"LAKANTO" - All natural & Non-GMO
I'm also happy with:
"Coconut Secret" Raw Coconut Crystals - a low glycemic sugar alternative.
"Jarrow Formulas" Xyli Pure Xylitol - ideal for sugar-free and low carb diets
And this isn't low glycemic, but I like it as an alternative to white sugar - I am under the impression that it is less processed (hope I'm right!) "Wholesome Sweeteners" Raw Cane Sugar - from Malawi.
I was a huge fan of their agave syrup, but after more internet reading, it seems that it's high in fructose, and apparently too much fructose is also bad for you. (This search gets very frustrating sometimes.)
Dr. Eric is my friend from Louisville. He is a brilliant chiropractor and teaches anatomy and physiology at the Louisville School of Massage.
I call him "The Encyclopedia". If there is ANYTHING you want to know about the body, he's the guy to ask. But be ready for a 20-minute lecture on the subject! ;-)
According to Dr. E, this works best when you're first coming down with flu!
Go to any health food store and get Oscillococcinum, a homeopathic remedy by Boiron/Bourneman for flu. Take a whole vial 30 minutes before or after eating. Then 4x per day, just fill the small cap on one vial and take that.
Also, get some grapefruit seed extract--"GSE" (he recommends the Nutribiotic brand) and take 30 drops in juice 4x per day. The stuff is really, really bitter, but you don't taste it so much in grapefruit or orange juice. You can take it with or without food.
You will be over the flu in 2 days at the most! Also be sure to drink loads of water, like 3 quarts per day.
GSE is antimicrobial...it will kill viruses, bacteria and fungi. You can put 100 drops in a spray bottle with water to sanitize countertops, etc. Unless you take cholesterol lowering medication, it is perfectly safe to take at all ages - even infants!
[Dr. Eric "The Encyclopedia" Epstein: 1.502.894.0804 ... He knows A LOT!]
UPDATE JULY 2016
In addition to the following, I have now found what I thought I wanted to create myself: feed cats MICE! LUCKILY, we don’t have to buy mice (which I did ONCE as an experiment and will NEVER do again … it’s just TOO GROSS!). Now a very bright lady has created a POWDER that when mixed with raw meat has the same nutritional profile as a whole mouse!
Her website is FILLED with great information. http://tcfeline.com/
You can purchase her products here: http://www.thetotalcat.com/
(I don't make any money when you buy from these sites - I just like to pass on what I've learned.)
MY ORIGINAL POST – 3/9/2012
As many of you know, I am a "cat person". Bon-a-fide! And as steward to many cats, over the years, I have studied and researched how to feed them so they, A.) don't puke it up all over the carpet, and B.) feel good, look good, and live healthy happy long lives.
One thing struck me as I was delving into how "I" should eat, "If the factory farms are doing such intensely gross and cruel things to the food they see as fit for humans, what on Earth are they doing to the food they chuck at the pets in our family?". And it dawned on me, perhaps I shouldn't feed my cats the stuff scrapped off the slaughterhouse floor.
My internet researching began and I found a very good site that explains why cats SHOULDN'T eat dry food. http://www.catinfo.org/
I switched them to canned. I've played around with different brands, some organic ones that I found at Good Foods Co-op and Whole Foods, and have currently settled on a canned cat food that isn't organic, but does list meat as it's primary ingredient. It's called "Before Grain". I order it from pet food direct.
So, if you are steward to the care of kitties in your home, please give careful consideration to what they eat. MEAT must be their primary food source. Avoid the hype of the current marketing trend of selling cat food to humans as if they needed things like potatoes in their diet. They don't.
I've found some very good brands of canned cat food that I could recommend such as "Newman's Own", and "Organix", and the one I'm feeding now, "Before Grain".
I choose chicken as their protein because it is easier to digest. You can also supplement their diet with a chicken I found at Meijer, "Smart Chicken" - http://www.smartchicken.com. Also "Bell and Evans", found at Whole Foods - http://www.bellandevans.com.
Some people say feed real chicken to them raw, I prefer to cook it a little. But feeding this way avoids the salt that canned chicken contains. I have also taken an organic canned chicken and rinsed it several times - even soaking the salt out, then fed that to them - or mixed it into their canned food. It's a special treat for my cuddly family.
When I first started writing blogs, I mentioned that I would keep it on the subjects of skin and spa and would keep my other interests, like preventing animal cruelty, to a minimum.
But now as I again read about how to eat and where our food really comes from, I think it's only right to talk about that here. The spa is your place of health and well-being first and foremost, and the fastest way to optimal health lies in what we put INTO our bodies, as well as how we treat the exterior. I've always been interested in health, good eating, and choosing the best that I can when I shop (given what I know at the time).
Join my new food adventures blog: http://mainlygreens.blogspot.com/
This most recent journey began when I was bored with food and needed some inspiration. I picked up Alicia Silverstone's book, "The Kind Diet" from the library and fell in love with it. She is a vegan - a person who doesn't eat anything animal ... including honey. She actually lives a vegan lifestyle and won't buy leather goods, and does her best to live consciously. I didn't know if I could be vegan or not, since I LOVE my cheese and ice cream, but I needed a new adventure and some new ideas. So, as of this post, I am giving it a try.
