Younger Skin, Smaller Pores + a Slightly Awkward Video

This post is sponsored by Silk’n who kindly provided me with their FaceFX anti-aging device for free in exchange for my honest assessment of the product. All opinions and awkward on-screen moments are my own.  

Here’s something I’m a bit embarrassed to admit to you guys: I’m a bit obsessed (bordering on vain) about my skin and keeping it healthy. I’ve always taken pretty good care of my skin. I’ve been using moisturizer everyday since I was a kid, I always wash my face before bed (with the exception of a few vodka soaked nights in college), I use eye-cream religiously and  I wear sunscreen like it’s my job. Now that I’m in my 30’s I’ve become even more neurotic about my face and taking care of it. I’m pretty happy with what god gave me and I’d like to keep my skin in the same condition it’s in for as long as possible (naturally, without injecting foreign substances into my body or going under the knife). Although I try and buy the best quality products that are within my budget, I just don’t have the extra cash for expensive spa treatments or a lifetime supply of Creme de la Mer. I’m pretty sure most of us are in the same boat.

That’s why I was super excited when FaceFX offered to send me one of their Anti-Aging & Skin Rejuvenation Devices. FaceFX uses Home Fractional Technology – a safe and effective manner to provide stimulation of heat and light energy to the multiple layers of your skin, without high levels of discomfort, making it a pain-free alternative to Botox or surgery. The device works to improve skin texture, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, fade the appearance of dark skin patches and reduce pore size. Sounds awesome right?

 Perfect for Spa Addicts and Beauty Buffs, FaceFX is designed for anyone who wants a more natural youthful appearance and is tired of the expense of high-end facial creams, professional laser treatments and/or facials.

FaceFX's Before and After photo

At $299 (+ 20% off for Skinny Dip readers) FaceFX is a splurge. However, I like the fact that it’s something you buy once and you can use it anytime in the comfort of your own home (vs. ongoing pricey spa treatments). Plus I like the idea that it will hopefully keep me away from the injecting my mug with god-knows-what. The last thing I want is to become like one of  The Real Housewives of Orange County where I start rocking crazy Barbie style hair extensions to overcompensate for the fact that I can no longer make realistic human facial expressions.

Not cute honey.

To show you guys how to use FaceFx I’ve made a little video. I filmed and edited this late last night so, please be kind. I swear to god I don’t smack my lips and say “Umm” this much in real life. Honest.

 

 

Editors correction: I realized after I made this video that I actually made one mistake: you can expect noticeable results within 3-7 weeks after treatment. Note: For the first month, users are advised to use FaceFX 3 times a week and once a week thereafter for maintenance. Each treatment session should be 15-20 minutes. This means that you’ll get to see sooner rather than later whether I start to undergo some kind of Benjamin Button style reverse aging process. Yay!

So what do guys think? If you’re interested if picking up a FaceFX for yourself, all Skinny Dip readers receive 20% off anything on Silkn.com, when they use code NYNY (I’m actually eyeing up some of their hair removal systems. TMI?)

Have any of you ever tried a skin care device like this? What’s your skin care ritual?

Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self #8 – Casey

Greetings from Las Vegas!

 

As we speak, I’m probably trying to slow dance with a fake palm tree at Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville after a few too many of their signature “Lucky Ritas” …in other words, I’m in no condition to blog. Luckily my friend Casey has stepped up to the plate to provide you guys with another installment of “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self” while I’m off galavanting around Vegas with a bunch of crazy bloggers. This guest post is a special one because I’ve actually known Casey since I was 20! Back in the day when Ja Rule still dominated the airwaves, puffy jackets were in style and we were both angst ridden 20-somethings, Casey and I connected on Livejournal & he became one of my first online friends. Living in Toronto, we eventually progressed to “real life friends.” Casey is funny, creative and one of the best guys I know. I hope you enjoy his post!

Take it away Casey!

Who is Casey Palmer in 2012?

Not even 30 yet, I can see a huge difference between Casey today and Casey 2003. I’ve done things that I couldn’t even dream of — I got married, own a home, and we’re looking at the possibility of having kids — if you even brought this kind of stuff up to me at 20, I’d look at you like you were completely insane.

But we learn a lot over the years, and I’d say what I’m sure you’ve all said at least once:

“If I knew then what I know now…”

When I was 20, back when Simone and I were still kickin’ it on LiveJournal, my life was a very different story. Insecure, self-defeating and finding himself a small fish in the university sea after having been a big fish in his high school pond, Casey 2003 needed some work.

With that in mind, Simone’s given me the chance to think about the advice I’ll go back to give my 20-year old self when I eventually get the chance….

