“ANTI-YOUTHING”~

I refuse to ‘anti-age’. In fact, I think I refuse to ‘anti’ almost everything. But where my appearance is concerned, I am proud and happy with who and what I am. I have spent 51 years on planet earth and have survived a devastating illness. I have done everything within my power and means to take care of my body, including my skin and hair and 486204921.jpgnails and everything else society associates with beauty and femininity. But because it’s healthy for me and I enjoy doing it. I don’t smoke. I don’t drink to excess. I don’t eat too much fat or salt or meat. I exercise daily, and see my medical care providers and get preventative tests routinely and enjoy indulging in fresh, organic fruits and foods. I take my vitamins and get enough sleep. I love coffee and red wine and the company of my pets and my husband and family. Why would I want to reverse that? I have a few wrinkles and even a few gray hairs but I think I look great. I don’t mean that in an arrogant way. I’ve never been one to stop traffic. Like everyone else, I’ve had to make peace with more than a few things I don’t like about my physical appearance. But I know the blessings I have in my softly textured, natural curly hair and my extremely smooth skin, and in my slim frame. Of course, those are all genetic but I do my best to take care of and maintain them because it makes me feel good to love my body. I won’t be pegged or pigeon-holed into any box because of my age. I won’t be made to feel less desirable or less feminine or less anything because of my age. In fact, I feel all those girl-dancing-1160910.jpgthings much more positively because of the knowledge I have gained in living all these years. Yes, I am middle-aged and yes, middle-age is beautiful. Perhaps more so than youth because we have wisdom and experience that brings true happiness and fulfillment. My happiness isn’t brushed or patted on, it is etched on. Permanently.

I don’t want to ‘anti-age’. Why on earth would anyone? I’m not looking for the wrinkle cream advertised by a 22-year-old celebrity to give me a new lease on life. I don’t want a new lease on life. I want the life I’ve worked hard to build for myself. I don’t want a foundation to hide my perceived flaws, I want a foundation to cover up the spots that come from sun exposure and to blur the occasional blemish that even post-college aged gals and guys sometimes get. I certainly don’t want an ‘anti-aging’ lipstick when these lips have kissed more times than her younger counterparts and all they long for is a little moisture and to add a bit of brightness to her smile.

travel-girl-1161902.jpgAnd darn it, now that I am the age I am, I have the money to spend on products to help me take care of myself, and to help me look the way I want to look, for me. Why is anyone trying to tell me I need a bottle or jar of something to look like a school girl again? I looked like a college girl when I was in college and it was my turn. Great. Fine. Dandy. Now I’m a near-retired girl who is embarking on new adventures, some of which are taking me around the world, and I want to look like one. I don’t even want a mascara that promises to make me look like a Real Housewife of Any County. She of all people is probably less likely than any of us to be what she makes herself out to be. I just want a mascara that makes my less than full lashes a little more visible on this pair of eyes that has seen some truly amazing things in this life, both good and bad. And I can afford the $22 per tube price tag whereas the girls the media wants me to be are likely eating Raman Noodles for dinner. They can barely afford dime store mascara let alone high end.

544714332.jpgYou see, there are benefits to aging and I much prefer this process over ‘anti-aging’. Anti-aging means going back to the day when I barely made the rent and drove a used car. Anti-aging means figuring out how my husband and I could afford an anniversary dinner out and a three-week stint in Europe seemed an impossible dream. Anti-aging means not being able to afford all those luxurious, feminine treats like eye gel masks and designer perfume and my own horse. ‘Anti-aging’ is not a good thing and we need to stop letting the world of advertising make it out as such. Aging is beautiful and if you are lucky enough to keep doing it, you are lucky enough.

As always, live beautifully!

**Images courtesy freeimages.com

 

