Tuesday, December 26, 2017:

Downtown Business Spotlight: Imagine NJ

This was such a powerful Downtown Business Spotlight to work on. Big thanks to everyone involved. An amazing organization that believes no child should ever grieve alone.  Do you know someone who might benefit from this organization, pass along this link to help them make an informed decision about their grief support.

I had the opportunity to spend the morning with Mary Robinson (left), Founder and Executive Director of @imagine_a_world_nj - a center for coping with loss. A special thanks to Veronica Ortiz (right) for helping me understand all of the important work this organization does!!

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017:

Downtown Business Spotlight: Via Nutrition

Well this was a fun little project featuring a really amazing wellness shop right here in my hometown!! Via Nutrition is literally just blocks away from my house and it is an amazing resource for my town.

Karen Phillips, owner of Via Nutrition talks wellness with Kate Brochu

I spend a lot of time researching and learning about wellness and holistic living as it relates to graceful aging and skincare. I feel like I may have just found my new "go to" source for all things health and beauty related.... just a few steps away from my home!

Take a look at this video and visit my YouTube Channel for more reviews and spotlights!

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Monday, August 28, 2017:

Shifting into Fall Skincare

The weather in my area is hinting that fall is just around the corner. It's my favorite season and, if you read my earlier post, I am really ready to get back into our "school year" routine. I am also ready to give my skin a little break from the summer sun and heat.

Do you change your skincare routine with the seasons? Here are three things I plan to shift this season.

First things first, I need to dissolve away summer.
Despite regular exfoliation and cleansing, I always feel that summer leaves me with a permanent surface layer of sunscreen. So off to the med-spa I go to get a chemical peel. The objective- chemically exfoliate away the sunscreen and general summer grit to reveal youthful looking skin below.

Evaluate my product line up.
In summer months I typically try to keep things light, for example, sticking with a thinner, less rich moisturizer. But as the seasons change and the weather becomes a bit more harsh, then I seek out moisturizers that provide more of a barrier against the colder weather. Did you see my review of Creme de La Mer? This will be perfect when the weather turns.

Push the Fluids.
It's easy to remember to drink water in the summer. It hot and we are always on the move so water bottles are a staple in our activity bags. But in the fall and cooler months, I don't get the heat cues and sometimes forget to stay hydrated which will only make seasonal skin dryness worse.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017:

Do I Love La Mer?

So a few weeks back I caved and spent some serious dollars on the much hyped Creme De La Mer moisturizing cream.  The Verdict? It's perfect....for the winter.

I loved the scent of the cream (full disclosure, topical treatments have come a LONG WAYS...many boast similar ingredients and do a good job, so scent is now a valid category in my book when it comes to differentiation....along with packaging!).

I followed my regular skincare ritual- creamy cleanser, toner, serum...  and then I added the Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream. Definitely felt well hydrated, but, as the website suggests, this cream is ultra rich. In the summer when I am constantly loading on sunscreen and when I am not contending with the harsh northeast winters, this cream was just a bit too rich for the season and I even noticed some breakouts and congestion.

That said, this is staying in my arsenal for the fall/winter. As the season changes, so do our skincare needs and it's crucial to stay on top of the shifts in our skin's composition. I have a feeling this will fit nicely into my winter routine when the weather comes.

Be Well, ladies!

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Thursday, August 17, 2017:

T-Minus How Many Days Until School?

Soaking in the sun with my new hat of choice ;)
Ok, so dusting things off after a crazy summer.  And as much as I hate to treat August like the "Sunday" of the calendar year, I am just crawling to the finish line of high intensity family time activities. Add "exhausted" emoji here.

Boys are boycotting camp (and I am weak in the mornings and they can be so cuddly before the day starts, so sure, we can just veg all day, no need to go to that camp we paid for). But any parent knows that is just NEVER the case.  And just when it's too late to drop your kids of at camp...that's when the crazy begins.

So it should come as no surprise that we've been spending a LOT of time outdoors.  The beach, the pool, the playground, repeat.

I love a good dose of Vit D and fresh air fuels my soul, but I am also annoyingly aware of the damage it can do.

I've been good with sunscreen and covering up.  I've even broken in a new favorite hat that doesn't make my head look smaller than it already is, but what I am REALLY ready for is getting back into my routine- both the school year routine and my skincare routine. Which means time to book my fall facial!

