Monday, August 3, 2015

A Top 2015 Bridal Fashion Trend

 We are in the midst of the most popular wedding months -- June, of course, came and went. But then August, September and October are so very popular! Among the latest trends are bold lips, feathers, cutouts, and outerwear. and Here is one of the most popular fall wedding trends for this season--the deep V-neck, popular for both brides and bridesmaids! For the top 10 color trends for 2015, check here!

Brides






Bridesmaids







Thursday, July 30, 2015

An Anti-Aging Option Using Healing Red Light

Have you ever heard of red light therapy as an anti-aging technique? I had heard something about it, but it was certainly in the background of what I knew about spa treatments. Usually it's injectables, laser treatments, facials and dermabrasion that have gotten the most  buzz.

But studies revolve around red light's ability to get rid of wrinkles, especially fine lines, improve skin pigmentation and abnormalities associated with aging. Preliminary studies suggest that concentrated red light is absorbed by the mitochondria in the cells and stimulates the generation of more collagen: the building block of skin structure. Red LED light does not emit any kind of UV and is deemed safe by dermatologists. Sounds good to me!

The cost varies, and can go as high as $300 per 20 minute treatment. It is said to be most effective with  multiple treatments, over a prolonged time. That is a bit over my budget, which is probably why I wasn't interested in trying it up to this point.

I do love technological & cultural advancement. It brings once exclusive to the wealthy products to the masses. There is now a device that brings that type of light treatment into the privacy and convenience of your own home. And it is very affordable! You get 30 days of treatments for $29.99! I was asked to review Illumask for 30 days and let you know what I found out.
 Illumask is an anti-aging light therapy mask and as easy to use as putting on a pair of glasses. Each day for a month I put on the mask, clicked the "on" button, and waited for 15 minutes, until the LED red lights automatically went out.

It's something you definitely want to do in your home because you lose your forward and most of your peripheral vision because, as the name states, it's a mask, except without the eye slits. It also looks a little strange, like a gone-wrong female audition for daft punk! My husband said he wants to take a black marker and make a Jason Face from Friday the 13th! But who cares what it looks like if the results are good, right?

I thought, "15 minutes of relaxation is a piece of cake, I'll have no problem with this", until I tried it. Sometimes it really was easy because I actually would nod off to sleep. But other times I didn't think the 15 minutes would ever end! It's not like I could read, or watch t.v. or move around the house. Some things I COULD do was listen to music, do simple exercises like planks, leg lifts, even sit-ups, sleep or meditate. Sometimes I felt a little claustrophobic and had to lift the mask off my face for a few seconds to get a bit more air circulation.

 My results: I noticed some subtle changes on my face. The quality and tone of my skin seems a bit better and I notice a more luminous appearance to the skin. My coloring seems better and my skin seems to be more hydrated. I also saw a slight decrease in the fine lines around the eye area. Now, all of these improvements are very slight at this point, but if just a slight improvement happens in each one of these areas, doesn't that add up to an overall good result? They say that the best results occur after 60-90 days of use. I've used it for 30 days so far and I do like it!


Illumask is now available at WalMart and other select retailers! 

Product was provided for the purpose of review. All opinions are my own!

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Lost Sock + Motivating Monday

It was a pretty mundane week as weeks go. Nothing very impressive happened. I did, however, find a long lost sock that I had been missing. It wasn't just any sock. It was one of those thick, cushion-y, fully padded socks that make your feet say, "thank you for pampering me!" I have my everyday socks and then I have my special socks. So when it came up missing months ago, I was very sad and distraught. I looked and looked. But it never showed. Finally I went on, thinking I would never see it. But I kept its mate, just in case. I guess I just held out enough hope to make sure that if it was to return, there would be another sock to welcome it. Today when it showed up in my laundry basket, I couldn't believe it. I don't know who returned it to its rightful place and it begs the question, are socks living things? It's like it just jumped into my laundry basket all on its own! Nevertheless, there it was and I happily reunited it to its mate! And now my feet are going to be extremely happy!