Advertisements

SAMPLE SIZING IT~pur mineral mist

I love samples when they actually contain enough product to try on for size a time or two. Not those little foil packs that might contain enough product to dip your finger in but an actual pack of product that lets you get at least one full application. Companies do very well by themselves in giving out these little freebies, be it when you purchase another of their products or simply for asking a sales associate. I am much more likely to take a risk on something, especially a pricey something, when I can give it a real test run.
A couple weeks ago I tried this lovely hydrate and set spray from Pur. I believe I got this in the Ulta online summer gift with purchase. I’ve never been a big user of setting sprays but this little bottle gave me enough product to use for a week’s worth of daily applications.
Pur mist 3.jpgThe scent is very light and almost undetectable. The mist is fine and soothing upon hitting my skin. I especially enjoyed the sensation of it when I touched up after a few hours in the heat and reapplied it thereafter. But then, I seem to like all the mist products I have tried when I’m battling the sun and heat, for the sheer reason that the burst of cool feels so nice. But the purpose of this product is to hydrate the skin and can also be used as a setting spray over mineral makeup. I enjoyed the hydration due to the sun exposure I received while vacationing, but it’s not something I particularly need on a regular basis. I also don’t wear mineral foundation that often so this product isn’t the one for me. Gals and guys on the mineral makeup bandwagon, and those who need a bit more moisture will likely love it.
This product retails for $18.00 for a 4oz. bottle at Ulta. As prices go, it seems to be in the mid-range of higher end cosmetic products. If you are looking for a light moisturizing product to give your face, neck or body a boost post shower or throughout the day, you might enjoy this one. Pur is a cruelty free brand and makes a wide away of skincare and cosmetic products for those of us who choose to live a cruelty free life.
As always, live beautifully.

WHERE I SPENT THE LAST THREE WEEKS~ an unedited photo journey

Mr. LucyLoves and I finally made our number one travel dream come true this summer: three weeks touring Germany, in part to visit his former Army posts and also to catch up with friends, both old and new.  To say this was an experience of a lifetime would be an understatement.  Indeed, words cannot describe our adventure so I am sharing it in some of the dozens of pictures I snapped along the way.

Our trip began with first class accommodations and was it ever worth the ticket price!

IMG_20170804_172005.jpg

After we landed, the real fun began.

IMG_20170721_123514.jpg

 

IMG_20170716_155850

Burst_Cover_GIF_Action_20170721173214.gifBurst_Cover_GIF_Action_20170723125021.gif

IMG_20170717_134514.jpg

IMG_20170719_110246.jpgIMG_20170718_173747.jpg

 

 

IMG_20170721_132747.jpgIMG_20170719_163701.jpg

 

IMG_20170721_173558.jpg

IMG_20170721_174306.jpgIMG_20170722_132640.jpg

IMG_20170721_175303

IMG_20170722_192758.jpgIMG_20170720_143225.jpg

IMG_20170726_145758.jpgIMG_20170724_112638.jpg

 

IMG_20170727_115403.jpgIMG_20170726_150859.jpgIMG_20170727_115558.jpg

IMG_20170727_153807.jpg

IMG_20170730_144114.jpg

IMG_20170727_180052.jpgIMG_20170801_155153.jpg

 

 

IMG_20170726_174214.jpg

IMG_20170728_102808IMG_20170728_140118.jpg

IMG_20170731_123815.jpg

 

 

IMG_20170801_155554.jpg

IMG_20170801_153650.jpgIMG_20170801_152429.jpg

 

And while we enjoyed every moment of our journey, coming home to familiar surroundings and our family was just as joyous.  This is an experience we will never forget and one we will share in our memories forever.IMG_20170802_195735.jpg

Whatever your dream may be, make it happen.IMG_20170727_154247.jpg

SPRING READS~

If you are looking for a few good books to immerse yourself in while lounging on the beach or passing time in the air, here are a few that I have particularly enjoyed the past several weeks:

TROUTBECK TESTIMONY by Rebecca Tope51PJaeDtonL._AC_US218_.jpg

I’ve been a Rebecca Tope fan for ages now and love all three series she writes.  Troutbeck Testimony is the fourth and most recent book in the Lake District Mystery Series featuring the delightful florist Persimmon Brown.  Set in rural England, ‘Simmy’ has been finding her new life full of unwanted adventure as she is dragged into yet another distressing murder.  But this time Simmy has a special interest in the case as her father is quickly drawn in to the dangerous drama playing out in their serene small town.  Troutbeck Testimony is an easy backyard or beach read that will keep you entertained while enjoying a much needed break.

OUTFOXED by David Rosenfelt51yHmdtvQML._AC_US218_.jpg

Dog lovers and mystery fans alike will delight in the latest Andy Carpenter Series as book 14 does not let us down in terms of entertaining us with fun loving pooches and a plot twisting murder scheme.  Carpenter is an attorney with a heart and dry wit to boot.  Those who favor a bit of sarcasm will find themselves giggling throughout the pages as this upstanding but sassy crime fighter works to nab yet another murderer before he joins the land of the dead.

