Archive of ‘Health + Beauty’ category

How to Make Your Kids Brush Their Teeth with Tooth in the Booth

How to make tooth brushing with kids easier with tooth in the booth | The Champagne SupernovaThis post is proudly sponsored by Tooth in the Booth. However, I love and use this book with my family and all opinions are my own.

Getting my kids to brush their teeth has always been a struggle.

I’ve had to tackle them to the ground and brush their teeth WWF-style. (Hulk Hogan ain’t got nothing on me!)

I’ve lied and said bugs will crawl into their mouths at night to feast on leftover food if their teeth aren’t clean.

I’ve told them their teeth will fall out or turn brown if they don’t do a good job brushing.

Since I discovered the Tooth in the Booth my morning and bedtime routines have been changed for the better.

My kids now WANT to brush their teeth.

Ever have one of those moments where you hear of a product and ask yourself “why didn’t I think of that?”

That’s exactly how I feel about Tooth in the Booth.

How to make kids brush their teeth with Tooth in the Booth | The Champagne Supernova

The Tooth in the Booth is a book that provides an interactive and entertaining way to encourage dental hygiene in children.

How to encourage kids to brush their teeth with Tooth in the Booth | The Champagne Supernova

My children enjoying Tiny the Tooth and the accompanying Booth.

It has a similar effect as the Elf on the Shelf, only the Tooth in the Book watches children all year long to ensure they are keeping up with brushing and flossing.

Written by Lisa Moody and Scott Simon, the book contains beautiful illustrations from the Emmy-award winning folks at Riley Animation Studios.

The book is centered around Tiny the Tooth, the Tooth Fairy’s “right hand man.” The package includes a hardcover book and a Tiny the Tooth doll and Tooth Booth, which can be used to  hold your kiddos’ baby teeth until the Tooth Fairy is able to swap them out for a surprise. The last page of the book contains a log for kids to memorialize the dates they lose their baby teeth.

Best of all, Tiny the Tooth contains a suction to attach it to your kids’ bathroom mirror to remind them to brush their teeth well. When it comes to dental hygiene, Tiny the Tooth is always watching!

You can read a sample from the book here. Also, check out this video to see why you should welcome the Tooth in the Booth into your home.

Y’all know I love supporting small businesses. The CEO and founder, Scott Simon is from Tampa. I have really enjoyed working on him with this and think this idea is genius and creative. Wishing him and the team so much success.

Don’t have kids? Are your own kids able to successfully brush their teeth on their own? No problem. The Tooth in the Booth makes perfect gifts for birthdays (trust me, other parents will thank you!), holidays, school fundraisers, charity donations, and PTA giveaways.

Order yours here.

Add your name and email in the comments for your chance to win your very own Tooth in the Booth, as one lucky winner will be chosen.

Cheers and happy brushing!

    Namaste: Goodies for Your Inner Yogi

    Great products to try for national yoga month | The Champagne Supernova

    This post is proudly sponsored by but, per usual, all opinions are my own.

    As September is National Yoga Month, the kind folks at Babbleboxx have put together the perfect package to help reduce stress, find peace, and unleash our inner yogi.

    Great products to try just before National Yoga Month | The Champagne Supernova

    Ascent Native Fuel Whey Protein Powder Blend. This native fuel protein, the Official Sponsor of Hard Work- is made with native whey, which is the new benchmark in protein purity. This is the least processed protein available because it is filtered from high-quality milk and contains higher levels of naturally occurring leucine, a key amino acid for stimulating muscle protein synthesis. Ascent stands out from other companies because it makes its own protein, and has been doing so for more than 30 years. Just one scoop of the whey protein delivers as much protein as eating three full cups of whole milk, three servings of yogurt, four large eggs, or one small chicken breast. Comes in chocolate, vanilla bean, and lemon sorbet flavors. Use code YOGA for 10% off your purchase here

    Love Warrior Book. Written by the #1 New York Times bestseller, Glennon Doyle, this memoir tells about the often painful journey of self-discovery following the implosion of the author’s marriage. I saw Glennon speak at an event in Clearwater, Florida, last January, and find her to be relatable and encourages inner reflection. This book was also chosen by Oprah Winfrey as one of her book club selection. Purchase this book here.

    KeVita Master Brew Kombucha. Invigorating with a bold and smooth taste, Master Brew Kombucha contains billions of live probiotics and active cultures. It comes in 11 fun flavors, which include ginger, mango habanero, and blueberry basil. Non-alcoholic, this brew contains only 35 calories per serving. You can purchase yours here.

    NEW Organic Stevia in the Raw. USDA Organic certified, this is the most recent addition to the In the Raw family of sweeteners. This natural sweetener tastes great and, best of all, is non-GMO. I loved using this instead of regular sugar. Purchase yours here.

    Simply Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths.  These personal care wipes are dermatologist and gynecologist tested for safety and help women feel fresh during their least refreshing times. Recently, the brand launched its newest line- Simply Summer’s Eve. This collection features products with botanical extracts that work with the body to maintain natural pH and contain scents that nature inspired. Check them out here.

