Jan 29, 2015

Skin Care Secrets!

Years ago when I was in the midst of terrible breakouts and rounds of accutane, if you would have told me a time was coming when people wanted to know my skin care tips I never would have believed you.  It was a long journey.  Actually, it still is.  It never ends.

You want to start by finding out what type of skin you have.  I took the lengthy quiz in The Skin Type Solution back in 2011.  I found out that the main issues for me were dryness and sensitivity.  This book is incredible.  It's detailed and filled with products ranging in price that fit your specific needs.  Imagine my surprise when I found out just about everything I had been using for breakouts and moisturizer up to that point were the exact opposites of the ingredients I needed! 

Only recently have I stepped up my game when it comes to products.  No more over the counter for me.  Now my conversations are with estheticians who can teach me more about what I need, and make recommendations.  

My daily routine consist of washing my face in the morning with dove sensitive skin soap.  Then I use GlyMed Plus, an AHA accelerator just before my face has become completely dry.  I need to catch it before my dryness kicks in and my both skin tightens up, and even wants to flake in some areas.  This product is all about cell turnover.  

When that's nearly dry, I lotion.  And lotion.  And lotion some more.  Not all at once, but maybe 2-3 times as I start my makeup.  I start with my eyebrows and eye makeup first, so I can do several all over applications.  My lotion of choice is one I discovered back when I read the Skin Type Solution and has been my favorite ever since.  Aveeno Ultra - Calming.  

Another item I love is the Tinkle Facial Razor.  Use this to remove the peach fuzz on your face whenever you feel you need to.  Silky smooth! 

My skin is far from perfect, and I have some pigment issues.  Easily covered up with base, but noticeable without.  I was using the SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector for awhile, but I think I'm slightly too bad of a case for it to really do the job.  I have had a few laser treatments on one spot darker than the rest.  It's lightened up but it's still not gone.  I'll definitely need more laser on it down the road.  I have had a couple other options mentioned to me for pigment issues, and I'll look into those and report back down the road.  

At the end of the night I always wash my face.  Same soap, followed by the same lotion before bed.  

Last but not least, one of my very favorite options out there.  Injections.  Yup.  Botox.  Right before my wedding I decided to give it a try.  I went in and got the lines by my eyes, or crows feet, done.  Holy.  Cow.  I am serious when I tell you my only regret is that I didn't start this five years ago.  Ten years ago.  Now every three months, I get it done.  That means this week was my third time ever.  I went to Cynthia Clarke at The Body's Edge and she was different than what I'd experienced my two times before.  She made marks on the areas she was going to inject, and went further down as she injected, closer to under my eye then I'd had before.  This was something I'd been wondering about, and wanting.  She was so gentle.  Trust me, I hate needles.  And I never flinched or made a peep!

It took me so long to try botox because I thought it was for older people.  But it's preventative.  Can you imagine how perfect your skin would be if you started it before any lines started forming? Or in those areas that have always bothered you, but are purely genetic? You might have a line or two somewhere at 20, and maybe none until you are 45, skin is just different.  And genetics play a huge part.  And there's not just botox, but so many other kinds of injectables for various areas.  I am so excited about it.  I love it and I highly recommend Cynthia and The Body's Edge in Sandy, UT! While your there, get a facial or chemical peel with my personal skin guru and master esthetician Krista Quintana!

The difference - no crease at the corner of the eye!

So there you have it.  All my secrets! When I was in earlier this week I picked up a new product, Retinol Renewal by PCA Skin that I'm going to be starting soon when my AHA Accelerator runs out.  We've talked about alternating.  I'll let you know how it goes!

One last thing on my particular journey with keeping my skin clear, is the birth control pill really helped me maintain.  This fall, I unfortunately had to go off because it was causing migraines.  I have noticed a bit more breaking out.  I'm hoping it doesn't get too out of hand, and if it does, then I'll have to start experimenting.  I'll keep you posted. 

Hope this was helpful! Let me know if I can answer anything else on skin, products, or my makeup routine!

