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Archive for November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

20LB_LOLCAT_tday

The turkey is roasting. The salad is done. The pies are done. The sweet potatoes are waiting to get their marshmallows toasted and the green beans are ready for a flash- saute at the last minute. The cats are curled up on my mother and hubby is watching the game.

Time once again for a gratitude break.

It’s been a great year and I have so much to be thankful for — including all of you, the folks who read this blog.  I appreciate that you’re here, and I love reading all of your comments. It’s what keeps me coming back even when my regular life gets hectic. Thank you!

Here’s a glimpse of what last year’s Thanksgiving was like at our house…

Sahara supervises the carving of the turkey...

Sahara supervises the carving of the turkey…

This year promises to be just as good.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving (and Channukah, if you celebrate that, too!) Best wishes from our house to yours!

Today’s haiku for the Weekly Challenge:

Love, health, abundance…
Gratitude comes easy on this
Turkey feastival.

Talking Turkey…. among other things

This morning I woke up and found a package on my doorstep.

On my doorstep

On my doorstep.

Squee!  My first delivery from the Farm Fresh to You organic produce club!  I met a sales rep at a party two weeks ago and thought it sounded like a great idea: locally grown organic produce, delivered right to my door.  It wasn’t expensive, so I signed myself up!  I chose the non-cook selection with a delivery rate of once every 3 weeks.

The contents of the box!

The contents of the box!

Inside was: 2 bunches of broccoli, one bunch of fresh spinach, one head of romaine lettuce, a bunch of carrots, a bunch of radishes,  a dozen clementines, 4 satsuma oranges, 3 fuyu persimmons, 3 kiwis, 4 firm apples and a small box of fresh cranberries.

Yum!

Now we are deep in pre-T-day prep.  Due to the dietary constraints of my mother (gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, legume-free, peanut-free), I made some changes to the traditional menu. Instead of stuffing, we will have wild rice with chestnuts and mushrooms.  Instead of wheat flour to thicken the gravy, I will use sorghum flour (it works very well as a sauce thickener). There will be no Mac-n-cheese. And I’ll make a crustless portion of the pumpkin pie.

Menu

Tossed Salad
(organic romaine with spinach, carrots, radishes and apples with Trader Joe’s Orange Champagne Vinegar and Olive oil on the side for those of us who dress our salads)

Green Beans with Almonds
Sauteed in Olive oil with fresh garlic

Mashed Potatoes
Optional Butter on the side

Wild Rice Stuffing
Korean Wild Rice Mixture cooked in broth with added Quinoa, Mushrooms, Chestnuts, Onions and lots of Garlic and just a hint of toasted sesame oil

Turkey
The star of the show, Brined and Roasted, Carved to order

Cranberry Orange Relish
Courtesy of Trader Joe’s

Sweet Potato CasseroleYams, Pineapple bits, fresh grated ginger, a dash of rum and brown sugar,
topped with miniature marshmallows

Pumpkin Pie
Featuring coconut milk instead of dairy

I decided to try brining the turkey this year.  I have heard so many chefs wax lyrical on NPR as I drive around town that I just had to try it for myself.  So the first thing I did was google “Brining a turkey”.  I found two recipes that looked interesting: one from Sweet Savory Life and the other from the House Goddess herself, Martha Stewart.

Alice from Sweet Savory Life had the brilliant idea of using an oven bag to brine her turkey in!  I don’t own a big enough bucket and the thought of leaving my turkey in an ice-filled cooler in the garage (a la Alton Brown’s suggestion from an interview on All Things Considered) just seems foolhardy in this SoCal climate (it was 73F at my house today, November 27, 2013).  But an oven bag contains the liquid and fits in any container that I would normally use to store a turkey in the fridge.

Alice’s recipe calls for salt, sugar, water, apple cider vinegar and some spices.  My hubby hates vinegar of any sort, so I took inspiration from Martha Stewart and used a dry reisling instead.

