burning of the same Golden Apple Harvest tart! It is still going strong!

Shop 'til You Drop and Help Animals In Need!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Above: Buddy

Above: Cannon (age 4)

As you know, there has been massive devastation in the Iowa floods.

Sometimes we forget that our four-legged friends are affected by weather-related tragedies as well.

A wonderful woman named Brooke S. has organized a massive fundraising campaign--a charity auction to benefit the Cedar Rapids Animal Shelter.

This auction begins tomorrow and features dozens of wonderful items from etailers and other shop owners.

kzm Facial Care Boutique is pleased to participate. I have donated 4 wonderful collections:

*A $92 Pink Sugar Lover's Body Collection (includes 6 body creams and 6 Eau de Parfums in my custom Pink Sugar blends in a wicker basket)

*A $67 Facial Care Collection (includes 9 full-size facial care products)

*A $20 Hair Care Trio (features shampoo, conditioner and hair mist scented in Marshmallow Vanilla Cake)


*A $17.50 collection of VANILLA BEAN NOEL blends in Solid Perfume form

I have been on the website looking at some wonderful items to bid on! Remember that 100% of the proceeds of this auction will benefit displaced animals.

I am a dog lover. My first dog was Brandie, a feisty Golden Retriever. I remember her knocking me over when I was 2 or 3. We then had a dog, King. He was a mut, and he was not ours. He always wandered to our house from a family's home several houses away. He spent the days at our house, and many nights...he was just looking for affection.

Hershey was a black Cocker Spaniel, whom I adored. We got him when my big brother went off to college. I was 12. Hershey was a wonderfully loyal and loving dog. He passed away when I was in my early 20s.

Tom and I adopted Buddy from Lollypop Farm, our local Humane Society, when we first moved in together. Buddy was our first "baby". He was also a black Cocker--loyal, loving, and a devoted companion. Buddy passed away before Christmas 2006 and is sorely missed even today.

We went back to Lollypop Farm on August 18th, 2007 to adopt Cannon. He is an 85 pound German Shepherd with a big heart. He is a baby still, even at the age of 4. He loves the boys and likes to cuddle. He is family, like the others have been.

Please remember that there are dogs (and cats if you're a cat person) at shelters across the country who need your help every single day. Remember the Humane Society in your will. Send a check once a year....drop off food and toys for animals awaiting a loving home. Little things like this are appreciated in big ways!

The auction begins WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25th at noon Pacific (so 3pm EDT).

Here is the site:

Random Act of Kindness! Check Out the Items Below :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

As I have stated a few too many times, I have too much stuff in terms of fragrance that I am not using. I have some etailer items I'd love to RAOK. If you pay shipping (the roll ons would be $2 first class), the items you'd like are yours free! I'm trying to clean out my stash of things I do not reach for or didn't agree with my body chemistry. These are some great items!

All I ask is that you only choose what you'd like (please don't take EVERYTHING so more than one person can have some freebies) and that in turn you do an RAOK for someone in your own life. Thank you!

*Isle of Eden Haunted Ballroom Perfumed Oil roll on (USED ONCE, new lime green bottle and cap), 0.33 oz.

*Isle of Eden Waffle Cone Explosion Perfumed Oil roll on (USED ONCE, received in May, black cap), 0.33 oz.

*Isle of Eden Virgin Island Banana Cake Perfume Oil roll on (sniffed, didn't try, new lime green bottle and cap), 0.33 oz.

*Bissy's Boutique Luxury Body Spray Lush Snowcake Type (2 oz. bottle, purchased during her charity event, spritzed once)

*Bissy's Boutique Luxury Body Spray Sexy Vanilla Bean (2 oz. bottle, purchased during her charity event, spritzed a couple times)

*Bissy's Boutique Luxury Body Spray Sun & Sand--this one smells like the Yankee Candle Sun & Sand as opposed to a suntan lotion scent, for reference (2 oz. bottle, purchased during her charity event, spritzed once)

*Bissy's Boutique Frangelico Streusel Roll On, 0.33 oz. (used one time, bottle leaked a teensy bit so label is smudged)

*Cleanse Your Soul Creamy Oil in Martinique, 2 oz., tried once (just not my scent)

Interested? Email me:

6/20 UPDATE:

I have now RAOK'd the Bissy's Snowcake Body Spray, Frangelico Streusel roll on, IOE Haunted Ballroom, CYS Creamy Oil in Martinique, and Waffle Cone Explosion.


IOE Virgin Island Banana Cake roll on
BB Sun & Sand Body Spray
BB Sexy Vanilla Bean Body Spray

I have decided that each month I will eliminate what I am not reaching for by having an RAOK listed here on the blog.

June 30th Update: All have been RAOK'd now. All RAOKs were shipped Saturday, June 28th.

More Etsy Love....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Above: My great new Amy Butler fabric bag from Etsy's HELLO ME DESIGNS

As I mentioned below, Etsy is having a YART (Yard + Art) Sale until June 20. There are some great bargains to be had!

Friday night after I put up my own YART SALE, I went looking for a small Amy Butler handbag (my others are pretty large). I found a new to me seller, Hello Me Designs, having a YART Sale with a cute mini bag. It's actually versatile and roomy for a small bag. I ordered Friday night and it was here by 10am Monday! Now that is fast. The workmanship is very nice and quite professional. I adore the colors in the Amy Butler fabric on this bag: aqua, chocolate and lime. Really nice and a change for me in terms of bags. Did I mention this bag on YART sale was five bucks???? FIVE DOLLARS for a handmade bag plus $2.50 shipping. That's the price of a bar of soap!!!