Thanks for reading,

Deena Marie 


Jan 22, 2015


With a childlike demeanor she asks the question why.
Every time, of everything.
She asks again, and then rephrases.
She will do so until she understands in only the way she can,
she will not stop asking why.
She cannot stop asking.
The thing inside will drive her mad if she does not ask.
It's a thirst, a desire, an obsession.
To know everything.  To constantly seek for truth.
To weed the make believe out of the story.
The need to know will overtake.
The excruciating need to understand.
Brain on fire, trying to make sense of it.
Of all of it, of what she is, and where she is, and why she is.
The only way she believes she'll ever know,
is to keep digging around her,
to keep prodding,
and to keep the why alive.

Jan 21, 2015

Above all else.

What is it that you desire above all else? 
What do you hold in the highest regard? 
What one thing do you choose to have, 
if you could only have one thing in life?

For me? Love.  A romantic love.  I've been searching for it for as far back as I can possibly remember.  I'd give it all up for love.  I have always kept close a list of my hearts desires, but one thing would always take the lead.  Love.  I often misplaced it.  I wanted it to be, so I would try my hardest to make it so.  I would "love" instantly.  I'm talking from the time I was barely a teenager.  Maybe younger.  With each one, the goal was to make him stay.  Make him love me.  Make him The One.  So, I forced it.  I labeled it at once and was instantly afraid of losing it.

Why? What did it mean?

I guess the second thing  I've always wanted above all else, is to be loved.  But to feel it from my beloved as truly as I could give it.

I'd never experienced the balance before.  I seemed to love harder, the ones who didn't love me.  I seemed to love less, the ones who loved me most.  But more often than not, I felt it was I who won the game of how much I could love someone without a return.

I have always been full of love.  I have so much in me to give, it runs out of room inside my frame, and soul.  If anything, it has hurt more often than not.

I guess the third thing I've always wanted above all else, is a balance of love.

I wanted love.  To love, to be loved, and the balance.

I'd finally resigned myself to the fact that it wasn't meant for me.  Just when I'd accepted defeat, I won.  I'd be lying if I didn't say I have days when I am terrified I could lose it.  It's just that I've waited so long.  I'd stopped thinking it was possible, let alone that I deserved it.  Sometimes I push and dig and prod and test.  Fear.  It's that thing called fear.

Just like each one that came before was not clung to from a true love, but from fear.

You see, it's just that when you've wanted something more than anything for your entire life, and finally get it, when the other half of your soul finds you and makes with you a whole love at last, when the greatest mirror of your life drops directly in front of you, deeply rooted, with no intention to run, well, it's a lot for a weary heart to take.

~ Deena Marie

Jan 20, 2015

These bones.

I came across this beautiful quote a few weeks back, and it's stuck with me.  It struck me as something I would have declared was exactly my life if I'd found it three years ago.  It no longer is, but still it stayed.  I've been mulling it over and finally realized, somewhat of the opposite is now true for me.

Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I've lived.

I touched on this a few posts ago.  How can I be this young and have already been so many people? Had so many lives?

How do we hold our bones together as each year layers on?

~ Deena Marie

Jan 14, 2015

The Dress You Marry the Love of Your Life In

How I chose my wedding dress.

The hardest decision for me when planning my wedding was the dress.  I was not the girl who grew up dreaming of what my wedding day would be, or what my dress would look like.  I did not have my mind set on a time of year or style, so when I went shopping for my dress I was completely overwhelmed! I loved just about every dress I tried on.  

I wasn't allowed to take pictures in many dresses, including some of my very favorites, but I did get a few of the first options.

The first image is the very first dress I tried on! I loved it.  I wondered if I'd found it right off the bat.  The third image nearly was the one, and was even on hold for me.  When I try something on, I see the entire outfit.  The hair, makeup, the accessories.  With this one, I would have gone with a Marilyn Monroe inspired hairstyle.  Curled, lots of volume.  No veil.  I loved how flattering the last one was, but for me, it was boring.  The second image wasn't quite it for me, but it was so comfortable.  I liked the idea of wearing something flowy all night, just for the comfort level.  Speaking of flowy, take a look at this one that I liked even better.  

But this one trumped all of the above, and ended up coming in third in my overall search (which took days and hours, by the way).  

