Beauty Buzz: How to deal with under eye circles

By Andi Douglas, nwaMotherlode.com beauty editor and mama of 3

I am 1001 times over the dark circles that have taken up permanent residence under my eyes. Once only a problem for Hungover Andi, they have become a daily struggle and the realization that this is caused by *gulp* the thinning of my skin due to aging sent me spiraling into the five stages of grief.

Denial: Dang, the lighting in my bathroom is awful…I’ll look better once I’m outside.

Anger: This is ridiculous! I’ve never had dark circles before and I WILL NOT have them now. Period.

Bargaining: Okay, if I start going to bed an hour early instead of searching Pinterest and I drink 8, no 10 glasses of water a day they’ll go away. Yeah, that will work.

Depression: If I’m going to look like a raccoon I might as well just sleep all day and create a burrow on the couch. Loafin’ Joes delivers; I’m just a fat raccoon now. Call me Rocky. *sigh*

Acceptance: Siri, how do I cover these freaking under eye circles?

So, here I am admitting that I need to add a couple of extra steps to my beauty routine which I can accept, because to be honest, I wasn’t really getting that extra hour of sleep anyway.

If your dark circles are accompanied by puffiness there are a few ways to minimize those bags. Preventatively, cut down the amount of salt and alcohol in your diet. Both lead to water retention and increased swelling. You can also sleep on an extra pillow to help drain the fluid that is accumulating around your eyes and apply a cold compress or chilled spoon under your eyes for a few minutes in the morning.

To help hide the discoloration, follow these 3 steps:

1. Prep your skin with an eye cream: Dab a drop of eye cream along the under eye area starting on the inside corner and working your way out. There are a jillion under eye creams on the market because we all know our “wisdom” shows first in our eyes, so don’t be afraid to ask for samples and test it out. A couple of top-rated options are Mario Badescu Skin Care Ceramide Eye Gel , particularly effective for puffiness if you keep it in the fridge, and Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, which lives up to it’s name.

under eye circles2. Conceal, don’t feel, don’t let them show: I bet Elsa depuffs her eyes every morning with her icy touch but not all of us are that lucky. Gently dot concealer along the under eye area using a thin concealer brush and starting at the inner corner of the eye were circles are darkest. Choose a concealer that brightens and has a yellow undertone to neutralize the purple color of the dark circles. (FYI: Here’s a great guide to what makeup brushes are for what)

3. Seal the deal with powder: Prevent the concealer from settling into creases and wrinkles throughout the day by applying a light translucent powder on top. Or you can use a matte eye shadow two shades lighter than your skin.

If you too are suffering with the loss of your 30-second makeup routine and having trouble coping, there is a support group. We meet at the Chick-fil-A playground in our active wear.

P.S. If your dark circles happen to be brought on by a new baby, a stomach bug raging through your house, an elementary school yearbook deadline that required several all nighters (true story), or having to wait up late for a tardy teenager, you wear those bags with pride, Mama!

NWA Mom Prom Tickets On Sale NOW!

mompromhoriz ultimate tagHappy President’s Day, mamas! We wanted you to be the first to know that NWA Mom Prom tickets are on sale NOW! Click HERE to buy your ticket online.

friends2The NWA Mom Prom is a huge women-only dance party — a grown-up prom for women and moms age 21 and up. It is the ONLY event of its kind in the state of Arkansas, and proceeds help support a local charity. (This year’s charity is the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Family Camp. Click here for more info on the camp.)

This year’s Mom Prom will be held Friday, June 2, 2017 at The Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tickets are $45, and space is limited. We do expect the event to sell out again this year, with a crowd of 300.

MPsponsor banner600x600For more details on this year’s Mom Prom, click HERE to visit nwaMomProm.com.

