Sense of touch: Fabrics

In my quest to find the very best ways to invite others to experience their senses in the very rich, intense ways I myself do, I give you this: 

Velvet, cotton, angora?
Doesn’t matter.
The point is to touch it.
Feel it. Experience it.
Know the difference
Between each one
As you feel it
Beneath your fingertips.
Try a caress.
A grab.
A fistful of it.
A snuggle against the fabric.
Which one most reminds you
Of who you are?
(Wear that one!)
And revel in your sense of touch.

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe

Green Beans and Cantaloupe

It was time to sauté the green beans…but the cantaloupe sitting on the shelf whispered excitedly “me too, me too!”

Peculiar mixture, but I obliged.

It was delicious! Throw in a few big basil leaves at the end, also.

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe


Sensing Again

After days turned to weeks and then months of not keeping up with my writing, I will be making a concerted effort to share my sensory pursuits more regularly. i have so very many to share. In April, we took a trip to Utah, and I saw something beautiful and majestic every day. I’m still sorting through pictures and reliving the astounding memories, some of which will find their way to this blog.

A preview:

Bells Canyon, waterfall, hiking, Utah, UT

Bells Canyon, UT

pura d'or, argan oil, organic, paraben free, curls, curly hair

Adventures in Argan oil

I’ve been meaning to try Argan oil for ages, so when I had the opportunity to sample a product from Pura d’or, I jumped at the chance! This review will focus on the Pure and Organic Argan oil, which you can use in your hair and on your body (head to toe). I focused on my hair for this review, but will consider trying it during any future eczema outbreaks.

For the all-natural and cruelty-free consumers, check out these anecdotes about the brand:

For more than four years, Pura d’or has been growing a culture planted on a natural set of values and beliefs. But when all is said and done it comes down to one unified mission—to create organic personal care solutions that naturally work.

All ingredients are grown on trees, not in test tubes. They are artisanally handcrafted by a hybrid team of artists and scientists, not by machines. Pura d’or creates better beauty products from ingredients that are not only naturally beneficial, but are also sustainably grown and raised with respect for the animals that eat them and the people who produce them.

I’ve been using the Argan oil sporadically for the last 2-3 weeks. Upon application, I’ve noticed a marked difference in how my hair looks and feels- much softer, shinier, and less “flyaway”. The scent is light and unoffensive- similar to what you might expect from a “natural” product but not too “hippieish”. I’ve used it as an “on-the-spot” treatment on dry or damp hair. Sometimes I have mixed the oil with another product- a curl-enhancing gel or cream, and I’ve had really great results with this!

Here are a few “before and afters” of my latest application:


I apply a small amount:

Argan oil, all natural, organic, paraben free

Pura d’or Argan oil

And get these results!

gopure youth glow eye gel

Under the Eyes


Seeing a few fine lines under my eyes, I decided to try a new, natural, paraben- and sulfate-free product, goPURE Eye Cream. Once I received the sample (powered by Brandbacker) and started to use it, I was excited for the opportunity to see benefits and results such as:

• Dramatic reduction of puffiness under and around the eyes
• Reduced appearance of dark circles under the eyes, making eyes look younger
• Reduced appearance of wrinkles and fine lines (aka crows feet) so your face looks more radiant

Always one to be a little skeptical of these types of claims, I was on board with trying it anyway. I’m always one for products without chemicals! The first time I pressed the pump to use the product, I got a waft of a fragrance with a gentle hint of cucumber smell. That was nice! When I applied it under my eyes, I did not notice much of a difference at all. Not to be outdone, I decided to continue at it and see how results were in a few weeks.

After using the product for about 3 weeks, I’m still not seeing much of a difference. I even tried to capture my results via photo and have some before and afters to share, but I could not get a good showing of my fine lines even in the “before” shots. (Trust me, the lines are there!)


IMG_1062 eye gel before2


Eye gel after1 Eye gel after2

Not much of a difference, right?!

On top of that, I did experience a slight burning sensation when I used the product. It wouldn’t happen every time, but I would say about 40-50% of the time, I would experience a slight discomfort/burning sensation upon application (sometimes accompanied by a little redness, which always quickly disappeared).

A little more about the product:

Formulated with Matrixyl 3000 (in Clinical Study Proven To Make Eyes Look 2 Years Younger In 1 Month of Use)

NATURAL INGREDIENTS – goPURE Eye Cram also contains Plant Stem Cells, Hyaluronic Acid, Vitamin C, Jojoba Oil, Vitamin E and a Proprietary Peptide Complex

goPURE Naturals was started by Erin Keyan who after becoming a mother was shocked to discover how many products contain toxic and dangerous chemical ingredients. She formulated goPURE Naturals with the goal of developing a brand that women can trust to contain only the purest and natural ingredients, while making them look and feel their best.

All in all, I think it’s fun to try products and see how they work. This one was not a “miracle cream” for me personally, but I have not had major visible results with any product. A competitor’s product which I have been prior to this one had no remarkable results either.

My plan is to continue working with this one and give it (and myself) some more time. I intend to try it when I have more leisure time to really observe the results a little more and see if I  make any new revelations. Plus, I want to give it the full two months that the company requests you commit to for trying out the product, and I’m not even halfway there yet!

If you want to try this product @ a 25% discount, use this coupon code when purchasing via Amazon (offer expires 6/15/15).  