Today I placed 3 Etsy orders, all from new to me etailers.

My first one was at Cozy Moments. They had a scrub on their YART sale. As you know, I ordered a whipped non-foaming scrub from Judy at Cleanse Your Soul last week. I ordered a Foaming Sugar Body Polish in Pink Buttercream Marshmallow Cake. Sounds delicious! The scrubs looks feminine and pretty on their shop page, so I cannot wait to try. My online friend Kate adores Cozy Moments and I would like to thank her for her recommendation! I am already pleased with the customer service. The owners emailed me promptly to thank me for my order and to let me know that it'd be shipping out tomorrow!

You all know how much I adore Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps on Etsy. I will always buy my daily staple soaps from Nan, as she is simply the best! Plus, I have finally finished my FINAL bar of my own Miss Honey Buns soap. I had been saving that last bar for months. I didn't want to share it with even my own hubby :) If you want some nice bars with honey, check Nan's site, too! I never put palm oil in MHB soap, and neither does Nancy in her bars. Her Prickly Pear Honey bar is great! She has a couple of others with honey that I will try again in the fall.

That being said, I was looking for two types of bars: a beer soap and salt bar (without palm oil) and came across two meeting my requirements.

I found a salt bar called Balance Blend Salt Bar with Ylang Ylang and Green Tea from Crazy Times Candle & Bath. I love salt bars because they exfoliate so nicely without being "grainy". They actually work beautifully at drawing out impurities (don't use on freshly shaved legs) and imparting a glow. I haven't found a decent salt bar without palm oil and just happened upon this shop today! The damage? $4.50 plus shipping.

Next stop on my wish list was a beer soap without palm oil. I rinse my hair often with Rochester's own HONEY BROWN beer, a honey lager.
I found a palm oil free Coors Light bar from Mema's Cold Process Soap Shop on Etsy for $4. She had some soaps on YART as well, so I also picked up a Chocolate Mint soap free of palm oil for only $3.

In other ordering news (AKA Karley has major PMS and spare money in her paypal account), I placed my very first Bathed and Infused order yesterday. it was small. I shouldn't have ordered because I do NOT need anything but wanted to be pampered...the damage was minimal because they have 30% off everything and a flat rate $5 shipping special. I ordered an In Between Cream (paraben-free) in my beloved Victoria's Secret favorite, PEACH HYACINTH, a mist in Peach Hyacinth, and mists in St. Lucia and Gidget. I am eager to try.

Once I get these orders, I am officially putting myself on a spending diet. Nick's last day of preschool is tomorrow (he had two days after graduation) and I will be lots busier back to a summer schedule at home, so I won't be online at all during the day (unless both boys nap at the same time which is practically unheard of).

I have everything I need. Gosh, I need nothing. I have so many bottles of Eau de Parfum, lotions and other potions. The past two weeks of making products for gifts resulted in 36 body creams, 30 lotions, 30 hair mists, 22 dry oils sprays and more tarts and candles than I would like to think about at this point. Most went towards the gift basket orders for the end of the year, but I do have some great things left...I actually was going to put them on Etsy, but think I might just enjoy what's left for myself!

I am going to use everything up that I have and THEN ponder my next orders...I know Crater Lake Company will fall into that category because I just adore Sharonn!

I will post about my newest Etsy finds once the arrive. I can't wait to try the goodies and am looking forward to trying everything out!

A Quick Father' s Day Reflection

Sunday, June 15, 2008

I love a good pic from the 1970s! Dad, Karley & Jeff in Gettysburg, PA

This was Father's Day 30 Years Ago! LOVE the clothes!

Dad holding Nick; Nick's 1st Thanksgiving

Dad and Nick at the Editor's Desk

Dad holding Nick; this was 3 months before Dad passed away.

It's been three years without my dad now. Father's Day is a very difficult holiday when you're missing your dad. The day to day routine keeps it so things get easier, but holidays are still really tough and there's an emptiness. Thank God for Tom and the boys, the rest of my family...but most of all for the incredible memories in my heart.

Happy Father's Day, Dad.

kzm is Having a YART sale!

Friday, June 13, 2008

No, it's not a typo! It's Etsy's first annual YART SALE through June 20th and I finally had a chance to put up some great specials.

A YART Sale is a Yard Sale with Art, and if you stop by my Etsy shop, you'll find some awesome deals!

*HEALTHY LOCKS 100% NATURAL SHAMPOO is on sale for only $4.25!


*FACIAL CLEANSING OIL is on sale for $4!

*HEALTHY LOCKS GOAT'S MILK PROTEIN HAIR MIST is only $3.95 (for a great hair mist-- that's a stellar bargain)!

*ROLL ON EAU DE PARFUM is 50% off during YART! That is 3 bucks a piece. Choose from JOJOBA OIL, CYCLOMETHICONE, or ARTISAN'S ALCOHOL for your base.
What else is new in my Etsy shop?

fans are going to adore my 5 piece Solid Perfume gift set featuring 5 custom Pink Sugar blends. You will receive 5 great perfumes for $15!

VANILLA BEAN NOEL lovers will delight in my exclusive VBN-blend 5 piece set of perfumes as well. Also $15 for 5.

