Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

Self-care is a deliberate activity, action, or purpose that helps in regulating your mind, feelings and/or body.  Taking time for one’s self is absolutely important. You can change your whole perspective of your feelings, day-to-day situations, your energy, or anything that you need to uplift yourself from.

Below are my top ten favorite ways to self-care.


Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Self-Care Ideas

  1. Meditate. If you have never done’s easy!  Find a comfortable spot to sit 10-15 minutes uninterrupted. If you have more time, that is even better. Set your cell’s alarm, place it close to you but not on you.  Close your eyes. Take conscious deep breaths. Listen to your breathing. Relax each part of your body as you feel the ground below you.  If you can, try to just be, without thinking about your day-to-day stresses.

  2. Apply a face mask. All faces can benefit from this!  Try any type that suits your skin type or needs- fibre, clay, gel, charcoal or mud, just follow the instructions.

  3. Listen to a segment of your favorite podcast, or watch it on YouTube.

  4. Take a bath.  Try it with lavender bath salts!

  5. Stretch. Since having my shoulder issues stretching is necessary.  I find I am so much happier on the days I stretch.

  6. Feel the sunshine.  Get outdoors, stand in a window, in the car..anywhere!  I like to  take a few minutes to appreciate the warm feel on my skin.

  7. Make coffee, tea or any drink you enjoy. My favorite pastime is to drink a latte on the couch; no cell phone, no TV, no books, nothing.  Just focusing on the warm joy of the coffee.

  8. Sit quietly.  I like doing this in the grass of my backyard. Looking at the colors and listening to the natural surroundings.

  9. Organize a cabinet or closet.  It’s funny to think that doing the work of organizing actually makes you feel good.  For me, it lifts that back of the mind stress, AND, I believe the concentrated motion of working, like this, helps us steep through situations to clear the mind.

  10. Read a book. Take a moment to read a few pages. Snuggle up on your couch, head to the beach, or, sit in your bed, anywhere you can take the time to dive right in for a few moments.


▶︎ I announced on FB that I am moving my Top Ten Thursday lists to a monthly post.  This will be my last TTT post for March.

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- more random things to know about Valeria

  1. I…trained our cat, Gordon Ramsey, to box. He knows when I ask him to ‘jump jump’ on the back of the couch in the front room that it’s go time. He is real good at it! He also plays hide-n-seek and tag.  He is that smart!!  Also, he is named after the chef but his last name is spelled differently as my cat is not a jerk.

  2. I…cannot believe my 13-year-old has a frickin’ boyfriend. By all means, I trust her and they are naive kids, more into the label of boyfriend/girlfriend as they find everything, like holding hands, to be awkward. Let’s hope everything is awkward forever. LOL. Bahhhh. Ok this isn’t about me, but it’s been on my mind for two weeks.

  3. I…will reference Seinfeld at least three times a day. *at least. A few weeks ago the damnedest trend started.. I met people who HAVE NEVER seen Seinfeld. 😮

  4. I…cook. It’s one of my strongest talents. I feel at most myself while cooking. On average, I cook at home 6 days a week. From the simple to complex, using whole ingredients, and I enjoy every minute.

  5. I…am utterly obsessed with Halloween. Anxiety kicks in if I don’t have a Halloween costume planned before Spring.  I am torn choosing between two right now.  I have some time.

  6. I…am currently on a baking mission. I cook but baking is different. So I decided a week ago to teach myself to bake from scratch. I want to be that person who whips up yummy treats all the time easily; and with my youngest daughter wanting to learn, I have to!!

  7. I…like giving advice. Ask me anything!

  8. I…was disappointed for weeks with my DNA test results until my husband convinced me how amazing they actually were. The results seemed lame to me because I look like a mashup of many nationalities. Guess what? I’m 96% Italian, from Sicily. Ha! The rest Greek.

  9. I…am actually more of an introvert than extrovert. Whenever I tell people this they don’t believe me, but it’s true!

  10. I…, since I was a kid, have been picking out which actor or actress would play my family and friends in my life movie.  I, especially, love doing this when I meet someone new. The weirdest part of this is … well, I have never chosen anyone to play me!  And yes, if we are friends irl, I have chosen someone to play YOU!  haha

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Face Cleansers

Hello everyone!