    B.O.S.S. Bars. These paleo snack bars are functional raw energy bars that were created by a “foodie” who solved her personal health challenges thorough dietary and environmental changes. With clean labels, these super foods are both filling and delicioso! Containing only eight ingredients per bar, these B.O.S.S. bars combine hand-selected, premium ingredients. While these are available on Amazon Prime, you can also purchase them here. (Free shipping on any 5-pack and/ or case of 12 on through 10/15/17 with code BABBLEBOSS.

    Cheers and Namaste!

      Back to School: Carmex Lip Balm is the Bomb

      Which lip balms to use for returning to school |The Champagne Supernova

      This blog post was proudly sponsored by Carmex. Per usual, all opinions are my own.

      It never fails.

      Despite me begging and pleading for her to stop picking, my five year-old daughter routinely has dry, chapped lips.

      Even in the hot, Florida summertime.

      This habit is easy for me to prevent at home, but not so easy when she’s away from me at school.

      No more, I say!

      I finally found a remedy that should be able to get me through the school year.

      These Carmex products can easily fit in the my daughter’s backpack or lunch box so she has them handy at school when she needs them.

      Be sure to include Carmex products on your back-to-school shopping lists!

      While Carmex has several products in their lip balm line, my two personal favorites are the Classic Lip Balms in a Tube and the Comfort Care Lip Balms.

      Carmex lip balms are great for chapped lips and for kids | The Champagne Supernova

      The Carmex Classic Lip Balm in a Tube provides soothing relief that facilitates moisture and leaves a sensation on your lips that is not too thick or too waxy.

      (Let’s be real, my daughter would never keep it on if that were the case.- and she loves the cherry flavor because it reminds her of her favorite drinks- Shirley Temples!)

      This lip balm is formulated to provide cooling relief to the worst of chapped lips and has a SPF of 15 to help prevent sun damage.

      The Carmex Comfort Care Lip Balm is formulated with natural colloidal oatmeal which has been used for centuries to soothe the lips and promote softer, more hydrated skin. This lip balm is available in a variety of flavors such as mixed berry, sugar plum, and watermelon blast, and contains antioxidant-rich fruit seed oil to help restore lips’ natural beauty.

      Not only does the Comfort Care Lip Balm provide the ultimate in hydration, but it also helps defend against free radicals that accelerate the appearance of aging.

      These particular Carmex products do not contain harmful toxins such as parabens. This is very important to me as a mom and as a consumer.

      Carmex lip balms | The Champagne Supernova

      My three year-old enjoys Carmex products as well.

      The Carmex lip balm line is available at most retail stores and the products are super affordable and under $4.00. Even better, one jar or tube of lip balm will last a couple months (if the kiddos don’t lose it, because #momlife!)

      Cheers to making back-to-school shopping easier with Carmex.

      Wishing everyone a successful transition to the new school year.


        Smokin’ in the Summer: Hot Weather Beauty Guide

        This post is proudly sponsored by on behalf of Single Edition Media. 

        Floxsee. Where was this product when I needed it most in my twenties? This tri-view mirror provides a 360-degree hands-free view of your head. It is portable and has telescoping fingers that pull out from the top that can hang on almost any door. The Floxsee also adjusts to your height and folds flat for easy storage.

        Please note that a portion of all sales will be donated to the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia to honor Aunt Flo, the inspiration behind the Floxsee. Order yours here.

        Summer beauty products | The Champagne Supernova

        PFB Vanish + Chromabright. This unique roll-on gel is formulated to address common ailments associated with hair removal- ingrown hairs, razor bumps, and dark spots. Paired with gentle blends of glycolic, salicylic, and lactic acids, ingrown hairs are lifted from beneath the skin and dark spots vanish.

        Best used daily after hair removal, you can use PFB Vanish + Chromabright on the face, neck, underarms, legs, and bikini areas. You can also use this product instead of deodorant in your underarms. Order yours here.

        Sexy Hair: Soy Renewal Beach Spray. This sea salt hairspray creates undone texture that looks and feels like you’ve spent a day by the ocean. It contains Argan Oil to protect and heal hair damage. You can get yours here

        Casio Baby-G. As summer is all about mixing fashion and function, Baby-G has come in with its latest BA110BE waterproof watch in a bold white hue perfect for any warm weather ensemble- whether it’s a swimsuit or your workout gear. With water resistance up to 100 meters, these watches are perfect for the summer because you don’t have to remove it when you’re swimming in the ocean or lounging by the pool.

        The BA110BE is available in two colors: pastel pink with white face details or white with pastel blue face details. Get yours here.

        Summer’s Eve Cleansing Cloths. For freshness on the go, be sure to pop Simply Summer’s Eve cleansing cloths into your purse or gym bag. These are specially formulated to help maintain a natural pH and wipe away bacteria. Hypoallergenic and soap free, these are safe for everyday use and come in two nature-inspired scents: Mandarin Blossom and Coconut Water. Purchase yours here.