I can't even tell you how much I still love this dress.  I saw this one without a veil, and with a big bright purple orchid in my hair.  But.  When the sales woman asked me if I felt like a bride, I automatically and instinctually said no.  
The more I tried on, the more I started to get it.  

If I loved so many, and they were all such different styles, it would have to come down to who I want to be on that day.  

As the search was wrapping up, only two contenders remained.  The dress I ended up getting, and one that I wasn't able to photograph.  Picture if you can, a strapless mermaid dress embellished with amazing beading and lace detail, and a bit of a train.  Incredibly fitted and flattering, and a shade of silver.  It was stunning.  It was sexy.  I was torn for awhile.  I imagined my wedding photos.  What did I want immortalized forever? It wasn't this one.  Sexy is easy.  I needed a dress I couldn't wear to any other event.  

Back we went to try on for a second time the ball gown I couldn't stop thinking about.  I needed something special.  Spectacular.  Classy, classic, and timeless.  I needed to be Grace Kelly for the day. I needed the dress that you marry the love of your life in.  

When I came out in it for a second time, and dozens of dresses later, I knew.  As I stood in front of the mirror, two women rushed over and asked if they could look.  They said they just had to see.  "It's so timeless! You look like Grace Kelly!" One said.  The deal was sealed.  It was magic.  

I tried on veils with it, but they were all short.  I knew this dress called for a long veil.  The line needed to continue, not be cut off in the middle with such a full skirt.  I searched until I found the right one, in the right shade of blush.  

The look I went for on my wedding day turned out to be perfection.  To me.  Because it was just what I wanted.  I chose my look wisely.  It was the dress worthy of marrying the love of my life.  

I can't even believe I got to wear (and get to own) something so beautiful. 

My advice for future brides would be to match the fabric to the season, and to find something flattering to your body type.  Think about the venue, and where the photos will be shot.  Envision it, and go with your instincts.  In the end, ask yourself who you want to be on that day, and you want immortalized forever. And last but not least, rules are made to be broken.  If you feel it's the one, you can't go wrong.

If you are shopping in SLC, the quality, selection, and experience at The Perfect Dress and it's sister store The Brides' Shop are unparalleled.  And believe me, I went everywhere!

Thanks for reading,

Deena Marie 

Where are you going? Here are a few more for fun!

Jan 13, 2015

Whole Body Renewal!

It's 2015, all is new.  If you're like me, you're feeling change in the air.  You're feeling inspired and ready to make this year a great one.  Stepping up your game and ready to cultivate new healthy habits.  What better way to kick that off than with a reset? And what better way to reset than with a little help?

I'm about to embark on a two week body renewal cleanse on Monday, January 19th! I've never done anything like this before.  Wanna join me?

Check out the site for the details:
Milk & Honey Wellness: The Wellness Gypsies  

Let's do this! Oh, and guess what else?!

My followers have until January 16th to get $30 off the cleanse!
Just use the codewholebodyblogger 

If you suffer from any of the following, it's definitely time for a cleanse:
  • Excess weight
  • Chronic pain
  • Emotional eating
  • Inflammation
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Fatigue
  • Low energ
  • Cravings
  • Constipation or irregularity
  • Insomnia
  • Acne
  • Addictions
  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • PMS

Jan 11, 2015

If you always do what you've always done...

...you'll always get what you've always got.

My mantra of the moment.  The foundation of my new year buzzwords I mentioned a couple of posts ago.  Passion, and create.

Let me elaborate.  

One thing I love about getting older, is learning to say no.  Not in general (as your answer for saying no must be better than your answer for saying yes to most situations), but when something doesn't align with your soul, you can decline the experience before it begins.  Be it a job, a relationship, an outing with friends.  More than ever this year, if it doesn't feel like a fit instantly and instinctually, I'm not going to give it my time.  

It also becomes easier to trust your instincts with each passing year, and as you learn this, it seems ludicrous to ever try something out you knew deep down was going to end in a no. 

I'm going to be a step ahead this year.  Decisions will be brave and bold.  At first glance, risky.  But I've learned each time that the universe is here to provide me with abundance when I make a choice that aligns with what is true for me.  Simple.  Why does this take years to learn?