YOU ARE NOT BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE

You’re a pretty cocky little kid, man. You need to get off of your high horse and take that stick out of your ass ASAP. You might think you’re so smart, but there’re plenty of people who’re great at the things you suck at.

And trust me — it’s a lengthy list!

The thing that’s going to make your life a lot easier to live is humility — know your worth, but don’t go around wearing it like a crown, lording it over everyone else. You too will make mistakes. You’re nowhere near perfect.

Lesson #1: Love yourself in spite of it anyway.

YOU’RE LOOKING FOR LOVE IN ALL THE WRONG PLACES

You know, if you spent less time moaning that everyone else is having more sex than you and more time noticing how many women around you would actually be willing to give you a shot, I swear — you could’ve gotten laid by 16. No word of a lie

Yeah… you really need to start loving yourself. You’re an awesome guy, but you’ll never know it if you keep listening to the people around you. Lots of people care about you and want to see you do well — you just need to have a sense of self-worth first. Stop obsessing over the wrong girls, stop running away when women show interest, stop sacrificing yourself for people who don’t appreciate it, and just figure out who you are and what you’re all about. Everything falls into place after that.

WOMEN AREN’T SCARY

Well, not as scary as you seem to think they are, anyway. Approaching someone showing a little interest won’t kill you, and just because you date someone, it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be with them from now until enternity. Give these girls a chance! And while you won’t regret it all later, the sooner you man up in life, the better.

JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN BUY IT DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU SHOULD

You’re going to do a lot of stupid things with your money. A ton. You need to smarten up.

Now, I’m not trying to tell you to start budgeting or to get smarter with WHERE you put your money — no, resign yourself to the fact that you’ll always suck at budgeting. What I’m saying is that you just need to buy smarter. A few tips:

Don’t bother spending all that money on a Discman or any other MP3 player; the iPod — and Apple with it — will run shit in the future. Jump on board now. (Get a Mac and some Apple , Inc. stock while you’re at it.)

If you’re going to insist on taking photos, just save up for an SLR and be done with it. All the money you’re going to blow on cameras would be better spent on some high-quality lenses and a sweet SLR body. You’re eventually going to do it anyway — might as well do it right.FAMILY MATTERS.

And last, but of course not least…

BUY APPLE

Take all the money you have and invest it in Apple stock. You’ll thank me in 2012!

For more Casey please visit his blog or follow him on Twitter @DoomzTOTo read the rest of the “Things I Would Tell my 20-Year Old Self” series please go here!

 

What advice would you give your 20-year old self? 

My Week of Eating Like a Celebrity

This post was sponsored by The Fresh Diet. I was given a week of food in exchange for an honest assessment of their services. All opinions and confessions about my weird eating habits are my own. 

One of the things that made my recent two week trip to Toronto awesome was that The Fresh Diet provided me with a week of free gourmet food delivery while I was in the city. I always find that my diet suffers the most when I am busy. My time in Toronto was jam packed with social engagements, meetings and packing up all of my worldly possessions. Not having to worry about food for a week while I was worrying about all kinds of other stuff (ie. “Omg, what if this bed-frame doesn’t fit in my tiny storage locker?!!” & “What the hell am I going to with all these shoes?!”) seriously felt like the ultimate luxury!  There’s nothing like having all of your meals delivered to make you feel like a total celebrity.

The food came. I ate it. Now I’m ready to report back on my week with The Fresh Diet.

What I liked: 

1. Service and convenience:  All of the Fresh Diet staff I interacted with were super friendly and professional. Their service was prompt and all of my food was delivered outside my apartment door by 10pm the night before in one of these snazzy blue cooler bags:

{Each bag includes breakfast, lunch, an appetizer, a dessert and a menu for the day.}

2. IT’S DELICIOUS. Everything tasted amazing. With the exception of one or two items (a lamb and a beef dish – I’m not a huge red meat fan) I loved everything. The food was made with fresh, healthy ingredients and tasted like it had been prepared at a high quality restaurant (it was actually prepared at a state of the art kitchen not far from my house – almost the same thing!)

3. Variety:  Although most of the meals took the same format – Omelette or Fruit Salad with Yogurt for Breakfast, Salad for lunch & meat or fish with veggies for dinner – there was a lot of variety in regards to flavors, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

4. Gluten Free: As per my request, they made all of my meals gluten free which was totally awesome! Not having to worry about whether something contained gluten meant that I could just sit back & enjoy my meals.

5. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies:  The Fresh Diet is heavy on the fruits and veggies which I love. I especially enjoyed the variety of vegetables offered (everything from kale to butternut squash) and the plentiful fresh fruit salads.