Sorry for humanizing the socks. But it does remind me of  a relationship I have, or don't have, right now. I feel like I have lost more than a sock, it's someone in my life, someone who matters to me almost more than life itself. But right now, lost to me. What can I really do?

I can choose to fret and worry and bemoan my feelings of loss, which I must admit I do sometimes, in the wee hours of the night. But the fact is, I can't make them come back into my life, no matter how hard I try right now. But like my precious lost sock, maybe I can also hold out hope, keeping a place ready because one day, like the sock, he will show up and return to his rightful place in my heart and my life. And I will be so extremely happy....
Faux Falls Moab, UT - Photo by Gina Herbert  quote found here
 Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!


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Sunday, July 26, 2015

'In Search Of The Black Pearl' Tahitian Pearl Pendant #Giveaway

 Pearls are the gems of the ocean. Tahitian Pearls are dark and exotic and they look beautiful with so many different outfits! Often referred to as black, they actually have a remarkable color range that covers the spectrum! 


Quote: "Coco Chanel used to talk about wearing more than one string of pearls. Why wear one if you can wear two, or something to that effect. I think that one string of pearls is just fine. But that's because my pearls are black, hers were white.” --C. Joybell C.

About our Sponsor: "Founded in 1996 and brought online in 2000, Pearl Paradise has grown into the world's largest online pearl company, with 2006 sales topping $20 million. With a custom-built, 1,400-cubic-foot vault filled with pearls, we offer a selection of pearls unlike any other pearl seller, online or off. Our commitment to offering prices 80 percent below retail has accelerated our growth.
With more than 100,000 satisfied customers to date, we have benefited greatly by word-of-mouth advertising. Our commitment to quality, customer service, and unbeatable pricing and selection has helped us become the Internet’s premier source of pearl jewelry."
 
A GAL NEEDS...and  PearlParadise.com along with some other amazing bloggers have partnered up to bring you an amazing giveaway!

Giveaway: One lucky winner will receive a Cherish Collection Tahitian Baroque Pearl Pendant, like the one pictured above. It will be between 10.0 and 11.0 mm and come with its own certified appraisal. Often the appraisal is significantly more than the actual online retail price! Retail price is $180.00. Read more about this pendant at A GAL NEEDS... review here!

Open to U.S only, age 21+, one entrant per household. Remember the more entries you complete, the better your chances are for winning!

Thank you to the great bloggers who are participating in this giveaway. Please consider liking all the participating bloggers on Facebook. They work hard to bring you this event and others like it! You wouldn't want to miss out on any future events! Sponsor is responsible for delivery of prizes, not participating bloggers. This blog received no monetary or other compensation for the facilitation of this giveaway. Enter the giveaway in the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway runs from 7/26/15 thru 8/14/15. Good luck!  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Tahitian Pearl Pendant from Pearl Paradise

I've always loved pearls. Those beautiful jewels from the sea created because of an an irritation, like a speck of sand. It causes the oyster to make something so beautiful! I remember earlier this year reading about a woman who was having an oyster dinner at a restaurant in Tennessee and what did she end up with? 51 pearls!  Lucky gal! 

White pearls, the most well-known of pearls connote elegance, propriety, decorum, and respectability. 

Tahitian Pearls can suggest the same and more!  They can also imply a more casual, easy-going relaxed and even mysterious fashion statement. After all, Captain Jack Sparrow named his baffling pirate ship 'The Black Pearl'. Tahitian pearls are beautiful because the colors can be anywhere from black to iridescent turquoise to rose!

Tahitian Pearls have gained popularity in recent years because of their variety in color and because they have become more accessible. New methods of production have increased the availability of quality pearls.
I certainly love the Tahitian Pearl necklace I received to review from Pearl Paradise!


Pearl Paradise is the largest online pearl company in the world! Based in L.A., they accessorize the likes of Taylor Swift, Idina Menzel, and Katy Lowes with their beautiful rings, pendants, and bracelets. But more importantly, they adorn thousands of beautiful everyday, women all over the world with beautiful, tasteful, one-of-a-kind pearl settings.    