I have added DRY OIL SPRAY which is the only product with silicone I will sell.

My FOOT TREAT-MINT is here! It's an all-natural portable foot balm in your choice of 7 scents.

Look for GOAT'S MILK BODY LOTION to return for a very brief time. I made up several for teacher gifts and graduation gifts here and made extras to put on Etsy.

Also returning only for a short time will be some soy tarts and candles. I won't be bringing back wax items to the internet. I am only now beginning to enjoy burning them again. After making so many for such a long time, I could hardly smell them anymore and the process was causing my sinuses to be in an unpleasant state. I did make up many tarts and candles over the weekend for gifts and made some of my best-selling scents (from Flour City Bakery and Northfield Road Gifts) to sell for a limited time. I will list these by July.

Today Nicholas had his preschool graduation. They also put on a musical extravaganza for us. Nick is such a ham and quite the performer. He sang with lots of gusto and stopped mid-song to say, "HI GRANDMA!" and wink at her ;)

If you haven't stopped by my Etsy shop today, I'll tell you now about my WEEKEND GWP!
To celebrate Nick's graduation, I am giving a free SOLID PERFUME in Nick's Lemonade Stand to all people spending $15 or more. Nick adores pink lemonade, whether it be to drink or sniff. This is a true pink lemonade scent.

Next weekend, I will have a similar GWP in my Ben's Birthday Cake scent because my BABY is going to be 3. How is that possible?

Good Luck, Jen!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I wanted to take a moment to wish a friend the best of luck in all of her future endeavors. Jennifer Savino is the great woman behind Aloha Coconut, which I have mentioned a couple of times in my blog. Not only did Jen have a nice business going (and she was great at what she did), but she had outstanding customer service skills and great paraben-free bath items.

I am proud to consider her my friend.

I received an email from her today saying that she has decided to close up her business. I understand where she is coming from. It's a hard balance sometimes until you find your groove. Sometimes closing up shop, whether temporarily or permanently, is the best decision. It's hard to let go of something you've worked so hard on, and I am know she didn't make this decision lightly.

I remember what a very hard decision it was to close Flour City Bakery last June (a year already). I poured my heart and soul into my business, but at a great cost to my family and myself. You can only get by on 3 hours of sleep and be there completely for two toddlers for so long. The passion for what I did became lost somewhere down the line. That is OK, though. I have said before that life is the greatest learning experience, as we learn about others and ourselves daily. I've made mistakes and learned from them. I learned to find balance in my life once again--especially when I had time again to get back to my reiki practice. Sometimes you just have to take time to figure things out. I am in my 30s and still learning what is best for myself. Once you find your groove, it is a great feeling. It took time and kinks to work out, but I have found where I belong--by doing something I can say I love.

Back to my feelings on Jen's closing...

Good luck to you, Jen! Best of luck in everything you choose to pursue! I am surely going to miss your Island Pearl Body Wash :) You're a motivated, kind gem of a person who deserves to be happy.

Cheers to you and best wishes!

Nan Does It Again! A FANTASTIC Order Arrived Today!

I am going to rave again about my favorite soap etailer, Nan Goodwin.

Nan owns Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps.

I have ordered 9 bars of soap from her since mid February, and am more impressed with each order. I placed an order for 3 bars on Friday and received them this morning. I ordered Prickly Pear Honey and Oatmeal with Pink Grapefruit, Island Coconut, and Citrus Delight.

All three are wonderful.

Citrus Delight is a cream colored bar with swirls of green. True to its name, it is a delight! The ingredients in this bar are: Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Canola Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Essential Oils (Grapefruit, Orange, Lemongrass, Listea) and Yellow Kaolin Clay.

When you pick up the bar, you immediately pick up the lemongrass. It is subtle and tart. Then the grapefruit is evident. I am eager to see how all of the scents come together in the shower when it's all lathered. This is a fresh, citrusy scent and I know even my husband will not mind using it!

Prickly Pear Honey and Oatmeal with Pink Grapefruit is gorgeous. It has the sweet and comforting notes of honey I adore so much, but without being too warm for summer. It is a "cheerful" honey with the tart grapefruit and lemon notes. I am LOVING this. I washed my hands with it a few minutes ago and they are so soft and smell so good! This is the perfect honey for summer!

Ingredients: Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Organic Canola Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Essential Oils of Pink Grapefruit, Lemongrass and Listea, Prickly Pear Honey, Ground Oatmeal.

I am saving my favorite bar for last!

Ahh, Island Coconut. It smells divine. I simply adore coconut scents for summer. I like it blended with foody notes, with citrus, floral, and on its own. This is just a wonderful tropical coconut. There are not any bakery notes like a coconut cream pie--this is just a wonderful coconut which reminds me of freshly grated coconut.

I know this is the first one I'll be using in tomorrow morning's shower! The ingredients in this one are" Olive Oil, Distilled Water, Sodium Hydroxide, Sweet Almond Oil, Shea Butter, Grapeseed Oil, and Fragrance Oil.

I want to also add that Nan included a wonderful gift with my repeat purchase: handmade earrings! These are gorgeous lapis earrings. Not a day goes by that I do not wear earrings and these are beautiful. I didn't realize it, but Nan also has a shop on Etsy featuring handmade jewelry. I am in trouble now! The shop is Jewelry from Tucson.

