Sunday, December 4, 2016

R and F Journey Cont. + A Review

After about a week of waiting, my R+F products (UNBLEMISH regimen) came in the mail and of course I opened it right away. I mean, who doesn't love opening packages? In addition, since I know how my face is and how acne treatments typically dry my face out, I purchased the SOOTH Sensitive Skin Treatment to help combat any irritation or redness I might encounter. I wanted to give my face, and the products, every chance to work properly and to be as gentle as possible so I followed the directions to the T. With the UNBLEMISH regimen, there is an acclimation period for your face, so you start out only using it once a day, every other day.

So I did just that, despite how my brain was telling me "once a day every other day will never be enough..." 

But even after the second or third wash, my face was already feeling smoother. Less bumps was a small improvement and something worth celebrating. I also hadn't had any major problems with drying or irritation (thanks to SOOTH). 

By the end of week two (up to using once a day, everyday), I was basically flabbergasted. Smoother texture, no new breakouts, less blackheads, and less visible acne scars. It was improving my skin where no topical product had been able to touch in the past. I remember thinking to myself, "this is a brand I could get behind."

Now it's week three... just 3 short weeks and my face is as clear as its been in a loooongg time. It's not perfect. Just like my life, it's a work in progress, but it is so good. My confidence has gone up so much, and I can't wait to see how I feel with no acne! I had totally lost hope that an acne free life would ever be a possibility. I don't think I'll be using the 60 day money back guarantee. 
***Now these are not my results, because I haven't finished my full 60 days (those will be coming soon), but this woman's acne looks and is located in a very similar location as mine.***

Stay tuned. Next blog will talk about how Duane and I reached the decision to join the R+F biz. :)

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Beginning of my R + F Journey

I first heard about Rodan and Fields, probably about 3 years ago. I would see it occasionally on Facebook through my friend Katie and think, "That's cool, but those sort of businesses aren't for me." I also didn't have the extra funds for skin care. Duane and I had just moved from Georgia to Tennessee and we were trying to get his musical career off the ground and trying to find our place in Nashville. We had left the comfort of our church family and we were desperately searching for community. 

For the next three years, I watched Katie grow her business and have a lot of successes. All the while, I was busting my butt as an RN and wondering if I could really work as a nurse for the next 35+ years. At the same time, my longing to expand our mini-family was growing and I couldn't wrap my head around how I would be able to 1. leave my baby at home all day, and 2. afford child-care. I was praying for God to show us his path, to guide us and to provide a way for us to move forward, out of this weird limbo-rut that we seemed to be stuck in. And for the icing on the cake, I was missing out on my nieces and nephews as they grew up far, when we could only afford to go see them once or twice in a year. 

Fast-forward and I decide to give Rodan and Fields a try. Just the products though, because I have a full-time job and I'm not a sales woman. I gave in and tried the Unblemish regimen for adult acne. I have suffered from blackheads, breakouts and cystic acne for as long as I can remember. It seemed like I had tried everything, even prescription products, and nothing really helped. It only made my skin irritated and dry. With the money-back guarantee offered by R+F, it really was a no-risk last ditch effort before trudging back to the dermatologist office. 

So I placed my order, and patiently waited
 to be disappointed yet again. 

To be Continued!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My final thoughts on Plano, TX

After spending 13 weeks in the city of Plano, Duane and I have both come up with opinions on what we thought of the city. First off, it's a great place. We met a ton of friendly people, the staff at the hospital welcomed me as one of their own right off the bat and it was a lot harder leaving that job than what I had expected. I could never thank the staff for how generous they were and how awesome it was to have friends at work.
There is a lot to do there and I felt quite safe while I was there. It was easy to feed my shopping addiction and Duane and I ate so much delicious food while we were in Texas. Duane and I were very impressed with the high quality Indian food that was available and also both got the chance to eat home cooked Indian food as well. Food = amazing.
We were also very lucky to get involved with Watermark Church while we were there. We listened to Francis Chan speak and were able to worship along with Shane and Shane. The messages were always powerful and relevant and definitely helped us to grow during this experience.
On the flipside, Plano was very commercialized. Unless you wanted to eat food that wasn't "American" then almost every place was a chain. There were very few mom and pop shops to learn to love and support. The lack of variety and individuality got old quickly and didn't make us want to hang around. Also, it's fairly flat in that portion of Texas so there wasn't much available in the realm of hiking/backpacking. We did a few fun things, like six flags and outlet shopping, but mostly we just worked.
So the verdict was, not for us. We enjoyed our time there but we were excited for a new adventure whenever that time came.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I got into a rhythm in Plano and it didn't include blogging. Unfortunately I was on call a lot during my last few weeks of my assignment which meant I had a lot of time and nothing to do. There just wasn't a lot going on as far as reportable or blog-able activities. I was also stressed about finding assignment #2 and trying to decide what to do during the interim time because I had a week off between my assignments. But now we are in week one of our second assignment (after several bumps along the road) and I feel like I can breath again. I'm ready to get settled into my new job and make some new friends along the way.
So just a heads up for upcoming topics...
-visit to my sister, bro-in-law and their adorable kiddos
-the Nashville detour
-many many hours in the car (yeesh)
-final thoughts on Plano, TX
-medical solutions and the ups and downs of travel nursing so far
-First impression of Madison, WI

The order might be moved around, some topics might be combined, but I hope to get everyone up-to-speed in the next week or so. Sorry about the hiatus.


