pH balance is the new buzz word for a reason!

 

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Dermatologists agree that pH levels are so important for our overall skin heath.  So, what exactly is pH balance and why is it so important for our skin?

The pH is a numeric scale that indicates how acidic or alkaline something is.   The pH scale of 1 to 14… 7 is neutral… below 7 is acidic and anything above 7 is alkaline.  Normal skin’s pH is between 4.8 to 6 and our skin should be slightly acidic.

Our skin’s acid mantle protects our skin from environmental factors that lead to aging and skin irritation.  Basically, acid mantle is our skin’s protective layer.  That barrier helps keep moisture in and bacteria out.  If your pH balance is off and it’s too alkaline then you skin may appear red or flaky and become irritated.  If your skin is too acidic that may increase your chances to have a more severe skin condition such as acne or eczema.   THIS…is why it’s so important to maintain a normal pH balance for your skin.

So how do we maintain our skin’s normal pH balance?

  • Use a pH balanced acid free toner.
  • Use a natural sunscreen.
  • Use natural pH balanced skin care products.
  • Eliminate soaps and harsh cleansers.
  • Wash your face with warm water, not hot.
  • Do not scrub your face with a rough washcloth.
  • Use topical antioxidants that strengthen your skin cells.  Such as Vitamin C.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of leafy greens that are filled with lots of antioxidants.

It’s hard for us to measure our pH balance ourselves but a dermatologist can help if you have any sort of skin conditions.  If you have normal healthy skin, then more than likely you have a normal pH balance.   Your skin and face are the first thing people see so take care of it and make sure to smile and feel beautiful!

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

ENHANCING MY LIFE….one word at a time. (Part 2)

 

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Some of you might remember in July, I wrote a blog about enhancing my life.  As promised here is part two.

In January, I was at a conference called Your Best Year Ever.   It really inspired me to focus on all areas of my life and I realized how important it is to live a healthy, balanced lifestyle.   It was then, that I decided to have a word of the month and for that month I would focus on that aspect of my life and improve it as much as possible.  Here we are, already in December and looking back, I feel completely satisfied that I lived each month, each day fully and completely.  I feel like 2019 was a huge success for me.

AUGUST  

Peace

I chose peace because I wanted to be at peace with a few things that happened to me.  At first, I thought I needed to be at peace with the people who did these things.  When in fact I realized I need to be at peace with myself, not them.  I was blaming myself for allowing these things to happen.  I had to remind myself that everything happens for a reason and you need to learn from that experience and let it go.  That is when I truly felt at peace.  It was a very calming feeling and it felt great!  That is exactly what I was looking for.

SEPTEMBER

Openness

I consider myself to be an open-minded person but there is always room for improvement and growth.  I traveled to Jordan in September and what better time to learn how to be more open to new cultures, religion, customs and food than in the Middle East.  I really embraced the culture and the country, more than I ever thought possible.  It was a magical vacation and I will never forget my experiences and the wonderful people I met.  I can’t even describe how I felt when I arrived home a few weeks later.  I know it was from my extreme openness that allowed me to enjoy this life changing vacation.

OCTOBER 

Joy

This one might seem selfish but for the whole month of October I didn’t do anything that didn’t bring me joy.   If someone asked me to do something or go somewhere and I knew I wouldn’t feel joy doing it, I simply said no.  No excuses either, just a simple sorry I can’t.   Honestly, it felt great.  So great that I will continue to live this way.   Life is too short.  I want to have a joyous life!

NOVEMBER

Generous

This month I wanted to work on my generosity.  I am usually quite generous but there are several times when I don’t have money on me to help the many people, I see on the streets every day.  I live downtown so I see many people in need every day.  I made sure I always had a couple of dollars on me every time I left the house.  If I saw someone on the other side of the street, I would cross to give them money.  I was now actually seeking them out.  One day I forgot to grab some change before leaving the house, so I went to Tim Hortons and bought some gift cards to hand out.  Those are always a hit.  It’s a win win when you are generous because it brings me joy to help people.

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DECEMBER

Faith

I wanted to close out my fabulous year with a powerful word.   I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for my faith in God.  He has kept me safe several times and helped me through so many life situations.   He continues to bless me.   I know that God and religion isn’t every one’s thing but it’s my blog and my word!  This month and every month moving forward I want to talk to Him more and ask for his guidance and continue to learn how to be a better person through Him.  Every day when I am done work I read a page from Joyce Meyer’s daily inspirations.   Several times I have thought wow,  this is exactly what I needed to hear today!  This is God speaking to me and guiding me through life.  I love this book so much that I downloaded the app so I can continue to read it daily when I travel.

