It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year! Or Is It?

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Oh my word … I can’t believe it is October 20. Where did the month go? I am in B-I-G trouble! WHY? Well, to start I don’t have Halloween costumes completely planned. The big ones are the eldest and the middle and they happen to be the 2 not planned. Figures.

However, before Halloween even gets here I have Dee’s 8th birthday, although I am going to have to do her party in November because one of her classmates is having his party ON HER BIRTHDAY! UGH! I know the mom has no idea, but it is still frustrating on my end. Dee could care less (thank the stars), but she isn’t the one who has to re-plan the entire thing.

So are you following? Dee’s birthday, then Halloween, then Dee’s party … and then Thanksgiving and after that is Ry’s birthday. We will do her party in December because I can’t handle 2 November parties …. or maybe I should do a combo? My house isn’t big enough and renting a place is $$$. Hm …. Sorry let me get back on track.

OK, so we get through Ry’s birthday and then it is Christmas and then the 13 year old’s birthday immediately after. Sigh. We get a little reprieve before the next birthday in the middle of January. Zen is my favorite. He is an April baby.

I am exhausted and need a plan. Sooooo …. Anyone want to do all this for me?? Any takers? No? Darn. Well, I tried …

I also need to not  miss the happiness that all of this craziness brings. We are celebrating so much GOODNESS and it is so easy to get lost in the hecticness of it all. My middles are all going to celebrate new milestones (8, 11, and 14)!!!! Halloween is always so fabulous in my neighborhood! Thanksgiving is quiet for us, but it is always nice. Christmas….ah! I love everything about it!

I need to not focus on the heart-squeezing panic I feel at what needs to be done. I need someone to walk behind me flicking me and saying “Are you living in the moment? Be happy!” Pretty sure my friend Jess B is up for that job. Good thing she doesn’t live near me!

Wish me luck and I will keep you posted!

~Andrea

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Put Your Best Face Forward

I want to talk to you about your BFF, no not your best friend forever (although I am sure they are super awesome), I am talking about your best face forever! We are born with our face, we are stuck with it for the rest of our lives, so why not take care of it with the best products?

Perfectly Posh has an amazing daily, gentle, exfoliating face wash called BFF (Best Face Forever). It is part of the Look Natural line and is vegan, free of parabens, sulfates, phalates, and is free of dyes and synthetic fragrances. Perfectly Posh products are cruelty free, made in America, and do not have soy or gluten fillers. They only use active ingredients made to pamper your skin.

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BFF uses micro-eco-sugar beads as the exfoliant. These are biodegradable and sustainable sourced. They are a vegan polylactic acid beads derived from sugar cane. It is good to note that because they come from natural materials, you may notice a slight variation in bead size when you use the product.
These sugar beads help rid your skin  of dead skin cells while removing dirt and grim from your pores, leaving your skin glowing!

What other amazing ingredients will you find in BFF? Well, I am glad you asked!

Peppermint
*brightens dull skin
*controls the secretion of excess oils and prevents the clogging of pores by balancing natural oils
* stimulates blood flow
*soothes and refreshes

Cucumber
*full of antioxidants and silica which rejuvenates skin and reduces the appearance of dark circles
*contains ascorbic acid which decreases water retention, reducing the appearance of puffiness
*creates even skin tone (may even fade freckles, scars, & pigmentation!)
*revitalizes skin, leaving it glowing
*excellent toner that helps tighten pores

Grapefruit Oil
*high in vitamin A & C, minerals, and antioxidants. These fight free radicals and help protect the skin from environmental hazards
*stimulates the production of collagen. This creates an even skin tone; smoothing and promoting elasticity
*has the antioxidant retinol. This gives skin a softness and renews damage and treats skin pigmentation.
*loaded with potassium which reduces the appearance of wrinkle and age spots and protects against UV rays.
*contains amino acids that refresh skin, making it firm and soft

Aloe
Fun Fact: Ancient Egyptians referred to aloe as the “plant of immortality.”
*powerful healing ability that adds a protective layer on the skin and moisturizes.
*full of antioxidants and nutrients
*contains the hormones Auxin and Gibberellins. These provide wound healing an are anti-inflammatory. Gibberellins stimulates new cell growth. Both sooth and calm skin, making it great for acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
*Beta Carotene, Vitamin C & E — these are antioxidants. They reduce the appearance f fine lines ad improve natural firmness while keeping skin hydrated.
*Helps heal and lessen the visibility of stretch mark, these are minor tears int eh skin created from sudden and excessive stretching.