TO DWELL IN DARKNESS by Deborah Crombie

61KnzS08IgL._AC_US218_.jpgBook 16 in the Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James mystery series, To Dwell in Darkness, finds us fully involved in the ever progressing lives of the crime fighting duo of Kincaid and James.  Now married and surviving the dramas of a blended family, this crime fighting duo must reel in yet another murderer before another victim is claimed.  As the Kincaid and James mysteries progresses, the characters become like old friends and you can’t help but root for the continued success of this pair, both professionally and personally.  Set in the outskirts of London, the descriptives in this series are so spot on you feel like you are present in the moment.  Kincaid and James are likable characters with real life issues that we all face as working professionals trying to balance career and family, but with other lives at stake if they don’t succeed.  If you haven’t read this series from the start, it’s well worth beginning with book 1 and getting to know everyone one murder at a time.

TROUBLEMAKER by Leah Remini51RSTOZb8NL._AC_US218_.jpg

I was browsing my online library searching for something to read and since I enjoy biographies and autobiographies about strong women, I added Troublemaker to my check out cart.  I quickly became absorbed in Remini’s story of life inside the secretive group known as Scientology.  Remini is a strong personality by nature so it is easy to understand how Scientology can pull in so many people and convince them to dedicate life and resources to their cause: If they can hold on to Remini for so long, less confident folks don’t have a chance.  Remini’s account of her life in Scientology gives the inside scoop on how cults operate and manipulate people into surrendering all for the good of a few. And in Scientology, the elite are the only ones who benefit.  Remini walks us through her personal journey and that of her family as she works to reconcile the teachings instilled in her since childhood against the realization that Scientology wasn’t in the congregants’ best interest, but rather, in the interest of a handful at the top. You will feel the loss Remini experiences in walking away from the life she always knew and you’ll be cheering her on as she faces a new life of self-discovery and freedom. A strong woman she is, indeed.

I hope you are enjoying some of your own literary finds this summer and indulging your penchant for books.  Please let me know what you are enjoying and what I am missing from my own reading list.

A LITTLE (KATE SOMERVILLE) SELF-INDULGENCE!

As I have said in the past, I do not usually purchase high end cleansers.  The basic ingredients are the same or similar, regardless of the price point, and the product does not remain on your skin long enough to have any significant impact.  If it cleanses your skin, you are good to go so you might as well save your money for your first loves, unless of course, cleanser is your first love.  On a rare occasion however, I will treat myself to some little indulgence as I did in this case.  I went on a shop to browse spring wardrobe items and to pick up a couple personal care items at Sephora for Mr. LucyLoves and somehow this little gem ended up in my basket.  Maybe I was feeling loaded since my tax refund had arrived that day.

KS cleanser cover.jpg

While I prefer a soft, cream cleanser for my nighttime cleanse, I do experience the occasional breakout now and again thanks to the gift of menopause.  As a result, I keep a salicylic acid based cleanser in my shower for my morning cleanse just to help ward off any spots that are even thinking of popping out.  This is likely purely psychological but why tempt fate?

The Kate Somerville Detox Daily Cleanser is from their acne skin care line.  At $36 for 4 fl. oz., it is definitely not something I would repurchase on a routine basis, preferring to invest my money in serum and moisturizers instead but as a one-time purchase, I am not disappointed.  First, the scent falls into my favorite category—citrus—a result, in part, of the tangerine peel oil.  It is by no means overpowering but the tangy fragrance does provide a nice morning ‘wake up’ boost.  Like any salicylic acid based product, it can be a tad bit stripping regardless of what the advert claims, but this one is not overly drying. (salicylic acid is a drying agent, after all). I always use an SPF moisturizer as part of my morning routine anyway which takes care of any remote tightness I may feel after my cleanse.  My skin is left clean and ready for the day, which is what anyone expects with any cleanser.  A drop does go a long way so I will see how long this tube lasts in comparison to other cruelty free cleansers I have been using and then I will be able to determine if the price is really so outlandish.  The packaging is sleek and the twist top is easy to maneuver in the shower as opposed to some of the snap lids which can be a bit tight and hard for my arthritic fingers to manage some days.  (I usually just refrain from snapping those closed all the way and find I seldom have any significant product leakage).

KS cleanser with pkg.jpg

All in all, this is a nice product and if you have acne-prone skin, you might want to check out the entire Kate Somerville acne skin care line.  If you are like me and just need one or two items to ward off an occasional spot or two, you can definitely find more affordable alternatives.  But indulging in a special treat now and again is uplifting and fun and this one will not be regretted.  I may try some of the other Kate Somerville skincare products in the future and would love to hear what you think of them.

 

 

 

 

100% Pure–Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream!

