The skin edition. What I think of the Halo Laser and Botox. A special promotion this week, details below!

Happy Monday!  Why are Monday mornings so rough?  I had to drag myself out of bed this morning. Before my Med spa procedures I would start my morning off pretty much the same way.  I  had a cup of coffee and would start getting ready for the day.  A few months ago I started catching a glimpse of my sleepy eyed, make-up free face in the mirror and think to myself hmm. A little pull up on the forehead, wrinkle in the nose, a run of my hands over my face to see if it really is my reflection looking back at me.  I am thirty-eight, a far cry from being old, or at least that is how I think of myself however time does not stop and age finds a way to show in different ways on our bodies, and faces.  Botox seems to be everywhere, we chat about it over wine with our girlfriends, wonder if our husbands or pocket books will notice, think about which aging path we really want to go down.  There is also the topic of when do you do it, where to do it, how much does it cost, do I want to age gracefully, what are the effects?  All questions most of us have thought about as the wrinkles and lines start to appear.  Before I begin telling you about my experience, I think what we choose to do or not do is a personal choice and ultimately we choose to do what feels right for ourselves.  I believe in owning what ever is right for oneself.  I am only here to tell you about my first experience and a laser treatment that I have recently had that knocked my socks off.  And if you are interested in any of the procedures I hope this little blog post can help you find people that you can trust as much as I did with your aging or lack there of path!

First up Botox!

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Okay I am just being silly here but this picture shows exactly how I felt before my first procedure.  Botox doesn’t hurt at all.  A little prick of a needle and that is it. They will use an ice pack to numb the area and the tiny needle is in your skin no longer than a few seconds at a time. The second time I had it done, I told Niki who is one of the RN’s at the office, and happens to be a personal friend, that I didn’t even need ice beforehand.  Niki and other skilled nurses work at  Doctor Robert G. Aycock’s office in Walnut Creek. You guys, this Doctor is one cool cat.  He doesn’t seem like a typical plastic surgeon.  He takes time to chat with you and has an easy humble demeanor about him.  The office is warm an inviting and the people that work there put your nerves at ease from the moment you walk in.  Check out his website aycockmd.com  for more information about him.  I also had a laser treatment called the Halo by Nurse Ashley at the Greenbrea office that we will talk about in a few.

As I sat down to have my first ever Botox injection, I was so nervous.  I went to Niki because I needed someone to blame if I looked crazy (kidding).  No really, I went to her because I trust her, she is a perfectionist, skilled and a confident nurse. I knew she would listen to me about all my concerns and what I wanted to achieve.  Well I have to say I didn’t look crazy at all and all my expectations were meet.  And there lies the magic little secret of anti aging routines. I looked well rested, a subtle refreshed look and well, just better!

Before                                                                          About a month after

So on to the price.  Your personal price depends on how much you do.  I apparently have very strong forehead muscles, so mine runs anywhere from $350-$400.  Yikes, pricey I know but I do have to say worth it.  That is why I wanted to pass on the invitation to Doctor Aycock’s Fall open house in his Walnut creek office tomorrow October 24th.   Please call the office to reserve your spot. 925-937-8377  The office is offering a 20% savings on the med spa procedures including the Halo which you can watch below, lasers, injectables and skin care products.

Watch the Halo Laser Treatment

The Halo is a laser treatment that helps with skin pigmentation, sun damage, dark spots, redness, fine lines, pores, and texture.  About six months ago I started a journey to repair my skin.  I got adult acne, my texture was awful, years of picking my face and not being very diligent with sunscreen left me self conscious.  I had to get my skin to a place where I could even get the halo treatment. My goal was to be able to wear a tinted moisturizer not full coverage foundation, add a little mascara and a pop of color on my lips and be out the door.  I wasn’t sure I would be able to report back a positive result with the laser.  There is a healing process involved and about mid way through I thought, yeah I am not so sure.  But patience pays off because  I can honestly say with confidence that I would recommend this treatment.  This procedure is not a walk in the park however the discomfort is manageable.  My texture is amazingly smoother, my pores smaller, dark sports faded and my skin looks more radiant.  I can wear a tinted moisturizer, throw on some lipstick and feel confident with my skin and the way I look.  I do still have a few red spots that can be removed at a later time but I am so happy with the results. I have never thought of myself as having pretty skin but I do have to say that has changed for me.  I saw Ashley Nguyen RN at the Greenbrea office you can contact her at 415-925-1700