I am wearing the beautiful Cherish Collection Tahitian Baroque Pearl Necklace. It is a floating style necklace in sterling silver with a beautiful 10.0 - 11.0 mm baroque Tahitian pearl. It has green and rose overtones and I notice that clothing color brings out the individual hues. When I wear green, that is what is accented in the pearl. When I wear purple or rose clothing, the purple hue pops!

Along with the beautiful pearl came a Pearl Care Kit, with a soft cloth and some special cleaner to make sure the pearls remain in top condition. Also included was a card telling me a bit about Tahitian Black South Sea Pearls. It was so interesting reading about where they come from. My pearl has "peacock" overtones, which I love! Last was the certified appraisal sheet which gave all kinds of fun facts, including where my pearl came from--French Polynesia, the quality--AA+, Shape--Baroque, and appraisal value--$750.00. Not bad, considering the sale price is $220, including an 18" 14k gold chain! (Mine is sterling silver)


I was very pleased with my pearl pendant and its versatility. As you can see, you can easily wear it alone or layer it with other jewelery! The value is amazing, especially when you can buy it for that much under appraisal value.

I absolutely love the Pearl Paradise Blog, where you can take a peek into the fast-paced world of pearl acquisition, pearl cultivation, pearl sorting, and pearl grading. Jeremy, Hisano, and the team travel frequently, update frequently, and allow you into their world of finding the most beautiful pearls in the world that they, in turn, transform into strands, pendants, rings, bracelets, and other creations. One of the latest posts is about the Hong Kong show they attended and some of the great finds they brought back with them to L.A.

Pearl Paradise CEO, Jeremy Shepherd, has written an amazing e-book that you can download called '7 Secrets You Must Know Before Buying Pearls.' I highly recommend it!

When you want a special gift for that special woman in your life, or something to affirm that you are worth it, I'd definitely recommend visiting Pearl Paradise! Right now it's 10% off site wide! Just use the code Summer10 at check out! 







Monday, July 20, 2015

Giving And Taking Offense + Motivating Monday

Last week I made an impulsive comment. I just threw it up on Facebook without thinking through what the implications might be. Not the best decision.  It wasn't super hurtful, but it could be perceived that I am easily offended, which I really wasn't. Or it could be perceived that I am very judgmental, which I certainly don't want to be. I really don't want to be one of those people who is quick to get emotionally wounded over tiny things that are said. Nor do I want to be that one who causes offense. It's part of what makes the world such a hard place to live.

Not taking or giving offense is a difficult line to walk, and obviously I'm still working on both. But I'm not alone! Today's politicians need more proficiency in both skills! 

Giving Offense. Apparently Donald Trump is the current poster child for this. He seems to offend people left and right. Or, is it the other folks who are too easily offended at what he is saying, when he really has nothing but the best of intentions?  You decide!

It is difficult to offer suggestions or opinions without seeming pushy, even insulting to an extent. And in today's world that can be dangerous! So learning to be skillful at not offending comes in very handy! One thing that can soften your opinion or advice is to preface your statement with, "I have found that..." or "Some people find it helpful to..."  and "I believe that..."

Taking offense and carrying it around is damaging to your health, well-being, and peace of mind. I know from personal experience that it is good to get over real and perceived offenses as soon as possible. Time spent devoted to making sure that the offender is punished is actually time wasted in our own healing process.
Strawberry Reservoir Skyline - Photo by Tawnie Archuleta
When contemplating in that split second whether or not you are going to be offended, try thinking about why the person is doing or saying things that differ with your opinion, insult you, or even hurt you. Maybe they come from a good place but the outcome is somehow less than optimal. Try appreciating the intention rather than the actual outcome. Half of the time it will help! The other half requires more work. Many times we need to first forgive ourselves of things before we can start to forgive others. But that is for another discussion!
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Today is Motivating Monday!  We all need a little motivation!  I, for one, love to explore other sites for motivating, mostly non-sponsored posts, tips, pictures and videos!  If I happen to find a great one, I'll link it up and share it with you here and on Twitter via the #MotivatingMonday hashtag!  It's like being featured!  I can miss some amazing posts, but I don't want to!  So, in addition, if you'd like to link up yourself, you can do that too!  I'll visit your site, comment, promote and publicize! Don't be shy--I'm really very supportive!  Remember, any link to your posts helps your blog numbers increase!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Feet That Don't Hurt With Natra Cure Therapy Socks



