Karen's Essentials

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I love trying new skin care products; unfortunately I have sensitive skin so I have to be very careful. I try one product at a time that way if I have a breakout or an adverse reaction  I know which product caused it. In my spring Fab Fit Fun box (see post) Subscription Boxes Spring Fabfitfun I was so excited to try sheet mask for the first time. I used the mask twice after each use my skin looked radiant, felt soft and moisturized with no adverse reaction. The third time I applied the mask I had no immediate reaction the next morning my face was very itchy, and swollen, eyes almost swollen shut. Last year I had a similar delayed reaction to a new face wash, I used it a few times with no reaction and the next time I had a severe allergic reaction (I was prescribed a steroid prednisone) it was painful and looked awful. The sheet mask reaction wasn’t as severe but my doctor recommended allergy testing.

The initial testing was for environmental allergens; grass, pollen, tress, dust mites; etc I do have seasonal allergies but didn’t realize to what extent; I tested positive for everything the doctor thought maybe I had false positive readings so I was retested with the same result. I  do take allergy meds everyday, my doctor increased the dosage to combat my reactions.  I will have a second round of testing for common ingredients found in cosmetic and skin care products;  so I can avoid the culprit ingredients. I absolutely loved the mask obviously before it turned my into Will Smith from the movie Hitch. NOT CUTE!

Have you ever had an allergic reaction? Do you use sheet mask?



Karura Sheet Mask

My reaction to environmental allergens


I know you maybe wondering what happened to Weigh In Wednesday? WIW will return after my physical I am truly stumped.


  1. Motherhood is a thankless job the things we do for our children may often go unnoticed! Be encouraged; my now 30 year old daughter has often told me “mom you were right” I think I blacked out temporarily the first time she said those words! While I am not a perfect mother I try to be very intentional in my relationships with my children. Your labor is not in vain, while being a mom isn’t glamorous, you don’t often see the fruit of your hard work for many years be patient it’s so worth it.
  2. Stay in the moment as our children grow up if we aren’t careful we will miss out on so much because we can’t wait to get past the terrible twos, potty training, adolescence and those times you just don’t like your kids (yes there are times when you won’t like your off spring). Each stage is not enjoyable and can be down right painful for you and your children but these stages are necessary to prepare them to launch from your home into the world as responsible, God honoring, self sufficient adults.
  3. Saying I’m sorry the most humbling experience  as a mom for me has been admitting I was wrong and looking my children in the eye and saying I am sorry please forgive me. It may feel like we are giving up our “power” as the authority but we are honoring our children when we admit we aren’t perfect and we don’t know everything. Having a humble spirit before our children helps them to see us as fallible, imperfect people and it also teaches them to extend the same grace that God gives us each day.
  4. Have fun there are times especially when my kids were little having fun meant making a mess and I wasn’t interested in creating more work for myself. Time spent enjoying my children eventually won out over the task of cleaning up after the fun.
  5. Remember I wasn’t born an adult; I have to remind myself that my 17 year old son doesn’t have the wisdom and life experiences to make the decisions I would make as a 50 year old. It is my job and my husband’s to help him navigate through some of the bone head decisions he’s made and the consequences that come with said choices. I have learned to ask what would you do differently? If this comes up again how will you handle it?

What are some lessons you have learned being a mom? What’s your favorite part of being a mom? What’s your least favorite?

Being a mom is often a roller coaster ride, there are times of great joy and celebration, times of frustration and anger, sadness and pain. Through it all I love being a mom (I don’t always like it). I thank God for allowing me to be the mother to Corey, Aaron and a bonus mom to Marcus. I am not a perfect mom but I serve a prefect God who has given me these precious gifts.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mom, stepmom, grandmother, relatives stepping in as mom, spiritual moms your labor is not in vain God will honor your obedience as we raise future generations.

Corey 30

Marcus 32

Aaron 17

Last week I worked out Monday-Wednesday for less than 150 minutes and didn’t work out again until Monday of this week. I had a crazy busy week and didn’t get it done.  I also had my husband take my measurements as another way to track my progress.

Arms-12 inches

Thighs-23 3/4 inches

Hips- 39 inches

Waist-35 inches

Bust-39 inches

I still have not incorporated several smaller meals per day into my plan (I will to by the weekend). I am walking during my lunch hour (almost 3 miles), I am either working out in the morning or the evening after work. My scale is teetering between 160.6 and 161. I had an off week last week and didn’t put in enough time, NO EXCUSES!  Today is a new day! I am not DEFEATED, determined more than ever to get this weight off!