Being "nearly vegetarian" already, this wasn't too tough. I needed a milk replacement for my morning coffee and found Silk Almond Milk to work just fine (the unsweetened version). I had already been down that road looking for the healthiest milk since I knew what they did to the average milk (added hormones, antibiotics, etc.). I first chose organic low fat milk and thought I was doing a good thing. Then I read that cows need to be fed grass, not grain, so I searched for a grass-fed cow milk and found one at Meijer. After reading her book she taught me one more thing. The protein in milk, casein, isn't so good for us humans. THIS could very well be the cause of my now year-long runny nose. So I found my milk replacement, and found some delicious (but in no way low cal) ice creams that are dairy-free. One is called "Purely Decadent" and it IS! Rice Dream is also very good, as is the one made with almonds. Watch the sugar in those, though.
I went back to the library to continue this path. I was familiar with the work of PETA and had known what atrocities occur in the American production of food, but as we do, I let it slip from my mind --- or succumbed to the onslaught of commercials and didn't give the truth much thought. WELL, these books brought it all back to me. "Eating Animals" nearly made me throw up. I don't even want to tell you what they do, but I would encourage you to read the book and see for yourself. It's GROSS. And beyond that, we wouldn't treat the worst criminals the way these guys working in slaughterhouses treat those animals: cows, pigs, and chickens. One guy said he "liked to stomp on the chickens to HEAR THEM POP"!!! (Yep, I still want to puke.)
So, what can we do? We can STOP. Stop eating animals. Or stop buying from the people who treat the animals in that way, and take your money elsewhere. I found TWO suppliers of chicken who let the animals have grass to play on, they don't cut their beaks or keep them in cages so tight they can't strech their wings, and when it's time to die, they do that as humanely as we know how right now.
If you must eat beef, go to a local producer and learn their process. Who slaughters the animal? How horrific is it? You want to eat healthy by choosing cow that was grass fed and allowed to pasture, but you don't want it viciously murdered right before you dig in.
So what SHOULD we eat? First, throw out every chart and diet book you've ever bought, because this is so simple, we have overlooked it. EAT REAL FOOD --- ORGANIC FOOD --- WHOLE FOOD. Apples? Yes. Arby's Roast Beef? No. Oatmeal? Yes. McMuffin? No.
If you avoid the processed foods, you are ten steps ahead of the game. Eat food that is as close to it's natural state as possible.
In my week of exploration I have eaten better than ever! Warm oatmeal for breakfast, with some almond milk and a sweetener (I'm trying several). Lunch at work was an apple with real peanut butter (just peanuts, no salt, sugar, or other additives). Dinner has been a yummy rice blend with mushrooms, chard, and garlic! THAT was so good I could feel my cells rejoicing!
I have also chosen to go wheat-free since I am trying to reduce any allergens and get my nose in shape. So I choose a gluten-free bread. UDI's is so good. (Not technically vegan, since it's made with eggs.)
What else? Beans, lots of greens and vegetables, and of course, at night when I need a little comfort, those non-dairy ice creams are wonderful.
I'm going to do my best to eat as many vegan meals as possible. But what about eggs? Even if you don't fry them up in the morning, aren't they very useful to cook with? So I will deviate from the 110% vegans and allow eggs ... BUT, they must be PASTURED eggs. Happy chickens living a normal chicken life.
I do a lot of shopping at Whole Foods and The Good Foods Co-op, but the larger grocers are stocking more and more organic items. But be careful you don't fall into the processed food trap. Stick to the foods that are least processed. And if you find a great supplier worthy of our dollars, tell Krogers to stock their items!
www.smartchicken.com - at Meijer
The Kind Diet
Happy Chickens. Healthy Family.
Please Think About Your Food.
Why does the world need another skin care line?
Because only your esthetician - or professionally state board licensed skin care expert - knows exactly what your skin needs and what products will bring you the calm, beautiful results you've been searching for. (That's ME!)
A little back story: When I began setting up my professional skin care business in 1990 - even before I opened Vanities Spa in Hartland - I needed products to use in my treatment room and recommend to my clients after their facial so their skin could stay in beautiful condition at home. I nearly went with my own brand then, but the lab I was working with changed their business format prohibiting me from continuing. I then turned my focus to finding a company I could partner with wholeheartedly ~ one that would be like my own brand in philosophy and excellence. I found that brand and retained a successful partnership for nearly 20-years! Unfortunately, the internet came and ruined our marriage. What was once an exclusive salon brand was now on sites that were not focused on skin care and frankly were devaluing the name we (the Esthetician) had made famous. It was a very difficult decision, but for myself, my business, and my clients, I had to sever my ties with this brand, and re-ignite my passion for having my own line!
What felt like a divorce ended up being the most fortunate course for my business and my clients. No longer do I have to stock my shelves with hundreds of product (who needs FOUR eye creams?), or sell something I don't 100% believe will work for you just because their corporate office is trying to market a new product set. Now I'm in control of what gets the "Seale" of approval.
