Same Sex Marriage……..Maybe not for me….

OK, so unless you have been living under a rock, you have heard the news that the Supreme Court of the United States, (aka SCOTUS) has struck down the ban on same sex marriage, and it is now legal in every state in the United States to get married if you are a same sex couple.  Interestingly, according to CNN, the US is the 21st country to make marriage legal for ALL citizens.

The Netherlands was the first country to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage in 2001, when their Parliament voted 107-33 to eliminate discrimination from their marriage laws. The law requires that at least one member of the couple be a Dutch national or live in the Netherlands, and it took effect on April 1, 2001. 14 years ago……..hmmm.    Twenty countries have approved the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide (Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina, Denmark, France, Brazil, Uruguay, New Zealand, Britain, Luxembourg, Finland and Ireland), while Mexico allows the freedom to marry regionally and has  court-directed provisions enabling same-sex couples to share in the freedom to marry. In Slovenia, Parliament approved a marriage bill in March 2015 and is headed to the president’s desk. Many other countries provide some protections for such couples. As more and more countries win the freedom to marry, families are helped, and communities and countries made stronger, by protecting all loving committed couples.

I have lots of thoughts on this matter.  As a matter of fact, when I went on vacation last summer to visit my mother, who lives in Kissimmee Florida, she asked me what my thoughts were on gay marriage.  My mother is  NOT homophobic in the least, but she doesn’t really understand it.  She is 76 and comes from a different era than I do.  It does not bother me at all that she does not understand, the fact that she is accepting of me and Karol, and loves me anyway, is all that matters to me.

In the past, quite a few of my friends have said that Karol and I should get married in a nearby state and then wait for Virginia to catch up.  We just chuckled, and the questions stopped.  Then marriage became legal in Virginia and the comments started again.  That time we said we didn’t want to get married until EVERYONE could get married, well, now it is legal all over the US and the comments and questions have started again……sigh…..

However, recently, when my mother asked me about it, and two of my besties also asked me when we are getting married, I had to delve deep into my own thoughts and really think about why I don’t want to get married.

gay wedding

To be honest there are a few reasons why we don’t want to get married….yet…..

First and foremost is that fact that most of our household income comes from Karol, and if we marry my children will no longer be eligible for grants and some student loans.  So to marry now means my kids will lose money to help them pay for college, and I feel that to do that just to say I am “married” is extremely elfish…

wedding rngs

Another reason is harder to explain and believe me these are MY OWN thoughts and I believe them ONLY for myself, and I do NOT think everyone, (or anyone) has to believe the way I do, but here it is:

As a die hard feminist I have a hard time participating in a traditional “wedding” which I believe is a patriarchal heterosexual ideology.  Let’s face it, “marriage” has always been a heterosexual thing.  I don’t believe anyone should be exempted from getting married if that is their desire, so I do support same sex marriage, but I am just not sure it is for me.  I do think at some point it will be important for Karol and I to be legally bound to each other, (social security, retirement, etc), but I would like to find a nontraditional way to do that.

Plus, we have both had the traditional wedding before, and I don’t “need” to have a wedding dress, guests, cake, reception wedding in my life as any kind of statement about my relationship with my partner of 11 years. I don’t want our marriage to be a bigger deal than our wonderful, complicated, sometimes difficult, mostly completely happy,  living together lives already are.  We have been together for 11 years.  We have lived together for 8 years.  It has been easy, it has been hard, we have fought, we have yelled, we have loved……through it all we have loved…..each other and our 4 kids.

I like the idea of having a “love party”.  Getting legally hitched at the Justice of the Peace quietly with just our kids and maybe one or two others in attendance and then having a party (a backyard BBQ) with our friends and loved ones…..but that will have to be years from now when the kids are out of college and since the youngest one is about to turn 16, by then same sex marriage will be routine………

I guess we will revisit the idea in about 6 years or so…. I will let you know…


How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?

Having worked in the skin care industry for over 10 years there is one thing that plagues women about their skin, especially on their face: DARK SPOTS!  DARK SPOTS!!!!! People ask me all the time: How do I get rid of dark spots on my face?

Dark spots, or hyperpigmentation (the medical term) is a skin problem that can affect men and women of all ages, and can be very embarrassing and make people self conscious. It affects how we feel about the way we look.  And how we look affects our entire life.

I understand the difficulties of uneven skin tone and dark areas on your skin very well.  Not only do 95% of my clients come see me to correct uneven skin tone, but I also suffer from an uneven skin tone problem.  I am an olive complected Caucasian, and I have a skin condition called Melasma.