First of all, this is a clever product I wish I’d had four years ago. My Plantar Faciitis is healed now, but when it was bad, I would have loved to have this!

 

Natra Cure Cold Therapy Socks are a nifty pair of socks with pockets that allow you to hold a hot/cold pack across the sole of your foot (full length) and a half size hot/cold pack across your heel (back) or toes (top). The socks are soft (the fuzzy part against your skin) and actually sort of cute. The packs are sturdy. (My alternative was wearing a pair of socks and rolling a frozen water bottle underneath my feet when my Plantar Faciitis was really bad, which can be a bit messy!)

Please note: Do not walk in these socks because of the hot/cold packs containing Polygel, a special gel that retains heat and cold longer than other gels. Also, the packs need to come to room temperature before changing from hot to cold or from cold to hot.



My thoughts: Excellent! I found these cooling, but not too cold (sometimes the water bottles were too cold). I usually used the socks sitting, with my feet up, but if it was not cold enough, I just put my feet down to press down on the cold pack to give myself a bit more cooling.
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 This is an absolutely fantastic product for tired feet. Last Saturday I put in a 14+ hour day on my feet (Scout Fundraiser) and when I was finally done, my feet were tired & aching, and these were perfect. I’m just keeping the cold packs in my freezer all the time, right now (maybe in the winter that will change).
On the down side, you can’t take the packs from the freezer (in case you change your mind) and straightaway put them into the microwave to heat them up. The directions say they need to be at room temperature, first. Also,make sure to put them into the socks before heating them in the microwave. Heating them is very easy.

The packs give about 20 minutes of real cooling or heating, which makes sense because that is only how long you are supposed to use them. One time I took them out of the freezer to use, got sidetracked for about fifteen minutes and then used them. They were cool & helpful, but not as much as they had been when I had been able to use them immediately.

The website does not yet offer replacement packs, but will soon! I think it might be nice to have two sets of packs in case I suddenly decide I need to heat them up, and they are already in the freezer, or there is some sort of emergency and I have to take off running, without time to remove the socks (don’t laugh—this sort of thing is not out of the question when there are children involved) and rupture the packs.

The description that comes with the socks was helpful. I might never have found the ‘heel’ pocket in the sock without the picture & description, otherwise. There are care instructions & heating/cooling instructions. They are easy to read and not too verbose.

As I have used them for cooling my tired feet, I honestly wondered what the top pocket in the sock was good for—I could not imagine using it at all, until I tried heating the packs up. (Make sure you follow the directions!) I put the one across the bottom and the half-size one over my toes. I am going to love these in the winter! Sometimes my feet get so cold that I have put a hot pad under them and another one on top—it solves the problem, but is not as easy as these socks.

The directions say not to wash the socks, only to wipe them down (really?!) So, just to push the envelope, I washed them by hand anyway, with shampoo (I figured that was pretty gentle, right?) They don’t appear to have shrunken or spontaneously evaporated. However, I’m sure it’s important to let them dry completely before using them.

Since you are not supposed to walk in them, I guess they are unlikely to get dirty, especially if I wash my feet before using them!
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Rocking those Natra Cure Cold Therapy Socks





Valerie Rees Maker has a husband, four children and a cat, and lives in Orem, UT although originally from Concord, CA. She is involved in the  Boy Scouts, teaches & performs MiddleEastern dance, repairs books, and writes in her spare time.