What is so amazing is that the clients who I have seen for years are looking BETTER THAN EVER now that they have switched to VANTASTIC SKIN products!
Try some today and experience calm, beautiful skin!
I just returned from a wonderful vacation. Of course, I had to visit the hotel's spa (for research purposes, naturally). It was lovely and serene, as one would expect. I had the "Rose Facial" - a very nice experience. I chose rose because my skin was feeling the battering of the sun and sea, and was starting to become overly dehydrated, and rose is excellent for dry, sensitive skin. However, I was more than a little shocked by their prices: an 80 minute treatment for $230.00! Additionally, it is their policy to add an 18% gratuity for a grand total of over $270 dollars (gulp) for a treatment totaling less than 90-minutes. I know this is ridiculous. But apparently no one else seemed to mind. While we were waiting for our services to begin I watched as SIX people came out of the treatment area. They all looked relatively spa savvy and sounded knowledgeable about the treatments they'd just had. As a spa owner, I wonder if these same people frequent their local neighborhood spas with the same enthusiasm?
As I compare this spa experience to a Vanities Spa experience, I have MUCH appreciation for Vanities. Like them, my space is serene, and totally private and relaxing. I, too, have a steam room (no jacuzzi, but I never saw anyone utilizing theirs). My90-minute Vantastic Facial is $125. Even with an upgrade to a Light-Therapy Facial, it's only $150 and typically can last as long as 2-hours. Could I charge $300 for a facial? Sure, I could. I have the experience, expertise, and international educational background to support it. But I wouldn't. I take pride in offering my clients world-class treatments at a very reasonable price. Moreover, I would never presume to tip myself. How these places get away with charging for what is supposed to be an optional gift is beyond me - both legally and with the tax man.
Back to the Rose Facial experience. When I arrived in the treatment room the therapist asked if I knew what I was getting. "I think so." Then she began to explain that it isn't an 80-minute facial, but rather a series of aromatherapy techniques that end with a facial. "Sounds good so far." She started with an aromatherapy back massage. "Lovely." Then something strange happened. I thought to myself, "I know these movements. This is the Eve Taylor Aromatherapy Massage that I've studied!" I would imagine that no one reading this would know who Eve Taylor is, but she was awarded an OBE by the Queen of England! She is the Grandmother of modern Clinical Aromatherapy. I became aware of her via my association with the International Dermal Institute ... way back in the 1990's. What I found so amazing is that the product line this therapist was using on me wasn't Eve Taylor's, it was a different line.
We then turned me over and she started a face and scalp massage --- something I typically incorporate into my treatments --- then came the start of my Rose facial. It was nice, lots of massage and lovely rose fragrances. She cleansed, did a light exfoliation, and ended with a mask. It was short, but sweet.
Afterwards, my skin felt good and I was nicely relaxed. But you know what, as soon as I got back to Lexington I gave myself a Vantastic Facial and began the repair process with my SAM Light Therapy machine and began daily use of my Youth Serum! :-)
~ ~ ~
If you've never experienced one of my facials, you must. Each of my Vantastic Facials are customized for what you and your skin needs that day. Vantastic Facials are stress-relieving, and highly beneficial for your entire being. They successfully treat normal skin, oily skin, skin with breakouts, overly-dry, sensitive, and mature skin ~ from acne to anti-aging. You will receive the finest, most advanced treatments, and nurturing personalized service.
If you've never experienced a Vantastic Facial yourself, please do. You deserve it!
Booking can be made quickly and conveniently online anytime at VanitiesSpa.com.
See you soon!
Vanities ~ a world-class spa in your neighborhood ... with prices we can all appreciate!
Is Groupon a good idea? For the small business, my answer is NO.
In this economically frustrating time, the small business owner begins to panic, and when the Groupon's of the world start calling, the small business owner can be lured into this new vehicle of promotion. But should they? Here is how I see it. Groupon is great for the coupon seeker and even better for Groupon itself. If I were to join, I would post an $85 facial for half price, or $42.50. THEN, Groupon would take HALF of that, leaving me with $21.25 (and taking up more than an hour of my day). Did my rent decrease because I decided to run this amazing promotion? Um, no. Neither did the cost of goods, or the electric bill, or the water bill, or the phone bill, or the cost of laundry detergent ... you see my point.
And what about Groupon's selling point that they are bringing customers to my door who may have never heard of me before. Well, that's true. However, it's been my experience that people who get a discount - similar to those who receive gift certificates - don't consider the service they are receiving as essential. It's just a good deal to them - a one time good deal. The percentage of customers who use a GC to pay for services and then become monthly clients is very small. BUT, selling the GC is a good source of revenue, so it's a good business idea. Giving away a service to someone who has no intention of returning - not so good. Yes, maybe 1-2% of the "hundreds" of customers will return or possibly tell a more prosperous friend, but are those the odds that keep a business afloat? It's a lot of output for little, if any, return.
