Living with keratosis pilaris aka chicken bumps.

If you’re Irish or have sensitive skin, then my guess is that you suffer from keratosis pilaris on the back of your arms like I do. I’ve seen different dermatologists regarding it, but nothing they prescribed helped me. Post college, I was buying Dermadoctor’s pricey KP Duty Scrub and Lotion for years (also available at Sephora here and here). I felt like it was working better than anything the dermatologist ever recommended, but I still wasn’t seeing 100% results. To cut down on cost, I’m experimenting with trying a normal exfoliant on the back of my arms followed by Gold Bond Rough & Bumpy Skin. While it doesn’t seem to give results as good as the Dermadoctor, I think it still works better than anything else I’ve tried. This may be a more cost efficient routine to stick to until the day that I’m professionally photographed in a sleeveless dress.   Which will probably only happen if I’m ever in a wedding party again.

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Do any of you suffer from keratosis pilaris? Comment below with any tips or tricks you may have. Thanks!

A body exfoliant winner.

The last time I was talking about body exfoliants, I was reviewing Frank Body Products. You can read that review here.  I wanted to share with you one of my go to body exfoliators that I love. I found it at Ulta, but noticed that they sell it at CVS too. The SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Hand & Body Scrub  smells delicious and is simple to use in the shower. It leaves the skin soft and smooth and goes right down the shower drain. I like to use this on my arms because I suffer from keratosis pilaris like most other Irish people. I also like to use it on my legs and feet or as a pre self tanner exfoliator. It’s pretty affordable compared to a lot of other products on the market. I just finished my second tub of this stuff, so I decided to give SheaMoisture’s Argan Oil & Raw Shea Hand & Body Scrub a try next. I think this one may be a little more moisturizing for the wintertime. It doesn’t smell as intoxicating as the Hibiscus one, but definitely provides more moisture. It’s probably important to note that neither are moisturizing enough to skip body lotion once you get out of the shower.

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While we’re on the topic of exfoliators, you should check out Lush’s hand scrub which I also mentioned in this post.

Happy exfoliating!

My favorite natural deodorant.

Finding a natural deodorant that works seemed impossible at one point in time. I tried ones by Lavanilla, Meow Meow Tweet, and Fig and Yarrow, but none of them provided the coverage that I needed. The Lavanilla brand never felt like it was really working after an hour.  The ones by Meow Meow Tweet and Fig and Yarrow would wear off after a few hours too.  Out of the three, the Fig and Yarrow one was the least effective. You can forget about using it during the summertime. I did find a natural deodorant that I absolutely love and think it works better than the Dove antiperspirant I was using beforehand. Soapwalla sells this natural deodorant that is as good as all the reviews say. I feel comfortable wearing this for any event. Even for attending a wedding, working in an office environment, or heading to the gym. Instead of buying large sizes of every deodorant, I bought sample sizes of each. That way I could test them all to see which one I like the most. I would not recommend product testing something the day of a special event.  If you’re the type of person that sweats a lot and uses CertainDri at night, then natural deodorant might not be for you.  I have very sensitive skin, so I can’t use anything harsh like that.   However, I would definitely say don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. The Soapwalla deodorant is definitely worth a try.  You have to apply it with your fingertips and sometimes give it a stir during the warm weather, but I don’t mind this at all. Have any of you used natural deodorant before?

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Happy 2016!

Happy New Year my friends! I have a feeling 2016 is going to be a good year. I hope you all enjoyed your holiday season and got some well deserved time for peace and self reflection.  IMG_4305I’m planning a trip to Florida to visit my parents in the spring and another to Colorado in the summertime for a wedding.  I still have Patagonia, New Zealand, Australia, Bali, and Thailand on my mind a lot, but have been unable to organize one of these trips.

Where are you planning to travel to in 2016? Leave a comment with your plans for the new year.