Come meet Doctor Aycock and his experienced team on Tuesday October 24th 5:00-7:00 and receive significant savings.  There will also be raffle prizes, goody bags, drawings for gift baskets along with wine and Hors d’oeuvres

1855 San Miguel Dr, ste 4

Walnut Creek, CA

94526

Cheers to better, younger looking skin,

Nicole

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Building An Easy Fall outfit

 

Wow, it has been awhile! It is a busy time of year in our house.  We just finished with our Runfola birthday season.  My kids have birthdays one after the other, every month starting in July.  I really enjoy making our kiddos feel special, especially in a very full house, it is nice for them to have a few days to just celebrate them and their accomplishments over the last year.  Needless to say  I have been a little distracted, but I have missed you all.   Not to worry I am back on my “A” game and ready for a little shopping for Fall!

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I wanted to chat a little bit about building a simple fall outfit!  All of us can throw on a cute basic Tee, a necklace and some booties.  To be honest, all and all I would say this is a pretty cute basic look.  But if we want to take a basic “look” and make it into a complete outfit we can add a few more pieces. We do this by layering. This is easy to do in Fall because the weather is cooler and we need more warmth anyway.  Instead of throwing on a jacket try adding a cute infinity scarf and a cargo vest.  It seems simple but we forget to do these basic “add ons” when we are running out the door.  Another way to complete a look is by adding something unexpected, like a fun bracelet or a brighter lip.  I don’t wear red lipstick often, but there is something about the holiday season that has me thinking about red!   If you are not a huge fan of red lips, try it for a dinner out instead of wearing it for the day! You can find the links to the items picture by clicking the picture below.
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I have a few fun scarves coming my way and I am excited to share them with you.  The one pictured is one of my favorites.  It is infinity style so you don’t have to worry about how to wear it, just throw it on, fluff it up and you have it down!  The fun thing about adding a scarf, is that it is an easy way to add in a pop of color to an ordinary outfit.  Don’t be afraid of pattern mixing.  Stripes and Plaid are easy to do.  First, make sure the colors are complementary or that the scarf has at least one of the colors that your basic tee has.  An example would be, if you are wearing a black and white striped tee make sure the scarf has black or white in it somewhere.  Adding a solid vest or jacket can give you a more subtle look. It is easy and fun, go ahead and try it!  Happy Fall shopping!

Cheers, Nicole

Trending Fall Jeans

Hello, I can't believe it has been two weeks since I have been able to stay up late enough to write down some fashion thoughts! I do not know about you guys but with the rush of back to school the last few weeks have been a whirl wind. I am happy to be back writing and sharing with you some fall fashion trends that you will be seeing pop up in stores.  Soon the weather will turn crisp and we will be drinking pumpkin spice everything in our fall colored scarves.  The question is,  what will we be seeing this fall for styles?  Well let me tell you I am loving what I am seeing in the world of denim.  That is right ladies, our mom uniform at its finest.  I am sharing the four pairs I really have fallen in love with.  I like the high wasted to Mid Rise jeans.  They are easy to move in and everything stays all tucked in!  Both these cuts are very much in style this season.  I have seen lighter colors making their way into the stores as well.  I found a great pair of Citizen of Humanity light colored, high waist jeans but I just couldn't fork over the $208 for a trend I am not sure will stick around.  I did love them, but I guess that is the beauty of getting older we can rationalize a bit better.  We don't have to buy into every trend.  If they strike you as something you can not pass up here they are....and now that I posting them, I am drooling and it is taking everything in my power not to go to the Nordstrom website and put them in my bag.  I don't know about you but if they are in my little online shopping cart after a glass of wine that checkout button magically gets pushed and they show up at my house. Yikes!

  Okay, lets talk about the high waist cut.......the trick is not having your booty look a mile long.  For me I have a "Thass" so I have to be careful.  What is a "thass" you ask.......it is where your booty conveniently just runs right into your thigh, (squats and lunges here I come)  the summer is over for the kids and my back side!  But I digress.  Back to jeans.  I have tried on more than a dozen and the jeans below are my favorite picks.  Note if you have a short torso try a mid-rise.  Another tip before we move on, is a skinny belt can be a nice touch.  Do not do a thick belt with high-waist jean if you have a short torso.  You don't want to make it look like the "girls" are sitting  on top of that belt.  The trick is to slightly break up a long line from the back.  Long wasted women can get away with a thicker belt but my suggestion is to keep the belt to an inch in thickness or below when wearing he high waist trend.

