Landslide-W.I.S.E. Project 2016

Oh, mirror in the sky, what is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changing ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?

Stevie Nicks

I was driving home from work yesterday and I caught myself singing along with Stevie Nicks on the radio. I kind of startled myself and not just because I have a terrible singing voice but because I was singing “happily”

The last several days had been grey and dingy and I had resigned myself to the fact that we had bypassed autumn all together and were going straight into a buckle down, bundle up Western winter. Then I noticed as I was belting out the line “Can I handle the seasons of my life? That it was sunny, the early snow was melting rapidly and some of the trees were still decorated with the red and golden leaves of fall.

I was a bit taken aback by how quickly I had accepted that fall had come to an abrupt end and that winter was here to stay. It was more than putting on boots and sweaters it was a mindset that I get into to prepare me for the days to come. Hello to the dark, the cold, the treacherous driving conditions, and a lot less sunlight.  Somehow my memory recalls that after I shovel and take off the layers of clothing that there will be cozy fires, warm drinks, soft blankets and good books.

I realized that as humans we handle the changes in seasons the way we do the seasons of our life.  I know that some of us hold onto the longing and regret that comes with change but I am trying my best to handle mine with grace and gratitude.

View More: http://photoswithashley.pass.us/michelledebay2016

When I think of the first hint of spring and the new buds on the trees I think of my transformation from a child into a teen. Everything was new and fresh and endless, from the buds on the trees to my blossoming bosom.

I think of summer as my early twenties when a day at the beach and making memories was more important than bills and responsibilities. With sunshine in the sky and a bikini on my bottom I was ready to take on the world. I think of fall as adulthood, when the days have a more structured routine, they  are abundant with color and rich with opportunity but the hint of winter is in the air, hanging over us like a threat, warning us that we need to be prepared for what may come. I liken the changing trees to our changing bodies, the look of youth leaving our faces. Our wisdom, our happiness, our fears and our worthiness all etched in the fine lines in the corners of our eyes and the edges of our minds.

I feel like the foreboding of winter lurks in the shadows always, we need to be ready and willing to change at a moments notice. Relationships, jobs and experiences are fleeting. Most people experience more than one job and one love in their lifetimes and without that willingness to change, to grow, to risk heartbreak, where would we be? Time makes us bolder, we have seen a lot of falls turn instantly into winter. We know when to bundle up and how to weather the storm.

Enjoy the seasons of your life and don’t spend your life awaiting the storm. Have your boots and your snow shovel in the closet and if the storm should come you will be ready and when it passes you can sip wine by the fire and sing Stevie Nicks tunes at the tops of your lungs. Summer is always just a memory away.

xo

Michelle

Energize your skin.

Skin, skincare, all natural products, energize, W.I.S.E Project, coconut oil, Christy Brinkley, roscea, exfoliate, coffee, Apple cider vinegar, excema, acne

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One of the principles of my W.I.S.E Project for January is Energize. Nothing needs energized more than my skin. My skin is dry and I suffer roscea. I have tried everything and have found the best  (and least expensive) luxury for my skin comes from all natural products I found in my home.

I never used to exfoliate because I was told it could irritate my roscea. The wonderful and incredibly beautiful Christy Brinkley still gorgeous at 60 says her secret is exfoliating so I looked  for recipes for a couple of quick exfoliators.

I initially tried sugar and coconut oil. Easy and works well but week two I switched out the sugar for coffee grinds. Make your morning coffee and add coconut oil and a little bit of unpasteurized honey to some grinds. Try to use them within 1/2 hour while the grinds are still oxidized. Lightly scrub face. Now the trick is to exfoliate at the right time. Yesterday I exfoliated 1/2 hour before I left the house, I also used an apple cider toner. No no no!!

Your new skin is sensitive so either exfoliate at night and let your skin breath for a bit or do so when you are not going anywhere. Don’t toner or put make-up over newly exfoliated skin. I burnt my face and it stung. It wasn’t pleasant. Lesson learned.