Some of my other favorite meals:

• Asparagus Tarragon Souffle Omelet with Gruyere Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomato (Breakfast)
• Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp Salad with Yellow Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts & Citrus Dressing (Lunch)
• Grilled Portabella Topped with Yellow Tomato, Basil, Fresh Mozarella and Balsamic Vinaigrette (Hors D’Oeuvre)
• Fillet of Sole with Lemon Caper Sauce with Butternut Squash Puree & Steamed Cauliflower (Dinner)
• Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Creamy Vanilla Ricotta Cheese (Dessert)
• Maple Baked Pear filled with Mascarpone Cheese (Dessert)

{Day One:  Fresh Fruit Salad with Yogurt, Grilled Portabella and Mozzarella Hors D’ Oeuvre, Cod Loin with Tarragon Dijon Sauce  with White Bean Puree and Sauteed Kale, Grilled Chicken Breast with Baby Arrugula, Orange, Mango Strawberries and Citrus Ginger Dressing}

What I didn’t like:

SMALL PORTIONS.

Those of you who know me and have been present for “All you can eat Sushi Carnage 2008”, “Late Night Chinatown Incident 2011” or my recent trip to Chipotle where I ate 3 tacos, a full serving of chips & guacamole plus 1/2 of my roommate’s burrito, know that I have a disturbingly large appetite for someone my size. I’m also extremely active. When I’m in Toronto, I walk a minimum of 2 km a day (to and from the subway), walk all over the city and work out several times of week. Overall, I didn’t feel like the meals were substantial enough for me.

When my roommate saw the food for Day #1 sitting out on the counter, she said to me:

“This looks like what you would eat for ONE MEAL” (She’s right)

The portions of the entrees are similar to what you’d get in a Lean Cuisine package (but a bazillion times better tasting). All week I felt like I was eating extremely luxe airplane food prepared by a bunch of fancy Keebler Elves who had magically shrunk everything into tiny, adorable portions.

To satisfy my appetite, I topped up all of the fruit salads with extra Greek yogurt, my salads with heaps of extra greens, nuts and seeds and added extra veggies and quinoa to my dinners so that I would at least feel full. However, mid-week (as I got busier) things got a bit out of control. By the time the food arrived at 10 pm, I’d still be hungry from dinner so I’d usually eat the appetizer and the dessert intended for the next day (Bad Simone!). A couple of nights I just ate the lunch and dinner together OR two days worth of dinner. I also made a few late night trips to Chinatown for clandestine carb loading.

As far as taste, ingredients, freshness, quality and convenience, I think The Fresh Diet is amazing. It’s just not the right diet for me. 

However, with this said it might be perfect for other people, especially if you have a lighter appetite or are looking to lose weight by eating delicious food.

To end things on a positive note:  Although I wasn’t looking to lose weight, I did feel healthy by the end of the week. I ate tons of fruits & veggies and people have been telling me I have a nice “glow”. Even though it wasn’t the ideal diet for me, I’m still grateful for the experience.  In fact, I enjoyed a lot of the meals so much that I’ve been inspired to make my own versions of them at home, just with “Simone sized” portions.

If you’re interested in trying The Fresh Diet yourself, Skinny Dip readers will receive 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan at $29.99 per day when you use the promo code singlmar29.

Have any of you tried food delivery before?

Count Social Engagements, not Calories.

This post was sponsored by The Fresh Diet. As always, all opinions and details about my slightly disturbing Mexican take-out addiction, are my own.

When it comes to “cooking for one” I  have a love/hate relationship.

The upside to eating single:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

The downside:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

Although I usually start off with good intentions (cooking healthy meals for one that involve grilled tilapia, quinoa and hearty spinach & kale salads) I inevitably burn out, get super busy and reach this slightly depraved point where 90% of my meals start to involve ketchup in some way.

It’s not that I don’t like cooking or healthy food, it’s a time issue for me. I’m a really messy cook. So, when I have an article due the next morning or an event to get to that night, I’ll often choose Mexican take-out versus the “Omg, it looks like a bunch of 8th graders just had a food fight in here” style clean-up that usually comes along with one of my culinary experiments. One of my ultimate fantasies is to one day have my very own personal chef. To be able to live single and not have to worry about any of this stuff would be the ultimate luxury for me.