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I am going to continue to have a word of the month and live my life to the fullest.  I hope everyone is ready for 2020 because it’s going to be extraordinary!

 

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

 

SETTING MYSELF UP FOR EXCELLENCE…..by breaking this bad habit.

Breaking bad habits

In January I wrote a blog, listing my 2019 goals and one of them was to spend less time on my phone.  I started off strong.  I was spending less time on social media during the day which led to more productivity.   My problem was at night.  I found myself stuck to my phone for hours at a time, between texting and social media.  What a complete distraction and waste of my valuable time!   I found myself watching TV and scrolling through Instagram at the same time.  Realizing I missed an important part of the drama TV show I was watching and having to rewind it.   Ridiculous.   My phone was consuming me.  I know I am not alone on this.   Finally, I said, enough is enough.  I now turn my phone off during the week around 8:30 pm.

The old me…..

Alarm goes off at 6:00 am.   I reach for my phone beside my bed and turn it off. Automatically I check my Facebook and Instagram.  Just like that I am instantly immersed in other people’s lives.  I am not even out of bed yet and I am on Facebook looking to see what other people are saying and doing.  Then on Instagram seeing people’s perfect bodies and their luxurious lifestyles.  Without even know it comparing my life to theirs.   How is that going to set myself up for excellence?  Lying in bed looking at other people’s lives?  Comparing myself to them?  Why doesn’t my booty look like hers?  How do I get my booty like hers?  Best believe it’s not by lying in bed scrolling through Instagram!

The new me……

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Alarm goes off at 6:00 am.   I hop out of bed, feeling refreshed from my solid eight hours sleep.  Brush my teeth, get dressed and walk down the street to the Marriott.   During my short walk there I plan out my day.  What do I want to accomplish that day and what do I need to do to make sure it gets done?  For the next 30 minutes I burn 330 calories swimming laps.  During my swim, I say my affirmations, I list all the things I am grateful for and I pray for my friends and family that I know need a little shout out to God.   This is multitasking at its finest.  After my swim, I sit in the sauna for five minutes.  I like to think that I meditate in those five minutes, but I am basically just enjoying the heat and how great I feel.  I am home by 7:30 am.  I make myself a protein shake and walk Mocha for 30 minutes.  Have you noticed my phone is still off?  I don’t turn it on till I sit down with my coffee almost 12 hours later.   I have already done some much in the two hours I have been awake and I am confident I just set myself up to have an excellent day!

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Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

 

 

RESISTING TEMPTATION…..saving money!

Saving money

This time of year can be very expensive as people start their Christmas shopping so I thought it fitting to talk about little things you can do to save money.   One of my goals in 2019 was to save money.  I feel like that will be one of my goals every year to be honest.  I love shopping, I love clothes,  I love keeping up with the latest trends and I love getting them before everyone else.  Trying not to buy all the time and save money is something I will probably always struggle with.

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Most stores will ask you for your email when you are checking out.  I have started giving them the wrong email.  One, I hate junk mail and two, they tempt you with their sale emails.  Buy one get one 50% off…. end of season sales…. before you know it, you have clicked on the email to see if there are any good deals and you now have five items in your cart.  I delete those emails now and have added most of them to my spam, so I don’t even get tempted.  Avoiding temptation is key! 

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Facebook and Instagram can read your mind and if you think you need a new pair of boots suddenly sponsored ads are popping up with the exact boots you have been wanting.   Boom, temptation strikes again, you are spiraling and have a pair of boots, a sweater and a cute hat in your cart.  What the heck just happened?  One of my biggest temptations is Sephora because I am obsessed with skin care products right now.  So, I have unfollowed Sephora and I hide their sponsored ads.  I am just not strong enough when it comes to serums and moisturizers right now.

Use what you have!   Stop buying more makeup, creams, lip balms, serums or masks till you need more.   If you are anything like myself, I get excited to try a new serum and I start using the new one before my other one is done.  My old one is quickly forgotten, and I am already loving my new one.  Simply finish all your products before opening your new one so you don’t have half bottles of products taking up space and being forgotten about.   You paid for it,  use it!  I recently went through all my products that were shoved to the back and am going to use what I have before buying anything new.  Use what you have!  I also get a little thrill when I finish something, like I am proud of myself or something.  Silly, I know but it’s my thing!