As I mentioned in my makeup posts before, I get stopped often about my makeup, and to be honest, whenever anyone asks me about my face I want to talk about skin care more than makeup. Good-looking skin starts with how we take care of it.

The first step in skin care is cleaning your skin. Cleaning your skin should be an effective way to clean pores/remove dirt, oils, makeup and/or dead skin cells.

How we choose our cleanser is directly correlated to our skin type.  Are we dry, oily, or have mature skin or sensitive skin?  Then our determination for a cleanser is the product formula type.  Do we choose a powder or bar cleanser?  Do we choose a face wipe or a foaming cleanser? Then we choose the product by our other likes and dislikes of cleaning power, the product’s texture or its scent.

Skin types vary person to person. Generally there are four major skin types: normal, dry, oily and a combination.

  • Normal refers to well-balanced skin; whatever way you wash this skin it feels dry to the touch but supple.
  • Dry skin type produce less oil than normal skin; whatever way you wash this skin it feels dry immediately after being patted dry (feels tight).
  • Oily skin has an overproduction of skin oils (sebum); whatever way you wash this skin it feels oily immediately and throughout the day.
  • Combination skin types go in both directions of dry combination and oily combination.  Each combo skin type is majorly defined by the skin of the t-zone and cheeks. ALSO, I’d like to add sensitive skin to the list of combination because some skin is highly sensitive.

On top of skin type there is skin condition.  Many exterior and interior factors play in your skin’s condition.  Skin condition is affected by age, climate, genetics, air pollution, certain medications, and stress, and they all play in how our skin reacts and what it produces (like oil/sweat).   You may notice skin condition if you travel often. You may see that people who live in high wind, coastal areas have drier, mature skin vs people who live in hot, humid climates that have oilier, smoother skin.

Then on top of skin type and condition, there are so many formula types on the market based on makeup removal, texture, consistency and scent. Personally, I have tried all the types out there, not all brands, but all types.

Here’s a quick list of formula types: bar, clay, cream, foam, gel, milk, oil, powder, micellar water, and wipes.


Before I get to the Top Ten Thursday list of what products I tried, let’s talk about how to wash your face.  Some folks may not know!  Now I am going to start here with using your hands (my favorite tools) to wash your face. There are a lot of brushes and tools on the market that can assist in washing your face, however.

Wet your face with warm water. Never use extremely hot or cold water, which can irritate your skin. With your cleanser of choice, dispense about a nickel-sized amount on one hand. Massage the product between hands, using your other hand to ‘warm’ the product. Then apply the cleanser to your face, moving in a circular motion until the product reaches all parts of your face, including over eyes.  This motion helps to breakdown makeup, dirt, oils, etc.. Then rinse your face with warm water, passing the water over your face still the cleanser is fully removed. Follow to dry, by patting your face dry. DO NOT rub the towel across your face, this can actually irritate your skin.

Here is my list of cleansers that I have used, but let me explain my skin.  My skin type is normal/dry, and my skin is still considered youthful.  My likes in a face cleansing product are 1.) one that washes away my makeup, 2.) AND leaves my skin soft to the touch before my serum and moisturizers, 3.) the consistency shouldn’t be goopy, and 4.) no overpowering scents.


Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Face Cleansers

  1. Peter Thomas Roth, Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel- This is by far my favorite face wash!! The technology, the scent, the consistency and the texture are everything my face wants.  I can clearly feel the smooth gel where it is being applied, and it fully rinses from my skin.  This product leaves my skin glowing and it feels refreshed …and squeaky clean.  (meaning no foundation is found on my towels when I pat my skin dry!)
  2. DHC, Cleansing Foam- This is a pretty fantastic cleanser in an unassuming package.  And, though, I am dry/combination skin this product is for oily/combination skin, and I still think it’s great.  This cleanser lathers to a fluffy mousse like consistency and feels like it moisturizes my skin as it’s applied.  It does a great job at breaking down my makeup, too.
  3. Neutrogena, Ultra Gentle Daily Cleaning Foam-  This foamy cleanser is a perfect cleanser for most folks.  The foaming action is not as tactile as the DHC one above, but it does a great job at cleaning the skin, removing makeup and leaving my skin feeling happy.  I used the gentle formula which means there is no dyes or perfumes, and it worked great for my two daughters, one a teen and one a pre-teen.
  4. Kiehls, Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil-  Let me start with this..oil cleansers are NOT like other cleansers.  They do not foam, they do not give you that feel, so please try this with an open mind. Oil cleansers are great for all skin types, but oily skins may like a foamy soapy feel.  I LOVE oil cleansers, especially in the Winter when there is not much humidity in the air.  This cleanser is great and I feel like my makeup melts off well. My skin was clean and soft to the touch.  There were a handful of times I did use a follow-up cleanser when I had non-transfer foundation on.  I did compare this to my other favorite oil cleanser I used to use (ten years ago) from DHS, and this oil was a touch better, but both are great.
  5. Lancome, Energie de Vie Foaming Cleanser- This lathering cleanser has THE best scent out of all on my list.  It’s a burst of glowing freshness.  My skin feels refreshed and clean, with all my makeup that was removed. 
  6. Oil of Olay, Gentle Clean Foaming Face Cleanser-  This creamy foam cleanser is simple and effective, AND INEXPENSIVE!  It left my skin feeling clean and comfortable.  This was my go to face cleanser for over 10 years!!  I haven’t seen it on the shelves of my local drug stores any longer, but I am not sure if they discontinued the product of not.
  7. DHC, CoQ10 Washing Cream- Another great cleanser that left my skin squeaky clean and refreshed.   Not a trace of makeup left behind.  Also, I would walk away from the sink with my skin feeling moisturized and supple.  I have gone through MANY tubes of this cleanser, and highly recommend it if you are looking for something to shake up your current skin care regime.  
  8. Lancome, Bi-facil Makeup Remover and Cleanser- This is a dual phase liquid cleanser, which needs to be shaken and used on cotton rounds like it’s brother Bi-facil Eye makeup remover (Bi-facil Eye is MY FAVORITE AND ONLY EYE MAKEUP REMOVER THAT I WILL EVER USE. ). This face cleanser works really well if you use infallible/non-transferrable foundations, and leaves your skin feeling refreshed.  However, I like to use a cleanser after this because, again, I prefer a foamy wash.
  9. Clinique, Liquid Face Soap- Ok, this is where I will not sound so positively.  This soap is good, not the best. And I only say that because it never left my skin feeling refreshed. And many days I felt like my skin had to be moisturized right away or I’d ‘die’.  
  10. Vichy, Purete Thermale 3in1 Cleanser- For a milk cleanser that is to be tissued off, this cleanser may be my favorite one. With that said, I am just not a big fan of cleaning my skin without water and tend not to lean towards milk cleansers like this one. I feel like I use an absurd amount of tissues, cotton rounds and towels to feel clean…then follow up with a cleanser and water.  :/   I started to use it in my shower as a conventional cleanser, which actually worked but I prefer foaminess.


Share your favorite cleansers!  I always love to hear what people are using out there..comment below or on FB!

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Things I Love in Winter (part 3 of 3)

Hello WordPressers!

Part 3 of what I love about Winter.

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Things I Love in Winter (part 3)

  1. The glisten on fresh snow in the sunshine
  2. Wearing bright plum lipstick
  3. Smelling fireplaces in the distance on a crisp day
  4. Hot English black tea before bed
  5. Seeing birds from my window land on the bare branches of my boxwood tree
  6. Wearing my velvet thinsulate insulated gloves (BEST GLOVES EVER) 
  7. Burning peppermint scented candles 
  8. Scarves!
  9. Cuddling in bed early watching TV
  10. Seeing deer or rabbit tracks in the snow 

Though.. Snow is on the ground. The winds this week were whipping trees around, but yet, Winter is almost over!!  🙂  Spring is 21 days away!!  YAYA!!

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- Things I Love in Winter (part 2 of 3)

Hello Everyone!

Here we go, another post of this series of Things I love in Winter.  I have to say, I haven’t even thought of anything to put in this post so this is going to hurt me a little.  🙂  It’s difficult for me to put myself in this place, Winter.  Especially after being in Cuba and re-living that trip through my photos.  BUT.. I am here and ready to convince myself that Winter is great!

So let’s go on this journey!