        GLAM Face & Eye Cupping Set. Have you tried out the new cupping craze? It is an effective and non-invasive way to tone and lift your face without down time. A daily stress eliminator, facial and eye cupping also visibly reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, promotes circulation, reduces eye puffiness, stimulates collagen, and clears toxins. This is being hailed as a NATURAL ALTERNATIVE to Botox, plastic surgery, and injections. The GLAM Face & Eye cupping set includes 2 facial cups that can be used for the face, neck, decolletage, as well as a free exfoliating brush.

        Type code BABBLE15 to receive 15% off your purchase here


        Enjoy all of these summer beauty products and cheers!

          Your Kids Don’t Care About Your Imperfect Body: They Care About You

          Stop body shaming yourself. Don't let your insecurities about your body prevent you from having fun with your kids. They don't care how you look- they care about YOU! | The Champagne Supernova

          Body shaming.

          We hear about this all the time. About how we need to stop body shaming other women and nurturing an environment that creates unreasonable expectations about how we should look and sets a bad example for young women.

          But what about when we body shame ourselves?

          I was scrolling through my camera of photos from a recent family vacation when it caught my eye.

          The hotel where we were staying on this vacation had a duck pond near the pool area. The kids and I had a blast feeding the ducks, swimming, and playing pool games. One of the pictures, which my husband must have taken, was of the kids squatting along the edge of the pond tossing food pellets to one of the ducks.

          In the background of that picture was an elderly woman wearing a one-piece swimsuit. She was also bent over feeding the ducks, with her aged, flat booty facing the camera.

          Then I looked closer.

          It wasn’t an old lady.

          It was me.

          I gave the camera to my husband, pointed to the picture, and asked him if my butt really looked that way in real life.

          It wasn’t a firm and round butt.

          It was a stereotypical flapjack style middle-aged mom butt.

          I think it was a bad angle. You’re standing in an awkward position.

          Lies. My husband was avoiding the question.

          Then I got all lawyer on him and the deposition began.

          How long has my butt looked like this?

          Do you think it’s because of all the wine we drink?

          Or because I’ve had two kids?

          Or because I need to start doing a thousand lunges a day?

          Perhaps its because I’m getting older?

          Maybe I’ve got a hormone imbalance, like a bad thyroid?

          Do you think I can start contouring my butt with makeup like the Kardashians contour their faces? 

          I stressed and obsessed about my mom butt for a couple days.

          The self-shaming was out of control.

          I started discussing it with some of my mom friends.

          Then I quickly discovered that they all have insecurities, too.

          Saggy boobs. Flabby stomachs. C-Section scars. Double chins. Thinning hair. Adult acne. Cellulite.

          One afternoon, when I was in the middle of a phone conversation with one of my girlfriends talking about our mom butts, I looked over and saw my five year-old daughter playing legos by herself in the living room.

          I got off the phone and started playing with her.

          We laughed, we smiled, we told stories, we worked on a school project. We made ice cream sundaes and giggled when I accidentally spilled multi-colored sprinkles all over the floor. We made figurines out of play-doh and pretended to work in a restaurant. Her waitress name was Flo and mine was Linda. She took customer orders while I prepared the food. Today’s Special was beef stroganoff and fried cod.

          We had the best day.

          And then it dawned on me.

          My daughter didn’t care about my flapjack style middle-aged mom butt.

          She cared about spending time with me.

          The same is true for the way all children feel about their moms. They don’t care about your saggy boobs, flabby stomach, C-section scar, double chin, thinning hair, adult acne, or your cellulite.

          They care about you.

          Spending quality time with you.

          Laughing with you.

          Playing with you.

          Making memories with you.

          When your kids are adults, they won’t remember your minor physical imperfections. What they will remember are the memories you created and the relationships you nurtured. The fun you had together and the lessons you taught them. They will remember that you made them a priority. The way you loved them.

          That’s what they’ll remember.

          Not the small details about your body.

          They think you’re perfect just the way you are. 

          And you know what?

          Who cares if we have mom butts?

          We are moms, after all.

          We need to stop body shaming ourselves.

          So ladies, as summertime and swimsuit season are upon us, don’t be afraid to jump in the pool and go swimming with your kids because you are trying to avoid being seen in a bathing suit. Don’t be ashamed that you’re wearing a one-piece instead of a Brazilian cut bikini. Don’t worry about getting your hair wet because it’s curly and dries funky. Take the plunge.

          You are your own worst critic and nobody else is paying attention anyway. Don’t let your own minor imperfections rob you of enjoying experiences with your kids while they’re still little. Don’t let your insecurities steal your peace of mind.


            Sleeplessness: How to Beat Insomnia

            Tips for How to Cure Insomnia | The Champagne Supernova

            Obviously this little chica has no problems falling asleep.

            I’ve been plagued with insomnia since Labor Day weekend of 2013.

            I remember the exact timeframe because we were out of town for the three-day holiday weekend and because it’s when I found out I was pregnant with my youngest daughter.