WIW #8



Micellar Cleansing Water is well known in the beauty industry as a gentle cleanser used to remove makeup. The Micellar water has micelles (or tiny molecules that contain oil) They are supposed to attract dirt, oil and draw out any impurities without stripping the skin. I use this cleansing water to remove eye makeup the brand I use is by Garnier its cheap and it does the job without irritating my eyes or skin.

When I heard that Deva Curl (a brand made for curly hair) was coming out with a  Build Up  Buster Micellar Water that removes buildup from your scalp and hair without stripping or drying; I was intrigued. I received a few samples with my last Sephora purchase. (I don’t use shampoo to cleanse my hair I use a cleansing conditioner, Deva Curl No-Poo Decadence which I absolutely love. Periodically, I will do an apple cider vinegar rinse to remove build up from my scalp and hair (4 parts water one part apple cider vinegar) which works great, leaves my scalp  clean, my hair shiny and its super cheap BUT if it gets in your eyes it’s a wrap WHEW!

DevaCurl Buildup Buster $28

I divided my hair into 8 sections I then wet each section with a spray bottle (outside the shower) since the product has a “nozzle” it is very easy to distribute the product onto my scalp I massage it in and down the length of my hair. The product is clear with a very faint scent, the consistency is very slippery.  Because it has so much slip, I was able finger detangle each section easily. After I completed each section I rinsed my hair in the shower (this product takes the place of your shampoo or cleansing conditioner when you need a deeper cleanse to remove buildup). My hair felt smooth, my curls were more defined and my hair felt super soft, my hair felt clean and looked shiny but not stripped. I deep conditioned and styled my hair  in a wash in go that seemed to last longer with less frizz and more definition.  I have used this product 3 times and each time I was pleased with result. I will only use it once a month to remove any product buildup.  I liked it so much I  purchased a full size. I highly recommend this product. Deva Curl products are sold at Ulta, Sephora online, and DevaCurl’s website.

Would you use micellar water for your face or hair? What do you use to cleanse your hair?

I have been on this weight loss journey with you guys for 7 weeks I am totally baffled by my progress or lack there of.  I have given this a lot of thought, research, and energy here is what I have been missing:

  •   Keeping  track of what I am eating; I have installed My Fitness Pal App on my phone. I don’t know why I stopped using it it’s a great tool and it’s free. You put in your current weight, your goal weight, and your goal date range. It will tell you the amount of calories you need to consume and you can track every morsel you put in your mouth; the app will tell you if said item is too many carbs or too much fat to reach your goals, etc. (I will also share with you what I am eating)
  • I should be eating more than 3 times per day instead eating 6 small meals throughout the day, snacking frequently (healthy snacks) keeps the metabolism going, helps with hunger and controls blood sugar. This will take more prep time but worth the effort.
  • I didn’t take before  measurements of my waist, hips, and bust, etc.  my scale isn’t moving as much as I would like but I am pretty sure I have lost inches. I am going to measure myself starting today and I will share my current measurements the next weigh in Wednesday. (not weekly but periodically)
  • Consult with a nutritionist my insurance has a wellness nutrition coach program and I spoke to my “coach” for the first time today. I hope to meet with a nutritionist soon.
  •  Get in at least 150 minutes of exercise per week.  I am currently working out 3 days per week (trying to squeeze in more) for 35 to 45 minutes which is not enough for weight loss.
  •  Go to bed EARLY! I am up very early and I average 5.5 to 6 hours a sleep per night studies show lack of sleep inhibit weight loss and can actually cause weight gain.
  • Eat less sugar that seems like a no brainer but even fruit which has “good” sugars still can slow down your weight loss. My plan is to cut my fruit in take by half and replace the fruit with veggies.

The silver lining,  my body is changing, I look slimmer, my clothes fit better and I feel great! I am still as determined to get this weight off I am learning so much about myself and about my 50 year old body.   Although I have been eating clean and exercsing it wasn’t enough. I am going to make the adjustments and keep it moving. Having said all of that I don’t have a picture, I got on the scale at 6 am this morning and I weigh 161.6 (I gained 4 ounces) I was so surprised  ANGRY I  forgot to take the picture. No Excuses! Getting it in no matter what!

How many meals do you eat per day? If you do the small meals throughout the day please share  how that’s working for you? Do you take your measurements while trying to loose weight? Do you use fitness apps that track your weight, food, activity?