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Things I Love in Winter (part 2)

  1. The glisten on fresh snow in the sunshine
  2. Wearing bright plum lipstick
  3. Smelling fireplaces in the distance on a crisp day
  4. Hot English black tea before bed
  5. Seeing birds from my window land on the bare branches of my boxwood tree
  6. Wearing my velvet thinsulate insulated gloves (BEST GLOVES EVER) 
  7. Burning peppermint scented candles 
  8. Scarves!
  9. Cuddling in bed early watching TV
  10. Seeing deer or rabbit tracks in the snow 

Hmm, well, that wasn’t that hard once I forced myself to focus.  I really do love these things about Winter, especially number 10!

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday-Synonyms for LOVE

Hello everyone!

Happy  ❤︎VALentine’s Day❤︎!! 

love (noun) \ləv\
1(a): strong affection for another arising out of kinship/personal ties
  (b): attraction based on sexual desire: affection/tenderness felt by lovers
  (c): affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests
2: warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion

3: the object of attachment or admiration

Valentine’s Day is one of those holidays that you either love or hate.  Lots of people call it a “fake” holiday.  My opinion?  I LOVE IT!  It’s always fun to celebrate, and to celebrate love is a beautiful sentiment.  Which is why I jumped to the top ten list below.  What better list for Valentine’s Day?  There isn’t!

Let’s go!

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- Synonyms for Love!

  1. Affection
  2. Fondness
  3. Passion
  4. Tenderness
  5. Enchanted
  6. Worship
  7. Devotion
  8. Lust
  9. Infatuation
  10. Amour

I hope you all share a loving moment with all whom you care about on this VALentine’s Day!  

“There is only one happiness in life: to love and be loved.” – George Sand, Author

Posted in Random Stuff

Top Ten Thursday- January Highlights

Hello WordPressland!

Here we are, the last Thursday, and, last day of January! January has flown by pretty fast, right?

Today’s top ten theme may be something I write about each last Thursday of the month.  Highlights to reflect on to wrap up the month. 

I’m always trying to find the bright spots in life. Anything I can do to help me see..that life is pretty damn good even if it feels otherwise. Actually, this is a great exercise for everyone to do, as well. Think about your last thirty days.  You’d be surprised at what you will recall, where your mind leads you, and/or, what you learn about yourself. Some of your recollection may not be all that exciting, but parts of it may have brought you happiness. It may not be all that positive, but it may guide you to make better life choices.  That is my point, look for the bright spots!

So here I go…

Valeria’s Top Ten Thursday- January Highlights 

  1. Physical Therapy progress! I am having double shoulder impingement issues, and the pain has definitely lessened in my left arm!  Which is a win. My right shoulder, on the other hand, is progressing more slowly. Which stinks!
  2. Papi from the Red Sox walked by us with his entourage at the hotel at Foxwoods!
  3. Danced on chairs and sang (literally) a hundred songs with friends at a fundraiser.
  4. Finally made time for myself after a time robbing December.
  5. Which also means, I finally got to spend an entire evening snuggling with my daughters, watching movies and eating cheese doodles. I love the cheese doodles.
  6. Even with a lot of food centric events this month, and that night of laziness and cheese doodles, I kept the eleven lbs I lost in December off!
  7. Received a dozen red roses this Monday, which was a great surprise. 🙂 I also love surprises!  I am always accepting flowers and gifts.. jussayin’.
  8. Oddly, my farsightedness got better by a quarter point in each eye!! New prescription is sweet!  I did, however, think I was going old-age-blind before my eye appointment.  Also, I love my opthamologist! He is the coolest guy on the planet! 
  9. Stayed up till 3AM one night talking to my husband; which would’ve left me sleep deprived but because he is my biggest cheerleader, his support made me feel so good and clear. 
  10. Counting down from weeks to days till our big vacation. We are under double digits now!! Wooo!

AHH!! I loved writing out this list!! 

Reflecting on the month, like this, I realize that not much is needed for me to feel content.  I learned that sometimes it’s wise to talk through your problems with loved ones, even if it has nothing to do with them directly.  Speaking your thoughts out loud can help you think clearly.  Also, I see that I may have a crush on my opthamologist.  haha jk! But he is a great eye doctor. 

I know that not all months may convey this good message, but January 2019 has, and I am grateful.