Colored denim is here to stay.  AG is a great brand, considering how expensive jeans can be $178 is expensive but worth the splurge.  Wit and Wisdom is a new brand for me that I found at Nordstrom. They run right around $60-$70, honestly you can't beat the price for a truly great pair of jeans.  I am typically a size 27 or a size 4  and I found they ran true to size.  They are pretty cropped on me, I don't mind so much but for most woman they will hit at the perfect place.  You will also see raw edge hems, cropped styles and grey jeans.  These will all make an appearance for Fall.  I love my Paige grey jeans, my friend Val even said my booty looked good in them, so hey, that means they are staying in my closet FOREVER!  They also have a raw edge and the perfect shade of grey.  I am loving cedar, light pink and olive colored tops paired with grey this season.

Have fun with the denim trends for fall.  If you don't love the trends stay in something classic like a skinny jean.  I LOVE my skinny jeans.  My personal favorite is the DL1961, these run pretty long and are true to size, with a lot of stretch.

Happy Denim shopping.  Next week we are talking shoes and all about tops with the front tie!

Cheers, Nicole

My back to school picks for elementary school kids

Are you ready for back to school?  I am not sure I am ready for packing lunches, but I am ready for a few hours of quiet.   Maybe some of you have already sent your kids off to their first day of school, our first day is just around the corner.   If you need any last minute tips on dressing your kids, read on!

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The real deal about dressing kids, is that usually what ever we buy them they mix and match and come out looking not at all how we thought they would.  Miss matched shoes and tops galore, and you know what… I am okay with that. We start them out clean, but by breakfast there is spilled milk or crumbs on their cute shirts.  This is how it went for me when my kids were little.  Now that they are a bit older we have less messes and some have started to carefully put outfits together while others are still miss matched. However, the one thing that has always remained the same through every phase is comfort.  Kids want to be comfortable in their clothes.  They play hard at recess.  The little ones have to sit “criss-cross-applesauce” on the floor.  They move and bend and are up and down in their seats, so of course comfort makes sense.

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 Polo,  Pull On Pants, Cute Dresses Here, Headband

Boys, boys, boys and their obsession with athletic wear.  I just go with it now, and honestly it makes my life easier and probably theirs.  No buttons, zippers or tags to mess with.  Target makes great ones, I find great pieces at Marshall’s as well. But most of the time I hop online and head straight to Under Armour to find lots of sales and clothing options you can’t find in department stores.

Girls, Girls,  Girls and their pre-teen style.  Ms. T is at the end of her elementary years and her and her friends’ style has started to transition out of dress, and leggings into of an older girl look.  T swore she would never wear jeans. However, her opinion changed when we picked up a pair of Hudson Jeans from the Nordstrom sale that are super soft. We explored and found more comfortable jeans from Old Navy. Jeggings from Old Navy have also been a favorite.  I have to say, this makes me happy that our pant options have expanded.  Her fun navy top that she is wearing in the above picture, is a perfect summer blouse to pair with jeans for the first day of school.  A similar one can be found here.  Adding a cute accessory like this CC Beanie is a cute way to add a more grown up feel to a simple tee.  One last tip before I go.  If you have a tall daughter who is out growing kids sizes, try shopping in the women’s petite section.  Taylor is wearing a grey cotton linen v-neck tee from Banana Republic in a petite xs.  Petite clothing is cut for woman 5 4′ and under.  I found they fit better in the length for Miss T.

A quick recap… comfy, cute and reasonably priced playground clothes is where it is at for the elementary kids!

Happy back to school, Nicole

Weekly Dose of “Keeping it Real Style”

Summer vacation is coming to an end, although in California we have a month or two of sunny days left.  As we hold onto the warmer days we still have time to show off those tan legs in cute shorts or skirts.  Today I am sharing the weekly dose of keeping it real style with a simple warm weather outfit.  Looking pulled together can be done with a simple combination of adding an accessory or a layer.  A patterned short or a cute shoe can make an every day outfit feel special.  I wore this outfit to celebrate my son’s 6th birthday.