We want to say a huge “thank you” to this year’s Presenting Sponsor, Generations Bank. This is a bank that has been in business for more than 100 years, so they know a thing or two about the importance of supporting families through the generations. They also know that mothers are a vital part of ensuring a family’s generational success. The bank has been an enthusiastic supporter of the NWA Mom Prom since we launched it in 2013, and we’re so very proud to have them as the Presenting Sponsor this year.

lisa mac logoYou’ll also be happy to know that the phenomenal Lisa Mac of Lisa Mac Photography will be shooting the professional prom pictures again this year, and you will be able to download them for FREE, print them and share them online. In our humble opinion, having beautiful, professional pictures of you and your friends is worth the price of the ticket — not to mention four hours of fun, desserts and memories you’ll keep forever.

Bubble and Fizz use this one250In addition to the free professional photos, you’ll also be leaving this year’s event with a wonderful take-away gift, designed and produced by Bubble and Fizz Shop. We are big fans of Bubble and Fizz products for ourselves, our kids and our husbands, too. Owner Heather Francis is creating a special package just for our Prom Moms — a champagne Mom Prom Bath Bomb and a floral-scented bath melt. We have a feeling you’re going to fall in love with these luxury bath goodies, just like we did.

collage1In addition to the Presenting Sponsor, Photography Sponsor and Take-Away Gift Sponsor, we also have several Glass Slipper Sponsors including BrightHaven Christian Learning Center and Hedberg Allergy & Asthma Center. We simply could not deliver a high-quality event like Mom Prom without the support of local sponsors like these.

Mustache Logo Both Cities250As you know, Mom Prom is a “no-men-allowed” event, but that doesn’t mean we don’t appreciate a good-looking prom date. Back by popular demand, we’ll have several Celebrity Prom Dates standing by to have their picture made with you at Prom. In the past, we’ve had famous faces including Ryan Gosling, Channing Tatum, Adam Levine, Will Smith and more. Our Celeb Prom Dates might be cardboard, but they are life-size and they NEVER ask to go home early and watch ESPN. Again this year, the Celebrity Prom Dates are sponsored by The Mustache Goods & Wears.

If you work for a local company that loves and supports local moms, click HERE for info on Mom Prom event sponsorships.

We hope you’ll join us on June 2, 2017 for the 4th Annual NWA Mom Prom. We’re so excited about this year’s event and can’t wait to party with you on Prom night!

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Inside His Head: I think my husband is an alcoholic

Relationship advice from husbandsDear Inside His Head,

I think my husband may be an alcoholic because he drinks a LOT when he comes home from work and we can’t go out to dinner or with friends without him ordering several rounds. It feels like he’s always got a beer in his hand, like he can’t cope without alcohol. Do you have any advice for what I should do first? He’s not mean when he’s drinking, but I have a feeling he’s going to be very defensive if/when I bring it up. He does get mad if I try to slow down his drinking. I’m starting to get uncomfortable leaving him with the kids by himself. Help.

greg1.thumbnailGRAY: My dad was an alcoholic. I’ve seen him function normally and seen him completely delusional and hallucinating from withdrawal. There is no cure for alcoholism – it’s a struggle the two of you have for the rest of your life. It’s not a battle you can fight on your own.

Have a plan. Find local resources for therapy. Ask friends if they are willing to help you confront him. Learn about support for yourself because living with an alcoholic doesn’t have to be endured in isolation.

Be caring and supportive. A lot of alcoholics are unwilling to admit there’s anything wrong and become defensive, sometimes to the point of enraged, if you tell them they have a problem. Instead of saying “You have a drinking problem” it’s better to say “I care about you, but think you need help.” Even if you’re the most tactful he’s still likely to get angry so be prepared and don’t take it personally.

Get him out of denial. Enlist friends and family to help make him aware of his behavior. Ultimately he’s the one who must realize he has a problem, and it might take several confrontations by many people before he accepts his behavior for what it is – alcoholism. Knowing he has you and others to support him instead of punish him can help a lot.

Find real help. Avoid his suggestions of “I can deal with this on my own.” Though he can make himself abstain from drinking for periods of time, professional-level help will enable him with tools to prevent a relapse. And even with therapy, your support and help from others there’s a good chance he’ll relapse from time to time. Continue to give him the support he needs and put him in touch with people who know how to help.