An Awesome Antiguan Thanksgiving ~ November 2015

Kraig and I spent our Thanksgiving in Antigua visiting his parents.  It was so nice to visit them.  We hadn’t seen them since the day after our wedding which was over a year ago. thumb_DSCN3247_1024We spent one day at Catherines Cafe Plage in English Harbour.

thumb_DSCN3247_1024thumb_DSCN3237_1024thumb_DSCN3245_1024thumb_DSCN3239_1024We spent another day at Curtain Bluff which ended up being the most beautiful day weather wise out of our trip.  Make sure to order a rum punch here. This stuff sneaks up on you, so be careful.thumb_DSCN3186_1024thumb_DSCN3194_1024thumb_DSCN3188_1024thumb_DSCN3200_1024thumb_DSCN3183_1024thumb_DSCN3203_1024thumb_DSCN3163_1024thumb_DSCN3170_1024thumb_DSCN3182_1024thumb_DSCN3181_1024Afterwards, we went to Sheer Rocks to watch the sunset from the bar area.

thumb_DSCN3172_1024thumb_DSCN3174_1024We spent Thanksgiving day at Coconut Grove beach because it was close to where we were staying and we wanted to be close to home for the holiday.beach.PNGWe actually had a proper Thanksgiving dinner while in Antigua which was very kind of Kraig’s parents to organize. The show stopper of the meal was a Coconut Pie that was made by a woman on island. I was a bit skeptical to eat Coconut flavored pie, but after one bite I became a coconut pie convert and lover.

Our last full day in Antigua was spent on a sail boat. I didn’t bring my camera  because I was afraid of it getting wet and breaking it. It was fun cruising around the island to see it from a different point of view.

We’ll definitely be venturing back to Antigua at some point.  Let me know what your favorite place in the Caribbean is!  :)

Spending our one year wedding anniversary in New Orleans ~ October 2015

Kraig and I spent our one year wedding anniversary in New Orleans. We stayed at La Belle Esplanade which is walking distance to the French Quarter and City Park.

thumb_IMG_3714_1024thumb_IMG_3815_1024thumb_IMG_3739_1024We checked in late in the afternoon on Friday , so we decided to have dinner nearby at  Cafe Degas.  The walk along Esplanade Avenue is so beautiful with gas lit lamps illuminating the outside of houses along the street.thumb_IMG_3702_1024

thumb_IMG_3708_1024thumb_IMG_3699_1024thumb_IMG_3703_1024The next day we walked over to The French Quarter to do as most tourists do in New Orleans.

DSCN3028DSCN3026IMG_3435DSCN3033DSCN3038IMG_3434We went to the open air market for drinks and a spontaneous order of oysters.thumb_IMG_3735_1024thumb_IMG_3741_1024 We walked around the area for a bit and then took a trolley ride and Uber to Avenue Pub for some beers and lunch.

IMG_3439DSCN3046thumb_IMG_3749_1024Dinner that night was at Lola’s.   This is another restaurant that’s walking distance to where we were staying.IMG_3444thumb_IMG_3759_1024DSCN3060The next day was our 1 year anniversary. We walked over to The Morning Call Coffee Stand to get beignets.We did not go to Cafe Du Monde because the line was out of control when we were walking by it.   Our bNb owners told us that The Morning Call Coffee Stand is just as good. It’s located in a park and there were a lot of local young families there enjoying their Sunday Morning.DSCN3065DSCN3075We went to Dat Dog for lunch and it was the best hot dog I’ve eaten in my life. I usually eat about one-two hot dogs a year around the 4th of July. If I lived in New Orleans, I would definitely be eating them more.thumb_IMG_3774_1024Just when we thought we couldn’t possibly eat another thing we coincidentally walked by District Donuts which was on my list of places to eat at while in New Orleans. So you know, this happened too. Drool. A strawberry lemonade donut. I liked this place a lot more than the donut shops around here in Massachusetts.  They even have donut sandwiches.thumb_IMG_3803_1024We had dinner at Atchafalaya for our anniversary.  It was so good and had great service. It was recommended to us by two different locals of the city.DSCN3102The day after we walked around the Garden District and saw some beautiful mansions in the city. It was the first day during our visit that the sun came out and the temperatures were very hot. Lunch was at the St. James Cheese Company followed by dessert at The Creole Creamery next door. We also grabbed a beer on the outdoor patio at The Bulldug Pub before we went back to the inn to freshen up for the evening.  DSCN3128DSCN3118DSCN3119