A 100% money-back guarantee is offered: If you can’t honestly say that your eyes look 10 years younger after 2 months of daily use, the company will give you your money back!
100% MONEY BACK Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back – If You Can’t Honestly Say That Your Eyes Look 10 Years Younger After 2 Months of Daily Use We’ll Give You Your Money Back! Made in the USA – Never Tested on Animals!

*Sponsored post, powered by BrandBacker 

Deep in the Night (What’s Your Beauty Routine?)

As the moon calls and you’re ready to go to bed, what do you do as part of your nightly ritual? Whether you’re a wash-and-go (to bed) type, or have a more lengthy, luxurious routine, you are invited to an opportunity to participate in Exuviance’s give-away- a full size Super Retinol Concentrate.  Twenty-five lucky winners will win this $78 value!

Simply share your favorite nighttime beauty tips & tricks on Twitter and other social media channels. Be sure to tag @neostrataskin and using #sleeponit.

If you’re interested in trying this unique anti-aging nighttime transformer that delivers a gradual, time-released infusion of pure Retinol in a microencapsulated form to maximize potency and tolerability of this high-strength formulation, this is the giveaway for you!

Widely recognized by dermatologists for its antiaging power, Retinol helps build natural collagen and its surrounding support matrix for plumping and firming benefits, reducing the look of deep-set wrinkles and minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles from the inside out. Patented NeoGlucosamine® is clinically proven to work synergistically with Retinol, building skin’s support matrix to increase skin firming and smoothing effects versus Retinol alone. As skin becomes firmer and new cells emerge, skin is transformed, younger looking. For an immediate visual boost, optical brighteners provide visual softening.

Designed for maximum efficacy and stability, the formula contains a retinol-stabilizing complex and utilizes an opaque airless pump-top tube to maintain freshness. This light, serum-like formulation is fragrance free, Paraben free, and oil free.

Studies show after 8 weeks (data on file):
100% reported firmer skin
98% noticed skin is lifted, less droopy
95% observed Wrinkles are less apparent
95% said fine lines are less apparent
98% saw better clarity/radiance
88% noticed brown spots are less noticeable

Ready to play? Enter today with this link, be sure to share on social media with the tags @neostrataskin and #sleeponit. Add Exuviance to your nightly beauty routine ’round midnight!

I Wear My Heart on My…Socks?

I’m a “heart person”. After chronicling my encounters with ordinary objects that form themselves into heart shapes (dish soap bubbles, gum, leaves – to name a few), I’ve been allowing some man-made hearts into my life too. Like the ones on these socks.

socks with hearts on them

Oh, I almost forget to mention that there are crowns on them too. How very regal! After having these for several years, I’m sad to say they are starting to wear just a little too thin. I can see through the fabric now and they can barely get the job done these days. It just may be time to retire them, but they did have several years of exceptional service, and with every glance down at my sock-embraced feet, I felt a little heart-lifted.


Bringing in Spring

Before the temperature even bumped its way back up this week, these lovely blooms made their way to me. Bright and colorful, we brought in spring, uplifted moods, and daydreamed of milder days.

bright blooms, spring, warm after long cold winter

Spring isn’t my favorite season, but there is no denying the welcoming presence of a few bright, bold flowers.


Water, Minerally Water from the French Alps (and a giveaway!)


You know the satisfaction of a refreshing gulp of water when your throat is parched, the comfort of a cascade of droplets over your head when you dip into the shower, the welcoming relief when a summer rain falls onto your sun-heated skin.

Imagine cool, hydrating relief that you can take along with you. That’s what you get with evian® water’s unique mineral balance and uncompromised purity, suitable for all skin types. Your skin will be the picture of dewy, refreshed health.

Now is your opportunity to win your very own Evian Facial Spray!  evian® is giving away 20 two 5 oz Facial Sprays. Winners will be chosen at random.

evian facial spray, giveaway, free, free giveaway, fashion, beauty

Click to enter!

Did you know that Evian Facial Spray was originally introduced in France in 1962 at the request of doctors for use on burn patients? Introduced as the first facial spray in the United States in 1978, evian® is the only one carried by many prestige retail groups including Nordstrom and Sephora and is dermatologically test. It is also offered in many luxury resorts and hotels such as Four Seasons.

The leak-proof canister is the ideal product to take on-the-go in any purse or travel bag. Unlike other water sprays, Evian Spray is sealed at the source, so it can not be contaminated.

The French Government has extremely stringent standards for approving mineral waters as suitable to drink. Evian Facial Spray is the only mineral water spray in the USA with this distinction.

Don’t forget to complete your giveaway entry today!

Please note: this giveaway is hosted by The Wilkes Group and not evian.

Color Perception

I start paying a lot of attention to my vision right before a visit to the ophthalmologist. In the days leading up to it, I find myself carefully observing my eyesight- what I see, how well I see, how dry my eyes are… I get caught up in following my floaters–almost voraciously, obsessively tracking those grey and black amorphous blobs, dancing in a sound-free symphony. My latest visit was on Thursday, and immediately after getting a clean bill of eye health- retina intact, no change in vision- I’m faced with the ocular issue of the century:



….. Is the dress white and gold, and black and blue?

white and gold dress black and blue dress

white & gold? black or blue? You know, THAT dress, uggghhh!!

If only I had seen this societal crazy-making before my ophthalmologist visit. I surely would have asked him about it. Though I may not really care what the “science” behind it is. I don’t like for my senses to be played with this way!