13 Things You Should Do At The Start Of Each Year

I’m a huge believer in working to a plan.
When I look back across my life to the times when things have been going really, really well, when I have been achieving big career success and life is just fantastic, to a fault each of these spells was during a time that I was working a plan, had goals written out, knew what I wanted next. It’s like having a road map in hand and if you just follow the map you get to where you want to be.
Conversely the times when nothing much is going on, when I feel like I’m floundering around, trying to find my way, are always the times when I don’t have a plan written out.
So as we kick off this brand new year here is a list of things that you should do every year

image source: Rebloggy.com

1. Make A List Of The Bad Things

Sounds counter productive right? But trust me, it isn’t.
Look back at the year that just ended and make a list of the things that stressed you halfway out of your mind, the things that made you nervous, the things that scared or overwhelmed you. Then write down how you won the battle, what the outcome was, how you feel about it now.
We don’t always realize at the front end just how incredibly strong, resilient and fierce we really are. Looking back you’ll find things that terrified you are no longer scary, things you stressed over weren’t worth the energy, and you will see that you have some major coping skills you never even knew you had!
It puts the new year into perspective and gives you a little ammunition to face the inevitable bumps in the road with.

2. Stop Holding Onto Heartache

One of the most destructive things we do is to keep holding onto the relationships that failed. If your heart got broken last year, or if you were let down terribly by someone (it happens to everyone at some point in life), write yourself a letter either forgiving that person, or committing yourself to just letting it go. 
When you hold on to it, relive it, think about it, stay angry or hurt, the only person who suffers is you. That type of thinking is toxic and permeates into the rest of your life. Let it go and move on. If that person comes into your thoughts just send them love and light and close the door on it.
Once you have some distance from the relationship or the issue you will look back and see that holding onto it was a total waste of time anyway.
And if it still really hurts remember ~ This too shall pass ~

3. Set Goals

Whatever it is you want in life, write it down as a goal.
Make financial goals both for the short term and the long term.
Set career goals, relationship goals, travel goals, goals for your home, your car – you name it. The key to success and to achieving the things you want in life is to identify them, get specific, ad then start figuring out a plan to make them happen.
Not sure how to do it? Check out this post on How To Set Goals

4. Make A Budget

The key not just to financial security, but to just making it to the end of the month or the end of the year, is to make a budget that accounts for every dollar you earn and where it is going.
Want to travel? Buy a new car? Put in a swimming pool? Whatever it is that you want, add it to your budget and watch how quickly you can make it happen! 
Not sure how to create a budget? Read this post on How To Make A Budget.

5. Clear The Clutter.

Go through your home and your work-space and clear out all the clutter. You will be amazed at how clearly you can think, how much more relaxed you become when all the clutter is cleared away. According to the art of Feng Shui clutter has a negative effect on us emotionally, physically and mentally.
Read about the absolute magic in simplifying, organizing and clearing your space in Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo’s  world famous book:

The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing

6. Clean Out Your Closet.

This ties in with number 5, but is also important on its own.
You will no doubt find great pieces you forgot you had, and in the process can streamline your wardrobe.
You already know what needs to go. Donate and consign everything you need to part with.

7. Clean Out Your Makeup Drawer.

image via www.avantderm.com

Take everything out, clean it, and decide what is still good and what needs to be trashed.
Not sure if your makeup has gone bad? Check out this post:
How To Tell If Your Makeup Has Gone Bad

8. Buy New Underwear.

Go through your lingerie drawer and toss anything that’s no longer in tip top shape. Any undies that have bad elastic, saggy bottoms, frayed edges, have faded color, don’t fit quite right, especially your every day items – get rid of them. I think it’s a great idea to start the year with fresh, new, everyday underwear.
Try the beautiful Natori Bliss Bloom Thong

Natori’s beautiful Bliss Bloom Thong is the perfect addition to your New Year Undies Collection 

9. Get Fitted For A Bra

At least once every year you should get refitted for a bra.
Sometimes you will find nothing has changed, other times, especially after weight loss or weight gain, changes in hormones, changes in exercise routines, you will find things really have changed.
Unless you want boobies that are saggy and limp and hang down to your belly button, you need to stay on top of how your bras fit.
(I can’t stress this enough for full breasted / heavy breasted girls – we are fighting gravity more than all the other girls!)