(I use leftover coffee grinds in my plant soil, it’s strengthens my plants.  In the summer I put them at the roots of my roses)

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is simply the by-product of the fermentation of apples. Apples are loaded with potassium, pectin, malic acid and calcium, and the fermentation process fortifies the end product with even more beneficial acids and enzymes. While it may seem weird to put apple cider vinegar on your face, it’s antiseptic and antibacterial, which is an added bonus when dealing with skin infections and conditions like acne and eczema.

Apple cider vinegar facial toner made from raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar balances the natural pH of the skin, clears away excess oils and make-up, and breaks up the bonds between dead skin cells (exfoliating) to keep skin pores open. It also can lighten sun and age spots, and can improve acne and acne scars.

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Don’t put apple cider vinegar on freshly exfoliated skin. It burns OUCH

 

 

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Energize. Be W.I.S.E

Michelle  xo

Treat your skin to some Holiday Cheer

Holiday treat for your skin
Holiday treat for your skin

Hi There,

After over a year hiatus I am back!!

It’s that time of year that we are all getting ready for Christmas parties, visitors and special times with our family. If you are like me your skin suffers the elements more this time of year, not to mention the stress, lack of sleep and indulgence of  yummy food and holiday cocktails.

I had a break out last week that was lingering and taunting me. I have my husbands Christmas Party Friday so I was looking for a quick fix and I found one that you are going to love!!

What You’ll Need:

• 1 cup brewed green tea
• 1/4 teaspoon vodka (for the toner)

 

2 oz Vodka with ice and Cranberry/Cherry Juice for you (fancy cup)

• cotton ball for application

Directions: 

1. Brew one cup of green tea
2. Add vodka
3. Dip cotton ball in mixture and apply to skin

4. Celebrate with Vodka Christmas cocktail because you have done something great for your skin.

Vodka contains the alcohol ethanol, which when applied to skin, makes your skin feel tight, firm and refreshed. My vodka was in the freezer and felt so refreshing on my skin. This easy-to-make toner removes excess oil and dirt from the skin, leaving you feeling invigorated. Take care, however, not to add too much alcohol, as it can dry out your skin.

The above recipe, minus the booze treat for you comes from Hollywood Beauty Expert Kym Douglas and can be found in her book Bliss Happens. If you are serious about transforming your life and having a beauty, health and happiness routine that works for you and your family…on a budget no less, check it out! (Great Christmas Gift)

I use the luminescence serum from Jeunesse Global and it seems to be one of the few things that combats my angry Rosacea flare-ups without making it worse. Other than that I have found that products that I have in my kitchen are the very best treat for my skin. I apply organic virgin coconut oil right to my skin and if you are looking for a skin mask that will calm your skin try my favorite.

Silent Night Oatmeal Face Mask

3 tablespoons of ground outs (you can grind in a coffee grinder), mix with a 1 tablespoon of  very hot water to soften, add 1 Tablespoon of honey.

The above can go on your skin as is or you can add:

  • Instead of using hot water, use 1 tablespoon of cold milk.
  • You can also use 1 tablespoon of chamomile tea instead of water.
  • Add a few mashed up banana slices to the oats.
  • Consider adding a few drops of almond oil or a teaspoon of coconut oil
  • Replace the water with 1 tablespoon of olive oil instead, for a more nourishing mask.
  • if you are experiencing redness or acne I would suggest using a tsp. of turmeric, tea tree oil or lemon juice.

Did you know?

  • Oats act as a natural cleanser and have both exfoliating and anti-inflammatory properties.[3]
  • Honey has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties, which make it great for managing acne and blackheads.[4]
  • Lemons have antibacterial and anti-fungal properties, which makes them great for managing acne and blackheads. Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic.[5]
  • Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic and toner.
  • Turmeric contains a photochemical called curcumin, which can benefit the body, both inside and out.

    Turmeric mask works for acne and eczema. It reduces inflammation and redness, and promotes skin healing. Due to turmeric’s antioxidant properties, it has been used for skin rejuvenation. It helps softening lines and wrinkles, giving the face a more youthful appearance. It is also effective with rosacea – a chronic skin condition that is characterized by redness and pimples. It eases the redness and treats this disease.

 

Have a wonderful holiday season and don’t forget to treat your skin!!

If you were following me on Twitter I cannot access my old account but you can join me @girltuesday74

I’m a big kid now!

Yesterday I turned forty.

