Caboodle Spring Cleaning: Cure Diva

54ec6ff6731ffb6e3353b696b4e65565Beauty and cancer are two things that don’t tango very well together, particularly when chemotherapy is in the mix.  When you are being poisoned week after week, it’s no wonder that your skin gets dry, your cuticles scream for mercy and perhaps the chemicals in your makeup might not mix well with the toxins being pumped into your body.

Cancer or no cancer, it’s always nice to be in the know as to what is in your beauty products and I have teamed up with Cure Diva to discuss Spring cleaning as to what is in that kit and caboodle, as well as their expert advice on what goes into the products of our typical everyday products.

It’s all relative and can be applied to just about anyone that looks after themselves in the beauty depot.


  1. Read the Label:
    • Use only hypoallergenic products, or those that don’t have harsh ingredients such as acids, emulsifiers, preservatives, fragrances, mineral oils, silicones, dyes or aminesYou want happier, more comfortable skin, so scan your products for these ingredients and restock your supplies with organic, chemical-free and sensitive items. CureDiva.com has an entire line of facial natural and organic skin care.
  2. Moisturize:
    • To prevent dryness and cracked, uncomfortable skin, be sure to moisturize immediately after washing and toweling dry. This means:
      • For your body, apply moisturizer after the bath or shower
      • For your face, apply moisturizer in the morning and at night
      • For your hands, moisturize after washing many times during the day
      • For your lips, use a hydrating lip balm throughout the day
  3. Blemishes:
    • Yes, some chemo treatments can cause acne on the face and scalp. Even if you suffered from acne before, take another look at your old acne ointments. They usually contain salicylic acid, retinol, benzoyl peroxide and other harsh ingredients that further dry and irritate skin. Try more natural solutions like Acne Clarifying Serum by Nurture my Body and a mild, natural soap.
  4. SPF:
    • Although SPF is used in the summer outdoors, it should become a priority when in treatment. Chemo skin is super sensitive, especially to sun exposure which can cause lasting damage even in the winter. Wear sunscreen whenever you go out, and protect your skin with UV-protective clothing (hats, gloves, long sleeves). With skincare and beauty products, choosing an SPF version is best.
    • While it can be overwhelming to find products that are safe on skin and look and smell great, asking your doctor or a friend who has been through treatment is the best way to receive a referral. Websites like CureDiva.com provide a great amount of information for those going through treatment to get the answers they need.
  5. Fingernail Care:
    • Some chemo drugs can cause finger and toenail damage. They become dry, cracked and may start lifting up. Apply cuticle balm and lots of hand cream. Checking out the label is relevant here. Switch to water-based nail color like CureDiva’s water-based nail polish by Acquarella which is my favorite when I’m dressing up!

 

Stay beautiful!

Love,

Britt x


Information: 5W Public Relations & CureDiva.com

 

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Saturday: Self Reflection ✌

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For as long as I can recall I have been a very expressive person. Unable to shield how I feel and hide my true feelings was both a blessing and a curse, that seemingly got me into many sticky situations as I was growing up.

As I have aged and grown the wiser, learned and evolved, I have realized that peace is a much happier and healthier place to be. Although a huge process, a large part of cultivating that peace has been looking inward, tapping into my roots, my core and writing my ebbs and flows through means of words and language.  Tying sentences and stringing them together to develop a sense of how I was feeling in that very moment, leaving me with a feeling, not just a memory, but an actual sensation of that moment in time was something that I found to be very helpful in my process of my personal journey to healing.

One of my greatest grievances with having cancer has been staying sharp with my Britt wit, but falling short in the memory department.  Although I have not been the most consistent with blogging, I have pages upon pages of writings from the past three years that have preceded me through some of my highest highs and lowest lows.

In a recent study performed by Duke University, they found that writing, particularly personal narratives after traumatic events helps to reshape your life, make sense of it, and ultimately lead to improved behavioral changes as well as additive benefits to your health.

Engaging and investing in your own story, understanding your fears, dreams and the world around you, while being able to express it in any medium is the most liberating form of art and happiness any one could ask for.  This being a personal testament of my very own through my experiences of my disease and writing, amongst other opportunities.

My point is, at the end of the day you chose your own narrative, you can chose to edit, delete and add pieces to your story at any point but the most important thing is to constantly self reflect.  It is both a humbling process and essential to becoming your higher and better self.

Peace and love my friends and happy weekend!

Do what you love and stay true.

Love,

Britt x

B.K.O. for #BSMHB: Life of a Train

#BKO for #BSMHB

LifeTrain

” Living resembles the life of a train.  Chugging along as best you can.  Passengers coming and going, baggage in tow.  Scenery forever changing, leaving you to wonder — where did it go? Constant parts in motion, trusting the route is properly laid out.  The destination is not always visible, at times even jolting off track, entering dark tunnels where sometimes it feels pitch black.  Yet, if you keep chugging on, you’ll soon find that the light will eventually shine so bright.” – BKO

Love,

Britt x

☀ Welcoming Summer ☀

 

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Summer solstice is upon us and I have finally begun to see the sunshine, as my gloomy and opaque clouds have parted. It has been nearly a week since my mental breakdown and I have been trying to look at each day with a new/different perspective from the last. The change in my demeanor has certainly not been effortless, but rather a solid attempt to find my bliss and discover my life, post remission.