My aesthetician called it...her clients completely bail in the summer but come fall, they are crawling back asking her to fix their sun damaged skin.

So let's get back into our skincare groove and get that glow!
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Thursday, June 1, 2017:

So What's New??

Here's what's new!!  Since Purity of Elements is on a summer hiatus I have been having fun with other little activities.  More time with the kiddos and fun projects on my own!

I recently connected with my local digital news provider- TAPinto Westfield- and I am LOVING the opportunity to type up some great, local content about the goings on in my area!  It's a vibrant, energetic town with plenty of news to cover.

Check out my recent work!

Memorial Day Coverage
Home Tour Coverage

WWII Letter
Lyme Disease

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Tuesday, May 9, 2017:

Fun Westfield Tradition

I recently signed on with my local digital news provider and it's been a lot of fun!  My goal is to work as a podcast host featuring local "celebrities" and to integrate more video into the newsite.  In the meantime I've had the opportunity to work on a few fun stories!  The first of which was published last week- take a look!!

The Notable Homes Tour is a long-standing tradition in our town that supports the New Jersey Festival Orchestra- located at the heart of our town.

Tour Some of the Westfield Areas Most Notable Homes

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Monday, April 17, 2017:

What a Manicure Can Teach Us About Selfcare!

I sat on the edge of my bed, my husband sleeping soundly beside me and my first child (finally) swaddled and restful in his own crib.  I was too tired, burnt out, and run down to express any form of emotion.  It was a numbness I had never experienced.  I needed adult time and found myself getting annoyed at my husband who offered very little conversation...

Me: "How was work?" 
Him: "Good- uneventful"
ME: "TELL ME MORE!  Tell me anything!  What did you have for lunch?  How many cups of coffee did you get to drink?  How was your commute?!"

Exactly what he wanted to hear after a 12 hour shift in a job that's undoubtedly stressful.

I needed stimulation, I needed sleep, I needed structure that didn't come at the expense of the additional physical exertion of mommy-and-me activities (bucket seat to stroller, bucket seat to car, stroller to trunk....repeat).  

I remember feeling a shuttering emptiness when I realized that the simple act of getting a manicure, something I had so easily done at a lunch break or after work, now required childcare.  All spontaneity of my past life- gone. All indulgent moments of selfcare erased from my agenda with the focus being solely on my child.

This isn't meant to be funny when I type it, but the need for a manicure saved me! 

Listen, things can be deep and dark and NO amount of "me time" will help with that- and if you think you are in that place, you are not alone and you can find help- try here.  

But finally finding a sitter to come on a regular basis so I could get a "store-bought" mani got me a little closer to feeling like my old self.  And feeling like oneself is and always will be important. 

This small selfcare gesture taught me so much about taking care of me at a time when I focused primarily on taking care of others!

I literally cared for a living being in his entirety- feeding, bathing, napping, changing, loving, snuggling... (ok, these last two were pretty easy).  So much of My ENTIRE life was consumed by caring for this other living creature and my selfcare needs went out the window!  Ironically, the overwhelming, all-consuming aspect of motherhood is the same thing that helped me justify these indulgent moments of selfcare.  I am teaching another human being how to exist, surely it's ok to get a manicure!

I needed to breathe my own air.  I needed to have my own experiences.  I needed a break in the never-ending-ness of parenthood. 

My father's favorite quote- Do what you need to do, then what you want to do...

I've heard this so many times and respect it's message so much that it is very likely singed into my DNA.  In fact, when I became a stay-at-home parent, there were just SO MANY "need to do firsts" that all of my wants went out the window and lost their value (including sleep and selfcare!).  If I found myself resting on the couch, I could only think of all of the other things I should be tending to- laundry, dishes, general tidying up.  

I had a sitter, but I was only carving out time to do what I needed to do and using her so that I could handle the "essentials...the "need to do's"- buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, go to the dentist, datenight.*

I shrugged off my "want to do's" because they seemed like luxuries.  Not necessities.  And I lost nearly all sense of self!

I needed time for groceries AND a manicure.  I needed time to get a cavity filled AND get my hair done.  I needed time to get the car inspected AND to get to the gym.  I needed time for datenight* AND alone time.

