Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Simone France: A Review

Simone France recently updated their website and has added a line of body care products. I was asked to review these new items and happily agreed; I had a great experience with their line of facial skincare products.

(You can view my previous review of the Simone France facial skincare products here.)

Simone France sent me their Body Duo which is their 8 oz Body Buff and 8 oz Body Glow.

The Body Buff is an amazing exfoliating sugar scrub that has an amazingly refreshing lemon scent. The scent is light, but pleasing and I was happy to find that it did not leave a slippery surface in the shower. The scrub is very high quality and works exceptionally well. I have been using it on my elbows, knees and heels with great results. I have very dry skin on my body and my feet tend to be a bit rough looking due to my running. (The Body Buff I received was yellow, not white as pictured above.)

I used the scrub in the shower and loved the scent and quality of the product.

The Body Glow is a moisturizer for the body. The scent is subtle but refreshing and it moisturizes very well overall. It's a great companion to the Body Buff; I felt the two in combination helped with my dry skin. I found that the Body Glow keeps my skin moisturized throughout the day.

Overall, I would highly recommend both products. When it comes to body care products, you get what you pay for---and Simone France is a worthy investment.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary Body Duo from Simone France for review. All opions are my own. All photos are from Simone France.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lover of the Light

So much has been said about the unthinkable tragedy that occurred on Friday in Newtown, Connecticut. I read article after article, finding myself awash in a sea of emotion. Part of me doesn't want to know the graphic facts of the story, but I find myself compelled to understand the stories of those beautiful children and selfless educators who lost their lives that day.

What I can gather is this:

Some wish to turn it into a political debate.

Others want us to shed light on mental health.

Many want someone or something to blame.

But the only thing that I can think to do is look to the light.

And by that I mean dwelling on the good in others. The love that we have for one another.

The simple joys that bring us happiness, even in the midst of unspeakable horror.

Yes, the world is full of evil. There will be people who wish to tear the light from us if given the opportunity. Evil is real and it does exist. There are those who wait in the shadows to do things so evil that we cannot begin to comprehend the unanswered whys that haunt us afterwards.

Before taking my current position in private sector PR and social media, I worked as a PR Director for a school district for over 6 years. I am also married to a teacher and am from a family of teachers. I know all too well the deep love a teacher feels for his or her students--- the ones they always call their kids.

Most people don't often have the opportunity to see what a kindergarten classroom is like, but it really is a beautiful place. A place of innocence, curiosity, energy, and beauty. It is nearly impossible not to walk into a room of small children and not spend your entire stay with a smile on your face. The honesty and wonder in the eyes of those children is infectious. And kindergarten teachers? They are saints: patient, kind, nurturing and filled with love.

That was all I could think about on Friday.

And I realized that the instinct to love and protect really is universal, no matter the cost.

It would be easy to get angry---find someone or something to blame for what happened---but I have always believed that even senseless, terrible things contain a lesson hidden deep within.

For me, it's refocusing on the light. The promise of hope. The good that still exists, even in the darkness.

In the middle of the night, I may watch you go
There'll be no value in the strength of walls that I have grown
There'll be no comfort in the shade of the shadows thrown
But I'll be yours if you'll be mine

Stretch out my life and pick the seams out
Take what you like, but close my ears and eyes
Watch me stumble over and over

I have done wrong, you build your tower
But call me home and I will build a throne
And wash my eyes out never again

But love the one you hold
And I'll be your gold
To have and to hold

A lover of the light

Mumford & Sons, Lover of the Light

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ready yet? How about now?

It happened again: the adoption agency invited us to be part of another home study class. In case you haven't been keeping track of these things, this is the second time an invitation has been extended to us to attend said class.

And, yet again, I'm left in a place where it feels like I need to decide how I feel--rather than how I'm supposed to feel. It really is a difficult dance between what I want and what I'm supposed to be. Is every woman really born to be a mother? Are some meant to be something else, something less nurturing and more...untethered? Why else was I born this way---unable to have children--if it wasn't part of some grand design?

Life is often about making a lot of long term plans centered around logic. You plan for retirement and other incredibly boring things, knowing that someday you will be thankful for your foresight and astute planning.

I've stopped trying to plan everything about my life. No preparations. No timing. In fact, those things mean nothing to me anymore. Except retirement--I've been planning for that since age 22. But when it comes to kids, things feel much less structured.

It's a luxury, I suppose, to have a lack of questions rummaging around my brain. Most women feel like motherhood is something to be planned for (unless, of course, you ask my mother who got pregnant with my little brother at age 40) and spend a lot of their lives doing so.

People tell us that our bodies were made to have children, a thought I hesitate to endorse. But what I feel is based upon walking around in a body was made for not having children.

When it comes to adoption and motherhood, I'm still in a place where I don't feel compelled in a specific direction. From where I stand, life is still pretty amazing--even without children.

But when our names came up on that list again, I found my mind drifting to a place that feels an awful lot like guilt.

Guilt for all the people who want something for us we don't necessarily want ourselves.

Guilt for the dreams and plans that were made, then crushed, and finally reborn into something unconventionally beautiful, albeit slightly damaged.

I'm not unhappy. I don't yearn for anything. I have everything I want.

But knowing that my name is on a list that will continue to call to me time and time again sometimes makes me feel like I'm obligated to say something other than thanks but no thanks.

My heart tells me the time is still not right--and that I will know when it is.


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