For as far back as I can remember, I have always held goals, both from a personal intent, as well as academically and professionally. While I was moving forward with my treatment, my most important goal of all was surviving and beating the cancer that resided inside of me. I had become out of touch with any other goals outside of remaining alive and once I no longer had to fight everyday to remain, my “usual” goals no longer suited my life. In fact, the goals that I was so used to having became disconnected all together as I found myself with new realities; i.e.- health wise, professionally, personally and otherwise.

After reflecting on my ongoing depression since emerging from cancer, I realized that a key element that was missing in my life and even perhaps evidence of why I was depressed in the first place was due to not having goals and aspirations. Many of my previous goals before cancer died; along with the person that I was the day I was told of my disease. However, within the last week, since my mental calamity, I have been pushing myself, even if my efforts are starting out small, I figured that you have to start somewhere. Each day I have filled up my time with exercise and getting my blood moving with some tai chi and yoga, along with meditation, support groups, social outings and even simple things like taking the time to return phone calls, emails and text messages, which is something that may seem small, but became extremely difficult for me to do within the last few months.

It’s truly astounding how much can change in a week. I went from being on the edge of a cliff, to feeling peace, calm and dare I say it, happiness. In part, I realize that being a goal-setter is a part of my nature and without presence of objective ambitions, my world turned to nothing but doom and gloom. Surprisingly, just within the last few days, I have been riding out such a good wave that I have found myself in such a happy state of mind and didn’t even cry when seeing The Fault in Our Stars. How is that even remotely possible?

Nevertheless, I have made it a goal to keep goals. I truly feel that goal making will help me to realign my wants and needs that I have for my future and keep me on a path of contentment, even perhaps challenging myself from time to time. To start off, I have made a list of some summer goals and wishes to get me through the season and pave the path to getting back to an enjoyable place within myself and my status quo.

Here are some of the goals I have set for myself. What are your summer ambitions?

Eating: More regularly. Since my chemo began last August, my appetite has been lackluster. I would like to start eating three healthy meals per day and only occasionally treating myself to popsicles (even though they are sugar-free).

Drinking: Vintage cocktails. I’m not much of a drinker, but I’d like to take advantage of the cool, summer cocktails that Downtown Phoenix has to offer. My favorite right now is Hendricks and Lemonade and I would also like to pay a visit to the newest cocktail parlor in Downtown Phoenix, Bitter and Twisted.

Practicing: The love of authenticity, to respect and accept myself, my reality and see the good in situations, particularly those out of my control.

Mastering: The enjoyment of alone time and the art of time maintenance. I put the pro in procrastinator…

Learning: To free myself from fear and trying new things. Also, how to keep my plants ALIVE.

Trying: To be a better listener. Over the last year, everything has been about my cancer, thus missing out on some major things my friends have been going through. I’m finally in a place where I can lend an ear…just sayin’!

Playing: Outside. Although I live in the hottest place on Earth and we are about to embark on Arizona’s WORST season, I want to enjoy the outdoors (even if it means sitting on the patio of my favorite brunch spot). That counts as outdoor time, right?

Finishing: What I start. For example, I just made a six-week commitment to attend a cancer support group every Wednesday. So far it’s been week one of six, of which, week one was insanely intense. However, I am determined to commit and finish, with hopes of some liberation.

Listening: To the new Lana Del Rey album, Haim, Wet, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, Lucius, along with some old faces, Fiona Apple, Lily Allen, CCR, Simon and Garfunkle, Death Cab, Brand New, RX Bandits, Good Old War, Saves the Day, Jimmy Eat World, Third Eye Blind, Frank Sinatra, Sherwood, The Beatles (((and the list continues))).

Reading: More in general and spending time at the library and bookstores, discovering new reads and getting lost in the pages. Also, finish my latest book, #Girlboss.

Remembering: To take care of my thoughts when I am alone and take care of my words when with people. Oh, also remembering to take my medications…everyday.

Wearing: Fun summer dresses and flirty skirts, but most importantly wearing sunscreen in this blazing heat.

Cooking: Ugh, anyone who knows me, knows that I am not a cook, nor do I want to be. However, perhaps I can just *help* around the kitchen a little more. 😉

Working: On the girl I was too lazy to be yesterday.

Traveling: Here, there and everywhere. Before I was sick, I was quite the little adventurer. I’d like to go on a few little trips to California over the summer and then I have a BIG trip coming up at the end of summer, but the location is top secret. Hint- it’s not a trip to the loony bin (again) and it’s outside of the United States. EEEEKKKK!

Wanting: To practice what I preach. I often find myself setting such high standards for everyone else, yet I don’t hold myself accountable at times for the standards in which I set. Also, volunteering at the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and hopefully lift the spirits of young children battling for their lives.

Love, Britt x