Melasma is a skin condition that affects women more than men, and is caused by our hormones, (great, one more thing to blame our hormones on).  It affects all skin tones (Caucasian, African American, Asian and Hispanic) people.  It can sometimes be easier to see on women with a lighter skin tone (skin tone 1-2) because of the contrast between their regular skin tone and the melasma.  The skin is usually “splotchy”.  The dark areas do not have even borders, and can even appear like “spatters” of dark spots on the face.  As if someone took a paintbrush and dipped in a darker skin tone and then spattered your face with the darker color.

Then there are the dreaded spots from acne.  Clients will call me and say they have “acne scarring”, or “Blemishes” or simply “dark spots” from acne.  These discolorations can occur on the face, neck, chest, shoulders and back.  Anywhere there has been an acne bump.  Acne causes redness and inflammation many times, and in skin of color inflammation or redness commonly leads to a dark spot.  The dark spots will be worse if you “pick” or “squeeze” your acne bumps.


So what can you do to clear up your skin???  Well, the first step is to prevention.  For melasma and sun damage that means 1) SPF 20 (at least) sunscreen on your face EVERY day that you are outside.  2) Try not to be in direct sunlight without covering your face with a hat, visor, umbrella, etc.  I wear a visor ALL summer long.  We went to the beach for our weekly vacation and my body was protected with sunscreen.  My face was protected with a big floppy hat.  I battle melasma all the time, so I protect my face from the sun as much as possible.  HATS and sunscreen are your best friends.

For acne the best prevention is an appointment with a dermatologist to get medication that will prevent you form continuing to get bumps.  I talk more about acne and treatments here.  Truly the key with acne is the proper medication to keep the bumps from coming in the first place.  Second, if you do get bumps, DO NOT PICK, SQUEEZE or otherwise mess with them.  That will help tremendously to avoid dark spots!

The next step is products.  There are prescriptions you can use to help with lightening dark spots.  Specifically the medication is “Hydroquinone”.  It has 4% hydroquinone which is a skin lightener in it, however it can be VERY expensive (most of the time at least $60.00 to sometimes over $100.00).  For comparison, a very nice over the counter product you can use to lighten dark spots is Ambi, or Porcelana fading cream.  They have 2% hydroquinone, so they are less potent than a prescription, but are more affordable.

Melasma on my forehead before Revelage
Melasma on my forehead before Revelage
Melasma on my forehead AFTER three weeks of Revelage
Melasma on my forehead AFTER three weeks of Revelage

However, my FAVORITE product that I have had LOTS of success with (I use it myself and LOVE it),  is Revelage Concentrated Age Spot minimizer.  It is marketed for “age spots”, but works GREAT on all discoloration. I have sold this product to clients, and every single one of them has seen improvement using it. (I use it and it works for me also) As a matter of fact, most of them say it works better than the prescription Hydroquinone.  It should be used two times daily (morning and night) and is botanically based which is why I love it so much.  It has ingredients in there that are botanical: nutmeg oil, ferula root extract, caffeine, and licorice root extract.  This product also has retinyl palmitate which is a form of Vitamin A and causes exfoliation which helps get dark spots off your face more quickly.This product works beautifully, smells great and is quite affordable.  (It is made by Arbonne, and must be purchased from an Arbonne rep.) It normally retails for $47.00 but I offer it to ANYONE for $38.00 which is a 20% discount, AND I will ship it to you for free (in the Cont US)!


Revelage spot minimizer
Revelage spot minimizer

The reason I do this is because I have dealt with dark spots for years and have tried many many products.  THIS is the one that has worked the fastest for me, and I GET IT!!  I understand how dark spots affect your self esteem,  how it feels to be unhappy with your skin and have to use makeup even in the summer (which most women HATE), and I am a firm believer in this product because it has worked for me!  See my pictures above.

Now, I am NOT going to tell you that this has been a fast or easy process, but I will tell you that minimizing the dark spots on my face has made me much more comfortable going out without makeup, and when I DO use makeup it is MUCH less than I used to use.

Pictures tell the story and if you decide to use this product I advise you to take a before pic and an after pic three weeks later to see the difference.  Yes, three weeks.  If anyone tells you something works faster than that don’t believe it. It takes time to remove dark spots.  The best prevention in the first place is: sunscreen, hats, and DON’T pick or squeeze your bumps.  If you have acne, see a dermatologist to get medicine to help prevent the acne from coming in the first place.

Please let me know if I can help.  This product worked for me and I know it can work for you too!