Now enter The Fresh Diet. If you’re living single and the concept of “cooking for one” has also lead you to being on a first name basis with Javier the guy who works at your local tacqueria, The Fresh Diet is here to save the day. The Fresh Diet is a gourmet meal delivery service designed to manage your culinary needs so you can manage your social calendar. The Fresh Diet includes 3 calorie controlled meals and decadent snacks, which are cooked fresh in state of the art local kitchens and delivered to your door daily. The Fresh Diet is the easiest  way to get fresh, nutritionally balanced meals with no fuss or clean-up. In other words, it’s kind of like a dream come true.

While I’m in Toronto next week, I’m going to be super busy packing, moving things & visiting as many people as possible. The last thing I want to be worrying about is food. The amazing news is that the awesome people at Fresh Diet have offered to provide me with a free 7 day trial of their gourmet meal delivery service! Having my meals delivered to my door every day is going to be almost like having my own personal chef. The best part? They are adjusting my diet so it’s all gluten free. I’m going to eat the Fresh Diet and let you guys know what I think!

Here’s an example of the kind of sexy meals I’ll be eating:

Almond Honey Bar with Yogurt (Yum!)

 

Roasted Poblano Omelette with Pico de Gallo (This looks delicious. I think Javier would approve)

Blackened Ahi Tuna Filet (I heart blackened seafood anything)

All of these meals are things I would normally eat & none of them appear to involve ketchup! Yay!

Because the Fresh Diet is calorie controlled, it can help you lose up to 10lbs a month (they say the average weight loss is 1-3 lbs per week.) The Fresh Diet is great for people who are looking to slim down by eating healthy (when my friend Skye tried The Fresh Diet she lost a few pounds so, I know they aren’t kidding around here!) However, as someone who’s already very petite (& looking to hang on to the few curves she has) AND has a disturbingly large appetite for someone her size, I’m both curious and slightly apprehensive about how this diet will work out for me. Will the portions be satisfying? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Check back the first week of April when I report on my Fresh Diet experience!

If you’re interested in trying the Fresh Diet yourself, Skinny Dip readers will receive 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan at $29.99 per day when you use the promo code singlmar29

Have any of you ever tried a service like this before? What did you think?

 

What Do You Really, REALLY Want?

If the title of this post sounds a bit like a Spice Girls song it’s because I’ve had “Wannabe” stuck in my head for a week. Do you remember the Spice Girls? As far as pop groups go, they were pretty cool. They were all about “Girl Power” & taking control of your life while in perilously high platform sneakers. Anyways…

I’ve learned over the past few months that in order to fully take control of your life you need to listen to yourself. Slow down, tune in and listen. What do you really want? What is your heart telling you to do?

After the big break-up at the end of October, I came to BC to stay with my parents. I arrived on November 15th with the plan to stay for 6 weeks and return after Christmas. As you’ve probably noticed from my posts: I’M STILL HERE. Oh and it’s what…March?! Sometimes things just don’t go as planned.

While I’ve been here I’ve spent many evenings sitting at the kitchen table, pouring out my heart to my Mom, trying to figure out what to do next. Really, I was just afraid to listen to what I really wanted. Because listening to what you really want can lead to making big decisions and taking risks which, while exciting, can also be scary. When I finally “tuned in”  and really listened to my heart, this is what it said loud and clear:

{I love this photo via GalaDarling.com}

I don’t want to be in Toronto.

If I really wanted to be there, I would have gone back months ago.

So what do I really, really want?

I want to write.

I want to travel.

I want to be somewhere peaceful.

I want to spend more time with my family & watching my best-friend’s daughter (who recently started calling me “Auntie Mone”) grow up.

These are the things I want. Right now.

The reality is, it’s easier to make these things happen if I am in BC. In theory, I could go back to Toronto and do all the things I feel like people expect me to do (get another well paying job in communications, work hard for an expensive apartment, interact in the large social circle I’ve spent 12 years building up, date, settle down) but I know if I did, it wouldn’t be long before I’d end up feeling just as restless and frustrated as I did before. So, I’m taking a break from Toronto. I know I’m going to miss my friends and the city but, at the same time I’m relieved to have a change of pace. It’s not for forever, it’s just what I need right now.

I’m going back to Toronto later this week for 1o days to visit & put my things in storage. Then, I’m a free agent! No attachments or commitments other than a storage locker. Adventures, here I come!

It’s funny, deep down I know this is what I wanted for a very long time. I’m glad I finally had the courage to tune in.

By the way, if you know me in real life and this is the first time you’re hearing of this, I apologize. I tried to email everyone individually but there has just been a lot of details to organize and if I missed you, I’m sorry. Please feel free to email me if you have questions! xox

What do you really, really want?

Latest pins

Pinterest widget in section "Footer Full Width": Setup not complete. Please check the widget options.