Don’t let alcoholism define your life together. Stay observant of his behavior without being constantly paranoid about him hiding bottles in the house or suspecting every time late arrival home means he’s stopped at a bar. If you act as though he’s going to fail it’s entirely likely you’ll create a self-fulfilling situation.

john.thumbnailMAVERICK: One thing you don’t mention is that he’s drinking to the point where  he’s seriously impaired. You mention you’re becoming concerned about leaving him alone with the kids, but you don’t really say why.

Since you didn’t say otherwise, I’m assuming he’s not insisting on taking the kids for a ride while he’s under the influence or he’s  not doing dangerous “Hey, watch this. Hold my beer” stuff while around you or your kids.

What you describe is a guy who is drinking a lot more than is standard, and he’s been doing it for long enough to raise a red flag with you. So, you’re smart to be concerned but my advice is predicated on the fact that he’s not really a danger to you, or the kids, or himself.

This change in behavior isn’t happening in a vacuum. It seems at this point the drinking is a symptom and not the key problem but you won’t know until he actually gives you some information about what’s going on with him.

As you implied in your question, I suspect he’d get really defensive if you go at him aggressively about his drinking. Saying something like, “Gee Bob, lately you’ve been drinking like a fish and you smell like a brewery and I find it really embarrassing” will likely be pretty counterproductive.

So, I’d suggest, if you can catch him sometime when he’s not been drinking, or at least where he’s only had a few, to look for the chance to ask him if something is bothering him. Show actual concern. Don’t toss around blame. Try not to mention the drinking right out of the gate and see what he says.

He will likely sandbag at first but continue to give him the opportunity to talk. This might take a few tries at different times but don’t nag. Eventually, he’ll come clean.

He could be feeling pressure at work, or he might be dealing with (or actually not dealing with) an emotional issue, or he might be just generally unhappy or depressed.

Once you get him talking, you can mention you’ve noticed his drinking has picked up and that you’re concerned about his health. Give him the chance to absorb that and maybe he’ll see your point. Don’t insult him or make it about how his drinking makes you feel. It will only make  him defensive. He needs to see you as being in his corner, not as his babysitter or his accuser.

In the end, he’s going to have to understand that his drinking is an issue and likely a problem and he’ll need to address it – maybe he cuts back a whole lot, maybe he stops cold turkey, and maybe he needs the kind of help you can’t get from an advice column.

No matter what the outcome, he needs to understand your concerns about the drinking are coming from a place of concern about him, not a place where his actions are bothering you or making you uncomfortable.

Got a question for the Inside His Head husbands? Send it to us at mamas{at}nwamotherlode{dot}com.

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Devotion in Motion: He will help you

Joh 15:5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.   John 15:5  (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

Spencer and Madeline live in a studio apartment in Midtown Memphis. They are social workers. It’s really nice when your children are social workers because they are good to talk to, and they give good advice. Even though they’re still in their twenties, Spencer and Madeline are both very perceptive; I’m always amazed on how much they “pick up on” and understand about the circumstances other people are going through.

The kids came over for a visit last weekend, and I was talking to Spencer about my impending retirement as a public schoolteacher. I told him I was surprised how peaceful I feel about the act of retiring. But I also told him I feel a bit anxious about what I’ll be doing next — especially since I don’t really have the next thing lined up yet.

Spencer summed up my situation and gave me great insight when he said this: “Dad, I’m pretty sure that whatever happens, you’re going to be all right. I mean, I used to teach school when I was in my early twenties. Even though I was in perfect health, I ended each day exhausted. You, on the other hand, are the pastor of a country church who also taught school full-time AND raised two kids at the same time. If you can survive all that, it seems to me that whatever happens next, you’re going to be all right.”