            It was horrible. I would lie awake at night for hours, bargaining with God that if he would just let me fall asleep, I would never ever ever ever ________________ again. Ever.

            Incessantly checking my iPhone to see what time it was would only make things worse because, as the night turned into morning, I would become increasingly anxious about how tired I would be the next day at work and about all of the papers that were overflowing from my inbox.

            Taking melatonin and other natural sleep aids helped with getting me to fall asleep, but they didn’t help me stay asleep. Like clockwork, my body would routinely wake itself up at 2:30 a.m. and getting back to sleep seemed impossible.

            My obstetrician prescribed hard-core sleep aids but, being aware of the side effects (nightmares!) coupled with being pregnant and not wanting to take the risk, I never took them. (Which is a good thing, given how I was assured that Zofran was safe to take, was popping them like Pez, then recently have seen all these commercials for class action lawsuits associated with birth defects purportedly from the Zofran. Yikes!)

            Hoping the insomnia was strictly related to pregnancy hormones, I was hopeful I’d be back to my eight-hours-of-sleep self once I had the baby.


            If you have insomnia, you’re not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 50-70 million adults in the United States alone have sleep or wakefulness disorder.

            Not being able to sleep is the worst. Until recently, my sleep schedule has never really been the same.

            However, I’ve found ways to manage my insomnia through trial and error that I want to share with you.

            Here’s my tips.

            Stay Away from Alcohol. This is Numero Uno. This past Friday night, I had two glasses of red wine and binge-watched Netflix with my husband. Despite being exhausted, I couldn’t stay asleep. Drinking alcohol exacerbates my insomnia 100% of the time, and it never ever fails. There has never been a time when I had a good night’s sleep if I drank, and this is true whether I drank one glass of wine or ten. In fact, many studies now show that drinking alcohol is directly connected to insomnia. I used to come home from work and have a glass of wine, but now I’ve stopped that habit and try to stay away from alcohol unless the occasion is truly worth it.   

            Fall Asleep on a Mental Good Note. If you’re like me, you have a hard time getting your brain to be quiet. There were times when I would go to bed stressed out about stuff that was on my mind, things I need to check off my “to do” list, or worries from the day. I enjoy daily devotionals and, while some recommend waking up early and doing them in the morning, I think it’s a good idea to do them in the evenings so it’s the last thing your brain thinks about before falling asleep. (Thanks for the tip, mom!) I enjoy Joyce Meyer’s “Trusting God Day By Day” (you can get it here).

            Other great devotionals and meditation books I recommend include Each Day a New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women by Karen Casey (get it here) and Journey to the Heart by Melanie Beattie (get it here).

            Use a Diffuser with Essential Oils. Something about the natural component of lavender oil makes it easier for me to fall asleep. I bought a diffuser from my local health food store and purchased some high quality lavender oil and turn on the diffuser, which I keep near the night stand, before bed. It’s like a spa in my room. I’ve used many different brands of essential oils and, in my experience, you get what you pay for. The more expensive oils contain a higher concentration of the ingredients (e.g. are not watered down) and tend to be more effective. If you’re not spending at least $15 on the oil, you’re likely wasting your time. While the bottles are small, you only need to put 3-4 drops of the oil in the diffuser, so they last a long time.

            Create a Special Nighttime Ritual. Each night before bed, I like to create a special routine to get my mind in the mood for sleeping. This involves lathering myself with Beautycounter’s Body Oil in Citrus Rosemary and putting the Lip Conditioner Calendula Balm on my lips. Makes a huge difference. (I am a Beautycounter consultant and would greatly appreciate if you would list me, Jennifer Burby, if you make the purchase!)

            Keep Your Phone Out of Your Bedroom. When I would usually wake up in the middle of the night, I would start reading emails and scrolling through social media on my phone, which would only make it more difficult for me to fall back asleep. I recently purchased a cheap old-fashioned alarm clock and keep it in my room instead of the phone. Big difference in my sleep pattern, as I don’t have the accessible temptation to check my phone.

            Godspeed to all of my friends out there who suffer from insomnia. It’s the very worst.

            What are your tips for getting a handle on it that I missed?


              Coming to Tampa: Sprouts Farmers Market

              While this post is sponsored by Sprouts, I love this company because it promotes affordable healthy living!

              Attention mamas, fitness enthusiasts, and health-conscious consumers: there’s a new grocery store coming to the Tampa area next month!

              Sprouts Farmers Market is opening a location in Carrollwood at 15110 N. Dale Mabry Highway in the Carrollwood Commons Shopping Center on Wednesday, February 27. 

              South Tampa friends: Sprouts is also opening a location in this area in 2017.

              The Carrollwood location will be the very first Sprouts in the Sunshine State.

              I’m so pumped they chose Tampa!

              Never heard of Sprouts Farmers Market? Let me share the deets.

              Sprouts is a healthy grocery store that offers fresh, organic, and natural foods at great prices. 