10. Re -Evaluate Your Skincare Products

Its so easy to just stick with what you’ve been using for ages, and not realize that its no longer working any magic on your skin.
Your skin’s needs changes with the climate, with your age, with your changing hormones. If you want luminous, glowing, healthy skin you need to change up the products you’re using to meet your skin’s needs.
I’m in love with Korean skin care and the way the Korean women with their world famous, exquisite skin, layer their products. You can read about it here: West Face East ~ How To Layer Your Skin Care Korean-Style
I buy all my Korean skin care products online through Memebox
icon, one of the world’s largest skin care stores.

11. Rearrange Your Space

image via Adorable-Home.com

Changing the layout of the rooms you spend the most time in changes how you perceive that space. Sometimes it’s all you need to feel refreshed and invigorated and inspired.
And if you don’t like it, you can always change it back.
I just love white, Scandinavian style bedrooms.

12. Book A Trip.

You need to at least plan some travel for the year ahead. 
Maybe it’s a big overseas trip, maybe it’s a long weekend. Plan a beach vacation, a mountain retreat, or an escape to a new city. Whatever fits your style, just get it on the calendar. 
If you don’t plan it out at the beginning of the year, chances are another year will roll by and you will have gone nowhere.

I book my travel both domestic and international, using Booking.com


13. Buy A Really Great Pair Of Shoes

Sometimes this means forecasting it to the season where you really need them, but try buying a pair of really good quality, timeless, walk-around-all-day-and-still-feel-great shoes. Shoes that go with everything, that look chic, and make you feel fabulous.
They will set you back a little (or a lot) more, but a really good shoe is a great investment in yourself.

Prada Wingtip Oxford Loafer

I bought myself this Prada Wingtip Platform Loafer
icon (in black though) for my birthday. I will wear them forever. You can find them at Nordstrom

New Year, New You ~ 10 Phrases You Should Drop From Your Vocabulary

Like it or not, verbal mistakes will undermine your credibility.
You are starting out the new year with resolve to get fit, lose weight, save money, so why not add this to your list?

image via Success,com

Researchers believe that the earliest spoken language was Mayan, which was around 7,000 years ago. Imagine, in 70 centuries, we’ve progressed to “….. and I was like really???”

You want to be taken seriously, right? You want people to stop and listen when you speak, you want them to consider your opinion and value your input. If you want to have integrity and influence, consider dropping these 10 phrases from your vocabulary.

The following is excerpted from an article written by Lou Solomon for Success.com

10 Phrases You Should Drop From Your Vocabulary

1. “I’m confused,” or “I don’t get it.”

Instead of putting all the responsibility on the other person, take co-ownership. Say, “Help me understand your position,” and remain open.

2. “You know what I mean?” and “Does that make sense?”

Asking for constant validation chips away at your command.

3. “I was like…” or “She was like…”

The word “like” is an unsophisticated setup that gets in the way of your clarity and credibility.

4. “Um, ah, uh, you know.”

Watch out for overuse of filler words and practice pausing to counteract the clutter.

5. “I’ve been too busy” or “I started writing an email and forgot to send it.”

Excuses are unattractive. Say, “I apologize for the inconvenience. You will have it by tomorrow.”

6. “Out-of-the-box thinking”

… should be retired. We can’t escape all the buzzword phrases, but ones like this have become boring.

7. “You always…”

Sweeping generalizations lack insight and get in the way of healthy dialogue. Be specific and avoid using vague blame tactics.

8. “I think we should kind of do it this way.”

Tentative language waters down your presence as a confident communicator. Make a solid recommendation and own it.

9. “I hate to say this, but…” and “John is a good person, but…”

Don’t try to disguise criticism with a layer of caring or say things that offer zero value.

10. “Really?”

It’s an all-purpose complaint that sounds like whining. Try making an interesting observation instead.

If you want to have more credibility and influence, be uh, like, you know, more intentional in your communication. Replace negative tone and lackluster words with positive tone and authentic appreciative words. Each new day is an opportunity to inspire greatness, so say something real.