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This time of year and leading up to Christmas you are going to be shopping, this is something you can’t avoid.   Remember, Christmas is a time of giving.  Giving to others, this is not about you.  Do not buy for yourself.  This is always tough, I get it.  It’s so easy to see things you want and think you must have, plus it’s on sale!  One of the ways I avoid this is I go on a no buy pact.  This means I do not buy anything for myself three months before Christmas.  I am really good at sticking to this and I do it quite often because I never really need anything, and my closet is already busting at the seams.  Try to do your shopping online so you avoid stores and malls because the temptation is real my friends!

I hope these little tips help you save some money during this holiday season!  Start saving money and go on that trip you have always wanted to take!

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!

MY VACATION IN JORDAN….and how I embraced their culture!!

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My vacation in Jordan was a trip of a lifetime to say the least.   My friends live in Amman, Jordan and I was fortunate enough to visit them.   I never in a million years would have thought I would travel to the Middle East, but I am so thankful I am open to new experiences.  My friend, Elissa put together a remarkable itinerary and each day was better than the next and it couldn’t have been more perfect.   My first thoughts were… what do I wear?  Can I wear shorts?  Do I have to wear long dresses?  Do I have to cover my head like they do?  What is allowed and what isn’t?  Thank goodness Elissa was there to guide me and tell me when I could wear shorts and when I should wear pants.  If we were going to be in town amongst the locals I was to cover up as much as possible, no shorts or sleeveless tops.   If we were going to a tourist site, then it was okay to wear shorts but still obviously not too short.  Easy enough!

My first day in Amman was a fun packed day of sightseeing.  We went to The Citadel, the highest point of the city to see The Temple of Hercules and admire the stunning views of the city.   We then went to the Souk (the local market) and wandered through the town before stopping for lunch at a local spot, which was delicious!

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The next day we went to Mount Nebo, where Moses saw The Promised Land.  The views were breathtaking and left me speechless.   After this spiritual experience we drove down the valley to The Dead Sea!!  This exceeded my expectations.   We bought a day pass and swam in the pool and spent a much needed day of relaxation.   Towards the end of our day we made our way down to the Sea and when I say down, I mean down!  The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth!!  You can’t swim in the Dead Sea, but you can float!  There is a high concentration of dissolved mineral salts in the water and since our body weight is less dense your body automatically floats.   We covered ourselves in mud from the sea, sat in the sun for 10 minutes till we were dry and then floated in the sea.  The mud from the sea is high in minerals, such as sodium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium, so it nourishes the skin leaving it remarkably silky soft!!!  Better than any spa day that you pay for here!

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Next on the itinerary was Jerash to see the Roman ruins.  This is where I bought an Arabic scarf and had one of the locals wrap my head Bedouin style to protect me from the blazing sun.  It really did keep me cool.  Followed by Petra, an ancient city carved from stone and one of the new Seven Wonders of the World.  This is where my dream came true and I rode a camel! I rode three to be exact over the next few days.  It was such a calming and thrilling experience.  Then we were off to Wadi Rum to camp in the desert.  This was such a spiritual experience and by far my favorite.   Star Wars and the new Aladdin movie were filmed in Wadi Rum and I truly felt like I was in a movie while we were there.

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My trip was coming to an end and what better way to close out my whirl wind of a vacation than swimming in the Red Sea in Aqaba!

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I know how truly fortunate I am to have experienced all of these amazing things.  I learned a lot about their culture and I really embraced it.  However, my first day in Amman was the only time I felt people were staring at me.  My dress was very long and shapeless, and I felt like I was wearing a tent so the fashionista in me tweaked it by pulling it up and tying it in a knot.   I thought it looked great, but Elissa was quick to point out the looks I was receiving.  I didn’t understand why till she told me it was because my leg was showing.  My initial reaction was, it’s just my lower leg!  It’s barely anything!  I then noticed that the women were sending me disapproving looks.   I didn’t understand it, I wasn’t grasping what the big deal was but then quickly realized I didn’t need to understand it I only needed to respect it.  From that day forward I felt completely comfortable and safe everywhere we went.

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This trip made me realize how fortunate we are that we live in a country that allows us to dress freely and be our own individuals.   We have so much freedom and I really took that for granted but not anymore!  We live in completely different worlds and I am not sure how well I would do living in a country that forced me to dress a certain way and act a certain way.   I did however love learning about their customs, culture and traditions.  I loved every minute of my experiences while I was there and I feel like I really grew as a person.  I was open to everything around me which really enhanced my experiences while I was there.

I truly believe they are happy with their culture and their religion is extremely important to them.  They probably don’t understand our western ways and how we dress but if we respect each other and learn from each other then this is all that really matters.

Melissa Gauvreau – Styled by M

Stay fabulous!