DSCN3136thumb_IMG_3800_1024Dinner that night started with a cocktail or two at Bar Tonique before our meal at SoBou. We went to The Spotted Cat Music Club after dinner to catch some tunes.DSCN3138DSCN3142DSCN3148On our last day in New Orleans we ventured out to the Bywater area to eat a BBQ lunch at The Joint. I really loved my meal here. I’ve never been to Austin, Texas to compare it.  However, it is WAY better than anything  BBQ in Massachusetts you will eat.thumb_IMG_3806_1024We also checked out one of the graveyards while we were in New Orleans, but I can’t remember which day this fell on.DSCN3082DSCN3132My favorite thing about New Orleans is the food. Boy is it good! I have to say that the all of these food places were great. We did not have one disappointing meal on our trip.  The people are friendly and there is a laid back atmosphere. I was surprised how many hipster looking people live there that look like they’re straight out of Somerville.

Another great thing about New Orleans is the music. I think we saw three parades during our visit and one of them was Treme Festival.

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I really loved the Bed and Breakfast we stayed at. The innkeepers were great hosts and they served a doughnut from a different bakery in New Orleans daily. I have to admit I’ve never been really big on this whole donut craze. Donuts are like the new cupcakes and I don’t like when a place gets too fancy and sell green tea flavored donuts. Give me chocolate that is not spicy or wrapped in jalapenos. I’m getting off track here, my point is that the donuts they served at breakfast every morning were delicious. The standouts to me were a french chocolate eclair one morning (it’s basically a donut in a different shape) and then the other was a more traditional flavored chocolate glazed donut, but not the standard shape. So all it took was a trip to New Orleans to become a donut lover in life again. I was not a fan of the plain beignets, but I can see the appeal it sparks for other people.

We had a blast visiting New Orleans and I would definitely go back.

 

Beauty staples for your hands during the wintertime.

I think a lot of women are obsessed with trying to keep their hands smooth. If you have dry sensitive skin and live in a cold place like I do, then you’re probably searching for a way to keep your hands moisturized during the winter. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite hand products that I like to use to keep my hands soft and smooth during the winter months.

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I’ll start off by mentioning the SuperGoop hand lotion that has a SPF in it. This is perfect to use year round and I mentioned it before on my blog here.  I keep this stuff in my cubicle at work and slather it on my hands every time after I wash them. I also put it on before I head out the door in the morning unless I’m wearing gloves that day.  Available here, here, and here.

Next up is this awesome hand scrub by Lush available here. Rub it on your hands dry or wet and then rinse it off. If you want a more serious exfoliant, rub it on your dry hands. My hands are always super soft after I use this and I’ll definitely be repurchasing this after it runs out.

Before bedtime, I’ll either apply this Aesop Hand Balm (available here) or the Liz Early Rosemary & Rock Rose Hand Repair (available here).  I think both of these hand creams work really well and I rotate which one I use depending on my mood. I love the smell of the Liz Earle one.

Last, but not least is the L’Occitane dry skin cream and their amande (almond) one (available here).  It comes in a small size that can fit right into your purse. Most people know that L’Occitane has awesome hand creams and I love stocking up on their mini size ones during the colder months here in New England. While I’m on the subject of travel size hand creams,  I should mention the Eos Travel Size Hand Cream that I brought on my carry on bag recently when I went to Antigua (available here).  I got mine at Target, so you can probably find it there in person too. I love the flip top on this which is very convenient for airports and airplanes.

Well that sure is a lot of hand products. I would definitely recommend the lush hand scrub and one of these lotions to keep your hands moisturized.