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So are you ready to put your best face forward with BFF?

~Andrea

Pearlfectionist and Hot & Gold

When I first started using Perfectly Posh I would look at the face masks and roll my eyes. “Who on earth needs those?” I would think to myself. “So high maintenance.” Don’t get me wrong, I have on occasion bought those cheap one time use masks at Target, but they were always because I was having a specific reoccurring issue, like dry skin patches or a blackheads on my nose. Eeeeew!

Then I decided to sell Perfectly Posh because I would make money back on the products I already use. It was a no-brainer for me. I got my kit and in it was The Ritual, a detoxifying pink face mask. It is only available to new Posh consultants and is a sort of “right of passage.”
I put it on and oh.my.stars …. it was amazing! When I washed it off my skin was so soft and clean and radiant! Suddenly I was addicted. I needed all the masks!

Face masks hot and gold pearlfectionist

Fast forward a few months and a new habit of bi-weekly face masks (and might I add better looking skin). Posh released the Fall/Winter 2017 Posh Paper and in it was 2 new masks; Pearlfectionist and Hot & Gold.

Why hello beautiful! Where have you been all my life? Mmmmhmmm, give me all the pearl powder and gold flakes to put on my face! I am a shiny unicorn! Wheeeee! OK, I am not really a unicorn, but I do feel pretty magical and fabulous when I use these masks. So what is the big deal? Well, let me enlighten you!

Pearlfectionist

Pearlfectionist is an OFF mask.
A what???
On OFF mask. This means it exfoliates and deep cleans and removes all the gunk from your pores.

Apply to your face with a makeup brush or sponge (this helps you get a move even application) and leave on for 5-10 minutes. When you try a mask for the first time it is always best to test a small area on you neck by your ear or on your inner wrist. Also, start off on the lower end of the time spectrum and work your way up. If a mask seriously does not feel good then take it off! Use cold water to remove and apply a light facial oil (or olive or coconut if you do not have a face oil).

Pearlfectionist smells lightly sweet, like unicorns. It is actually candied blackberries and jasmine, but I prefer unicorns. It feel amazing and lightly tingles with a pleasant tightening as it dries.

So what is in this mask that makes it so amazing?

Pearl Powder — This ingredient is going to exfoliate your skin, leaving you feeling radiant. It was prized by ancient civilizations for its revitalizing and illuminating properties. It gives you a shimmery iridescent glow when you apply it.

Sea Buckthorn Berry — This is a new one for me. I had to do some major research. What I found was an amazing ingredient that is quickly becoming a must in skin care. Sea Buckthorn Berry is a super-fruit. It contains over 190 nutrients and phytonutrients. It is fast absorbing which gives a deeper moisturized feeling. It is full of antioxidants in the form of carotenoids plus vitamins A, C, and E. All of these help fight free radicals; helping fight the appearance of aging. There is also a high concentration of omega 7 fatty acid. This is anti-inflammatory and helpful for skin conditions like eczema, rosacea, and acne. Sea Buckthorn Berry contains high levels of oleic acid which s great for dry, irritated, and aging skin. It is a pretty amazing ingredient.

Kaolin — Kaolin is an exfoliant that is fantastic for providing a deep down clean; resulting in a polished glow.

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Hot & Gold 

Hot & Gold is an ON mask.
This means it moisturizes, conditions, and provides nutrients back into your skin!

Again, you will apply the mask to your face with a makeup brush or sponge, for an even application. Leave this mask on for 10-15 minutes. Remember, when you try a mask for the first time it is always best to test a small area. I also recommend starting at 5 minutes and then see how you feel before trying for the 10-15 minute mark. If a mask seriously does not feel good then take it off! Use cold water to remove and apply a light facial oil (or olive or coconut if you do not have a face oil).

Hot & Gold is virtually scentless. It is gold in color and is a thicker mask that is creamy and has a tacky feel to it when applied. You feel a slight tingle and tightening while it dries. Please be aware it does not become hard when it dries. Follow the time, not how it feels, to determine when to wash it off.

Some of you may remember that Hot & Gold was actually a special Splurge item back in March under the name Shacking Shamrocks!

Hot & Gold is a skin firming, moisturizing face mask. Check out some of the fabulous ingredients that make this mask stand out from the crowd, aside from the fact it makes you look like King Midas touched your face.