Do I think giving discounts is a bad idea? It depends. On the one hand it creates a climate whereby the perception of the value of your services is devalued. However, for the client who has been with me for a long time and might be facing a temporary financial obstacle, as owner of the business, I can, and do, offer her a price that allows her to keep receiving services and keeps her as my client. That is a positive discount. For me, it's much better to take a reduction in income rather than to lose the income altogether.
As much as a business needs to "shake the bushes" from time to time, I don't think you will be seeing my business on Groupon any time soon. The smartest thing to do would be to START a discount business LIKE Groupon and reap the rewards from taking money from the small business community for YOURSELF! ;D
Have you ever wondered "Who is this person giving me a facial"?
[Grab a coffee and settle in, this is a LONG one!]
On Vanities' web page: "My Story" you got a quick view of my experiences in the beauty industry. Now let's delve deeper. I can honestly say, over the course of my 30-year career, I've done "everything" in this industry: I've "done" hair, I've "done" nails, I've sold and promoted skin care, I've worked with celebrities, I've traveled far and wide for educational and unique opportunities. I'd like to share that with you here.
As we said before, I started Cosmetology school while I was still in high school and was graduated at the age of 18. But my experiences started even before then. My first entry into a somewhat professional world of beauty was at Barbizon Modeling Academy in Louisville, KY - at what age? - gosh, probably 13 or so! I use the term 'professional' at this stage to mean an experience different from when I was rolling my own hair at age 3, or putting makeup on a doll. I was now with actual people who made money from beauty.
Barbizon was an interesting experience. I remember we were shuttled to Louisville to attend classes. Barbizon was in a mall, so we'd have our makeup lessons: black kohl eyeliner, red lips, the works! --- and then we'd break for lunch. So here we were, these prepubescent girls all tarted up clicking our high heels through the mall headed for our burgers and fries! What a sight we must have been! I think I still have my book of "poses"!
After my "Big City" exposure I was ready to take on the world. I joined another modeling agency in Lexington: Vogue Modeling. I took classes there and then eventually TAUGHT hair and makeup classes there, too! (I tried to tone down the makeup for those girls!)
At 5'6", success at modeling was not in my future, but the glamour and beauty aspect had me hooked!
We can skip through high school/cosmetology school/my apprenticeship as a Lexington hairdresser and move on to my wealth of L.A. experiences.
When I finally got to L.A. at the ripe old age of 19, I had, while laying in my small town bed, imagined things would go something like this: get off a plane, be swept up to be the makeup artist for a Sports Illustrated photo shoot in Bali or some other equally exotic locale and be the makeup genius for all the supermodels of the day! Well, it didn't go exactly like that!
For starters, I drove out there! When I "landed" it was nothing like I had imagined. In fact, I called my Mom from a street-side pay phone and said, "Give me 50-hours, I'm coming HOME!" She encouraged me to stick with it (even though I now know she was petrified for me being out there all alone). But I needed to do this, and she supported me all the way. (Thanks, Mom!)
Finding a place to live was a bit hairy, but once I settled into my first location (one of many), I could relax and explore this Hollywood that I had been reading about and dreaming about for so many years. I was lucky in many respects. Walking along the über-famous Sunset Boulevard, I stopped into one of the celebrity haunts I had read about and struck up a conversation with the girl working there. We became fast friends and began hanging out together at yet another celebrity hangout, The Rainbow Bar & Grill. This was the mid-80's, 1984 to be specific. This was the decade of the "Hair Band". Poison was just getting their first bite of fame. Quiet Riot were well on their way with the release of their first album, and hot single, "Cum on feel the noise". I had met them while still living in Lexington and Kathy, the shop-girl I met, knew them personally! A stroke of luck meeting her on one of my first days in L.A.!
While at the Rainbow I not only got to know many rock-gods, but found employment, as well. While sitting at one of the crescent-shaped tables, the lady next to me started talking to me and asked what I did. I told her I was a hairdresser (which I was then, as I didn't know that Esthetics was where my path would lead me to just yet). She then told me that she was also a hairdresser and she owned a salon in BEVERLY HILLS! Not only that, but she wanted to HIRE me!!! All I needed to do was bring in a model and do a haircut on them, and the job was mine. "Wow, that was EASY."
I worked with her - Tina Cassaday - of Tina Cassaday Creations in Beverly Hills, for quite some time, learning all I could from an expert and magnificent entrepreneur. Because of her standing in BH, she had a multitude of celebrity clients, which now, I could also work with! Janet Leigh would come into the salon on a regular basis. My opinion of her? She was a LADY in every sense of the word. A total class-act. Very nice, not a hint of snobbery, and funny! An amazing woman. Tina and I would drive her Porsche (of course) down Sunset to the Malibu Colony - the most chic-chic place in Malibu --- an already posh locale --- to do Mr. Michael Landon's hair in his mansion. I'd like to call it a home, but, come on! He was not like Janet Leigh. In fact, he never spoke! Even more revealing, neither did we! As per his ORDERS, we were not allowed to speak to him, nor were we really allowed to speak to each other! He sat there watching his own show, "Stairway to Heaven" while we (very quietly) covered the gray in his hair. That was one of Tina's specialties - using so many different colors to foil the hair keeping a really natural look. Tina's other specialty was her own line of hair care products. One fond memory is of us at her (also very nice) house filling the bottles by her POOL! She would receive her product in these huge vats and we would siphon the liquids into the 8 oz bottles that she would sell at her salon. (Yes, that's how it's done sometimes. An insiders tip.)
