It’s All About Me…And A Few Essential Oil Blends :)

img_0093I have the greatest children a mom could ask for.  My oldest daughter came very quickly in our marriage, just a couple months after our 2nd anniversary.  She was my little buddy…I sometimes feel like we kind of grew up together.  Our first child, our only child for 7 years, she excelled at academics, earning valedictorian status in middle and high school.  She was offered a scholarship to my alma mater, Baylor University, and excelled there as well, going on to medical school and becoming a very caring Family Practice Doctor.  She met her future husband during her residency and married him the summer before taking on her first full time position as a board certified physician.  A few years later she gave us our first granddaughter, who is the definite light of our lives these days.  Needless to say, we are beyond proud of our firstborn, Christy Anita, but this post is not about her.

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Our last child came 10 years after our first one.  He was the son we prayed for and was everything we hoped he would be.  A good and handsome boy, he quietly went through his school years, never loving it, but faithfully completing everything that was required of him, and doing it well.  He dutifully completed college with a great GPA, a degree in computer science and a minor in math, still never loving it, but persevering and finishing in the time period we required of him.  He married the love he found when he was just fifteen, and is now a great husband to our beautiful new daughter.  He is our pride and joy, his dad’s hunting and fishing partner, just a steady rock for us all to lean on occasionally, which we are taking advantage of right now, actually. But this story is not about Caleb Joel, either.

This story belongs to the child I haven’t mentioned yet, the middle kid, the one who frequently may have received the short end of the stick, stuck between an over achieving sister and the baby boy the whole family doted over.  My sweet Josie.  She was the pleaser, the peace maker, and the one with a huge heart.  She also excelled in school, coming in third in her high school class, but while it came easily for her older sister, Josie worked super hard to get there, determined to get the same scholarship to Baylor that her sister received.  She did get that scholarship and completed her degree in four years.  She graduated with a degree in Nutrition, but after working in an education environment, she decided she wanted to teach in the public school system.  So she got her alternative certification and began her career as a secondary family and consumer sciences teacher.  She very quickly decided she loved the public education environment and decided to further her career, obtaining a masters degree in school counseling.

My friend, Linda (@goddess1207), said it elegantly and perfectly, when she described the differences and similarities of my two daughters in this way:  “Both listeners but listening for different things with different responses.”  I love that!!

Well, last year,  Josie married her soul mate and moved clear across the country to live and work in California.  I hated to see her go so far away, but honestly, since she is so good about calling quite frequently, usually on her way to and from work, I sometimes don’t even remember that she is so far away.

So where is this story headed anyway?  It’s not a story about how great my kids are, nor is it an outlet for me to analyze their different strengths and weaknesses.   Like I said earlier, this story is about Josie.  And me.  And how my observant, caring 28 year old middle child helped me finally start figuring myself out at the age of 55.

Josie, ever the observant one, recognized possibly before I did, that I needed some kind of creative outlet that was just for me, and me alone.  She helped me pinpoint where my interests tended to linger during these later middle age years, then on one of her visits from California, she helped me set up venues to create and record my mature beauty and health themed journeys.  Hence, my Instagram (@angeldellabeauty) and Beauty Blog pages were born.  Since my energetic two year old granddaughter keeps me so busy, I don’t have a ton of time yet to devote, but Josie keeps reminding me that this is not supposed to be a stressor; instead it should be a stress reliever, my hobby, to be pursued on my time.  And I’m having a great time!  I do hope that this little venture helps other mature women in some way, but ultimately I’m doing it because I enjoy it. 😊

So while I’m on the subject of Josie helping me, I have to close with the latest little project that she worked on with me about a month ago during the week she was here from California. I’ve become interested in learning about essential oils and have read a few books and blogs on the subject. I found places to purchase organic oils and supplies economically from wholesalers, and Josie worked beside me to create my first essential oil blends.

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The pretty penmanship on the labels belongs to Josie, since my handwriting is almost illegible due to my arthritic fingers…  I’ve been enjoying using these oils this last month, but I need to learn much more about them and how best to incorporate them before I can review or attest to their healing properties.  Right now, it’s just another section of my ever evolving interests/hobbies.

Thank you for reading this little addition to my chronicles, and thank you, my precious creative Josie Anne (@38thandtemple).  I Love You!  ❤️

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Two Faced: Medical Grade Skincare vs Natural Skincare

IMG_1702While the term “two faced” generally has a negative connotation, lately I’ve had the thought that if only I really did have two faces, and unlimited funds, I could treat one face with medical grade skincare products and the other face with natural grade products to see which face fared the best in the long run.  


As it is, I am recently torn between both worlds and part of the week I use one set of products while the other part of the week I treat with the other set.  So basically, because I’m obsessed with both worlds at the moment, I alternate days…one day medical grade, the next natural grade.  