              The challenge of eating healthy is that it puts a dent in your wallet.

              Here’s the thing: unlike some of the competitors, Sprouts makes it affordable to eat healthy, wholesome foods.

              In addition, Sprouts offers a complete shopping experience that includes fresh produce, meat (with an old-time style butcher), seafood, a deli, baked goods, dairy, frozen foods, household items, and beauty care catering to those interested in health, wellness, and saving money.

              We all work hard for our moolah and deserve a reasonably priced alternative to our existing organic grocery store options.

              One of the fastest growing retail grocery chains, Sprouts has over 250 stores from coast to coast and 35 new stores are slated to open in 2017. It currently operates in 13 states and will expand in the southeast by opening stores in Florida and North Carolina.

              90% of the products in each Sprouts store are natural or organic. As customers are becoming increasingly concerned with the quality, safety and production of food and are seeking items with specific attributes, an average Sprouts store stocks roughly 4,000 gluten-free, 3,000 organic, 3,000 non-GMO and 500 raw items, just to name a few.

              There’s something for every need, desire, and dietary restriction.

              The vitamin and body care departments of each Sprouts store feature over 7,500 products that contain sustainable and ethically sourced ingredients.

              Check out Sprouts’ website for more information.

              With all the money you’ll be saving buying groceries and eating healthier foods at Sprouts, you’ll have money for other important things.

              Such as clothes to fit into your newly toned physique, a babysitter so you can enjoy date nights with your spouse, and wine.

              Lots of wine.

              I can’t wait to attend the grand opening on February 22 and hope you will join me for this special occasion. If you see me, introduce yourself and say hello.

              Cheers to Sprouts!


                How I Stay Confident with the Secret Fresh Collection

                This post is being sponsored via Babbleboxx. But I love the product, really I do. 

                Women usually hear about all sorts of things that happen with the aging process.

                Slowing metabolism.

                Vision loss.

                Sagging boobs and booties.

                What women don’t hear about is how the nose also starts losing the sense of smell.

                After spending over 10,000 hours of research involving more than 500 noses across multiple countries, Secret has learned that 70% of women switch deodorant because they believe their bodies have gotten used to their regular, everyday product.

                What’s really happening is that the nose can eventually become blind to the scent of deodorant, which makes some women feel less confident.

                After all: being smelly is the pits.

                However, it’s not just deodorant the nose can become blind to: it’s your favorite perfume, candle scents, and even certain foods.

                This March, Secret is introducing the Fresh Collection, the first beauty product to ever feature the brand new patented Fade Resistant Scent Technology. This scent-enhancing technology has been proven to combat nose-blindness by resisting the scent fade, while also providing long-lasting fragrance benefits for up to 48 hours.

                My favorite Secret deodorant fragrance (TMI? Perhaps, but we’re all friends here) is Cool Waterlily, which reminds me of being at a fancy-schmancy spa. (The collection has a total of 11 scents in both clear gel and invisible solid.) I tested it on a day I knew would be especially hard: waking up at 5:30 for a challenging spin class, followed by coming home and making lunch, taking my oldest daughter to school, spending several grueling hours at the office, followed by after-school pickup, taking both girls to gymnastics, heading home and making dinner, followed by baths and bedtime. (That was exhausting just to write!) By the end of the day, I could still smell the scent of the deodorant. That never happened with the deodorant I was using before. Evah!

                The new Fade Resistant Scent Technology is specially designed to provide 48-hour protection, providing you with reassurance your deodorant is working as hard as you are. In other words, this product has passed the stress test for women and results in unstoppable freshness!

                Some of my other favorite items and products for combating stress?

                FTD Bouquet. Man, I love getting flowers. FTD creates special moments that lets the ones who are close to you know how much you care. FTD is your one-stop-shop for all of your delivery needs and is a sign you are sending the very best.

                How I stay confident with the Secret deodorant Fresh Scents Collection | The Champagne Supernova

                La Fresh Limited Edition Waterproof Makeup Remover Wipes. Sometimes it can seem impossible to get mascara removed for your lashes. I recently discovered these beauties which, for the past decade, tens of millions of women have enjoyed these original makeup remover wipes. To celebrate their tenth birthday, the folks at La Fresh revisited their roots and returned with these special, limited edition waterproof makeup remover wipes. They are effective on even the most stubborn makeup, yet gentle enough to not harm your skin. What I also love about these wipes is they are made in California using solar power. Right now, they are running a special offer where customers receive 25% off their first purchase. Check it out here.

                How I stay confident with the Secret deodorant Fresh Scents Collection | The Champagne Supernova

                Tree Hut Bare Moisturizing Shave Oil.  This product pampers skin with essential oils like jojoba and grape seed, which help seal in moisture and promote healthy skin. The moisturizing shave oil is formulated to provide better contact between your skin and the razor so you can shave without nicks and cuts. Love-love-love this! Get yours here.