I am thrilled with every aspect of this order, as always. When you order from Nan, you receive prompt shipping and great communication. Even better is the fact that you will never be disappointed with these soaps! I'd like to reiterate that all of her soaps are PALM OIL FREE! For those unfamiliar, the way palm oil is gathered is contributing to the deaths of thousands of orangutans and within a decade or so, they are predicted to become extinct because of this.

Another TEENSY Order and Some Random Thoughts...

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So I need to refrain from reading email while the boys are napping...

A couple hours ago I decided to check my email and found a savings of 17% from Cleanse Your Soul. Yes, I ordered 5 Creamy Oils yesterday....but I caved in this afternoon for a 16 ounce Creamy Dreamy Sugar Scrub.

You see, I mentioned needing to re-order my holy grail sugar scrub: Mad City Soap Whipped Sugar Scrub in a split of Italian Cream Cake and Lemon Meringue. I went to do so, and due to the summer heat, Sue is going to stop selling this product until fall. I should probably whip up my own, but I love MCS scrubs and just don't have nearly as much fun using a scrub if I have to make it up first :)

With the 17%, you can get a whopping 16 ounce scrub for $12.45! This should last a while, but I am horribly addicted to scrubs. In fact, I make a salt scrub for no one but myself and go through a generous container of Mediterranean Sea Salts each month on just me!

Anyway, I decided to order a split of Yellow Marshmallow Cream Cake and Lemon Buttercream Sables. I know I said I am all into the citrus scents now for a change, but when I am taking a bath, I have to scrub with something bakery-inspired. Is that silly? Probably. I don't know why I do night is when I use scrubs, and I gravitate toward the lemon and cake notes at night.

Judy, the owner of Cleanse Your Soul, is having this great 17% off sale for few more days. The discount is reflected at checkout and you don't need to remember any kind of code.

I made a yummy Coconut Lemon Cake whipped bath cream and use that almost nightly, layering with Lemon Meringue, London Lemon Curd, or Coconut scents in general.

Want to make your own bath cream? It is so easy and Crafter's Choice brand from Wholesale Supplies Plus is easy to use and paraben-free! I think I have about 25 bath creams of my own right now. Sounds so silly, but it really is easier to make a giant batch of the stuff. Tip: use Grapeseed Oil in it to prevent any kind of oily feeling. I have tried it with blends of oil, and alone with sweet almond, coconut, shea oil and hemp seed oil. I like grapeseed in this the best!

Speaking of bath creams, I have been working very hard on several local orders (I still sell bath and body to my local customers upon request) for teacher's gift baskets (school ends in another week or so here), graduation gifts, etc...I've made up lots of lotions, creams, bath cream, EDPs, candles and tarts (which I won't do again even for me at home until I'm ready for fall and winter scents) and made double of everything I needed to make. I will be listing some limited edition bath, body and tarts on Etsy in the next couple of weeks. I will do this when I make graduation/teacher gifts and holiday gifts and put them on Etsy twice a year. Look for these soon!

Another little order to cleanse my soul...from CYS!

Monday, June 9, 2008

In my last blog post I talked about some favorite products, one of them being my Cleanse Your Soul order. I tried a few things and fell in love with her Creamy Oil. This paraben-free product is of unique texture. It is slightly runny, like a very liquidy lotion. Do not let that scare you, ladies! This product is awesome for after the shower on a hot day!

It works double duty, acting as a body oil and a lightweight, nourishing moisturizer.

Here in Upstate NY, it has been unseasonably hot--the 90s with high humidity. I normally use my goat's milk body cream, pure coconut oil, or else Aloha Coconut Aloe Sun Smoothie Lotion after bathing. It has been so hot that I just want a very light coat of moisture to give my arms and legs a silky look.

Cleanse Your Soul Creamy Oil is perfect for this. I apply it right on my skin after the shower while it is still damp. The three in my first order were RACHEL GOES PINK, MARSHMALLOW WEDDING CAKE, and MARTINIQUE. I love Rachel Goes Pink! I emptied that bottle in no time. Marshmallow Wedding Cake cured beautifully and will be great for fall. It truly is an all-season scent, but as I stated in a past blog entry, I am just not loving the bakery scents this spring/summer. I love to smell them, but not wear them right now.

I must be going through a phase, as this has never happened to me before. I usually wear my vanillas, chocolates and cake scents year 'round. I will right now only if I soften them with some lemon or other citrus. I think this is why I love the Lemon Meringue/Italian Cream Cake split Whipped Sugar Scrub from Mad City Soap ( Now that I have typed that, I am reminded that I need to head over there soon and buy another tub of it.

Martinique just did not agree with my chemistry at all, so I swapped it with a friend for an Ulta Shimmering Quartz lipstick (hers was new; it is one of my favorite colors).

Today I decided it was time to place another order for Creamy Oil. I ordered a bigger bottle of Coral Sugar, and then smaller ones of Cactus & Sea Salt, Phenomenal Woman, Tropical Iced Tea, and Yuzu Coconut.

If you're looking for an alternative to lotion, rich creams, and traditional body oils, I highly recommend Judy's Creamy Oil.

I like it in conjunction with a Dry Oil Spray or a Hair & Body Mist, especially on a hot day like today. Of course I am going to recommend my Healthy Locks Hair Mist and my new Dry Oil Spray (coming this week), found in my Etsy shop :)

Best of all, Creamy Oil is very affordable, as are all of Judy's products. If you're on the no paraben bandwagon like I have been for the past 18 months, you will find a handful of items to "cleanse your soul" in Judy's shop.