I woke up with wild grey hairs in my eyebrows but after a scowl and a pluck they were gone and I really didn’t feel much different. The thing that struck me the most was that the time between 14 and forty goes by so quickly. It seems like yesterday that I was forgoing Saturday morning cartoons to lay in bed and fantasize that I was on white sand beach making love with Jon Bon Jovi. I was fourteen so I knew nothing of love or sex and even in my fantasies it was mostly rolling around on the sand slobbering in each others mouths and telling each other how hot we were and that our hair was fantastic. So technically not much different then my twenties except at twenty I was mature enough to know that sand up your ass is not sexy.

I think the days go quicker the older you get as well. It is almost impossible for me to think all the thoughts I want to think, and take all the naps I want to take and still manage to do all the things I planned on doing the day before but put off until today and now they may have to wait until tomorrow. I plugged my wax in three days ago and have yet to wax my brows so instead I took a pair of Dollarama scissors and cut my bangs off so that they fall across my eyebrows and what is happening there is now a mystery!

My Dollarama scissor haircut that covers up my greying eyebrows

This evening I brought a bottle of wine and a glass to the table. An hour later the wine remained unopened and the glass empty. Never in a million years did I think that wine would be one of those things I “didn’t get around too”

I applied for a job tonight. It’s funny because I wasn’t even looking for a job exactly and then all the sudden my dream job jumped out of the computer screen and landed on my lap seductively and stroked my face. My heart skipped a beat. I knew that technically we were not right for each other. It was a downtown job, I am an uptown girl. It’s champagne and caviar, I’m cheap red wine and Black Diamond cheese. What I am trying to get across is that there will be candidates with better “paper” qualifications then me but in the real world of experience trumps diploma I would kick the ass off this job. If they were smart they would come to my door with gifts of Lindor Chocolate Truffles and Liquor Depot gift certificates and beg me to take this job. It would be an Affair to Remember! So I realize it is a long shot but I put my hat in the race. You can’t lose something you never had so certainly no harm was done. I honestly haven’t felt passionately about a job in a very long time. I have always taken pride in my work but besides my Volunteer work that I am unquestionably committed to and get a great deal of personal reward from I can’t remember the last time I felt like I could imagine myself waking up and doing the same thing everyday. My respect to those of you who have worked hard to achieve your goals and do a job you love everyday, it is rare!

So forty rolled in pretty quietly for me. It was a Wednesday so no all night party, no jaggermeister shots and swinging from the chandelier but it was exactly what I needed. I had a quiet dinner and shared some laughs with a wonderful friend. We then went to the late show to see American Hustle. Ten Academy Award nominations and I kid you not we had the entire theatre to ourselves. We had our shoes kicked off and our feet up. There was a part in the movie when Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams go disco dancing so we got on our feet and had our very own disco party, so fun. I should mention that my friend is 37.5 weeks pregnant and she sure can bust a move.

American Hustle is set in the 70s, the movie is colorful and layered. The characters are complex and beautiful. Hair was big, bras were non-existent and though there really wasn’t any sex, the hint of it was enough and there were a couple of times when I wanted to scream “DO IT!! The movie explored relationships, consequences, ego, heart and the conflict between right and wrong. It was portrayed so eloquently that there were times I struggled in my own mind to decide what was right and what was wrong and was it really so black and white. The movie really studied the rhythms of the characters and showed you what people are capable of when their lives are in shambles. A line at the end of the movie spoken by Christian Bale (who reminded me of my dear Dad back in the 70s) stuck with me….

“The art of survival is a story that never ends”

So simply true!

My birthday treat

xo Michelle

Help Me to Fly

It’s the last night of my “Dirty Thirties” and I am lying in bed eating a coffee mug full of Ice Cream. The last couple of weeks have been emotionally draining and my initial excitement about turning forty sort of fizzled and died. I am generally a pretty upbeat person who tries to see the good and the lessons in every day problems but there have been a couple of days lately that I had a hard time getting out of my pajamas and I curled up and cried.

I have a fourteen year old daughter.

I could stop here and for some of you another word would not have to be typed without you sighing knowingly and feeling empathy for me…a virtual stranger.