As 2015 rang in, I couldn't help feel the most powerful energy! It was palpable, sweeping, and positive.  How to harness this? It was full of change.  I found myself wanting to put my bold moves into action.  I've felt certain things whisper to me over the years, but I fall back into the old habits eventually.  Nothing changes.  I've been longing for certain things, but they haven't manifested.  You know why? I'm not holding up my end of the bargain by being truthful about what I want, or how I'm spending my time.  Know what else?

"If you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got."

There are things that I don't want anymore.  And I need space to make room for the things that I do.  The only requirement? Complete and total trust.  Unexpected circumstances left me with a clean slate just as 2014 was ending.  2015 is fresh and new.  That was no mistake.  My canvas sprawls before me to know create my truth, and only my truth. 

Okay, universe.  I hear you.  Please help me make my dreams come true.  I keep getting so close! I just need one more nudge and we're there. 

Symbols of creation are even showing up in my dreams.

So let's go.  

I'm yours.  Wish me luck. 

Thanks for reading,

Deena Marie

Jan 3, 2015

When to leave the one you love.

I came across this article yesterday, The only 8 times it's excusable to leave someone you truly love.   

The 8 conditions listed: 
You're unhappy and it's clearly because of the relationship
The good times are outweighed by the bad
You don't see yourself spending your life with your partner
You have lost trust in your partner
Your partner doesn't treat you the way you deserve to be treated
Your partner cheated on you
You fell in love with someone else
You're not capable of loving your parter the way your partner deserves to be loved.

I was about to repost, but couldn't formulate the sentence or two that would accompany why I was posting.  I realized I needed to think about it a little longer, and tackle it in a blog post instead.  When searching for the article online today, I found another.  10 Ways to Know It's Time to Leave Your Relationship. 

The 10 conditions listed:
Physical Abuse
Verbal/Emotional Abuse, Overly Controlling Behavior
Child Abuse
Financial Abuse
Substance Addictions
Different Paths
Lack of Support for Being All You Can Be
Different Needs for Intimacy
One foot out the Door - Fear of Commitment

Before my now husband, I spent years in a relationship.  I'm still learning from the experience.  The why's.  Why I went into it, why I stayed in it, and why I got out of it.  I learned so much and while I want to protect my ex and and keep details private, there's a big part of me that wants to share what I learned in hope I might inspire another woman, or man to have courage to leave a situation that no longer serves them, or their partner.  Staying stuck serves neither, and until you are both free to find your truth, you are existing at half capacity.  When you are truly ready to believe that, when you are ready to set yourselves free, you'll see there was nothing to fear.  It's excruciating, yes.  But necessary.  And guess what? The weight lifts.  The healing happens.  Then comes truth and happiness.

In the first article, I was 4/8.  In the second, 5/10.  However, there is one more I'd like to add that wasn't on either list.  It won't be make or break for everyone, but for some it's reason enough to move on,  and hopefully to a partnership where you feel like an active participant.

You exist in their already established world and routine.

In the end I learned that I didn't need it easy.  I didn't need to move right into a world that was already set in many areas.  The home, the furniture, the decor, and the finances.  Instead, I needed to begin a journey on equal footing,  I wanted to create from the ground up alongside someone.  I wanted someone to budge a little more for me, and inspire me to budge a little more for them.  I wanted room to grow, and to grow together.  I wanted to stumble through it to find the us.

I said goodbye.  To forcing a fit.  To a dynamic that had become anything but a romantic relationship.  To material security.  To a house.  To a car.  To insurance.  To not having to pay for many of the bills.  I jumped.  I set myself free. I set him free, in the only way that I could.  I leapt into my truth and left him to do the same.

This is when it's excusable to leave someone you love.  When your inner voice starts whispering that little word, "go" that eventually turns to a shout, "GO!" It's telling you to go for a reason.  It's telling you that this isn't your fit.  If it's not your fit, how can it be theirs? If you are miserable, how can they not be? And if they don't know that you are, then they are not in tune with you.  And if they are not in tune with you, how much can this truly be the best fit for them?

Sometimes, setting someone free is the most loving thing you can do.

And sometimes, leaving the one you love is not only okay, but crucial.

You're free.  

No option other than to flourish.  


Thanks for reading,

Deena Marie