                How I stay confident with the Secret deodorant Fresh Scents Collection | The Champagne Supernova

                21 Drops Detox Essential Oil Blend. This is a must-have in my already cramped purse. This is an essential oil solution that is pre-blended with distinct essential oils that come together to treat a particular concern or aspiration. By carefully combining the oils, they work in synergy to deliver on their targeted promise for a healthier mind and body. My personal favorite, detox, fuses the 100% natural essential oils of cardamom, geranium, juniper, and lavender. Check out all the options here.

                How I stay confident with the Secret deodorant Fresh Scents Collection | The Champagne Supernova

                Cheers to staying confident all the dang day through!


                  Beauty: How I Changed my Skin on the Cheap

                  How to drastically improve your skin without spending a lot of money | The Champagne Supernova

                  I’ve always battled acne and I have the scars to prove it.

                  All over my cheeks.

                  Over the years, I’ve fruitlessly spent tons of money and put myself through a lot of pain trying to get rid of my them, but now they are like battle scars that I wear with a badge of honor.

                  Ok, that’s a lie. I hate them, but refuse to allow them to make me feel insecure.

                  Over it.

                  My acne was at its peak when I was in high school. I remember being mortified during summertime when I would hit the beach with my flawless-skinned friends and feeling like I was in between a rock and a hard place in the beauty department. By that time, my acne was horrible. Horrible. I knew it was bad to wear makeup to the beach when I would be sweating and in the sun, but I also didn’t want to be seen without foundation and concealer because my skin was so terrible.

                  Red and irritated.

                  So I ignored my gut instinct, caked my face with makeup, and my skin only got worse.

                  My mother didn’t want to put me on Accutane because of the side effects. My primary care physician recommended that she purchase a popular over-the-counter three-part system containing benzoyl peroxide that would clear up my skin without the risks that came with Accutane.

                  It worked.

                  But it also smelled bad, stained my pillows, sheets, and clothes, and also contained tons of toxins that are banned in other countries.

                  Oh, the price we pay…

                  The bad skin continued into my adulthood and got worse with the stress daily life. Moves. Career changes. Kids.

                  Over the last couple of years, I’ve stopped putting so much stuff on my skin and can really say that less is so much more.

                  Here’s what my skin looked like four short years ago:

                  How to get beautiful skin without spending a lot of money | The Champagne Supernova

                  Dead. Sexy.

                  Here’s another golden delight:

                  How to get beautiful skin without spending a lot of money | The Champagne Supernova

                  Ohhhhhh baby. Pun intended. What’s redder? My shirt or my face?

                  And another. Even all the professional bridesmaid makeup couldn’t hide the redness and inflammation of my face.

                  How to get beautiful skin without spending a lot of money | The Champagne Supernova

                  Good dance moves brought to you by a little nerve and a lot of red wine.

                  I started a new skincare regime around eight months ago and this is the result. I am not wearing any makeup in this photo, other than my usual uniform of fuchsia lipstick, which doesn’t count. This picture was taken during Thanksgiving weekend of 2016 and has not been altered or photoshopped in any manner.

                  Here’s what I did to transform my skin on the cheap:

                  Lay off the Dairy. Sorry, folks, but this means cheese and milk. Studies show that 80- 85% of adult acne is connected to the consumption of dairy, which is an inflammatory. I love, love, love cheese and yogurt. They were difficult to part with. However, once I cut them from my diet, I saw a measurable difference in the appearance of my skin. For most people, it’s nearly impossible to cut all dairy from your diet, especially when dining out at restaurants. Because I didn’t want to become neurotic and worry about what was in my food (you have to live your life), I decided to cut out blatant dairy products like drinking glasses of milk and snacking on yogurt and cheese. There was still a huge difference in my skin and it took two weeks for the impact to be noticeable.

                  Stop Using the Wrong Products. Most cleansers, especially ones formulated for acne-prone skin, are too harsh. When you have a breakout, the worst thing to put on your skin is something that will make it even more red and irritated. Start treating your acne-prone skin like sensitive skin. Reducing inflammation begins with eliminating harsh cleansers from your routine. Don’t be scared! I promise it works. These harsh cleansers strip your skin of natural oils that were meant to protect your skin. If your skin is stripped, it can become chronically oily, which results in the body making more oils to compensate for the oils that are stripped. It’s a hamster wheel. You must use a gentle cleanser. How to tell if your cleanser is too harsh? If your face feels tight or dry after you wash it. If it burns when you sweat. If it gets red in areas that are broken out. When choosing a cleanser, don’t select something that foams or lathers. Known ingredients that contribute to acne are sulfates, alcohol, isopropyl, silicones, mineral oil, paraffins, fragrances, and algae extracts. Contrary to popular myth, you don’t want to have a squeaky clean feeling after you wash your face. Use something more gentle that doesn’t contain these ingredients and is specifically formulated for sensitive skin.