Want to try several scents? Try the 2 ounce malibu bottles first. They're only $3.50 each, so you can try many different scents!

More Soap from Aunt Nancy's; Cleanse Your Soul Thoughts

Friday, June 6, 2008

I just placed an order from Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps again on Etsy. As I have stated before, I will never try another soaper after finding Nan. She is committed to making her soaps without palm oil and if I am not mistaken everything right down to the colorants are 100% natural.

I just finished my Peppermint Chocolate bar from Nancy (this is THE BEST ever) and the boys are using their layered blue Black Raspberry Vanilla bar still. I use her bar with coffee grounds on the back of my thighs to boost circulation and maintain radiance.

I have been venturing out of my scent comfort zone as of late. I used to be a strictly bakery-scented kind of girl. I am craving citrus scents lately, so I decided to try 2 new citrus bars and one I know I will love, Island Coconut. The two other bars I ordered are and Citrus Delight and Oatmeal Honey with Grapefruit.

I always buy the 3-bar pack of soap for $12. With shipping my order came to $16.90. The great thing about Aunt Nancy's Handmade Soaps is that you will undoubtedly receive stellar customer service, fast shipping, a beautiful bar of soap, and a soap of the highest quality.

As I stated, I am on a major citrus kick. Today is the perfect "citrus" day--94 and humid. I made myself a lemon, coconut & almond dry oil spray this AM and used what was left of my Crater Lake Company conditioner in London Lemon Curd. I washed my hair with my kzm Healthy Locks Shampoo in Coconut Lemon Cake. I also have recently been going through my Aloha Coconut Island Pearl Body Wash in Iced Tea Twister.

In the past couple of weeks, I have received a couple of etailer orders as well.

First of all, on May 27th I received my Cleanse Your Soul order. I ordered a sampling of paraben-free items (just ask Judy which ones are free of parabens and she will let you know). Of what I have tried, I can tell you that I really like the Creamy Oil. It is great to use after the shower when you don't want anything heavy afterwards. I like the Rachel Goes Pink scent! Very nice for summer!

On June 3rd I received my April 7th order from Isle of Eden. It was for several roll ons (as if I need more, LOL) and an Eden's Mist spray (same thing--don't need more!). I do like the scents I ordered, but when I ordered, it was in the 30s here, so I was wanting warmer, foody scents. I am not interested in these right now, so I just put the order in the drawer of my vanity and will take it out on the early fall. I know I will enjoy the scents when it is fall! I have to say I like the packaging better with this order, too. The bottles and caps are a great lime green for summer.

Just a final note: it is HOT here today. Sticky, HUMID and hot...truth be told, it reminds me of a day in Savannah! Today is the first HOT and HUMID day trying a natural deodorant. I applied Spa Therapy Works Natural Deodorant in Lemon Meringue at 6am. It is 4:30pm and still going strong. This stuff is divine! Find it for $6.25 on Etsy. I am pondering my 4th vegan stick from them right now....maybe Green Tea & Cucumber?

Found: The Perfect Foundation/Powder Combo!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

First off, I would like to thank Valerie (lipglossina from the blog Beauty Musings) for her review of Physician's Formula Organic Wear 100% Natural Origin Pressed Powder! It is simply wonderful.

I used to use mineral makeup exclusively. My "perfect" combination was Everyday Minerals Intensive Mineral Foundation in a shade called Golden Fair paired with my homemade finishing powder. This is what I have used for a long time.

As I have gotten older, my skin has changed. Mineral makeup is no longer perfect for me. I can actually go LIGHTER in texture/coverage now for an even more naturally polished look. My skin is in great condition and I have switched to a liquid tinted moisturizer again! I used to use one from Paula's Select, but it wasn't that great. The Avon company mark. makes a decent one, but the ingredients are no longer meeting my requirements.

I recently found my PERFECT formula: SMASHBOX SHEER FOCUS in Fair. It is paraben-free and delivers a soft-focus look. It is not shiny, glides on beautifully, and gives a light enough coverage to conceal my redness in the looks like my own skin, but better. For reference, I apply this with my Cat Cosmetics Taklon Brush.

The cost? $30. It is worth it. I adore it!

What do I set it with? I have been using the Physician's Formula in Translucent Light since I read Lipglossina's review. She was right. It is awesome. The texture is silky and light. I would equate it to the texture of Lancome Dual Finish. This is a high-end caliber powder. I apply this with my Cat Cosmetics Sesameow Brush. The damage? I paid only $6 for this after a manufacturer's coupon plus an additional savings with my CVS Extra Care card.

My skin has been looking really good on its own, but these two products keep it looking extra good! It is great knowing that I have two great products in my arsenal that I will continue to buy! As long as my skin stays this way, I can consider these two products "Holy Grail" status products (if only I could find an HG mascara!).

They Grow Up Too Fast

Above: My Sweet Nick June 2008

Above: Ben just the other day

Above: Ben on his 1st birthday

You often hear me refer to my boys, Nick and Ben, but I haven't posted any pictures on here that I can recall.

I'd like to talk a little bit about my guys while I have some time. Ben is playing right now with his Matchbox cars. Nick is at preschool. He attends a preschool 3 blocks away three half-days per week.