I worked in other salons, all with some celebrity clients. At Batia and Aleeza, I worked with the Esthetician named Ziva (and here I am plain little ole Nancy from Kentucky!). We saw Tracey Ullman while she was pregnant (she is a doll), and Katey Sagal from "Married with Children" for her facial waxing. (Yes, she had a beard! Can I say that here? hee-hee-hee). And someone you'd have to be my age to remember, Dale Bozzio from the band "Missing Persons". How's that for an 80's reference?!!! Think Lady Gaga, just a couple of decades ago!
My work experience in L.A. was extraordinary, but so were my educational opportunities. This is the HUB of the beauty industry, as you know. I learned how to do the perfect eyebrow from Mr. Michael Westmore. No, I don't expect you to know his name, but Google it and you will find that he is from a legendary family of Hollywood makeup artists. I took classes from Victoria Jackson, who was a well-known Hollywood makeup artist, and then went on to brand herself and make her way to the TV infomercial ... and a fortune of millions of dollars!
Some of the best trade shows are in Los Angeles, too. Way before it was mainstream, I learned Reflexology in class there. I got a sneak peek into the true workings of the industry: which products were being sold to which companies, where to get the best makeup brushes, and techniques that only a true insider would have access to. I was finally behind the scenes and I loved it!
On an ironic side note, the brand and company I did business with for 17+ years of my career in Lexington, had launched their business between 1983 and 1986, but we never crossed paths. It makes me wonder now how my course might have changed if we had met then instead of in the 90's.
Moving to L.A. really was a dream come true. Did things go as I had planned as a teenager yearning to break free from small town life? No. But what did evolve was AMAZING ... Magical actually. I don't think I could recreate it if I tried.
Now I'd like to give those of you who are getting out of high school or college and wondering what to do next some advice. In life, sometimes you only get ONE big opportunity. TAKE IT!
Why did I arrive in Hollywood alone you may wonder? It is because my friend, the very talented drummer Rob, chickened out on going. And of my colleagues from Barbizon, what happened to them? One girl was tall enough and pretty enough and looked like a cross between Brooke Shields and Cindy Crawford. She was also from a small town like me, and she was offered to move to, I think, Chicago to sign with a legitimate modeling agency there --- or it could have been New York. Did she jump at this potentially golden opportunity? Nope. She had a boyfriend she didn't want to leave behind! So where is she now? Happily married to this marvelous young man? Nope. She still lives in the same small town. Divorced. Single mom. Still doing hair. She may be happy and feel successful. But "what if"? What if drummer Rob had moved to L.A. with me? Maybe he would have also gotten to know drummer Frankie from Quiet Riot, and perhaps, drummer Frankie would have helped drummer Robbie get into a band and then he too could have toured the world and made millions of dollars. What if almost-model got signed in a New York agency like Ford and then she became the next Cindy Crawford and was now selling her line of exercise equipment (and every other bit of profitable merchandise)?
DON'T PASS ON YOUR BIG OPPORTUNITY!!! You may not get a second offer.
L.A. was the largest part of my life, even though all of this occurred in less than five years! I eventually decided it was time to move back home, to be with my Granny and my family and put a close to this land of fantasy. All dreams must come to an end, in order to wake up and start some new ones!
In Part Two we will continue with the Post-Hollywood years!
(And thanks for reading this far!)
I just had a conversation with a regular client who comes to me for other services but who has never had one of my facials. When I asked her about it she told me that she had gone for a facial once but the experience turned her off. That was surprising to me, so I delved deeper.
Apparently, there are many ways to give a facial. Her first experience was one where the Esthetician got out the magnifying lamp and went over her face with great detail - pointing out everything she saw that needed "fixing". This is one kind of facial, and many therapists are taught that this is what the client is seeking.
My way is MUCH different. I explained to her that, obviously, I will choose products and procedures that are beneficial to her skin. But I tend to work behind the scenes with the technical stuff, and let the client just RELAX. The whole Vantastic Facial experience is designed to be totally and deeply relaxing to the client - as one of the benefits to a treatment like this is the stress relief.
With her Vantastic Facial experience, she should expect soft music, low-lighting, wonderful scents (natural, of course ... orange, lavender, peppermint), and an expert's touch - not only cleansing the skin deeply, but soothing the tension of her shoulders. It should be an "Ahh" experience - not an "ouch" experience. No bright light, no harsh, skin-stripping acids, and certainly no Botox! (LOL)
If you have never had (the very unique) Vantastic Facial, you should. Give me a call - or even simpler, book one online right now! This will become one of your favorite things! (And don't forget about dear ole Mom - Mother's Day GC's are available online, as well!) Just one click and you're ready for "Ahh"!