One day the little girl who once looked at me like I was more important than the moon and the stars decided she didn’t like me much. It came out in her words, her actions, her body language and her disrespect. It put a Valley between us, a river of tears and hurt ran through it turning compassion into compulsion. I have always been told that you can only be a parent or a friend, not both! I know my child deserves discipline and boundaries. I know that understanding accountability will make her a better person in the future but every day I miss the little girl who hung on my every word, who thought that the sun shone because of me, that I was responsible for rainbows, cherry flavored jello and all the other good things!

I decided to break the parenting rule, I miss being her friend. I found that it was exactly what we both needed. We needed each other. I found out that my scared little girl who likes to think she is all grown up is feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders. At fourteen she is so worried about figuring out life and worrying about the future that she is miserable right now. I let my hurt fool me into thinking that she didn’t need me when in reality the more she pushed the more she wanted me to love her back! She wants to know that I will love her no matter what and when times are overwhelming will I just listen and not judge. Will I hold her and laugh with her and be happy for her? Will I treat her like a young lady but love her like a little girl.

Our expectations cannot be so great that our children will constantly fear disappointing us. Teenagers feel a lot of pressure in today’s society to be smart, attractive and popular and in turn we as parents want to do our very best to make our little humans into people they are proud of. There comes a time when we need to allow them to learn from their mistakes instead of making them fear taking chances. We need to be quietly encouraging and supportive, even if we don’t always understand. We have to remind them that life will happen, ready or not and they cannot plan their entire life in advance. We need to remind them that the biggest regrets they will have in life are the chances that they never took. They will make mistakes, we need to tell them that we will love them anyway.

The best we can do is help them to fly and let them decide where to go!

If you are a parent you need to watch this video. Sometimes the hardest thing is watching our children grow up but I believe that they will always need us as much as we need them!

A ticket to visit Mum

This is 40…almost

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I am almost there. Twelve days and I will be the BIG 4-0. I am not sure what is so big about it but apparently it is a big milestone. My Mom always told me how quick the time would go and as usual she was right! There are several things I intended to do by forty but life got in the way. I decided to make a list of 40 things I intended to do by the time I was forty but haven’t quite gotten around too….YET

1. Write a book (two in the works) It takes lots of time to sift through the swamp of shit in your head to find the scraps of pure gold!

2. Be a C.I.A. Agent. This is one of my most elaborate fantasies. I wanted to be a spy like Jennifer Garner in Alias. It is possible I may actually be a spy because sometimes I think I am dreaming about being a spy and I wake exhausted with unexplained bruises. I hope I am working for the good guys!

3. Take my mom to Graceland (sorry Mom) There was this show when I was young, I think it was called Dreams Come True. I wrote a letter hoping that they would send my parents to Graceland…No Dice!