My Brine Recipe for a 13lb Turkey:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup dry reisling6 bay leaves
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch sage
Herbs fresh from the garden except for the bay leaves
1 tbl garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
12 cups water
1 oven bag

Dissolve salt and sugar in 4 cups of boiling water and allow to cool.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Remove giblets and neck from turkey. Rinse turkey and put into bag. Pour brine mix into bag which is in a large container. Close the bag. Put the whole thing in the fridge until ready to roast. Rinse well before rubbing with butter or olive oil and lots of crushed garlic. Roast as usual.

I am debating butterflying the turkey and resting it on top of the stuffing. There is much talk about how stuffing a turkey creates  a salmonella factory in your oven… but I’ve always stuffed my turkeys… for the past 30 years, and no-one has ever had a problem. I’ve also always used bread for my stuffing.  This year is different and we shall see how adventurous I feel in the morning.

That is the plan.  I will report the results tomorrow.

Do you have a game plan for your Thanksgiving Day dinner?

Today’s Haiku for the challenge:

Chop, mince, dice, prepare
Cook what I can in advance
T-Day marathon

 

Pacifica Mineral Eyeshadows: Is this True Love?

I’ve been aware of Pacifica perfumes and richly scented lotions for a long time (and LOVE their Malibu Lemon Blossom scent for summer). So imagine my delight and surprise when I saw Pacifica eyeshadow palettes at both Target and my local health foods store!

So, I naturally, supported my local stores by buying one from Target and one from Sprouts…

Enlighten Eye Brightening Eyeshadows

Enlighten Eye Brightening Eye Shadows. From left to right on the palette: Skinny Dip, a matte nude; Coral Sand, satin shadow; Golden, shimmer shadow; Urchin, “jeweled purple”

The first palette is Enlighten Eye Brightening Mineral Eye Shadows.

The Pacifica website says:

An incredibly innovative formula that pushes mineral makeup color to new bounds.  Rich, lasting, creaseless eye shadows are infused with coconut water for a velvety, cream-like finish.  These four highly pigmented mineral satin makeup and iridescent shades are specially curated, designed to brighten the eyes and make you look gorgeous and awake.  (Even when you did not get a good night’s sleep!)

Comes in 4 shades: Skinny Dip, a soft nude; Coral Sand, a lovely satin, Golden, a rich shimmery shade, and Urchin, a gorgeous warm purple with gold undertones. All are very well pigmented and work well with or without an eyeshadow primer.

I love all these colors except for Golden which is way out of my comfort zone.  But with the holidays approaching, I may try it with a deep bronze and black liner.  It seems like a very dressy color.

Skinny Dip and Coral Sand are perfect everyday, neutral lid colors. Urchin is great as a liner or even in the crease.  I use a damp brush to apply it as a liner and that seems to really bring out the duotone character.

Pacifia Mystical Supernatural Eye Shadows

Pacifia Mystical Supernatural Eye Shadows. From left to right: Opal, pinky white satin; Celestial, shimmery beige; Moonbeam, shimmery lavenderish taupey color, Stargazer, blue-violet richness

The second palette is Mystical Supernatural Mineral Eye Shadows. The four colors are Opal, a lovely pinky- shell color that’s perfect for the inner corners or as a lid or highlight color; Celestial, a warm beige, Moonbeam, a delightful soft lavender-taupe that works well as either a lid color or in the crease, and Stargazer, a gloriously rich blue-violet that I LOVE as a liner. (NOTE: on the website, the colors for Moonbeam and Celestial seem to be mismatched to the colors on the palette… so I choose to label Color #2 Moonbeam and Color #3 Celestial because the descriptions make more sense that way… I could, however, be totally wrong.)

I use the Mystical Palette at least a couple times a week and find all the colors very wearable.  I ADORE Stargazer; it’s the perfect bluey-purple that makes my eyes look green!  Most blue eyeshadows make my eyes look gray, but this one has enough purple that it brings out my green tones. LOVE!

How do I love these shadows?  Let me count the ways….