                  Wash Your Face Once a Day. If you are washing your face before bedtime and being sure to remove all of your makeup, there is absolutely no reason to wash your face again in the morning. This is true even if you work out in the morning. When I go to the gym in the morning and come home to get ready for the day, I splash water on my face in the shower. I don’t cleanse it again. This rule goes hand in hand with Rule #2 above about avoiding stripping your skin of its natural oil. I used to wash my face twice a day and my skin looks so much better now that I’m taking a break from all the products. Bonus: you’ll save money on products when you’re only washing once a day.

                  Shots, shots, shots. Of wheatgrass, wheatgrass, wheatgrass. Not only does this superfood contain a complete spectrum of essential food and vegetable nutrients, but it is also condensed, so you don’t have to drink a lot to obtain the benefits. I drink one two-ounce shot of wheatgrass juice per week. You can usually purchase this at your local health food or juice store. (Tampa friends: I get mine at the Village Health Market on MacDill and Xtreme Juice on Dale Mabry.) Wheatgrass is inexpensive and shouldn’t cost more than $4 for two ounces. I usually drink a shot of wheatgrass the day before I have somewhere to be where I want my skin to look awesome.

                  Drink Mint Infused Water. Hormones are one of the main causes of female adult acne. Aside from its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties, mint is a natural hormone balancer. One of the most effective acne treatments I have found is to drink mint-infused water daily. Like, every single day. (Hint: drinking mint-infused water is substantially more effective than drinking mint flavored tea and it won’t stain your teeth.) It’s easy. Buy a fruit infuser (I use this inexpensive one from Amazon), then fill the infuser portion with fresh mint leaves that you can purchase in the produce department of your local grocery store and add water. It took me two weeks for the effects to show up, but was worth it.

                  What do I use on my skin? Two products. That’s it.

                  First, I use this cleansing balm from Beautycounter, which hydrates while it cleanses, removing make-up and impurities, but never stripping the skin of its moisture. 100% of the women who use this product showed a significant increase in skin hydration after only eight hours. Eight. Last, I use this soothing face oil which, unlike most synthetic oils on the shelves, is easily absorbed and serves as a moisturizer. Two drops at night before bed, every night. That’s it. All I use.

                  (In the mornings, I also use this tinted moisturizer instead of foundations that contains SPF 20 for sun protection. I also use this exfoliator twice a week to take off all the dead skin.)

                  I am a Beautycounter consultant and, if you purchase the products, would appreciate if you would use my name on your order- Jennifer Burby!

                  There is no need to use so many freaking products! No need at all. 

                  If you have questions, email me. I’m also happy to mail anyone a list of all the ingredients that you should never use on your skin, so if you’re interested, leave me your name and address in the comments.


                  How to have beautiful skin without spending a lot of money | The Champagne Supernova

                    Lice Lice Baby: How to Get Rid of those Hellish Critters


                    My name is Jennifer Burby.

                    I got head lice at the age of 34.

                    From my daughter. Who got it at school.

                    I guess.

                    Who really knows where or how she got it. She just did.

                    I somehow dodged the head lice bullet during my own childhood.

                    Both of my two daughters have been in daycare since they were a couple months old, which are breeding grounds for lice. We would routinely receive emails from their schools advising of lice outbreaks in the classrooms and instructing us to check our children’s hair. Same happened at their summer camps. Neither of my girls ever got it. They’re in the pool a lot, so I chalked it up to lice not liking chlorine.

                    And I’ve gotta be honest here.

                    Until I got it myself, despite rumors that lice preferred clean hair, I thought it was something reserved for country folk.

                    Kissin’ cousins.

                    People who resided in Appalachia and lived off corn dogs and Mountain Dew.

                    I am now one of those people. Maybe it’s karma for being judgy.

                    Let me backtrack.

                    A couple weeks ago, my four-year-old daughter started complaining her scalp was itchy.

                    Thinking it might be head lice, I did a quick examination and found nothing.

                    I guess she has a dry scalp. I’ll have to get her some of that Neutrogena stuff for old people next time I’m at Walgreens.

                    A week later, my mom, who lives out of town, came and spent the weekend at our house.

                    And slept in bed with my daughter.

                    Eat Clean $30.00 Off

                    Next morning, my mom said my daughter kept waking throughout the night, complaining her head was itchy. And she was profusely scratching it.

                    I did another, more thorough investigation, and found tons of tiny white specks resembling sesame seeds (only smaller) throughout her hair.

                    Eggs (nits) in action. This isn't my daughter's hair. It's a photo I stole from the Internet for demonstrative purposes only.

                    This isn’t my daughter’s hair. It’s a photo I stole from the Internet for demonstrative purposes only.

                    Could it be? I thought. Can’t be.

                    So I got on the computer and Asked Jeeves what head lice look like.

                    The search results returned with eggs that looked exactly like the specks in my daughter’s hair.

                    The search engine results also said you’d have to properly identify a live louse (apparently, this is singular of “lice” because I just had to look it up) to confirm the existence of head lice.

                    I wasn’t messing around. This was balls to the walls.

                    I went to the garage and retrieved my husband’s head lamp, which he uses for long runs in the morning when it’s still dark outside.