4. Marry Jon Bon Jovi, admittedly this one was a longshot!

5. Be rich. I am not rich in the way I had planned in actual dollars but I am extremely wealthy in other ways!

6. Went on a Wine Country Tour unless you include the extensive wine section at Liquor Depot.

7. Visited Greece.

8. Visited Ireland.

9. Swam with Dolphins

10. Had a tequila party that I remembered!

11. Rang the mission bell at Hotel California

12. Had beers with Sean Connery

13. Learned to like shrimp eww

14. Drank Crystal from the bottle (or at all)

15. Had an Alien encounter.

16. Completed a thousand pc puzzle without swearing and throwing it in the garbage!

17. Watched E.T. This is just shameless and I really need to do this!

18. Made lemonade out of the lemons life sometimes gives me!

19. Gone to the pizza store to order delivery and get a free ride back to my house!

20. Bought a chocolate fountain.

21. Go out Walkin After Midnight singing Patsy Cline at the top of my lungs!

22. Door to door Christmas Carolling (except my own house)

23. Rock and Roll all night and Party Every day. (THIS IS A BOLD FACED LIE)

24. Prove my Royal Ancestry

25. Befriend the annoying Philly Cream Cheese lady who floats on clouds.

26. Give my bologna a last name.

27. Get myself a mascot called Babs the monkey

28. Played ring around the rosie while I had a pocket full of posies.

29. Given myself a really cool nickname.

30. Gave my arm and leg for something I really wanted.

31. Poked a needle in my eye for lying.

32. Made a mountain out of a mole hill.

33. Learned to fly…cause I ain’t got wings.

34. Dancing on the ceiling!

35. Made my own wine (could be dangerous).

36. Gotten myself caught between the moon and New York City…I know it’s crazy but it’s true!

37. Order and wear a cape that says
“Magnificent One!”

38. Skipped the light fantastic.

39. Wang Chung. (Tonight or any other night)

40. Used the algebra that was so important for me to learn in my daily life.

Ok I started out strong but forty is a lot of things and along the way I started to struggle. Not because there are not a million things I planned to do before 40 but as I was thinking about it they all seemed unimportant compared to what I have done. Being a mom, a wife, reuniting with my son just seems to Trump every “What if”

I can still learn the Argentine Tango in Argentina, I can still pack up my family and move to a simpler life and live off the land, I can still contemplate life along the Cliffs of Moher.

The important thing is that I am happy and I don’t feel that I missed out on anything. I know the best is yet to come! I don’t think of forty as ancient, as the end of the road. I prefer to think of it as a beginning, a right of passage.

I will still see new things with the grace of a child but will embrace hardships with the maturity of a woman.

The end of one journey signifies the beginning of another. “Goodbye Dirty Thirties. We were great friends but I am going to go my own way now. Naughty at forty? Sounds to me that forties is a time to do what makes you happy. No apologies, no regrets”

Come along for the ride!

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Growing “Older” Gracefully-A celebration of timeless beauty

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.” 

― Sophia Loren

The girls and I were at the spray park today, cooling off from the sweltering Canada Day heat and what I observed was an abundance of women determined to NOT grow old but in turn they looked just that. There really is something to be said for growing “older” gracefully. By that I don’t mean letting yourself go. I mean dressing appropriately, not using so much make-up that it settles into your fine lines, actually adding to the years you are trying to cover up, and keeping it natural. With age comes wisdom and people that have the wisdom to embrace their years can teach us all a lesson. I was thinking back to some of the women I have admired and envied over the years and how their addictions to plastic surgery and holding on to youth have been anything but kind to them.

Remember Melanie Griffith in Milk Money? She was just naturally beautiful and she exuded  happy confidence. For years she had an on again off again romance with hunk Don Johnson and when that romance finally fizzled Melanie found solace and love with Spanish heartthrob Antonio Banderas. Perhaps trying to keep up with Hollywood elite young beauties was too much because sweet, fresh faced Melanie is a shadow of her former self.

Melanie in Milk Money

Melanie –Growing Older Gracefully

Melanie Before and After

Priscilla Presley

In 1959 Iconic Elvis Presley met Priscilla at a party in Germany. She was 14 at the time but appeared much older and made quite an impression on the King. She was truly one of the most beautiful women in the world. I can understand the desire to stay youthful and I can only assume that a little nip here and a tuck there turns into an obsession until there is very little left to work with. Priscillas pretty face does not even show a glimpse of who she once was and should now be. 😦

Young Pricilla

Growing Older Gracefully

Plastic Surgery Gone Horribly Wrong

Mickey Rourke

He was so sexy and seductive alongside Kim Bassinger  in 9 1/2 weeks. Vanity is devilish!

Victoria Beckham

There is nothing POSH about this disaster. Your hunky husband may play soccer but I am sure he didn’t intend for you to put balls on your chest!

Darrel Hannah

Like a fish out of water something has gone terribly wrong with my favorite mermaid

Heidi Montag

Of Hollywood’s the Hills fame, young Heidi, born and raised in Colorado intends to become a walking barbie. One thing is for certain, she is plastic!

The true beauties are those that embrace their age like Helen Mirren, Susan Sarandon, Meryl Streep, Sheryl Crow, Halle Berry, George Clooney, Sting, Diane Keaton, Bruce Springsteen, Julianne Moore, Diane Lane, Annette Benning, Richard Gere and my FAVE Jamie Lee Curtis. These are the men and women we should be looking up to. Healthy bodies, healthy faces and healthy attitudes about aging. Aging is inevitable but the way you age is a choice. Cheers to Growing older gracefully, in mind, body and spirit.