Glycerin — This is a skin identical ingredient. What exactly does that mean? It means that glycerin is naturally found in and therefore easily absorbed into the skin. This makes it a potent humectant; drawing water from the air to help skin lock in its moisture levels.

Colloidal Gold — Colloidal gold is gold particles suspended in fluid. They have restorative properties; helping to firm and brighten skin. Plus it makes your face look like a million dollars.

Olivine (aka Peridot) — Olivine is the mineral that creates the gemstone Peridot. It is rich in magnesium and touted for its anti-aging benefits. It reduces the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and promotes a revitalized and more toned complexion.

Caffeine — Anyone who knows me knows I L-O-V-E caffeine in my skincare products! Caffeine tightens and brightens skin and improves the appearance of swelling, puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines. Caffeine also stimulates circulation. This encourages a firmer, smoother, and more toned texture to your skin. Caffeine also has anti-inflammatory properties; reducing redness in your skin.

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OK so that is the basic rundown of Pearlfectionist and Hot & Gold. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, including how to get your hands on the first mask I mentioned; The Ritual.
I highly recommend giving one of our face masks a try. They are naturally based, no fillers, and never tested on animal (because cruelty to animals is simply not acceptable). Oh! Posh products are also made in the USA! Our masks are affordable; most are just $19 per container an have far more than 19 applications in it! The benefits are fabulous; younger looking, healthier skin that will leave you feeling beautiful and confident!

~Andrea

My Top 10 Best Ideas

OK, so I really feel like even after 15 years of parenting, I totally stink at this gig. However, there are moments where I feel I out-shine my biggest expectations. Please note these are the best ideas for MY family! I am absolutely not telling you this is the best way because I am not stupid. I realize every family has to find there own groove. These are my hacks that have made life in the Gardner Household far easier.

Here are my favorite (in no particular order):

10. Teaching my kids to cook at an early age. Now that they are older they can cook dinner without supervision! Can I just tell you how awesome it is to not have to worry about making dinner every night.

9. Split the house into zones. I give them a number and they scurry off and clean that area. When they cooperate the house gets fully clean in under 30 minutes.

8. Use Perfectly Posh Gender Bender to remove stains … including nail polish! Posh makes no claims that the soap is anything more than a nourishing, tallow-free, moisturizing soap, but it worked wonders when a certain daughter spilled nail polish all over my carpet and hid it from me instead of telling. I found it 2 days later but Gender Bender and a little elbow grease got the polish completely out of our carpet!

7. Letting the kids pick their own extracurricular activities instead of imposing my own desires on them. If I had my way they would all be little theater buffs. To date, none of them are in theater. However, when they love what they are doing, they tend to try their best.

6. When shopping with little kids always bring a sharpie marker. Why? Because they can be used on mirrors in fitting room and wipe off easily with a baby wipe.
Why are you in a fitting room with all the kids?
*Baby wanted to breastfeed and you need quiet or they rip your nipple off while looking around and nursing at the same time because stores are exciting for them. So you pop over to the fitting rooms and settle with the baby and let the toddler create art on the mirror. Now if only they would deliver a coffee to the fitting rooms ….
*You have 3 little ones 5 and under and you need to hide while you cry because what the he** were you thinking when you thought that you could take 3 little kids to Target??
*You actually need to try on clothes and you really don’t want your toddler climbing under all the dressing room doors and scaring the sh** out of all the other women also trying on clothes.
*Because it is a great idea.

5. Push Ups. Forget time out. Time out does nothing if you aren’t going to teach your child how to cam themselves by taking slow deep breathes etc. Time outs make them mad at you because it is soooooooo unfair so they retaliate and draw on the walls when you turn your back. How do you punish that? They did it while in punishment! Instead make them do push-ups! Sure they grumble and complain, but they learn how to do proper push ups before the rest of their peers and, I kid you not, it becomes a bragging right. They get stronger and learn that positive physical activity can help them. When they are done we talk about what they did wrong and what they can do different next time. The push ups help them get into a clearer mind faster so the conversation actually sinks into their brains!

4. The girls are terrible at cleaning their room. They can literally take a full day to do a 5 minute job. Ground them, take away dessert, etc and nothing changes. Heck, I have even thrown away their toys! Yes, in the trash, not into a bucket to earn back. Doesn’t matter. They could care less. Do you realize how annoying this is?? I want their rooms clean. It is a safety issue and, to be honest, I hate messes. It overwhelms me and makes me irrational. So how did I finally get them to clean and in a timely manner? I bet them they couldn’t clean their room in the time it took the Mission Impossible theme song to play. I blasted the song and stood at their door and watched (because I didn’t want stuff shoved under beds etc). I have never seen them move so fast. The song is 3 minutes and 28 seconds long. I think this is a new cleaning record. I don’t mind losing this bet.