With age and living comes those subtle little lines around our eyes and, for some of us, dark circles and shadows from a decrease in under-eye volume.  While no product will alleviate my genetically inherited dark circles, some of the grayness and puffiness are a result of typical aging processes.  And while the first half decade of my life had me treating combination oily skin, I am now dealing with a more normal skin type that is tending toward some dryness during the cold months.  Enter a daytime eye cream to help reduce occasional morning puffiness and the increasing darkness under my eyes.

100 % Pure eye cream.jpg

I recently picked up the 100% Pure Super Fruits Oil Serum and Eye Balm to add to my bedtime routine and while I was shopping for those items, I stumbled upon the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream.  Caffeine has long been used as an anti-inflammatory agent in skincare and yet I had never really given it a try.  This eye cream is infused with both green tea and green coffee, claiming to not only depuff but to increase circulation as well, thus minimizing darkness in the delicate eye area.  Vitamins, antioxidants and rosehip oil are said to moisturize and plump the under-eye area that often falls victim to a loss of volume as we age.  100% Pure is both natural and vegan and has a glorious natural coffee scent that adds to the aroma of my cup of morning Joe.  I love the creamy rich texture of this eye cream and was delighted at how quickly it absorbs and does not interfere with my concealer application.  An added bonus for those who like to buy American, 100% Pure products are made in USA and they seem a good value for the price.

I purchased my 100% Pure products through the Dermstore, which offers first time customers a 20% discount.  Just google, sign up and shop.  This is a great way to try a new brand or product that has been on your wish list while saving a little money.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

100!

Actually, as of this evening, 106 of you have stopped by and hung on for the ride.  I am grateful to have the opportunity to get to know a little about all of you and I feel like I have made 106 new friends.  I love writing and sharing my interest in cruelty-free skincare and cosmetics and living in rural America.  I had no idea so many of you were here and sharing your own life loves.

Thank you for your support and best of luck keeping up your own blog spots.  I learn so much from each of you and I look forward to my time with all of you every week.

As always, live a beautiful, cruelty free life.

LucyLoves…

freeimages.com

BEING POSITIVELY POLITE!

When did our society become so rude?  When did the f-bomb become an acceptable adjective as opposed to a means to reinforce something truly remarkable?  When did it become acceptable to air your dirty laundry in public or to curse out a stranger?

Yes, even in small town America—communities that were once prized for their close knit attributes—people are becoming more and more self-centered and downright spit494000517eful.  People cursing a litany of profanities in the presence of adults and children alike; one shopper shouting at another for inadvertently knocking a cart into the her; even a drunk adult pulling a gun in a local grocery store accusing another man of ‘eyeing’ his daughter.  Yes, those are just a few of the things that have actually happened in our rural community lately.  When did we become so tolerant of this behavior?

I was raised in this small town community, by working class parents who struggled to give us the best foundation in life.  Parents who taught us to respect our neighbors of every creed and color and who instilled in my sister and me the importance of independence and self-reliance as women.  Parents who taught my brother to share the same respect for female members of society as for his male counterparts.  And, gratefully, taught us all about good manners and how to maintain a positive reputation for ourselves.  Today my parents are in their very old age and they are appalled at what we are becoming.  Younger people who talk like they were raised in a gutter and show no respect for themselves, let alone their family, friends and neighbors.  Or even worse, adults who are behaving in this fashion, often in the presence of children and the elderly.  When did all of this become ‘OK’?

Personally, I no longer like to go out by myself although I used to very much love shopping alone.  For one thing, my own mouth may borrow trouble as I have been known to tell off more than one person for loud expressions of a vulgar tongue in public places.  Now I have to worry about being shot down in the aisles for opening my mouth.  And yet, if we do not step up and set an example to these people who will?  Who will intervene when there is a man hitting a woman in the parking lot of the mall?  Who will object to the racially charged joke at the dinner party?  Who speaks up for those who cannot? That someone used to be me.  Now I have to fear for my own safety in my own society.  But I am who I am and I cannot let go of my nature.  And my nature is, generally speaking, a polite one. 538041415

I believe in treating all people with courtesy and respect.  ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ are necessary commodities in my language.  Reaching out a hand to someone is a requirement not an option.  Doing the right thing when no one is looking is a mandate not an elected choice.  Watching how I speak to people, how I present myself and praising the good in others is more than a motto, it is a way of life.  Courtesy shows not only a respect for your fellow citizens, it shows respect and love for yourself.