I just finished up with a new massage client. She said something that I've never heard during a massage treatment before. She said, "I bet I'm the FLATTEST person you've worked on!" I paused for a moment to grasp if I heard her correctly, imagining what she meant by that ... do you mean you lay really flat on the table? So I asked her, "flattest?" and she said, "Yes, I have no bosom!" I had to laugh.
What funny things go through our minds.
The usual massage client comment is, "Oh, I'm sorry, I forgot to shave my legs today." Which also makes me laugh. That is SO FAR from what goes through our minds - whether you shaved your legs - or what size or shape of body you have.
What I hear from this is how self-conscious we are about our bodies.
For the record, breasts stay covered during a massage. But when she turned over, I bet she felt "exposed", even though she wasn't, and worried that I would spot her perceived inadequacies.
It also makes me wonder how many people don't go in for a massage or other spa treatment because of their body issues - or face issues for a facial.
I have had people tell me they didn't want to get a facial just yet because their face was breaking out! I guess we have a long way to go in educating the public about professional spa services. For the record, again, a good facial should not break you out or cause your acne to worsen. In fact, it will help speed the healing of breakouts. Your talented and experienced Esthetician can guide you toward daily home care products that will help clear your skin.
Well, I'm glad that the "flat" person went through with receiving her massage and I hoped she felt better afterward. I don't know what I can do to help inspire body confidence, but please know that whatever your body - fat, skinny, tall, short, fit, not so fit, old, or young - everyBODY can benefit from regular spa treatments!
Love yourself - no matter what the form your body is taking at this moment!
I can't tell you how excited I am for Spring 2011 to arrive! I have had Spring Fever for well over a month now, even to the point of seeing blooms on a neighbors tree (that weren't there, of course!).
In the skin care world, of course Spring is indeed a time for renewal through deep cleansing facials and weekly SAM Light Therapy treatments!
Also it's the perfect time to stop shaving for a few weeks, let the hair grow to "pinchable" length, and get in the waxing rhythm before shorts weather gets here.
If you are off on a Spring break vacation, have your eyelashes tinted a waterproof black so you'll have no worries of raccoon eyes!
Vanities is the perfect spa every season, but Spring is especially a nice time to relax, refresh and renew!
We empathize with your struggle. Acne is a tough problem to correct, but if you are diligent, it will improve. These are some things you can do to help control your acne.
Get enough rest and reduce your stress. Stress stimulates the adrenal glands, and in the acne-prone individual, the adrenal gland promotes oil production which leads to clogged pores. This is another reason why facials can help heal acne - by reducing your daily stress!
Avoid iodized foods, vitamin supplements and sports drinks/bars. Iodized salt, seafood, fish, seaweed, fast foods and dairy products (cows lick iodized salt licks) and especially kelp tablets (some people take these for thyroid support) are a part of this list. Contrary to popular notion, chocolate and greasy foods (unless they contain salt, which most do) do not aggravate acne.
Avoid "high androgen" foods. These are found in peanuts, peanut oil, peanut butter, corn oil, wheat germ, shellfish, organ meats (i.e. liver, sweetbreads and heart). These contain hormones that exacerbate acne.
Avoid chlorine. Some swimming pool disinfectants contain Iodides and Chlorine, which can remain in the water, causing skin problems for frequent swimmers. Many swimmers find that the combination of hot and humid weather, the physical exercise of swimming and the chlorinated pools, can cause major acne flare-ups.
Don't pick. Instead of picking, rub ice on pustules and pimples for about five minutes, twice a day. Try to catch them when they are first forming and they most likely will go away. Use the Vantastic Skin Zinc & Sulfur Mask to spot-treat and heal blemishes.
Utilize Zinc. Research has found zinc to be as effective as antibiotics in reducing inflamed acne. Research indicates that the form of zinc taken maybe important. Studies have indicated that zinc monomethionine is more easily used by the body than either zinc sulfate or zinc gluconate. It is usually best to take zinc with food. Recommended dosage for supplements vary (50-100 mg) - but some research suggests that it is probably best to take no more than 100 mg per day as a dietary supplement (excessive zinc intake may lead to deficiencies in other vitamins and minerals). It is best to take this with food and not on an empty stomach.
Use fragrance-free detergents such as Arm & Hammer Free. Do not use fabric softeners or fabric softener sheets in the dryer, especially on pillowcases as they cause a waxy residue that can clog pores on acne-prone individuals.
Avoid low-estrogen birth control pills, Norplant, Provera, and Depo-Provera. Also progesterone hormone replacement Premarin can be problematic. If you have polycystic ovaries, they will cause hormonal changes and breakout. Also, the taking of birth control pills may delay the onset of acne and once off them, you may experience the acne you would've had before taking them.
Do not use cosmetics or hair products that contain pore-clogging ingredients. These ingredients cause microcomedomes to form in certain individuals resulting in various lesions ranging from clogged pores and blackheads to inflammatory pustules. If you have doubts about yours, let us see the ingredient listing. Isopropyl myristate, cetyl alcohol, sodium lauryl sulfate, laureth-4, natural Vitamin E, most natural oils, cocoa butter and D & C red dyes all agitate acne. Benzoyl Peroxide medications found at cosmetic departments may contain isopropyl myristate and laureth-4 or oils that impede the active ingredient of benzoyl peroxide. Watch out for "oil-free" products. They may contain synthetic oils (fatty acids), D&C red dyes and detergents that can aggravate acne.