3. No screen time during the week. Period. I have a basket and phones and tablet go in there unless I give the say so. Bored? Go play a game or ride your bike. Read, write, or be bored. Just stay off electronics. I am watching a terrible trend of disconnect. Humans are losing empathy and I really think it is lack of real human interaction that is the cause. Maybe I am wrong, but I know this isn’t hurting them and may benefit them. If this doesn’t work for you, I totally get it. I promise we do not judge. To each their own, but I promise you this has made our lives more pleasant and far more simple.

2. I took Facebook off my phone. It is still on my tablet and that goes with me everywhere also, but I am more likely to not check it 500 times a day. I also took Snapchat, Twitter Tumblr, etc off my phone … the only thing I kept was Instagram because I do like to post pictures easily. All of these are on my tablet, so I am still connected via social media, but I am on it far less and much happier for it. Bonus, my kids have also noticed I am not on it as much and they are also happier.

1. Everyday I tell myself “You are doing the best you can in the moment. Give yourself a break.” OK, so sometimes I then call myself a liar and tell myself I am terrible at this parenting thing and I may even cry ugly tears, but if I keep telling myself I am doing my best then maybe I will one day believe it and maybe my kids will see I tried and refused to give up on myself. Maybe it will help them to learn to never give up on themselves. If that is the one thing I succeed at, then I did well.

~Andrea

All About Eyes

Did you know that the skin around your eyes is 40% thinner than the rest of your face? Did you know that is why the first signs of aging are usually laugh lines around your eyes. I prefer “laugh lines” to “crows feet.” It sounds better, don’t you think?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to “look my age.” I turned 40 this year and I think it is a fabulous age. 40 is fabulous! Laugh lines, not so much.

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The answer is eye cream. The better answer is Perfectly Posh eye cream. Perfectly Posh is naturally based with amazing ingredients, no scary chemicals, and no wasteful fillers. Even better the products are cruelty free, made in the USA, and affordable!

Posh has 2 eye products to choose from; Impish Eyes and Prize on the Eyes. So what is the difference? Well, let me tell you!

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Impish Eyes

Impish Eyes is amazing. It has a cooling roller ball, perfect for de-puffing eyes and reduce dark circles. Impish Eyes is a serum instead of a cream. This means it is a lot more light weight and perfect for oilier skin types.

It is loaded with caffeine, white tea, and cucumber. These ingredients take tired-looking eyes and pamper them so they have a wonderfully youthful appearance.

Impish Eyes also has jojoba oil and aloe vera; these ingredients are hydrating and non-greasy. The CoQ10 reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

To apply, you use a small amount in small circular motions from the outside of your eye (along the socket) toward your nose. Use it morning and night!

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Prize On The Eyes (Back in stock with a new revamped package!)

Prize On The Eyes is our newer eye product and is a cream. It is part of the Look Natural line and is vegan and free of colors and synthetic fragrance.

It helps give the skin cells around your eyes a rest. CoQ10 boosts the appearance of collagen, tones, and improves the texture, giving a more even-looking complexion. It is very hydrating; loaded with ultra-moisturizing sunflower oil with a shea butter base (everyone who loves soft skin knows shea butter rocks!).

Twice a day, use a pea-sized amount and with your ring finger (because it applies the least amount of pressure) gently tap from outer eye toward your nose.

Why do we go from out to in?? This helps elasticity. The other way stretches your skin. That is  bad.

 

layer product

I don’t think  I look 40. Thank you Posh!

 

Did you know you can layer these 2 products?? Yup! I do exactly this! I love and need the cooling roller ball of Impish Eyes. It helps reduce the dark circles I have. Prize on the Eyes helps “plump” my thin eye skin, giving me a less hollow look. They work together giving me that awesome “You don’t look 40!!!!” reaction I really love hearing.

You can also use Impish Eyes in the morning and Prize on the Eyes in the evening if you want the benefits of both without laying them.

If you have any question ask away! I love to help!