1. Soft, very blendable colors that work well with almost any complexion.

2. Creamy powders that glide on smoothly.

3. Richly pigmented.

4. The packaging has henna designs and is ultra-cute.

5. They smell faintly of coconut.

6. They’re so pretty!

7. Affordable.

8. Vegan and Cruelty-free

9. Available at my local Target! (and health foods store)

10. Generous pan sizes, but not a ginormous palette; easy to pack.

I’m sure I can come with more…

5stars

Today’s beauty haiku for the Weekly Haiku Challenge:

Pacifica eyes:
sunrise and sunset colors
frame my world windows

Review of Meaningful Beauty Creme de Serum

I received a sample of Meaningful Beauty’s Creme de Serum from Influenster’s Voxbox program (#Meaningfulbeauty, #Influenster, #Voxbox) a week ago.

#MeaningfulBeauty, #influenster

“I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.” #MeaningfulBeauty, #influenster

 

The rules for using this serum were to apply nightly.  According to the website, this product is only one of a whole system of products designed to work together.

I found the list of ingredients on Paula’s Choice website since neither the package I received nor the Meaningful Beauty website had them listed.

Ingredients: Water, Cyclopentasiloxane, Glycerin, Neopentyl Glycol Diheptanoate, Pentylene Glycol, Castor Isostearate Succinate, Butylene Glycol, Polymethylsilsesquioxane, C30-45 Alkyl Cetearyl Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Cucumis Melo (Melon) Fruit Extract, Elaesis Guineensis (Palm) Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Soluble Collagen, Maltooligosyl Glucoside, Decarboxy Carnosine Hcl, Hexapeptide-9, Tripeptide-3, Saccharomyces/Zinc Ferment, Cholesterol, Tocotrienols, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lecithin, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Dimethicone, Ethylhexylglycerin, Silica Dimethyl Silylate, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Ethylhexyl Hydroxystearate, Hydroxypropyl Guar, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Polysilicone-11, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Hexylene Glycol, Denatured Alcohol, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Iron Oxides, And Titanium Dioxide.

What the company claims the serum will do:

This crème de la crème treatment takes a triple approach to combating the signs of aging with three powerful anti-aging ingredients: superantioxidant melon complex, anti-aging peptides and hyaluronic acid. Combining the power of a serum with the rich, moisturizing effects of a crème, this super-boost is designed to help protect, increase hydration and prevent the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

 

My experience: This is a lovely product.  It has such a pretty peach and clear swirl. The pump dispenser gives just the right amount with one pump and is very hygenic.  The serum feels silky smooth going on and absorbs quickly. It has a light fragrance that disappears quickly after application.  I really wanted to like this product. However, as a solo treatment, it left my skin parched and breaking out.  Since I did not want other products to influence this one, I cleansed with CeraVE and didn’t use anything else after using this at night. After 2 days of this, I developed small pimples by my nose. By day 4, I had a small pimple on my forehead and now I have 3 small pimples on my forehead and 4 near my nose. There are also dry patches on my cheeks.  Time to stop the experiment.

What went wrong? I am not sure. It is possible that I am sensitive to an ingredient in the list.  It is also possible that I need more moisture and my skin is reacting to not getting the extra moisturizers I usually slather on.

I am going back to the sensitive skin protocol (CeraVE cleanser and rich CeraVE cream) until my skin returns to normal again. I may try Meaningful Beauty’s Creme de Serum again in conjunction with other moisturizers in the future… but since I have 3 product systems in the queue, that re-test will have to wait.

2starsGiving this 2 stars — even though it was a freebie!.  It did not come with an ingredient list (and I had to hunt to find one), and the instructions were more about marketing than information.  If my skin had liked this product, I would rate it much higher… but there you go. If I had purchased this, I would ask for a refund.  Meaningful Beauty DOES guarantee its products for 60 days.

This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge is for a Haiku a day:

Meaningful Beauty:
pump bottle pretty potion 
age marches forward

 

Friday Fitness: Book Review of “Honey, Do You Need A Ride: Confessions of a Fat Runner”

exercise-woman

It has not been a stellar week for actual fitness.  Both the Hubby and I have been sick with the upper respiratory crud that is making the rounds out here.  I have manged to get in a few short walks, but mostly have been resting… aka, napping and reading.

Since I was in no shape to get out walking, I decided to read about someone else who had done a half marathon… and a quick stroll through Amazon.com lead me straight to Jennifer Graham’s “Honey Do You Need a Ride: Confessions of a Fat Runner

HOney_Do_You

I was hooked within the first couple pages… “the spirit cries ‘gazelle’. But the shadow yells ‘walrus.’” YES, I cried, “That’s ME!”  I have felt that feeling, felt the wind in my hair and then glanced into a picture window only to see it was just me: overweight and not very fast…. I try to avoid looking in that window as I go past every morning….

Jennifer is from South Carolina.  I am from Tennessee. She is a self-confessed slow runner who is also fat (her definition).  I am also slow and fat.  She has 4 kids and 2 donkeys and….OK, no more similarities; my life is very calm indeed… But, still, I felt camaraderie as I read her book. I cheered her triumphs and felt sad at her losses, gave a fistpump when Pre (Steve Prefontaine, the Olympic running legend who has been dead for a few decades, agreed to become her coach) and laughed at the antics of Foggy and Jo, her two donkeys.  I watched as she trained and cross-trained for her half-marathon. I felt her longing to find her Tribe.

Confessions of a Fat Runner is a very engaging book. It’s breezily written, but full of depth. It’s hysterically funny, but with the kind of humor so grounded in reality that also makes you cry. I laughed out loud a lot, cried a bit and yelled occasionally while reading.

And she is not afraid to put it out there in print: running does not equate to weight loss. You can run.  You can run a lot.  And you can still have those extra, pesky pounds. The truth is real. But it does not make you any less of a runner. Running makes you a runner. Day in, day out, come rain or sun or bad days…. if you run, you are a runner.

If you are a runner, you will love this book. As a walker, I loved this book right up until the moment she declared in the next to last chapter: “I believe walking has its benefits, but running has more…

And in that moment, I, as a walker, felt dissed.  Prior to that statement, I felt part of the tribe, but after that statement, I clearly am not.

Sigh.

We walkers get no respect. Everyone expects walkers to be wanna-be runners. And if we don’t run after a certain amount of time walking, then there’s something wrong with the picture. We’re physically damaged or mentally weak or both.

Sigh.

I would like to run, but can’t (which makes the physically damaged part of the myth true).  I have made peace with my limitations and choose to walk instead of lamenting that I can never run. I choose to walk instead of sitting on the couch. I choose to walk fast because it’s fun.

Those of us who walk do so without the benefit of glossy magazines devoted to our sport. We walk despite the condescension of runners. We walk for a variety of reasons and in a variety of ways… with dogs or without, fast or ambling, with or without poles or canes. We continue walking because we love it, because it makes us feel amazing.

I guess I will have to write my own book on the triumphs of long-distance walking… and find my own tribe.

Three months in Honolulu next spring should be enough time… at least, it will be a start…

Trying something new

After I finished my Influenster assignment with the Dr.Scholls Active Series insoles, I was certain I’d never be asked to review anything else again… after all, I am not on Vine or Vimeo or much else… and I don’t always remember the required #hashtags…

So imagine my surprise when I got an email from Influensterinforming me that I’d been selected to try an anti-aging product from Meaningful Beauty.  And it arrived in the mail today!  Woo hoo! #MeaningfulBeauty #Influenster Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, free sample!!!

Influenster_MB_serum_sample

My skin and my schedule have calmed down so I’m definitely ready to try a new product!  In order to see the real benefits of this product, I’ll stick to very basic cleansing and moisturizing (CeraVe cleanser and CeraVe Cream and a daily foundation without whitening agents) and I’ll check back after a couple of weeks to see if I notice a difference.

What I’m hoping for: some firming around the eyes, some evening out of pigmentation, good hydration and no irritation. To be honest, I have fairly low expectations since this cream doesn’t contain any retinoids which are the only thing I’ve tried that have created dramatic results in the past… but we shall see.

Have you tried anything from Meaningful Beauty?

Friday Fitness: What a difference a goal makes

I have been floundering in the area of fitness (and weight loss), doing my morning walks without real purpose or focus.  They haven’t been bad.  I average about 3 miles per morning… and because of them I walked my fastest race ever last saturday: 5k in 46 minutes!

ElectricRun_selfie

I got “dressed” for the occasion with Kryolan UV-reactive facepaint… the glowglasses came with the registration packet!

And the race starts!  All EDM and groovy lights along the Del Mar Racetrack!

And the race starts! All EDM and groovy lights along the Del Mar Racetrack!

But, I didn’t have a plan.  I was just going on auto-pilot — which is fine to stay healthy when times are crazy-busy — which they are through this week-end. (I’ll be at San Marcos Middle School’s Fall Festival tomorrow from 11-4pm, then at the Zen Sanctuary Open House from 5:30 – 9:00pm and at Seaport Village (near the Carousel) on Sunday from noon until 5:00pm. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by, mention this blog and get a free henna or glitter design!)

However, a goal gives purpose and a plan gives structure.

And now I have a goal.  The Hapalua Half Marathon on April 13, 2014 in Honolulu, HI.  (We will be there for hubby’s sabbatical this spring)

So, of course I do what readers always do: I found a book and its corresponding website to guide me: Marathoning for Mortals, written by John “the Penguin” Bingham and Coach Jenny Hadfield.  I’m about a quarter of the way through the book and getting pretty stoked.

I can do this!  In fact, I have twice as much time to prepare as needed, so I can REALLY do this!

The hubby thinks I’m a little crazy… but then, he was miler in high school and was all about speed.  I’m not built for speed, but I have discovered that I do like distance: the first mile is just a warm up…

This is what I have been doing:

M: 3 miles, moderate
T: 3 miles, moderate
W: 3.5 miles, moderate
Th: 2 miles, fast, strength workout at gym, 2 miles on treadmill
F: 4 miles, moderate

And if I’m lucky, then I’ve been doing about 3 miles on Saturday and Sunday mornings, too. Which gives me about 20.5 miles per week give or take a few. Not too shabby.  I could easily walk a 10k tomorrow.

But if I really want to test my limits… and I realize that I do…. then I need to step up my game.

One of the keys to that is increasing my distance at least one day per week — which has been difficult given that I’ve been working 7 days a week… but that is going to change by the middle of December… and then I will have the time to start increasing my mileage each week.  I also have no real cross training on my schedule.  Strength work is good, but I need to not do the treadmill that day, but try something else such as the bicycle or a zumba class. And apparently, I need to schedule some REST days, too!

And I’ve been remiss in the nutrition department… it’s much easier to pick up a pizza than cook a real meal when I’m working so many back-to-back gigs. After this week-end, my schedule will lighten up and I can once again, focus on making sure we get enough fresh fruits and vegetables as well as lean protein and quality carbs. I am joining a friend in a nutrition challenge next week — and hopefully, that will carry through the rest of the year.

I’ll keep you posted.

 

My Five Minute Face

Several of the beauty bloggers I follow do challenges every Monday.  This Monday, the Make-Up Wars challenge was a 5-minute face, starting with Gouldylox Reviews.

Each blogger made her own rules of what was crucial and what wasn’t; the only stipulation was that the end result take 5 minutes or less.

It sounded like a fun challenge, and one that I could enjoy since I’m always looking for shortcuts so I can spend more time drinking coffee with my hubby in the morning before dashing off to the office.

Here is my naked face.  It’s a little pink because I’d just finished a 4 mile walk a half hour before.

Good morning... I really need a cuppa joe and some MAKEUP!

Good morning… I really need a cuppa joe and some MAKEUP!

 

Here are the products I used:

N_5Min_Makeup

In order of application:

  • The Face Shop; Face It Aura Color Control Cream
  • The Face Shop adorable Meex Petit Cheek Stick in Coral PongPong
  • Benefit’s Gimme Brow
  •  Maybelline Color Tattoo Metal 24 hour Eyeshadow in Barely Branded
  • Urban Decay 24/7 glide-on Pencil in Demolition (from last year’s Ocho Loco collection)
  • e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting powder, also dusted on forehead and nose to cut shine
  •  Covergirl LashBlash Clump Crusher Mascara in Black
  • Mineral Fusion Lipstick in Precious Gem

And here are closer looks at some newer products:

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium

Benefit Gimme Brow in Light/Medium. I love how easy this is to use!

and

The Face Shop's Lovely Meex Petit Cheek Stick in Coral PongPong

The Face Shop’s Lovely Meex Petit Cheek Stick in Coral PongPong: Blush just doesn’t get any cuter than this!

 

e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting powder

e.l.f. High Definition Undereye Setting powder. Really keeps any eyeliner on my lower lashline in place, and also reduces shine anywhere else you put it.

 

and the final result

N_MakeupFace2

and with glasses

N_MakeupFace2glasses

 

 

 

Fresh as a Daisy… Lavilin deodorant cream

Earlier this summer, I had my first bout with an unexplained rash… hives or eczema. It coincided with two product changes: 1) switching from regular antiperspirant to a “clinical strength” waterproof one… 2) trying a shampoo sample.

I stopped using the shampoo and switched to a lower strength antiperspirant.

But then the rash/hives/eczema (Doctors do not have a definitive diagnosis) returned, so I decided to try something radical… a deodorant that has NO aluminium anything. And that is when I saw Lavilin Deodorant Cream at my local health foods store and decided to give it a try.

Button_PAID

Lavilin_deodorant

It is definitely different from any other deodorant/ antiperspirant I’ve seen!

What the Lavilin Website Says: One application provides under-arm odor protection for days. Effectively neutralizes perspiration odor in the underarm area without the use of harsh chemicals. Daily activities such as showering do not interfere with Lavilin’s effectiveness.

Product Ingredients: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil & Hydrogenated Castor Oil & Copernica Cerifera (Carnauba) Wax,  Zinc Oxide, Potato Starch (modified), Talc (pharma), Triethyl Citrate, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Extract, Glycine Soya, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Tocopherol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Lactose, Milk Protein, Bifida Ferment Lysate, Fragrance, O-Cymen-5-Ol.

What  I say: I have been using this for about 3 weeks. It is a thick cream and the instructions say to apply daily for about 7 days before you can reduce applications to once a week. I am a nervous nelly and have not been able to get myself to go for a whole week without reapplication.  Three days is my limit due to paranoia about stinkiness… I walk 3-4 miles most mornings and also haul equipment to and from gigs and I don’t glow, I sweat.

This product does not stop sweating, just the odor caused by bacteria feeding on that sweat… I have not put it to the summertime working outdoors sweat odor test because it is the wrong season, but so far I am impressed.  There have been no incidents of malodor, and even after 3 days without reapplying, I still smell neutral.

And neutral is what I want.  I don’t want my deodorant to compete with my perfume any more than I want to smell like sour body odor.

I wish it were less messy to apply.  The cream is thick and although it comes with a small spatula, I found the applicator too flimsy to use more than twice. Fingers are perfectly adequate to use, but then you have the added step of washing your hands after application… which definitely adds extra time to my morning routine, although I only need reapply every few days as opposed to every day…. so I suppose it all evens out in the end.

4stars

 Have you heard of Lavilin?  Have you ever tried a cream deodorant?  Thoughts on antiperspirants vs. deodorants? I am finding the switch to be a mental adjustment since I’ve been fighting sweat since I was 12… and now I am trying to embrace the sweat without getting paranoid about the scent… not easy for someone raised on Secret commercials…

Relax and Rejuvenate… a day at the Spa

I’m not usually a spa girl… I’m more of a spa-wannabe girl, wishing I could spend a day of indulgence but too busy and too broke to make it happen.

But yesterday, both time and cash fell into place.  Spa 33 in El Cajon is having a pumpkin facial special this month… and I had both free time and a massage scheduled. So I added the facial to the schedule, and thus began my afternoon of bliss.

Spa33_door

It started with the gentle pulling and pummelling by Nell, the massage therapist with hands of gold!  Since I’ve been experiencing lots of fun symptoms of the hormonal shifting so common at my age, she used a doTerra oil blend called ClaryCalm in her carrier oil. Between the heavenly scents of clary sage, lavender, roman chamomile and cedarwood and Nell’s skillful touch, I was soon a purring lump of putty on the table.

After the massage, I floated to the sauna for a half hour of dry heat which deepened the effects of the massage.

Spa33_sauna_copy

I was barely coherent when I went for my pumpkin enzyme facial…

Lacey, the esthetician, asked me questions about my skin type and history… then she cleansed and evaluated it under a high-powered light.  The facial was an hour of bliss: mask on, then mask off with a hot towel, another mask on, then more shoulder and neck massage, mask off and another hot towel and a final mask on before it was time to get dressed and check out.

All of the products Lacey used were from a local company, Dr. D. Schwab (which is manufactured by CA Botana: a California manufacturer of organic botanical skin and personal care products for Sea Enzyme, Doctor D. Schwab, and Ambrosia Aromatherapy as well as private label products for spas and individuals. CA Botana is located in San Diego, CA.)

After being cleansed with the Herbal Foam Cleanser, which is a fairly basic, mild non-soap cleanser and toned with the Herbal Toner, Lacey applied the star of the facial: the Pumpkin Enzyme Mask:

doctor_d._schwab_pumpkin_enzyme_mask_professional_8oz
According to the website, it’s FEATURES AND BENEFITS are:

  • Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo) Puree, Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo) Seed Extract, Pumpkin (Cucurbita Pepo) Enzyme Ferment activate enzyme stimulation.
  • Soy Lecithin (Phospholipids) & Green Tea (Thea sinensis) Extract are used as a delivery system and anti oxidant.
  • Amino Acids, Glycine Soja and Panthenol together form a special Amino Acid cocktail in liposomes, acting as a free radical scavenger and representing the activity of superoxide dismutase.
  • Vitamin A Palmitate & E Acetate provide moisture balance
  • Cinnamomum Cassia Leaf Oil & Clove (Eugenia Caryophyllus) Leaf Oil provide a natural scent as well as a peeling effect.

After this mask was removed, Lacey applied a second mask, the Ginkgo Lift® with Wrinkle Filler, which has a very vague description on the website:

Discover the instant rejuvenator for your skin – now even more effective with the added benefit of a Wrinkle Filler. A breakthrough formula for a “visible lift”. Technologically advanced with multiple complexes of natural extracts, skin smoothing & lifting properties. Promotes optimum results:

  • A younger & firmer look
  • Diminished fine lines
  • Your overall skin condition appears significantly smoother and a youthful glow is restored to your skin

A must for today’s stressful skin condition!

Fortunately, the Dr. Schwab blog had a slightly more useful description:

A moisturizer and wrinkle filler which immediately reduces the appearance of lines and wrinkles and hydrates for a smooth, radiant complexion. Natural extracts, proteins and polymers are encapsulated in our Alphasomes® skin delivery system for targeted delivery of active ingredients. Active ingredients include Grape Stem Cells to boost skin stem cells, powerful Peptides to reverse the signs of aging, and Sodium Hyaluronate and Ceramides to plump skin. This power packed moisturizer gives skin an instant lift and smoothes wrinkles for a younger looking appearance.

And when that mask was done, Lacey finished up with the AM/PM moisturizer, with grape stem cells, anti-oxidant blend, organic herbs, extracts and amino acids in  Dr. Schwab’s advanced Alphasomes® skin care delivery system to protect and hydrate the skin.

Some of the wording from the company seems like marketing BS to me, but my skin did feel amazing and today it’s still soft and brighter with no irritation or break-outs.

Crystal ball says: There might be a trial of Dr. D. Schwab products in the future… especially since the Retinol Rejuvenate Night Cream is within my budget range.

Have you heard of Dr. D. Schwab products? Have you ever tried them?