Limit sun exposure - and tanning beds - and use the Vantastic Skin SPF 30 sunscreen. Although sun exposure causes desirable scaling and drying, it also damages the follicle, exacerbates hyper-pigmentation, causes skin cancer and premature aging and can cause "solar acne" later in life, as well as "Acne Majorca" also caused by sunlight. Warm climates with heat and humidity can exacerbate acne.
In addition, please consider taking a daily PRObiotic - found in the refrigerated section of your local health food store. There is a significant link between acne and colon health. A recent lawsuit shows the use of the acne drug, Accutane, has caused severe colon dysfunction and disease in many patients!
Take my advice, natural is always the better way to health - including your skin (your largest bodily organ!)
You should also consider an acne-clearing facial every two weeks for several months. I will use professional-strength exfoliants, perform safe removal of impactions, and can utilize light therapy to kill the acne causing bacteria, and will send you home with results-specific treatment products to continue the healing process between facials.
*Some data provided by my cyber-friend, Laura Cooksey. Thanks, acne genius!
In this 'new' world of skin care where even your dentist is trying to get in on the action, I am so proud to say that Vanities Spa is NOT the place for Botox injections, dermal fillers, or plastics of any kind!
I am happily "old school". I believe in the time-proven methods of facial rejuvenation: monthly facials, the correct daily home skin care, and safe, toxin-free methods that support your skin's natural and healthy functions ... and the Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the American Medical Association agrees with me!
WHY is it that everyone wants to be in the skin care game these days? It's bad enough to find the not-professionally-educated and unlicensed clerks at the department stores selling in their lab coats (a marketing ploy to convince you to trust them), and the housewife down the street who is obviously seeking monetary gain rather than expertise. But now we (the professionally educated and licensed) have to endure ALL medical doctors, of every variety - from the GP, to nurses, to now even the DENTISTS - who think they should change careers and become skin care experts ... needle in hand aimed at YOUR FACE! (Run, by the way!)
It becomes so frustrating when I know my experience (nearly 30-years since first licensed!) and I know what I've seen and done over the years (everything!) --- to watch my chosen craft be prostituted under the assumed "respectable" guise of medicine.
A new client comes in and wants to look better. She's already experimented with Botox. - Why? because it's EVERYWHERE and the guilt to avoid it was just too much to bear. But she doesn't like the idea of going under the knife, so she seeks my services. I show her the top-of-the-line, best-of-the-best. She wants to do it, but she's afraid of the cost. This bothers me. Why is it that people can show no reservation to pay for Botox injections, dermal fillers, boob jobs, and all of that, but when it comes to doing something HEALTHY for their skin, they get wallet-shy? My treatments work. If they didn't they wouldn't be on the menu. I spend countless hours researching EVERYTHING that makes it's way into my store. If it's gimmicky, it's never considered. But, my treatments aren't on Oprah, or Dr. Oz - or in two-page advertisements in every woman's magazine. Most truly professional things aren't - they are for insider knowledge only. I'm the insider - you seek my expertise and knowledge and trust that I know what I'm doing.
If someone says, "I can make your face look younger, firmer, less wrinkled in less than 4-months (and it took 20+ years to get that way) ... and I can do it WITHOUT a blade, wouldn't you say "YES!!!"? Me, too.
It feels like such an uphill climb - constantly fighting to uphold my profession against the medical arena and the sales clerks of every venue ... why must what's right and good be so hard to defend?
How can I offer such amazing results without cutting you or damaging your skin in the hopes that it will "heal" itself (Retin-A, strong peels, etc.)? With pure science. Hard to understand science, to be sure. Take for example my SAM LED treatments - they work utilizing light rays. How does a simple thing like light benefit the skin? Well, we already know that light is damaging to the skin ... the Sun! But at the correct frequencies, light can be extraordinarily healing, and it is used medicinally in many ways. [You'll have to do your own googling, I'm trying to keep this short.] BUT, it doesn't heal instantaneously - whereas with Botox you do see immediate results - (that is after the pain, swelling and possible bruising have healed). So is that the issue? People don't want to take the time to correct their skin in a healthy manner, they want the quick fix, even if it means possible irreversible damage and toxic poisoning?
Is it the cost? It can't be, I see all the restaurants are FULL every night, the basketball stadium is standing room only, Coach is doing a fine business at Fayette Mall, and if Botox wasn't HIGHLY profitable, everyone with a medical degree wouldn't be trying to stick it in your face. Never mind the fact that my prices are extraordinarily fair, good value for the dollar. I make sure of that because I, myself, am cost-conscious. I always seek to under-promise and over-deliver with facts and honesty, no gimmicks or sneaky sales pitches. Google my facts and see for yourself.