~Andrea

 

19 Years Later

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1996

Happy Anniversary, Marco! Can you believe it has been 19 years since our wedding? The day was perfect. The temperature was an ideal low 70s and the New England leaves were just starting to turn into their gorgeous fall foliage colors. That morning, as I got ready, I scarfed down Dunkin’ Donuts and prayed I wouldn’t stain my dress. Spoiler alert, I didn’t!

Katie Beth, our flower girl, was so tired. It was nap time and she looked at me before walking down the aisle and said, “Auntie! Hold my hand!” Her dad rushed over and took her hand and walked with her. I love that memory; she was my buddy.

I walked down the aisle to Over The Rhine Rhapsodie … and there you were. My best friend. Oh the butterflies!

5 children, 3 states, medical emergencies, work trips, vacations, major job changes, leaps of faith, fights, laughter, death, and more. I hasn’t been easy. I can’t even put into words our journey because it would be a book. It is all worth it to be with you. I hope you feel the same.

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2017

So, Mr Gardner, here’s to another 50 years. You’re stuck with me. I was wrong on the day of our wedding. I thought I couldn’t love you more than I did in that moment, but I was naive. That was such an innocent love. Now, I love you madly and deeply and so much more than I ever thought was possible. There are still butterflies. No regrets. Happy anniversary, my love.

~Andrea

Java Momma: Coffee Direct Sales

My friend posted that she joined a coffee direct sales company. So I said, “A coffee direct sales company? Did I just enter paradise?? I mean, for real, I need to be a part of this.” So she hooked me up.

Can you believe this??? I know how exciting this is for ME so I just had to share it with my friends who also went nuts for the idea!
We are all die-hard fans of coffee and many of us are devoted to specific companies (Mmmmm Dunks please! — I’m a MA girl through and through). However, this adds a whole new aspect to our coffee obsessed ways because this is one of the first ever direct sales companies focused on coffee!

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If you aren’t 100% sure how direct sales runs, let  me fill you in …
You are the CEO of your company. You decide how to grow and run your business. Easy peasy. Options for running your business include vendor events, farmer’s markets, Facebook parties, in home parties … or whatever other creative thing you can think of!
You can also be what we lovingly call a kitnapper, sign up and enjoy discounted coffee! That is what several of my friends are doing!

What makes Java Momma different is you are getting in on the ground floor! The launch in October 1! As a special intro offer you can sign up for *JUST* $5!!! This last only until the October 1 launch, so act now before kit costs go up!

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So what does $5 get you? You become a Java Momma consultant and receive 6 premium sample bags of Java Momma coffee! Plus you will get a FREE website once P&P is signed after the launch!

There are also 2 other starter kit options if you want more.

*Option 1 The Cafe Express: $55 (plus tax and shipping)
If you would love to do in-home parties and tastings, this kit is the one for you! It includes:
1 Double Wall Insulated Carafe
1 French Press
Coffee Scoop
Sample Cups
Bag Clips
3 lbs of coffee in a variety of flavors

*Option 2 The Caffeinator: $105 (plus tax and shipping)
If you are plan on focusing on vendor events, farmers markets, and retail stores then you want this kit. It includes:
2 Double Wall Insulated Carafes
1 French Press
Coffee Scoop
Sample Cups
Bag Clips
6-8 lbs of coffee in a variety of flavors

**You will have access to purchase any coffee at the 20% discount price. You also have the option to upgrade from the $5 kit to any of the larger kits within 30 days of the launch.

Java Momma Kits

OK, now for nittyy-gritty details:

Commission is 20% from each sale. You have access to purchase the coffee at a 20% discount price.

There is a 3-tiered bonus structure for those who want to grow a team.

You get your very own replicated website. This is FREE! No monthly charge!

To stay active, you must have a minimum of 1 purchase every 3 months. That’s it! This is a VERY low expectation and totally doable! Java Momma wants us to succeed in however we want our business to grow (or not grow).
What kinds of coffee does Java Momma offer??

There several grind varieties to choose from; Whole Bean, Auto-Drip, French Press, and Espresso Ground. K-Cups will be coming very soon and until they do use a reusable one!

Love subscription boxes? Java Momma has that option also and you get to pick the timeline for delivery!

Java Momma can be a complimentary direct sales company to your primary one (this is what I am doing). This will be great for in-home pop-ups, open houses, events, and more! I am excited to offer a coffee bar with my primary business parties!

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Want to learn more about Java Momma?

Be sure to connect with ME (comment or email) to find out more information or if you have questions. Thanks!

~Andrea