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“It takes a long time to grow an old friend.” John Leonard

It takes a long time to break old lifestyle habits and not just create new ones, but solidify them, get to where they are where you turn to in times of stress or sadness. I’m proud to report that after my unplanned 10-day absence from my blog that I have still (for the most part) stayed the course! My husband and I went to see Brian Regan Saturday night in Kansas City, and a planned a night out at our favorite Italian restaurant Cascone’s. The last time we ate there was in early 2013, we were debating whether or not he should take a job offer that would move us to Manhattan…it is insane to think back on how that one decision changed our lives so much. He took the job, we moved, kids started all new schools, he took a new job a year later, I opened my home daycare…the rest is history. I can’t speak on behalf of the others in my family but despite the struggles we had our first year here, I am still so grateful we moved to Manhattan. I truly love it here and actually feel like I belong (feeling like I belong anywhere is not a feeling to which I am accustomed)! Moving offered me an ‘out’ from several toxic relationships back in my old town, friendships that I was always to chicken to end on my own…I think the universe had a plan, it forced a course in my life that I was too timid to walk on my own.

So, as for diet updates…I had planned on straying for our night out at Cascone’s, so I allowed a “special occasion” cheat night — but JUST for the night, not the entire day. I mean, guys, had you had their oil dipping service appetizer? And their Italian Flag entree? AND a glass of something delicious, sweet and bubbly to accompany it all? If you have not, drop what you’re doing right now and go. Seriously. If you go on a weekend night you get free live jazz, too — EVEN BETTER YET!

My only true weak moments were last night’s dinner and today’s lunch. And to be completely honest, I feel like crap now. Not just emotionally because I let old habits and craving take over, but physically I feel like crap. Tired, unmotivated, hard to concentrate, getting irritated easily. I have only myself to blame, I am currently drinking water and ice cold decaf green tea to help get that junk through my system faster.

I also wanted to give you an update on all my new Beautycounter products I began using January 1. I am happy and proud to report that I have see a HUGE improvement in my skin. First off, I want to say that I am not a consultant and am not trying to sell anything to make money. I have two friends who are consultants and I’d be more than happy to hook you up with either of them if needed! So I’ve been using the Charcoal Cleansing Bar to wash my face every morning and right before bed. It is a little pricey, but I found a hack to extend the life of this little, rectangular, black miracle — I simply wet my silicone facial scrubbie and rub it on the bar until I work up some bubbles, scrub my face for a minute or two, then rinse. I’ve used this bar twice a day for 18 days now and it looks like I’ve barely touched it, you can still see the “B” imprinted in the bar! Twice a week, I apply the No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask after cleansing, it’s a charcoal based mask that draws out all sorts of oiliness and grimies as it dries. Seriously, next time I do it, I am taking an embarrassing picture of my nose after I’ve let it sit for 12 minutes…the amount of oil the charcoal sucks out of my nose pores is DIS–GUST–ING! I simply rinse that away with warm water and a clean wash cloth. Next, I apply one pump of the Rejuvenating Radiance Serum, one pump goes a long way and easily covered my entire face and neck. Once again, this one is a little pricey (I was lucky enough to win this during a Black Friday live stream giveaway on Facebook from one of my consultant friends), but it applies so easily in the thinnest, lightest layer, I am making this one stretch a loooooong ways, too. NEXT! (*imagine me saying that in my best Matt Bellassai voice*) If it’s morning, I apply my Dew Skin Moisturizing Coverage in shade no. 1. I haven’t purchased a daytime moisturizer yet, but this foundation is extremely moisturizing and actually does leave my skin looking all youthful and dewy. I’ll chose this one because it has an SPF 20, and since my skin tone is a nice pasty, pale, European descendant white — I need all the SPF I can get. If it’s before bed, I skip the foundation obviously, and I do two pumps of the Countermatch Recovery Sleeping Cream. Very small amounts dispense, but two pumps is more than enough to cover my face and neck…making this one stretch longer, too!

Sounds like a lot, but I just wanted to give a detailed account of how I’m using my new skin products and eliminating over 130 toxins/chemicals from my facial regime and makeup. My skin is visibly more even in tone, the blackheads on my nose are nearly gone, and not a single blemish since I began using them. So, a big THANK YOU to my two Beautycounter dealers who I teeter totter back and forth between when purchasing things!

And as for my other toxin-eliminating product I switched to, my Native deodorant, I am beyond pleased that it is still working like dream after 2 months now!

All kinds of elimination happening my my life in this post…still eliminating pounds…still eliminating bad habits…eliminated huge amounts of toxins/chemicals from my deodorant and skin/makeup products…touched on how I eliminated toxic people from my life when I moved to the town I now call home…it’s all been to create a better me. I think it’s time for some more tea…and I think hear my daycare kiddos stirring as they near the end of nap time…but before I bid you adieu, I thought a fun addition to incorporate a silly little Facebook thing, the Month of Songs Challenge! Music is an extremely important part of my life, I use it to relate to things every day, it stirs memories, makes me feel all sorts of ways, I use it to express myself, and also I do have that college degree in the subject, too…

I’m going to coordinate this with my starting date here on the 18th so I don’t confuse myself, as I so often do. A song from the year I was born…I’m going with one that I love that shuffles through my iTunes library often, here ya go folks, straight from 1978, it’s “Always and Forever” by Heatwave…and do yourself a favor and listen to the long, extended version, you’re welcome. 😊

~~ Amie

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