The skin care game has gotten unfairly and unwisely competitive. Who is the consumer to trust? If you've read this far, I'm going to assume that you trust me, and for that I am immensely grateful! It's from your support that I have the strength to keep fighting for good, solid, skin care. It's such a blessing to be able to take some of your stress away, to bring you facial rejuvenation treatments that work SAFELY, and products that do great things for your skin without harshness - causing it future damage. I KNOW my way works. If I believed for ONE-SECOND that plastics was the way to healthier, happier, better-looking skin, I'd switch careers.
So, THANK YOU for believing in me and for taking full advantage of all I offer to you.
Where else can you find, under one roof, and by one extraordinary therapist owner, LED treatments, HOT ROCKS, soothing music, aromatherapy oils, a steam-shower for rinsing off your Über-groovy Cocoon Wrap, unwanted hair removal that doesn't hurt(!), VANTASTIC Skin Care Products, ... CHOCOLATE ... and most importantly the PEACE & TRANQUILITY to escape from life's daily stresses!!!
Now schedule your SAM Led Series so you can look extra-gorgeous for Christmas!
Hello Fellow Chocoholics!
As you may already know, I joined the direct-selling division of Dove Chocolates called Dove Chocolate Discoveries in July 2010. I've always loved sweets and have considered opening a sweets shop. However, knowing what I know now about brick and mortar (leases/advertising, etc.) I really didn't want to have that much responsibility (and risk) again. When I saw an ad for Dove Chocolate Discoveries, it really rang my bell! "This is GENIUS!" I already give away a dove chocolate to every spa guest; everyone knows the brand and loves it ... what a no-brainer!" AND, the "capital" needed for this new business: $150.00! Yep, that's it. Not the $150,000.00 (or more) I'd need for a retail shop.
I started having tasting parties at the spa, and from there a client wanted me to come to her home and have a party and bring Rhonda and the massage chair! I've posted the fun photos under Dove's page here on my site. We all had a BLAST!
With her party goers and a few people who wanted reorders, her sales were high enough that she got LOTS of Chocolate as her hostess gifts! And from me personally, to say "Thanks" I gave her a $20 GC to Vanities Spa!
If you would like to host a party, we can have one at your house, or at the spa! There is no fee for using the spa. If you'd like Rhonda and her massage talents, we have a very reasonable rate so that everyone in the party can relax and enjoy!
Check out my Dove site for the latest information and NEW products!
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Dove Chocolate Recipes
I've played around with the VERY EASY mousse and instead of using the high-fat Heavy Cream, you can use low-fat Cool Whip! You still get the necessary peaks and texture, and it's still yummy!
The Chocolate Martini Mix is a crowd favorite. You can use regular vodka or a number of the new flavored vodkas. Raspberry & Chocolate are a sexy combo. Add Sprite for a fizzy cocktail!
When you get your Chocolate Martini Mix you might want to pour the contents into a blender and whiz it up to blend out any settled chocolate. Then pour it back into your Chocolate Martini Mix bottle and you're good to go!
I've "blogged" before, but it was on a different site. I will endeavor one day to bring some of that data here for your educational enjoyment. If you'd like to read some of it now, here's the link:
Aside from blogging, setting up websites, running a spa, and generally "horsing around", I also read a lot from the web, mainly spa forums where I keep in touch with my peers and learn what's going on outside my treatment room.
Well, today I read a post that really bothered me. It is about an activity that I thought we had moved away from, but apparently the skin care industry is still at it:
The list is a LONG one, those companies who are still testing cosmetics on laboratory animals (even thought there are better methods) .
BOTOX is one of the worst. If it wasn't bad enough to put a NEUROTOXIN in your FACE, this is how they test it's "saftey": every batch is tested on huge groups of mice to find the "average lethal dose" or the dose where exactly 50% live and 50% die, and that dosage becomes the standardized "unit" for that particular batch. The mice that do not die immediately will die slowly in 2-3 days of progressive asphyxiation from paralyzed lung muscles (remember, it takes 2-3 days to kick in). The testing is referred to as LD50 (Lethal Dose 50%) and is the only FDA approved method to standardize dosage for a biological product like Botox ... even though researchers have proposed non-animal tests that may actually be MORE effective.
It is so frustrating reading this.
SO ... here is my sales pitch ... Vanities Spa NEVER allows a product through our doors that has been tested on animals (except humans!). I can't believe I have to say that - shouldn't it be the norm NOT to abuse animals? Rest assured that all Vantastic Skin products are CRUELTY-FREE (and always will be). Another reason to choose us!
Throw out your L'Oreal and your Oil of Olay and choose Vantastic Skin!
Here is a PARTIAL (no-shopping) list:
Head & Shoulders
Johnson & Johnson
Most commercial deodorants and cleaning products also conduct animal testing.
*If you are looking for an all-natural deodorant (not antiperspirant) a company called "Thai Crystal Deodorant Stones" works amazingly well, with no negative side effects. I find them at Whole Foods, but I'm sure they are hiding in other stores, as well.
They have a convenient roll-on and a spray that I can personally recommend.
BOYCOTT where you can, and CHOOSE kindness instead of CRUELTY.