Medical Grade Skincare

I have tried a host of medical grade products in the last few years, but if I had to pare it down to my most loved items, I would choose the following products:

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-Obagi Tretinoin Cream

-Skinceutical’s CE Ferulic

-Epionce Lite Lytic Tx

-Skinceutical’s Resveratrol B E 

-Skinmedica’s HA5 Rejuvenating Hydrator

-Skinceutical’s AOX Eye Gel

-Skinceutical’s A.G.E. Interrupter 

I have literally witnessed the improvement in the health and beauty of my skin from using these medical grade products. There are also a few medical grade products I am currently using where I believe in the science behind them, but since I have kept my skin in pretty good shape with a regular regimen incorporating the products mentioned above, I haven’t been able to see major improvement, rather I just have faith that using these products regularly is slowing the aging process.  I hope to talk about some of these products in a later post.

Natural/Green Skincare

I have only just started dabbling in the natural side of skincare, but it hasn’t taken long for me to reap some amazing rewards.  As I mentioned already, I incorporate natural skincare in my regimen approximately every other night.  I bet you can guess which nights I look forward to!  In the short time I’ve been using these products, the only physical improvements I can definitely attest to are the calming effects on irritated skin.  Oh, but the sensory benefits are numerous!  I have completely fallen for most of the products I have been trying.  There are two brands I am putting through my skincare trials right now: Indie Lee and May Lindstrom.  Sunday Riley, a fellow Texan, is a brand generally comprised of a mixture of natural and synthetic ingredients.  I love her products and have repurchased several already.  Sunday Riley was my gateway brand into the natural realm of skincare.

Following are the products I have tested and adore from these three brands:

-Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

-IL CoQ10 Toner

-IL Swiss Apple Facial Serum

-IL Calendula Eye Balm

-IL Squalane Facial Oil

(The above products are my full routine on some days)

-May Lindstrom Jasmine Garden Mist

-ML Blue Cocoon

-Sunday Riley Good Genes

-SR Start Over Eye Cream

-SR Luna and Flora Oils

-SR Bionic Cream

I plan to write a separate review on each product, or group of products, that I mentioned in this post, so please come back and see why I love each of these skincare greats.  I also hope to conclude the series with a comprehensive post featuring a showdown between the two categories of skincare.  I want to finalize with this conclusive entry because I need to satisfy the scientific nerd in me, and settle on the best avenue of skincare for my mature skin.

Thank you for listening to this introduction to my skincare journey through my mature years❤️

What’s In a Name?

This post is actually going to be my first (mini) review.  Before the review, I want to address the name of my new beauty blog: Angel Della Beauty.  I was named after my grandmother, Angel Della.  But that’s not my name.  My mom wanted me to be named after her mother but thought the name Angela Del would be more appropriate for my time period.  I do love my name, but I think I would have loved my name still if it had been identical to my grandmother’s.

I never met my grandmother and she never got to meet me.  She died a few months before my mother got married.  She was only 56, a year older than I am now.  My heart aches to know Angel Della.  My mother tells me that I am like her in so many ways.  While I am fair skinned and she was darker, we both have the same body shape/size.  From what I hear, my grandmother and I had/have similar personalities and interests.  She was 100% super mom…devoting her entire time here on earth to her family.  Had she lived, I have no doubt she would have been an even greater grandmother.

Besides parenting, Angel Della loved flower gardening, a hobby she and I share.  Gardening required a lot of time in the sun, but my mom recalls that she never went outside without a huge hat and lightweight clothing covering her from head to toe. So apparently we shared another interest: skincare.

While my interest in skincare is based primarily on anti-aging, it’s possible that Angel’s interest stemmed from an obsession to keep her skin as light as possible.  Angel Della was of mixed heritage, half Native American (Cherokee) and half Caucasian.  Sadly, in her time and place, being part Native American automatically put you in a lower class status.  In fact, the story is that my grandfather was from a wealthy land owning family who basically disowned him when he married my grandmother.  With that stigma, it is thought that my grandmother wanted to keep her skin as light as it could naturally be. Whatever the reason behind her skin protection, there was no doubt that when she died in her mid 50s, she had the skin of a much younger woman.

This talk of skincare brings me to my first quick review.  Since I cannot bear the thought of covering myself head to toe while in the sun, as my grandmother did, I have gone through a small arsenal of skincare products. To make a long story short, I have pared it down to my favorite sun screens for my face, body, and hands.

Let’s start with my face.  I want a lightweight sunscreen lotion that I can wear alone as my last item in my morning skincare routine, or under makeup without changing the consistency of my primer and foundation.  Right now, my go to product is Exuviance Sheer Daily Protector, SPF 50.  I learned of this product through Angie from Hot and Flashy.  She has a very thorough review of Exuviance that is well worth your time.

My favorite body sunscreen is also a recommendation from Angie: Banana Boat Sport Performance SPF 50.  This is the sunscreen I purchase for my body AFTER I have used up all my SPF samples and SPF products that I have on hand which did not work for my face.