It took me a long time to figure out what my "balance cocktail" was- how much kid-free time I needed, how much adult interaction I needed, how much independent time I needed... and I still need to turn the dial up or down depending on the week.  

But carving out time for selfcare- coffee alone or with a friend, a manicure, a facial (because skincare is a pretty great form of selfcare)- THIS is what brought me the balance I NEEDED and WANTED. 

Ok, so what's the selfcare moral of the story here?  Get a babysitter to watch the kids while you do your groceries, but make sure you get your manicure first- you don't want the milk to spoil ;)

*Important note on datenight- in reality, I know datenight is a luxury!!  But, I also see it as a "must do" to keep a marriage strong.  So for the purpose of this post, it rolls up into a "responsibility" that serves a purpose other than a "me-centric" selfcare moment.  It's an "us-care" moment ;)
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Sunday, April 16, 2017:

All Great Things- Life Update

What a fun year it has been!  I had the opportunity of a lifetime to collaborate with an amazing skincare brand, Purity of Elements, and to support their efforts on QVC!  

While I wish there were more on-air opportunities for the brand, Purity is in an amazing space as they gear up for greatness!  I cannot wait to see what happens with the brand and I look forward to collaborating in the future!!

In the meantime, it is SO time to jump back into my own personal blogging interests!  

This past year has really helped me to refine my interests within the lifestyle arena.  I LOVE skincare, but have learned that it's more than just skincare- it's SELFCARE!  

As a busy mom of three, taking time for my skincare rituals is more than just about keeping my skin healthy, it's about keeping my mind and my soul healthy, too.  Taking time for myself to restore and recharge before the next wave of parenting responsibilities come up.

And through this newly focused lens I look forward to bringing you all more content- exploring selfcare rituals and balanced living tricks that provide actionable tips to help us live more mindful lives!

So please stick around and engage with the new content coming your way!!

Are we connected on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube??

Be Well!
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Saturday, April 1, 2017:

Updated Demo

It is SO AWESOME to include my QVC airing into my "grassroots" demo reel!  Here's the latest folks!

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Friday, March 31, 2017:

Each Part of Life Offering Respite From the Other

I recently came across this little nugget from Ruth Bader Ginsberg- shared on The Atlantic's Facebook Page.


I talk a lot about balance- about finding that elusive "in between" space where you feel like you are living a fulfilling, mindful life.  This ties in so well with self-care.  While skincare is my favorite form of self-care, I also feel self love when I am enabled to step outside of my "regular" role as mom.

I hate that we are always titled- mom, working mom, stay at home mom.  Can there be a flexitarian mom?  I want to be there at drop off and at pick up.  I want to arrange a playdate and to meet up at the playground.  Buuuuut, I also like to step out beyond motherhood and reconnect with my active mind that aggressively seeks opportunities for professional growth.

I love to work!  I love collaborating on projects and growing intellectually in ways that I can't when I am spending the day with the kiddos.  Buuuuut I also LOVE to spend the day with the kiddos.  I love engaging with them, teaching them, learning from them.  I get a special thrill witnessing their giggles their games.  I also learn a lot about myself and my ability to shut out the noise that can sometimes distract me from my kids.

And that noise grows louder when I don't have the time to work on the other parts of me!  The parts of me that seek fulfillment outside of my family.  The parts of me that wants an independent life; a reason to hop in the car, to drive to a meeting, and to earn money doing something that I really enjoy.

I'm one of the lucky ones.  Now that my children are older and weaned (almost), my husband is eager to step in and help me seek that balance.  A night out with friends, a seminar in the city or daytime coverage which includes bringing the kids to work!  Because of this I have an easier time finding that balance and peace.  And I am excited by the movement pushing us closer to this balance.

Can you relate to balance?  Have you found it?  What does your balance look like?

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017:

Reactive Vs. Proactive Parenting

Now that the baby is one year old and my toddler is coming out of a seriously draining "threen-ager" phase (which may actually have been more challenging than caring for an infant), I'm finally finding my energy!

These last few years have been tough.  Kids aside, I've also been caring for pets.  Much loved and adored in our home, of course, but an added responsibility that caused a ton of stress for us as we started our family.  And as they age, I found that I wasn't able to proactively enjoy them because I was too busy caring for them- feeding them, picking up accidents, picking up ANOTHER accident, letting them out, letting them in....