It seems like yesterday I was pregnant with Nick. I honestly do not know where the time has gone. Nicholas will be FIVE in September. He will also start kindergarten.

Ben, the baby, is going to be THREE on June 23rd. I am busy planning his party. I am doing a theme completely out of my element, but it's what he wants! Benjamin loves anything farm related and cowboy related. He asked for a "tractor" party, so we're doing the John Deere-themed party and I plan to decorate his cake with farm animals and little green tractors.

I am in awe of the boys each and every day. Ben is fiercely independent. He is WILD. He is constantly on the go, never staying down for a nap. From 8am until about 7pm, he is a ball of energy. He is rough and tumble all the way--he likes to collect bugs and play in the dirt.

Nick, on the other hand, is a little gentleman. He holds the door for the girls at preschool and has a "girlfriend". He is what many call an "old soul". He has a gentle nature and is quite sensitive. He would rather sit and read a book (and he does read already, and so well--I am very, very proud of him) than play in the mud. He is extremely inquisitive and comes up with some unusual remarks: "Do you think they have telescopes in Japan?", "If 5 plus 3 equals 8, then why does 4 plus 4 also equal 8?" These questions come from out of the blue...

He reflects on almost everything and is just rather calm and quiet...a bit reserved, but ever so charming.

Benjamin, on the other hand, will yell and say things that make me red in the face. One day last week we were out shopping and I was looking at bras. Ben looked at me and started yelling "BOOBY COVERS! MOMMY STOP LOOKING AT BOOBY COVERS!!!!! MOMMY HAS BIG BOOBIES AND NEEDS A BOOBY TRAP!" I was mortified and my fellow shoppers were giggling. Another day we were in TJ Maxx and Ben saw a woman wearing a cowboy hat as an accessory (not necessarily the norm here). He pointed at her and yelled "MOMMY! A REAL COWBOY! LOOK EVERYONE! A COWBOY!". He will say things more loudly if he senses that he is getting a rise out of me, which is almost daily.

There is no greater joy in my life than my boys. They have taught me so many lessons and I have learned about what matters most in life. An almost 3 year old and a preschooler are my greatest teachers.

Graduation for Nick is coming on June 13th. We have a luau party the next week with his class and then he's done for the summer. I just cannot believe that he's finishing up preschool already. He and his brother are growing up way too fast....

"Sex and the City" for "Tired in the Suburbs"

I love the dress Miranda is wearing in the above pic!

Yes, everyone has been talking about Sex and the City and with good reason. SATC was my favorite tv show ever (even more than Friends).

SATC came into my living room a year after college. At that time I was pretty much living the SATC life, only in a much smaller city. I was a working woman spending almost all of her paychecks on great shoes and clothes (what was left after my portion of rent and student loans). I worked all day (for Estee Lauder) and stayed out late. Tom and I were together a year at that point, but we loved to go out and never got more than about 4 hours of sleep because we were young and having fun was the name of the game. There really were no responsibilities and frequent shopping trips and nights out at clubs were only natural.

Fast forward to Season 6. We were living in the city still--but the season finale was spent exhausted with baby Nicholas, and hundreds of boxes taped up and getting ready to move into our new house in the suburbs. I watched the finale wearing flannel pj bottoms and a t shirt folding baby onesies. What a difference!

I mourned the loss of SATC. I really could relate to each woman on some level. Carrie was my favorite. I adore Sarah Jessica Parker in general. Charlotte and I are so similar in that she still believes in the fairy tale--of Prince Charming, a happy home with the pitter patter of little feet and cute dogs. She has an innocence about her and is a romantic. I am very much that way.

I wish I had Samantha's blunt confidence. I am like her in some ways, but privately ;)

Miranda is the one I related to the least. I think the only way I see myself as being similar to her is the fact that she can appear somewhat cold or even bitchy, but with a big heart deep down. I am that way when you first meet me, but once you get to know me I wear my heart on my sleeve.

I could not wait for this movie to hit the big screen. I was so excited about it. I wanted to go Friday night when it opened here, but couldn't. I planned to go Saturday with my friend next door. She hadn't watched the series and wasn't really interested in the movie. Another friend wanted to "wait until the crowd died down". I couldn't wait!

I wasn't going to drag Tom there with me, so I took matters into my own hands and did something I have never done before--went ALONE.

Saturday was crazy. The boys were, how do I put this nicely? They were pains in the arse all day. Nick was in time out a good portion of the morning for taking the scissors from the bathroom cabinet and cutting holes in his bedroom curtains. Note to self: do not buy curtains at Pottery Barn for Nick ever again. He lied and said Cannon (our dog) bit all of the gashes in the curtains...the same way he said that his spilled lemonade was Cannon lifting his leg.

Ben was just a wild little money. I was so tired and I just needed a break.

I looked at Tom and said, "I am going to the movies. See you in about 3 hours."

He looked at me and thought I was joking. I got into my hot Swarovski crystal embellished minivan (kidding, of course) and drove to the local Regal Cinema. I got in line, and for the first time since I was a teenager going to "Jurassic Park" with my friends, said "One ticket, please".

I thought I'd feel like a dork for going alone, but what a great time it was! For the first time in YEARS, I was able to sit alone without someone jumping on me, talking in my ear, or sticking their little fingers in my popcorn. It was bliss, I tell you!