 

All items can be shopped in the underlined links.    Other than Stella & Dot,  Kendra Scott is one of my favorite go to brands for accessories.  I am wearing a hot pink accent necklace.  The stone comes in 16 different colors.  It makes adding a pop of color a no brainier.  And adding a pop of color means adding a pop of style.  My tank has adjustable tie straps, being tall or having a long torso can make it hard to find a suitable length, just as being petite can.  After all, hardly any of us look like the mannequins in the store, so finding cuts that work well are important.  We will save dressing correctly for your body type blog for another day.  It is a subject I love!  For reference I am  5 11′ and wear mostly smalls and mediums in tops.   A nice cut on a simple tank can be worn alone or makes for a pretty layering piece.   My particular tank is sold out but a similar one can be found in the link for $15 and come is five colors.  The  Criss-Cross tank  is a great variation of the tank I am wearing and has the same neckline.  You can’t beat the price!  

My  Tory Burch flip flops were a splurge for me.  I have wanted to buy them for a few summers but always stopped short because of the price.  But honestly, I wear them all the time and price per wear made them a good deal for me.  At least that’s what I tell me husband, wink, wink!  I don’t believe in a label making an item a nice piece to own, however when I slip these bad boys on I do feel a little fancy.   When you have shorts, even cute ones like the ones shown, it is nice to have a little piece that makes it feel special.  I bought these shorts from gap several years ago, and they are a classic style that I will wear for a few more seasons.  I found a similar pair of shorts for you at Nordstrom.  Throw on a classic denim jacket to round out a complete summer look.  In the layout above I added a different necklace that is colorful and fun to wear.  The necklace is $39 and is brightly colored making it  easy to wear with a variety of clothes.  It also comes in neutral colors which is a nice option for the fall and winter months.   I love this fun piece.  It is called the Reina

Enjoy the last bit of summer.  I hope the weekly dose of “Keeping it Real Style” helps you find a new outfit in your own closet that you already have or you find some cute pieces to add to your collection of clothes and accessories.  FYI, I am just going to hide behind these balloons and pretend school is really not starting!

Happy shopping!

 

Cheers, Nicole

Beach Waves

Hi! It’s all about the hair today.  All of us have that one thing that makes us feel like we have a little jump in our step.  For me, when I put a few beach waves in my hair,  I immediately feel more pulled together. So I am excited to share the products I use and a few helpful tips to achieve the beach wave look. My favorite everyday products for this look are pictured below.  Lets get our waves on!

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You can achieve this look on any length of hair that wraps around a wand once or twice.  Today I am using a 25mm wand that creates a soft tousled look.  I like to use the 25 mm on my hair when I want the waves to stay in a bit longer.  If I use a bigger wand I tend to need more products, so for an every day style I like to keep my products simple and my wand smaller.  Start with dry hair and use the Nume 25 mm curling wand. This is an awesome curling iron, it has a 360 degree rotating power cord.  I love this feature because it keeps the cord from tangling.  You can shop the link below or take a closer look.  Curling Wand

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Okay excuse the no make-up look I have going on here.  I like to do my make-up after my hair.  I usually get hot and like to save myself any touch ups.  Sorry for the side bar, back to business.  If you are curling the left side of your hair, grab a small section of hair with your left hand and reach over your head with your right hand holding the wand.  this makes it easy to curl the hair away from your face.  This curling iron comes with a glove however I find it harder to use.  Hold on to the ends of your hair away from the wand.  This look is meant to be a tousled look, the ends look better if they are not curled under.  FullSizeRender (6)

Repeat on your right side of your head.  Hold the hair with your right hand and reach over with the left.  When you release the hair do not untwist it, just pull up on the curling wand and let the hair fall.

The next step is adding volume.  You guys, if your hair is flat like mine, this will be your new favorite product.  It is made by Bamboo and gives your hair volume and hold.  Lift up small sections in you crown area, give a shake of the liquid powder on your root and give your hair a little shake.  You will have instant volume.

Bamboo Liquid Powder

Bamboo Uplifting Hair Spray

Not Your Mother’s Dry Shampoo

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Now you are ready to lightly spray your beach waves with the bamboo uplifting  hair spray.  Go throw some lipstick on, grab your coffee and head out the door with your cool hair!  One more thing, when  the afternoon comes around I will touch up my roots with Not Your Mother’s dry shampoo because I tend to have oily hair.  It makes my hair look fresh all day long.  I can even use this product for a second day to help with the oil and stretch my styling efforts out a day.  And not having to do your hair two days in a row is magical!  Good luck, and remember your waves do not have to be perfect, just keep trying.  You will get the hang of it.

Cheers, Nicole