I do not know when these notions of respect went to the wayside in favor of a rude and sometimes even hostile public but, it has happened in my half decade of living and we do not have far to fall before we reach the very bottom of the social trenches.  How do we rectify the situation?  When our own leaders talk in schoolyard vulgarities and treat women and minorities like disposable trash, it is hard to keep up the energy and momentum to do the right thing and sa478013937y the right thing.  But I will keep doing my best to be better than those people who want to pull my community down.  I will do my best to set the example of what a civilized woman and upstanding citizen should strive to be.  Not just in rural America but in all of American and beyond.

Being polite takes nothing away from you and may mean everything to someone else.  Expressing courtesy tells the world you care as much for yourself as you do for others.  Expecting those around you to express themselves and behave themselves in a civilized fashion allows everyone the opportunity to live without fear or offense.   No one is hurting me by living as they choose, just as our nation’s founders expected. Living with an open heart and a kind demeanor helps me to live the life my parents fought for; the life of America’s dream that lives for every single person.  Not just every person in America, but every person who dreams of making democracy their own.  Let us restore our communities to the kind of society everyone wants to flock to again: A positively polite society that we can all claim as our own.

490099884

freeimages.com

 

A SALE SHOP SNEAK PEEK!

Like all beauty lovers, I look forward to Sephora’s annual fall VIB sales and this year I splurged a bit. All but one of these items has been on my beauty wish list for awhile now and the fifth was a spur of the moment purchase that looked like it might be a good addition to my skincare routine.  If you follow me you know I am a skincare advocate first and foremost.  And having gone ‘cruelty free’ in the skincare and beauty arena over the past year, I have been researching and trying new products to fit with this lifestyle.  I am looking forward to trying and sharing my thoughts on what will hopefully be newfound friends for a long time to come from these cruelty free brands:

Babe

Coola

Jose Maran

Sunday Riley

Tarte

sephora sneak peek 3.jpg

I will blog my thoughts on these lovelies in the coming weeks and maybe you will find something that suits you among my finds as well.

As always, live a beautiful life!

COVERED BRIDGES!

I live in a covered bridge county, boasting one of the highest numbers of covered bridges anywhere in the nation–17.  We also now lay claim to the world’s longest covered bridge—613 feet–and the world’s shortest covered bridge—18 feet–albeit they are modern ones.  Dating back as far as 1863, our covered bridges are a draw for crowds near and far and we celebrate their appeal and legacy every October with a Covered Bridge Festival.  At no other time of the year do we see so much traffic in our rural communities than during the fall foliage viewing season, as both tourists and locals drive the county, far and wide, to take in the view of our spectacular bridges and surrounding scenery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Covered bridges are a romantic notion.  They take us back to the founding days of our community when life was slower and travel was much less rushed.  While our bridges are sturdy and still carry us across our tributaries today—I drive across one daily– they were built during a time when horses and carriages were the primary mode of transportation for our rural neighbors.  They were a marvel of architecture then, as now, but perhaps they are appreciated more now for their beauty as well as their functional purpose.  While it seems every few years road crews are out repairing or replacing modern bridges and viaducts, seldom do you see a work crew at the site of one of our covered bridges.  And when restoration work is required, a lot of careful planning and care goes into the process so as to maintain the integrity of our historic treasures.  True, there is much less traffic crossing our covered bridges on a daily basis but their lifespan still outlives any road structure installed today.  Our covered bridges have survived generations and we expect them to be here to delight for hundreds of years to come.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The second weekend in October is our Covered Bridge Festival and this year the fall season did not disappoint.  As I look out my window I see all the leaves starting to turn and know the view of the bridges will be spectacular.  What a relaxing way to spend a fall weekend day.  As my neighbors are working to bring in the last of the fall harvests, the sightseers are out in droves.  It is such a good sign to see people are still interested in our history and the marvels of our ancestors.  People are amazed by the craftsmanship and the quality which stood the tests of time.  Some of our bridges have survived major flooding or automobile damage, near tornado winds and dangerous ice storms.  And yet, they remain a testament to the perseverance and strength of people in rural America.

Our covered bridges are a delight that we do not take for granted.  They fit in with the rural landscape the way no modern structure ever could.  Every time I cross one, I am reminded of the work and the care that went into building such a marvel that remains for us today

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

and I think of those who worked so hard to bring them to our communities.  Would they have ever imagined the gifts they were giving us would come to be celebrated and loved to such a degree?  I wonder.

Every community has some treasure to share.  And fall is the perfect time to take a ride or a walk and enjoy the sights of your own neighborhood marvels.  Treasure and share what you have while the opportunity is ripe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA