Happy Hearts Day — Chocolate Indulgence

Once upon a time, chocolate was a girl’s friend… then enemy… and now friend again!

Mythbuster (from Drs. Rodan and Fields): Chocolate causes acne.

The overall correlation between diet and acne is still unclear. However, dermatologists now understand that it is not likely to be the cocoa / chocolate component of that Godiva truffle that is behind an acne flare-up, but it could be the sugar that is the culprit.  That’s because foods that are high on the glycemic index (high sugar/carbohydrate foods) are not skin friendly in general. High glycemic foods cause a surge of insulin in the body which may accelerate collagen breakdown and increase oil production (thus increasing the likelihood of breakouts). So regardless of your skin concern, eating healthy foods will always serve you well and help your skin resist the effects of inflammation and stress.

We have all heard recent reports that eating chocolate is actually GOOD for you.  It contains tryptophan, an essential amino acid that is a precursor to seratonin, a mood stabilizer. Cocoa powder is also a powerful antioxidant that protects and frees the skin from free radicals that cause damage to skin layers.

So what does this mean for you??  As with most anything, moderation.  A chocolate or two from that pretty heart box is not going to cause the breakout of the century, but sitting and eating the whole box will cause that nasty insulin surge the doctors talked about.

But, here’s a great way to indulge in some chocolate and improve your skin at the same time:

a diet-friendly chocolate face mask 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream (sour cream will work as well)
  • 3 teaspoons of oatmeal powder

Preparation

Mix ingredients until you get an even consistency.  Apply to a clean face and gently massage to exfoliate the dead skin cell layer.  Leave on for 20 minutes.  Rinse with lukewarm water.

Why not enjoy one of those Godiva truffles during your 20 minute wait?

So, why honey and oatmeal?  You will hear me talk more about the wonders of honey, but it’s added here for its anti-bacterial properties as well as it’s ability to cleanse skin and open clogged pores.  The oatmeal is great for sensitive skin as a gentle yet effective exfoliant (aka micro-dermabrasion).

So now that we busted those chocolate myths and gave you a great recipe for a facial mask, enjoy this day and… INDULGE!!

Want more great skin care tips?  Don’t forget to sign up for my R+F Newsletter, coming soon to your inbox!  Let me know how much you loved this mask after you try it!

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Spark and Hustle Los Angeles

Once upon a time, a girl took a huge leap of faith and it was worth every penny.

It’s been a week since I first sat down to attend #socialvention with Cindy Morrison.  It was the close of the first day of Tory Johnson‘s Spark and Hustle Conference in Los Angeles.  There are 200 women in Tulsa right now running around a room discussing hash-tags and I so wish I was there with them.

This part of my Rodan + Fields journey happened on a total whim.  It went something like this: I was playing on Facebook and a top leader in my company posts a link to a blog.  I follow the leader, so I read it.  It was a great article by Tory Johnson that I will have to try to find and link.  Well, I’m a researcher, so I’m all over the website learning about who Tory Johnson is.  I don’t know about you, but living with a little princess, I don’t often get to watch shows like Good Morning America.  Mickey Mouse yes, GMA no.  Then I see that she is hosting a conference series and it’s kicking off near me.  Oh, and I can do a vendor table at one of the evening events.  But — it’s not cheap, at least not for someone just starting her business while her husband is finishing school in an economy that has hit our savings pretty hard.  So I wait and I resign myself to following Tory on Facebook because it’s all I could do.

Then I see it.  A “black Friday” offer for a discount plus a free vendor table.  I excitedly call my husband and tell him that we need to talk about it when he gets home because it’s a big investment.  I start emailing with Tory’s staff, find out that my company is not already represented, etc.  About 45 minutes later, there I am with my credit card paying for the conference.  Hours later my hubby comes home and asks about it.  “Oh, yeah, um, I couldn’t pass it up and I already registered.”  I knew in my gut that I needed to go, and I couldn’t have been more right.

Focusing on women entrepreneurs, I had the obvious goals — learn more about owning and building my businesses.  I got that, but I left with so much more.  I left with new supports, new mastermind partners, and what I believe will be some life-long friendships.  We laughed, we cried, and we ate too many sweets.  I can’t even begin to describe the experience.  I’m still in awe of the speaker line-up as it was phenomenal.  When I got the topics list prior to the conference, I thought “how am I going to choose which sessions to attend?”  I’m used to having break-outs, but this was different.  We all sat together and had the privilege of listening to each and every speaker with plenty of time to build relationships and networks with the women (and men) who attended and presented.  I can’t tell you how inspired I am each day as posts from these amazing people come across my Facebook and my Twitter.  You can’t have a bad day when you know these incredible people because they pick you right back up and remind you of where you are going.