New Year New You ~ What Is Ultherapy?

So what exactly is Ultherapy?
The quick answer is simply the most amazing thing I have ever done!
Ultherapy is for anyone who wants pretty much any area from their decolletage to their hairline lifted, smoothed, reshaped.
It can lift brows (in doing so opening the eye area), chisel jawlines, reshape chins, smooth undereye areas and much, much more.
It is for both men and women, of any age group.
I had Ultherapy 6 months ago and the results were spectacular from the start, and only got better. My clinician, Sandra Caldwell and the Blume Skin Centre in Scottsdale AZ told me that it may not even have reached it’s final point yet! 

I originally wrote the post below two weeks after the treatment, but wanted to re-post it now, as so many of us look to make big improvements at the beginning of a new year.

What Is Ultherapy?

It is the only non invasive treatment that is FDA cleared to lift skin on the neck, under the chin and on the eyebrow. It is also approved to improve lines and wrinkles on the decolletage.
You have no down time, no redness, no bruising – nothing. It is amazing!


Ultherapy before and after. Magic, no?

(By the way, none of these images are pictures of me.)

Before Ultherapy if you needed your neck tightened or lifted, if you maybe had a double chin or unattractive under-chin or jawline profile, or maybe your eyebrows needed lifting, the only option was to go under the knife. It was costly, there was a danger element involved – any time you have an elective surgery there is a risk, and on top of that we have all seen face-lifts gone wickedly wrong.

Ultherapy involves no cutting and stitching, no slicing out unwanted flesh, and no battered and bruised visage to wait out the healing process.
Ultherapy delivers focused ultrasound energy to the same foundation layer typically addressed by surgeons during plastic surgery, without cutting or disrupting the surface of the skin.
The energy initiates the body’s natural response to stimulate the growth of fresh, new collagen and to strengthen weak collagen.
Some patients see an initial effect right after their treatment, but the real result happens over the coarse of 2 or 3 months as the new collagen builds, gradually lifting and tightening the skin on the face and neck, and smoothing the skin on the chest.

Unlike lasers and radio frequency therapies, Ultherapy bypasses the surface of the skin and delivers ultrasound energy at the optimal depth, temperature and precision. It also uses ultrasound imaging which allows your technician to see the layers of tissue they are treating, ensuring that energy is both delivered safely and to where it is most beneficial.
The technician draws a grid on the area she is working on and is able to direct the treatment to exactly where it is needed.

Unlike lasers and photo-facial treatments Ultherapy is a perfect treatment to have over the summer, because it is not photo-sensitive, the procedure does not affect the skin’s surface and you have no down time.
Think of the treatment like the foundation of a house – it holds everything up and in place.

Ultherapy before and after chin and jaw

How Did I Discover Ultherapy?
As a makeup artist I am always looking into ways for my clients to achieve balance in their faces, and to capture youth without looking like they have had surgery. For years now I have been taking clients, both local Arizonians as well as clients from California and Texas, even as far away as Calgary to see the amazing Dr Blume at the Blume Skin Centre in Scottsdale Arizona
Dr Blume and his clinical manager Sandra Caldwell take care of my celebrity clientele and my brides, and everyone in between. 
During visits there I started noticing everyone looking younger, and looking revitalized, and I also started noticing double chins disappearing and necks becoming smoother. Whatever was going on with the staff and the customers in the waiting room, I wanted in on the action!
My clients started having Ultherapy and I would see jawlines becoming crisper, collapsing brows lifting back up, and everyone looking sensational. I watched the progression of people’s results over the course of several months, and found the results to be universally sensational.

Ultherapy chin and neck before and after

How Long Does Ultherapy Last?
As with anything you do to your face, be it botox, fillers, lasers – any treatment, the result is 100% dependent on the skill of the technician performing the treatment. If your Ultherapy is performed by a master technician, like Sandra Caldwell of the 
Blume Skin Centre you can expect results to last up to 5 years if you are under 50, and 3 years if you are in your 50’s

Ultherapy before and after chin lift

Who Is Ultherapy For?
Ultherapy is not necessarily age specific.
It will lift skin, and especially when combined with fillers can replace or stall the need for a face lift. 
But it is also for people who are not looking for a facelift alternative.
Ultherapy is a fantastic option for anyone who has a double chin or a chin/jaw/neck profile that needs trimming or lifting.