I sat alone and didn't feel uncomfortable at all. I watched the movie and became totally engrossed in the story. I loved the movie. I know it didn't get great reviews, but it was great in my opinion. Carrie and Big together are fantastic and I wanted a happy ending...I felt it was heart-wrenching (I think we have all felt the way Carrie did in Mexico at some point), yet so joyful as well. I loved (most) of the clothes, especially Miranda's black and cream very mod dress. I can totally see myself in that. I have no where to wear it the playground? Dropping Nick off at preschool? Planting flowers in my garden? Getting groceries at Wegmans? You get the idea...

Anyway, I want to see it again because it made me so happy to see my favorite ladies on the big screen....

Handmade Handbag Heaven (say that 3 times fast...)

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Handbags...I love a good handbag,and I have found three wonderful handmade bags in the past several weeks.

The first one was only $14.99 by an eBay seller. When the seller was making and listing bags, she had some wonderful bags made with Vera Bradley and Michael Miller fabrics, as well as shabby chic styles at the time of my purchase. Sadly, nothing has been listed in several weeks and she isn't selling anything at this time.

This wonderful quilted bag is stitched beautifully. It features the classic Shabby Chic colors of robin's egg blue and soft rose. The handles have soft coordinating polka dots on the other side. The button is made of a vintage rhinestone that gives it such a unique feel. I received this at 11am in the mail and had received 3 compliments by the time I picked my son up from preschool at 2:30!

The second great bag I purchased was on my favorite site, ETSY. I have always loved Amy Butler fabric, but I have been seeking ANYTHING Amy Butler the past couple of weeks. I just love everything she does. I found a great handbag by Etsy seller brezomayo. It is made of a dark wash denim and has different Amy Butler fabric pieces in a patchwork design. I paid $28 for this one and I use it every couple of days. The button is really pretty, too! It is mother of pearl atop a vintage brown button. I really adore this bag. The interior features quilted cotton and a pocket. The seller was EXTREMELY friendly and the workmanship is great. Check out the other wonderful pieces in brezomayo's Etsy shop today!

My third handcrafted bag is my most favorite! It was $24.00 and also found on Etsy. I just bought this last Thursday, and I received it in less than 48 hours! Now that is fast. Seller gizmos made this beautiful piece out of various Amy Butler fabrics, all of which are my favorites in the pinks with bursts of green and blue. I have worn this one ever since I got it and I just LOVE it. It was made with great care and it is just a gorgeous bag! You'll find it in the last picture.

While we're talking about Amy Butler, I have to mention a great headband from the Etsy seller Precocious. I bought a pink paisley headband and it looks so pretty! I wore it Saturday with a fitted tee and walking shorts. It held back my chin-length bob and was comfortable. It's not one of those headbands that squeezes your head so badly that your jaw aches. It is just really pretty. I actually didn't notice it until I had it next to my new Amy Butler handbag, but this headband has the same fabric as the interior of the purse I bought from gizmos on Etsy!

While sharing these finds with you, I cannot emphasize enough what a great community Etsy is. I have met some wonderful women on Etsy (and men), and I have NEVER once been disappointed with a purchase.

My friend Jennifer, owner of Aloha Coconut also has decided to open an Etsy shop to go along with her site. I am happy to see her there as well! By the way, have you tried Aloha Coconut before? Now is a great time, as she has a sale code! If you enter code HAPPYBIRTHDAY at checkout on her site, you will save 15%.

My other favorite Etsy shop? MY OWN, OF COURSE! I think it was May 5th that I returned to Etsy and I do not think I have ever been as content. I am loving being back, and thrilled to have met some great new customers. My shop is "my own" thing outside of being a mommy and a wife and it is FUN again. I haven't felt this way in a long time! kzm Facial Care Boutique also has some old favorites back as well as new items! Today I listed my brand new organic hand cream. It is rich, but not greasy, and has antioxidants and DMAE. The vitamin C in it will help to fade brown spots. I love it and I know you'll simply adore it! All Chic & Green Beauty Blog readers will receive a free gift with purchase just by mentioning you read this in the checkout notes. Valid all month!

Some Opinions on Avon Products...

Dear Avon Execs,

Please stop formulating your best mascaras with parabens!

I have been searching for my "Holy Grail" mascara for over a decade.

I have found some great mascaras over the years: Maybelline Lash Out and L'Oreal Voluminous for the lower price formulas and Yves St. Laurent Faux Cils (and Rest In Peace to the great Yves St. Laurent, who recently passed on. What a legend he was) and Christian Dior "Dior Show" for the high-end. Truth be told, I liked the drugstore ones better ;)

I have tried literally hundreds of mascaras through the years, never having found the PERFECT performance and PERFECTLY SAFE ingredients.

I absolutely fell head over heels in loves with RIMMEL EXTRA SUPER LASH, only to have my heart stomped on when I discovered Rimmel engages in animal testing. Everything about that formula was perfection in a black tube.

I have since been using Dr. Hauschka. It is nice. Nothing great. I LIKE it, but don't love it. I actually adored it when I first bought it. Now it just seems ho hum.

My friend Tanya Adams from my online moms' group (a shout out to my close circle at RP Moms!) is a top Avon seller in Miami. She is one of the hardest working women I have met and she really should make Avon proud. She asked me to be a product tester for some new items, and I was happy to oblige.