My final sunscreen recommendation is for my hands: Super Goop Forever Young Hand Cream with Sea Buckthorn.  I love this product so much!!  I have a large container with a pump by my sinks and a small tube in my purse.  Since I keep my granddaughter and also help keep house for my daughter, I constantly have my hands in water, washing away any sunscreen I applied earlier.  I must always use a hand cream on my dry hands, so it’s great that I can utilize one containing sunscreen along with extra ingredients for healthy skin.  I initially purchased this product through Nordstrom’s anniversary sale, which is coming up again soon, on July 22.

To conclude, I am 55 now, and my prayer is that my Lord will bless me with a much longer life than my grandmother lived.  Then, when my time is up, to give me a home in heaven where I will finally meet the woman I am named after.  My plan is to keep my skin looking great until that time…

Thank you for taking the time to get to know a little more about me. ❤

Shop The Post:

Exuviance; Banana Boat Sport; Supergoop Hand Cream

Whatsoever Things are Lovely (Phil 4:8 KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. -Phil 4:8

In order to write a post about me, I must include an excerpt from the Bible, which, as a Christian, I try to always use as my number one guide in life.  As a human, I fail miserably at times.  Obviously, I realize this scripture has nothing at all to do with a beauty blog and everything to do with a lifestyle blog, but I will attempt to bring it all together.  🙂

I have a strong tendency to let the things that transpire in my day to day life and the people in my everyday environment dictate my mood, and I often forget to incorporate the above scripture in my daily living.  And then there’s the horrible things happening in the world around us, which can put me in a very depressed state if I don’t make an active effort to block it from my mind.  I know we shouldn’t completely ignore these awful things because the bible also instructs us in Eph 5:15-16 to:  See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.  (I love the King James Version for its poetic beauty.)  Putting these two verses together, it appears that while we need to pay attention to what is going on around us in the world, we probably should not dwell on the miserable and ugly side of living in this world.

Ok, since this is an “about me” post and not a sermon, here are some of the facts that make up who I am today…I am 55,  a daughter, a wife, mother of three children, and grandmother to one spoiled little toddler.  I grew up in a wonderful environment with good and loving parents who I always tried to please.  I was the nerdy, good kid out of the four they produced.

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My childhood was spent always trying to make my parents proud of me, keeping my grades high, following household rules, going to church 3 times a week with my family without complaining, etc.  Speaking of church, I met my future husband at a church camp which my dad helped organize when I was 13 and he was 15.  My 13 year old self immediately determined that he would most definitely become my husband.  He didn’t really know I existed, but since he quickly became best buds with my older brother, I made sure he at least had to consider me once in awhile.

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He finally asked me out on a date when I was 16.  From then until we got married and had our first child, I spent my time trying to please him and make him proud.  Since my main goal my entire young life was to be a mom, we did eventually have three kids.  While I worked full time until my retirement at 53, I was the kind of mom whose life completely revolved around my children and not my job, although I did enjoy my job and the financial benefits it provided my family.

Fast forward…my children all finished college and got married…so proud of all three of them, but that’s another story.  🙂

All three became blessedly independent and for the first time in my life, I felt a little lost.  I realized I had always focused 100% on my family (no regrets on that by the way), and I may not have taken the best care of myself in those years.  I gained weight from eating unhealthy meals and only exercising sporadically.  Along the same vein, I rarely took care of my skin.  I spent lots of time in the sun without sunscreen.  I wore minimal makeup, which I always felt was long gone by bedtime, so the only time my face was washed was a quick once over with a soapless wash cloth in the shower.  Beauty, to me during those years, meant just looking somewhat presentable.  So when I reached the 50 year milestone, I took a closer look at myself.  I started to feel much older than 50, with arthritis issues, including chronic pain from joint and tissue inflammation.  I’d had enough, so I started a regular exercise and healthy eating program.  Slowly, I began to lose some weight and feel better.  As I lost weight, wrinkles began to show up more and more.  I started noticing that my skin just looked dry and blah.  Well, my obsessive compulsive personality kicked in (another story)…  I decided to go whole hog, researching and implementing everything I could in my life, to feel good and look beautiful in these mid-life years.  Instead of focusing on everyone around me, I switched gears, and it became all about me, me, me!  That was good in a small way, I guess.  Luckily, my oldest daughter became pregnant about then, and I had something else to temper my obsession and prevent me from becoming over the top narcissistic.  My own sweet mom had taken care of my kids while I worked, so at 53, I happily made the decision to pay it forward, retire from work, and take care of my new granddaughter.

How does all this tie in with my title, whatsoever things are lovely?  Well, my proposed beauty blog encompassing skincare and makeup reviews will give me the outlet I need to focus on  beautiful things that give me joy on a basic physical level.  On a higher plane, I will find even greater joy, and loveliness, while performing my every day duties caring for, training, and loving my granddaughter.  And finally, on the highest dimension, I plan to realize perfect joy in focusing on my spiritual self and my Christian duties as a daughter (my parents are still a huge part of my life), wife, mother, and now my current, and incredibly rewarding role, as a grandmother.  I feel blessed to be given such a huge opportunity to help train and hopefully create many lovely moments in my granddaughter’s life.

These are beautiful and lovely things, indeed.❤