Ultherapy before and after under chin

Ultherapy is also an amazing option for anyone wanting a brow lift. That can be someone who as a part of the aging process has eyebrows that have dropped, or anyone who has a heavy brow that is creating excess skin folds in the upper eyelid. 

Ultherapy before and afteer brow lift

Can Young People Have Ultherapy?
Yes they can. Ultherapy is not age specific.
For brides Ultherapy is a wonderful way to correct or enhance the jawline (think of all those profile photos!) and also to waken and revitalize the eye with a brow lift.

Ultherapy before and after chin lift

How Do You Choose A Technician?
This is the single most important decision to make when choosing Ultherapy. 
Avoid Groupon deals (like the plague!) instead opting for a Certified Advanced Technician who can show you before and afters of numerous clients she has worked on. 
There are substantial costs involved for the office performing Ultherapy, so the only way to cut the price is to reduce the amount of energy the technician uses on a client, which in turn will give a marginal result.

I went to Sandra Caldwell, Clinical Manager at the 
Blume Skin Centre in Scottsdale Arizona. Not only is Sandra a Certified Advanced Therapist, but she has performed hundreds of treatments (including treatments on my clients) and her results are consistently amazing.

What Should You Watch Out For?
Watch out for cheap deals. This applies to anything you are having done to your face. I never see fabulous “bargain” botox or filler jobs, in fact discount facial injecting invariably makes up some of the very worst I see. Allowing for the fact that your results will last up to 5 years or more you want to make sure you are going to someone brilliant with a sharp eye for balance and aesthetic beauty.

How Many Treatments Do I Need?
This is a one time treatment. Depending on the area or areas you are having worked on the average treatment will be in the vicinity of an hour. If you are just having a brow lift you will need less time, a full face,neck and decolletage will take a little longer.

Ultherapy before and after brow lift

What Does Ultherapy Cost?
The cost of Ultherapy depends on which areas you are having worked on.
A brow lift runs around $500, which means you will save a huge amount of money versus Botox brow lifting when you consider it will last you around 5 years!
A neck treatment should be around $1500, a full  face costs around $5000

Ultherapy before and after chin and jawline

My Story

I didn’t like the way my neck and jawline were looking. My jawline had lost it’s crispness, and I felt that my neck was starting to look lined and fleshy. I was also noticing that my brow was dropping, causing the skin on my upper eyelid to look heavy. Which are both signs of having left our 30s.
It was made worse when a local Cosmetic Surgeon cornered me at a social event, telling me I absolutely had to have a brow lift done.
I was horrified!  
I talked to Sandra and Dr. Blume about it for months, going over the best options for me. We looked at the before and after pictures of other Blume Skin Centre clients who had had Ultherapy, but not being one to race into anything I still took my time to make the decision.
I saw a difference within a couple of days of the treatment. 
My neck immediately started looking firmer, smoother and tighter. My jawline is already starting to resemble it’s former sharp self and although I never had a double chin, nor was I aware of excess flesh under my chin, the smoothing and firming of that area is sensational!
Everywhere I go people who know me are telling me I look revitalized. I am asked if I have been on vacation, if I have had extra sleep, if I am using a new eye cream. The subtle lifting of the brow area is taking away the heavier upper eyelid, making my eyes look bright and awakened. It’s fabulous!
And I only had my Ulthrapy less than a month ago.

Ultherapy before and after chin and neck (with awful lipliner)

Ultherapy before and after chin and neck
Ultherapy before and after brow lift

Ultherapy before and after chin and neck

If you are thinking about having Ultherapy, and are either in Arizona, near Arizona or willing to travel to Arizona (well worthwhile – this is your face afterall!) call or go see the experts at the Blume Skin Centre. 

Blume Skin Centre
(480) 699-7999
8575 East Princess Drive, 
Suite 123
Scottsdale Arizona