Sunday, May 24, 2015

A few things about Texas

#1 - Donut Shops. Everywhere. Not just your typical Dunkin' Donuts, Shipleys, Krispy Kreme, etc. Almost every single shopping strip has it's very own donut shop....I probably count 6 or 7 just on the way to my work. Most of them are mom and pop shops. Texan's must love donuts a lot!

#2 - It's not suppose to rain this much. This is more about our own journey than anything else but it has rained almost everyday since we have been here. It's crazy the amount of rain that has fallen since we have lived here (enough to fill the lakes and reservoirs). Partly it is really nice because it has helped keep away the HOT HOT Texas sun. It has been windy and lovely whenever the rain is stopped and we have tried to enjoy that time by doing exercising, checking out local parks and going to 6Flags over Texas. But it has been really annoying because it puts a damper on all the fun things we would love to do and just haven't gotten the chance to do yet.

#3 - Dr. Pepper. Texan's are proud of their state and the products it produces. Everywhere you go you can get Dr. Pepper.

#4 - It's beautiful. Especially with all the rain making things incredibly green and lush. Whoever designed the area around the apartment we live in did a great job incorporating green space in with the industrial stuff.

#5 - They are random fields next to highways that have horses and longhorns grazing about. It's like you're in the city and the country all at the same time.

#6 - There is so much incredible food here!! I have really enjoyed trying all new restaurants, all the time.

What else? Texas has been awesome and here in the next week or so, we will start looking for assignment numero dos. I'm excited, but sad at the same time. I really enjoy my coworkers. I have a new nickname "Big Casey." Kinda ironic I know. I got to play in the hospital kickball tournament (which was incredible btw). I feel like I'm starting to be part of a family at MCP and I'm not sure if I want it to end.

This blog kinda got away from me. I'm not sure where I was going with this on the sleepy Sunday morning.


Saturday, May 16, 2015

For the Foodies

Hedary's Mediterranean Restaurant
We went to this wonderful restaurant a few weeks back on the recommendation of a coworker. It's an eclectic little family owned restaurant that is located in a converted house. I could tell it was a house because the ladies restroom had a bathtub in it. It felt cozy and the staff was so nice and welcoming, we were off to an excellent experience before the food ever arrived. We started with the Hummus and fresh Naan and we could have made a meal off of just that. It was incredible. So smooth and delicious with a twist we had never tried. I'm pretty sure they added some sort of pickled juice to the hummus. It made it beyond incredible.

For entree's, Duane had Grilled Kibbi and I had Chicken Kabob's. The Kibbi was like a super flavorful meatball/burger served with rice. The Kabob's were pretty traditional with veggies and chicken but it was cooked to perfection and seasoned perfectly. We left stuffed and happy, but now we have to go back because we didn't have space to fit in any Baklava. It was amazing and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone :)

Twisted Root

If you like a really excellent hamburger (with some interesting meat choices) and a fun atmosphere, I would definitely recommend Twisted Root. Their specialty is having different game meats as options for the burgers. The day we went, they had the option of buffalo or duck meat as a special choice, along with the traditional beef and turkey choices. I had a good ol' fashioned beef hamburger topped with the chipotle sauce, goat cheese, and bacon. It was divine. The messiest, most delicious burger I have had in a very long time. Duane was adventurous and got buffalo meat topped with onion rings, jalapeƱos, bacon and cheese. The buffalo meat was really good, kinda smoky flavored and leaner than the beef. I thoroughly enjoyed the burger and the sweet potato chips that came along with it.

To top it off, they brew their own root beer including special flavors. The flavor of the day was cream cheese root beer and it was delicious. I love root beer, especially the local brew variety. They also make their own pickles in various flavors like ranch, kool-aid, and the tradition and bread and butter chips. It was a super fun restaurant with great quality food and a fun vibe, including the fact that when we got our food, we also go a celebrity name to go by, we were Sean Connery.

Duane and I have had a lot of fun trying out new restaurants and asking locals what they prefer. It's such a fun way to get the feel for a city.

What are your favorite local eats?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Boulder Bands - A review

I have a tendency to constantly change my hair. Short then long, then chop it off again, dye it, grow it out, perm it, I've tried a lot of things. Whether my hair is short or long, I am usually on the look out for a good headband. One that doesn't hold moisture, can manage my thick, full hair, and that doesn't slide off my super slick head. I had heard about Boulder Bands and they have some pretty great reviews and testomonials on their website but I didn't want to put that much cash (about $14) into a headband for working out when I already had some that did a marginally ok job. Lo and behold, I got an email from Boulder Bands one day, a try it before you buy it deal. They sent me a free band, all I had to do was pay the shipping. I said why not right?

First off, the fit is excellent. It's nice and snug on my head, but not too tight where it would give me a headache. From the moment I first put it on, it felt very secure and didn't seem like it was going anywhere. The fabric is really smooth and also good for wicking moisture. So I tried it out a few different ways.

My first outing was a 2+ hour, about 4.5 miles, hike in Tennessee at Percy Warner Park. (Which by-the-way, was awesome). The Boulder Band performed admirably. I did have to adjust it one time when it had slid back, but in two plus hours that isn't bad performance at all in my book. Since then I have used it multiple times for jogging and have had great success! It stays in place without any issues. I would definitely recommend them if you are looking for a good headband for workout use.

I had planned on taking pictures with my band on...but it kept me delaying the blog so I decided to go ahead and post it. Also, I usually look far from "cute" before, during and after workouts. Love you guys, thanks for hanging with me.