I could go on and on (and on) about this experience and still not capture it all.

Were you there? I’d love to highlight you in a blog post and add you to my links. Contact me to work on the details.

Are you wanting to be there? Contact me for a special discount code.  If you make one large investment in learning about growing your business in 2011, make sure Spark and Hustle is at the top of that list.  You will not regret it for a second!

Happy (and Healthy) Hearts Month — Shopping for a Cause

Once upon a time, a newlywed couple arrived back home after their wedding.  Life would NEVER be the same.

Four days after our fairytale wedding, my husband and I drove to his parents’ home to retrieve the gifts and other wedding paraphernalia they had brought back for us.  In my old life, that autism specialist life, I lived on my phone when I was away from work.  I was the boss and was admittedly a work-a-holic.   We pulled into the driveway and my husband went into the house while I finished a call.  He soon came running out to tell me that his dad was there and he couldn’t wake him up.  I won’t go into the details, but what I can say is that all of the efforts were to no avail.  Married for only 4 days and I had lost my new father-in-law, my husband had lost his dad, and the not-even-yet-thought-of princess lost the papa she’d never know.

We knew he had a heart condition, congestive heart failure.  He had a pacemaker.  The doctors had wanted to change it out for one with a defibrillator, but he refused.  What we didn’t know is that two years prior, he’d been given 2 or so years to live.

What some of you know and others may not is that each year I donate to charities as our holiday gift to our friends and family.  I’ve donated some of my Aerowyn’s Castle items to good causes, but had not yet thought to link my Rodan + Fields business to a charity.  It was listening to Julia Fikse of Save the Tatas at Tory Johnson’s Los Angeles Spark and Hustle Conference last week that finally pushed that idea into my thought processes.

I’m sure you all know that February is American Heart Month.  But to honor my father-in-law’s passing 5 years ago next month (March 29), I am offering the following from February 1st through the end of March.

For all NEW Preferred Customers, I will give you the option of receiving a check for $14.95 to “refund” your enrollment fee at the end of your first 60 days OR I will donate that same $14.95 to the American Heart Association at the end of March.  It’s your choice.

For all returning Preferred Customers, I will donate 5% of your replenishment order or 10% of any “off-month” orders.  You still get your 10% savings for off-month orders, but are responsible for paying shipping.

For all NEW Business Partners, I will continue to purchase your first set of business cards and name tag.  In addition, I will donate $20 for signing up and 5% of your replenishment order if it occurs before the end of March.

My fund-raising goal: $500.  While it doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s a big goal if you do the math.  Please share this with your friends and family.  Know that you can contribute to a great cause while getting the best skin of your life.  For those who want to determine your own financial success, join me on the Rodan + Fields journey.  What will your legacy be?

It all started with a princess

So who am I and why am I starting a blog?  Why should you read past this sentence?  In a nutshell…

… I DON”T KNOW!  No, really.  I have no idea why anyone will want to read this, but I’m hoping you will.

A little about me: I’m just a mommy who loves her life and does what I can for my family and especially my little girl, hereafter referred to as the princess.

Here is my story.

Once upon a time, a girl in renaissance clothing fell in love with a boy wearing armor.

I’d like to say I met my “knight in shining armor” but he will never be a knight and his armor was far from shiny.  That fairytale romance led to marriage and a while later we were told we were having a little girl. I SWORE she wouldn’t be covered in pink, wouldn’t be frilly foo-foo, and everything else that screamed “Girl!’  Three years later, my daughter’s favorite colors are pink and purple, she wants to grow up to be a princess (specifically Cinderella), and my first ever business as a mompreneur was making tutus, hair accessories, and all of those cutesy boutique items that I couldn’t afford to buy at boutique prices.  Hear more about the crazy journey from there to here as I travel from here to the future.

Retired from my career as an autism specialist, this blog will share the craziness and fun that is Castle Jones.  From tutus to skincare to the princess’s acting career and everything else in between, join me as we share in some of the crazy together.

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