I’ve thought about those words a lot in the past few days. I have done a lot of things — and I wasn’t always in the best of health when I did them. And I realized something. The only way I’ve been able to live (or survive) my life is that God has helped me every step of the way. Jesus said, “Without Me you can do nothing.” Looking back on my life thus far, that’s not just a memory verse. That’s the Gospel truth. And that’s the way all of human life works.

because he is goodI’m so thankful God has been with me and that He has always helped me. The most wonderful thing of all is that He did not help me because I’m good. Because I’m not. He helped be because I asked Him to help me. But most of all, He helped me because He is good.

Oh my goodness, if you’re raising kids in this present evil age, you’ve certainly got your work cut out for you. But don’t ever give up, and don’t feel discouraged. Ask our loving Heavenly Father to help you. He will help you because He is good.

rp_john-l-cash-212x3001.jpgDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 31 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.)  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher and his wife hope to sleep late on President’s Day.) Their kids include Spencer (age 25), his wife Madeline (age 25), and Seth (age 22), and his wife Leanne (age 21). You can send him a note at brotherjohn@ilovechurchcamp.com.

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The Rockwood Files: Soup saves the day

rockwood files colorBy Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

This morning was one of those mornings. I woke up with the kind of headache that’s just annoying enough to keep me slightly on edge. I went through the usual routine – dropped the kids off at school and then started the day’s work.

But my to-do list kept getting longer. And the caffeine and ibuprofen I swallowed at breakfast didn’t shake the headache. There were so many emails with so many questions and deadlines, and I had nothing – no answers, no completed tasks.

It was the kind of morning that makes you want to crawl under the bed and hide from the world. Instead, I did the next best thing and went to lunch.

During the drive to our favorite sandwich shop, I wished aloud for the soup of the day to be chicken and wild rice. That one is my favorite because it reminds me of a bowl of soup I had the last time we were in Minnesota. The kids were taking a class to learn how to snowboard that day, and I was watching from the ski lodge restaurant. A waitress brought over a steaming bowl of creamy soup that tasted like love in a bowl. It was the perfect way to pass the time while watching the snow and my children fall down a hill.

soup bowl 185So today when Tom and I got to the front of the line at the sandwich shop, I looked for the familiar “soup of the day” sign but it was gone. I asked anyway, just in case. The bearded barista glanced behind him and said, “I think we have a bowl or two left of the chicken and wild rice soup.”

“Yes!” I said too enthusiastically. “I’ll have that.” I beamed as I carried my bowl from the counter to the table, encouraged that maybe my day was turning around. Halfway to the bottom of the bowl, I felt decidedly better – as if lunch had warmed me out of a rotten mood. I went back to work and faced the empty page with newfound hope and a full stomach.

That soup salvation made me grateful that at least one of our three kids shows some real talent in the kitchen. When our middle kid, Jack, was only 7-years-old, he marched into the room and announced that he’d decided what he’d be when he grew up: “You know that guy on the cooking show on TV?” he asked. “The one who eats the cupcakes and then says which one is the best? I’ll do that job.”

I remember being shocked at his specificity. I’d been expecting something more general like fireman or race car driver. “You want to be a cupcake judge?” I asked.

“Yep. Cupcake judge,” he confirmed.cupcake-526424_640 (2)

“I think the cupcake judge is a chef,” I pointed out. “That’s why they asked him to judge the cupcakes.”

He thought for a moment and then nodded his head. “Then I’ll be a chef and a cupcake judge.”

Kids usually grow in and out of career dreams at least a dozen times as they get older, but even six years later, Jack, who’s now 13, still says he’s headed toward cooking school one day and perhaps his own diner where he’ll serve all his favorite foods. Last summer, he took a cooking course and even won a class contest for “best cupcake.”

Tonight, as he headed off to bed, I asked Jack if he’d also serve chicken and wild rice soup at his future restaurant and reserve a booth in the back just for his creaky old mom and dad. He smiled and said he would.

It’s good to have kids with big dreams. And it’s even better if they can save a bad day with a great bowl of soup (and a cupcake for dessert).

gwen-headshot-2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

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