She asked me to try out the new Jillian Dempsey Professional Mascara and it arrived last week. It is fantastic. It has a small brush on one end and a standard-sized brush on the other. Avon recommends using the mini brush for the lower lashes.

I asked Tanya to send me a tube of brown. I am very fair and stick to brown or black/brown during the day and go all out with the black at night.

I was very eager to try this new mascara because I truly admire Dempsey's work as a makeup artist.

I adore nearly everything about this mascara. The price point is wonderful--about the same as L'Oreal.

The mini brush is actually identical to the brush used in mark. Baby Lash mascara which the Avon company introduced in 2006. It looks and feels identical in every way.

I curled my lashes and applied my new mascara to the upper lash line with the standard wand. I didn't apply it yet to the outer corner lashes. I used the mini brush to apply the mascara to the outer upper lashes.

Why? When applied to the upper outer corners, the mini brush can be used to dramatically accentuate each lash individually. By doing so, you can easily achieve the look of individual false eye lashes. The effect is truly stunning.

This is a very impressive mascara. The two brushes allow you the flexibility to create a very subtle or quite dramatic effect with one product. My eyes are extremely sensitive and get watery and red easily. I wore this each day for about 12-14 hours per day without any redness, soreness, flaking or rub-off. No smudging in the humidity, either.

Once again, I thought I hit the mascara jackpot. I then spoiled my fun by going to the Avon website to check the ingredients since they were not listed on the product anywhere. PARABENS...Attention Avon! You do not need to use harmful parabens in your mascara. Get with the program and follow the lead of many other companies and stop using something so potentially toxic. Not only that, but there is TALC right near the top of the ingredients listing. Most companies stopped using talc years ago. Another irritant in this formula is TRIETHANOLAMINE. Being that this product is next to the eyes, I definitely would not continue to use this. I had found the PERFECT mascara, and you ruined it for me...Be a real "company for women" and stop using something that may contribute to breast cancer!

I am once again back on the quest for the perfect mascara.

Now I'd like to talk about an AVON product I absolutely adore and cannot be without. I use this nightly and have for over 2 years.

It's called Clinical Lift & Tuck and it is worth every penny.

I have two small children 21 months apart. The 25 pounds gained with Nick came off easily. My shape wasn't the same, but my starting weight returned. After I reached my goal, I soon became pregnant with Ben. Two close pregnancies can surely wreak havoc on your body!

I lost most of the weight I had gained while pregnant with Benjamin only to fall down the stairs and have a tibia/fibula fracture when he was 5 months old. This landed me in a wheelchair for 4 weeks and a fracture boot for another 6. Ten weeks with only physical therapy when you're used to walking and pilates is not good for the body!

In those couple of months, I gained back a great deal of the baby weight I had lost. I was able to start exercising again cautiously, but the pooch in my belly was really bothering me. I ordered this and I was honestly stunned by the results. I am not one who would go under the knife for the sake of vanity, but this is like a tummy tuck in a bottle without any pain or scarring. The plant-derived ingredients and caffeine in this make it truly effective when used DAILY and massaged in for several minutes. As we all know, no cream like this will work forever or have lasting results on its own.

I have since lost 34 pounds since that injury. I have actually lost half of that in 2008 alone just by a couple changes--adding back a full breakfast each day and no more ice cream on weeknights.

The up and down weight loss and gain could have been dreadful for my body. Lift & Tuck keeps my stomach smooth looking--there's no saggy pooch when I look in the mirror. My rear end is smooth and dimple-free. I am not a supermodel. I am healthy, though. I am a busy mom and I take very good care of myself. I exercise almost daily and eat well. I will tell you, however, that this body product from Avon--when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle--WILL do remarkable things for your belly and butt.

Best of all, it is PARABEN-FREE!

I know you'll laugh at this favorite AVON item. I laughed when I first saw it. I bought it on a whim and have now had this in my product arsenal for the same length of time as my LIFT & TUCK.

The name says it all: BUST SCULPT.

I obviously was hesitant to try this item. Did I really expect an Avon lotion to make my breasts appear firmer? NO.

I was, and am, pleasantly surprised! First off, those pregnancies and weight ups and downs caused some undesirable effects on my chest. At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I was a 36C. By the time my son was born, I was a 44DD. You can say, my boobs were strecthed and pulled drastically. Then I lost the baby weight and was a 36D. Right after they shrunk a bit, I got pregnant again. My breasts grew and grew and ended up a 44DDD when the second was born. 11 months later my breasts remained at a 38DD and were not youthful and perky...They were almost headed south :(

When "the girls" started to droop a bit, I explored my options. I am talking product-wise. I am too squeamish and would never have a lift or anything, but it was bugging me. After using this religiously for about 6 weeks, results were noticeable (well, to me)--that 38DD became a firm DD; they stopped their trip south.

I stopped using Bust Sculpt. Then I lost 34 pounds..."the girls" have reached their resting place at a 36D/DD depending on the brand. I started using Bust Sculpt again in early spring. I won't be without this product. I feel confident that my chest isn't going to droop to my belly button, or worse--look like Magda's on "There's Something About Mary" (that was the neighbor's name, right?).

Bust Sculpt somehow lives up to its claims. I use it now every other day for "maintenance". I cannot tell you WHY it works, but I just know that it works well for me!

Bust-Sculpt is also a PARABEN-FREE PRODUCT.
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