                    I would have put on a HAZMAT suit if I would have owned one.

                    "There's lice in them there hills."

                    “There’s lice in them there hills.”

                    Marched back up into my daughter’s room with the lamp on my noggin and a flicker in my eye.

                    Two minutes later, I spotted one. And then another.

                    Another demonstrative stolen from the Internet.

                    Another demonstrative stolen from the Internet.

                    My ignorance expected lice to be large and conspicuous. Raisins with legs.


                    They are tiny. Small as fleas. And a light brownish color that makes them hard to detect in dark blond hair.

                    Seeing them made me feel homicidal. Like the moment when Tracy Flick discovers Paul Metzler is running against her for student council president in the movie Election.


                    I sped to the nearest pharmacy and searched for the most potent product available. Yes, I am ordinarily hyper sensitive about what I put on my and my families’ bodies.

                    Not this time.

                    I wanted to poison the lice and make them die slow, miserable deaths. I wanted to make them pay for the torment they put my daughter through.

                    (Insert sinister laughter here).

                    I returned to the house armed with Rid, takeout dinner, and a bottle of wine.

                    Git 'er done.

                    Git ‘er done.

                    Three glasses of wine and some elbow grease later, with the help of my mother, all the lice and eggs were gone from my daughter’s hair and she was on her way to dreamland.

                    But then my own head started itching.

                    Like, really itching.

                    Was this my imagination?

                    I started frantically looking through my own hair and saw a little devil staring back at me.

                    The fear of God was in his or her eyes. It knew what was happening next.

                    Then my husband mentioned his head was feeling itchy. But he was unfazed, as he and his younger brothers got lice “several times” in their youthful days of yore.

                    (They grew up in rural Hillsborough County, so that was unsurprising to no one.)

                    I got out the head lamp and examined his head.

                    Yup. He had them too.


                    While other married couples were savoring fine wines and filet mignons on their Saturday night, my husband and I were on the couch in front of the tube, watching reruns of Dateline and picking nits out of each others’ hair like a couple of primates.


                    So glamorous.

                    Then, I had an epiphany. Two weeks before, I attended the out-of-town wedding of a longtime college friend. My girlfriends (all of whom have kids) and I spent the hours leading to the wedding getting all dolled up together in the hotel room. This also involved sharing each others’ hair brushes and accessories.

                    So I had to send a text warning them they could have head lice and prayed they didn’t have it and give it to their families.

                    Here’s the other problem. Not being very attentive to detail, I didn’t know I had to put the lice shampoo all over my entire hair and scalp. I thought I only had to put it on my scalp and not on the rest of my hair. So that’s what I did. And they returned several days later.

                    I’m sitting at work and my head is itching like crazy. So I’m going crazy. Trying to prepare for a trial but all I can think about is how my head feels like it’s on fire.

                    I sincerely believe that infesting someone with a pile of head lice would be worse than water boarding.

                    We did everything to get rid of the lice.

                    Even hired a professional lice-killing lady to come to our house, douse our heads in olive oil, and remove the lice and eggs. Five hours, six hundred dollars, and one wasted Sunday later, they were finally gone.

                    Once and for all.

                    Except my head remained subconsciously itchy and I kept buying products to kill any that remained alive. My favorite, hands down, was this stuff right here. They sell shampoo and conditioner, the shipping was quick, it smelled nice, and I had Farrah Fawcett hair after using it. And I’m not being paid one red cent to endorse this product. I genuinely loved it.

                    Here’s the problem with head lice that most people who haven’t had it don’t realize. They reproduce quickly. Just because you wash your hair and kill all the live lice, you still have to contend with their eggs. They all have to be removed from your head. If you leave one behind, that egg will hatch, grow into an adult, and lay more eggs a couple days later. So you really have to stay on top of finding the eggs and destroying them. You also have to wash your sheets and towels, vacuum the house, boil your hair brushes in hot water, and isolate any dolls or stuffed animals that could contain eggs.

                    It’s tedious.

                    But perhaps it’s a parenting rite of passage.

                    A badge of honor.

                    I survived head lice, so I can now get through anything.

                    Finish an Iron Man. Climb Mt. Everest. Swim with sharks.

                    I also want to eliminate the shame associated with getting head lice, which most people deny exists, but really it does.

                    Whatever. Life lice happens.

                    Trying to protect my daughter, I told her she had the case of the “itchies.” I didn’t want her to tell her little friends she had lice in her hair and risk her becoming a pariah. Know what she did? Marched into the school the next day and proudly told her teachers she had bugs in her hair, and that I gave her a “spa night” to get them out.

                    Oh, to be as carefree as a child.


                    Disclaimer: parents of students in my daughter’s pre-K class: Yes, she was the first reported case of head lice. And I’m sorry. I hope she didn’t give it to any of your children. She was not the second reported case of lice. Don’t know who that was and can’t claim it. But the mama of that child is free to give me a call and we can swap war stories over tears and libations. The identity of your child will remain privileged and confidential. 

                      1 2