Sadly, one of our pets had to be put down last spring.  It was one of the hardest things we've had to do as a couple- my husband and I.  And I miss the idea of our dog, but eliminating one responsibility from my plate has actually allowed me to catch my breath a bit.

So much of this last year was just about reactive parenting for me.  My energy levels were only allowing me to react to needs that happened throughout the day- A middle of the night feeding, a dirty diaper, thirst/hunger... a dog that needed to be let out, a messy accident that needed to be cleaned up, a stomach bug, a nightmare, an early riser....

Add the responsibilities of starting a new job and working from home, taking care of the older kids, staying on top of their schedules, managing the house, the groceries.... it was a really hard year for me.

But now my one year old has started sleeping from 7p-6:30a and my toddler is demonstrating an ounce of empathy, respect and maturity.  And it has been amazing.  I find myself primed to approach parenting more proactively now that I feel like I am not constantly being "sidelined" to handle a hiccup or the unexpected (but often anticipated) meltdown.  I am ready to proactively parent as opposed to reactively parent.

I'm finding time to stop and collect my thoughts.  Time to get organized, to throw away the clutter (literally, I have way too much stuff in this house because I've just been stockpiling it for when I could find the time to go through it!).  And, even better, time to get back on here and to really write about my favorite thing- my family!  Although skincare and Purity will always be a close second!

I gave my blood, sweat and tears to the first year of life for all of my kids.  And while there were struggles and ups and downs that I could never have expected, I feel like we've made it.  Yes, there are more challenges ahead, but to have come out of our final "first year of life" experience and to feel proud about how we got it done is the best reward that this mom needs.

And now I will be renovating a wardrobe that hasn't been touched since 2011 and indulging in all of the facials and massages a mom deserves!

Thanks for reading!  And I hope you can relate!  Do you know someone who might appreciate this post?  Please share with your friends who may appreciate it!


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Wednesday, February 15, 2017:

Winter Skin is for REAL

My GOODNESS!  I've posted about winter skincare routines in the past but this winter wind on the east coast is giving my generally well-hydrated skin a run for it's money!

I wanted to share this recent post from Purity of Elements because it discusses a very common skincare no no- especially for mature, dry winter skin

Link to their blog post here.  Are you making this common winter skincare mistake??

The truth is, I generally am a sucker for really yummy smelling cleansers, that typically are on the "no no" list (per the Purity Post).  The good news about the Purity brand is that the cleanser is not only creamy, hydrating and restorative....it also smells delicious!

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Friday, February 3, 2017:

Happy Birthday LIttle Guy!!

My little guy is officially ONE YEAR OLD (how on earth did that happen????).  I am in the process of weaning..sort of...kind of...no really, I am going to do it just after we get the all-clear for whole milk (but I am a bit nervous of how this will interfere with bedtime and middle of the night wake ups, which reminds me I am never ever going to catch up on sleep which ALSO reminds me that I need to make a greater effort for selfcare...).

Ok, so it may seem like I've digressed, but really...I have a point.  I am taking the reigns back.

I am at a cross roads- I am about to wrap up nursing and with that comes the hope that I will be able to start to live a little more independently.  My body is once again my own....And my goal is to really take care of that body.  

I do so much for my kids and it is exhausting.  I swear, there are some days that I can feel my parenting efforts deep inside my exhausted bones!  There are even some mornings when I wake up CONVINCED that I am about three years older than I was when I went to bed.

So, with weaning comes the dull ache of a baby growing up, but also the sweet sweet realization that I can now use a retinol!!!  It's the little things, ladies!!!

In the spirit of encouraging all of us to take a little time for Self Love, thought I would also share this lovely Valentine's Day offer from Purity of Elements - 30% off SITEWIDE- Show Your Skin a Little Love

Promo Code: LOVE


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Monday, January 30, 2017:

Defending Against Dry Winter Skin

Ladies- is the winter weather taking a toll on your skin?  I swear, when I am not on top of my skincare ritual, the dryness sets in and my skin is dull, tired, and not-so luminous!  Which means I am not so thrilled!

But what I AM thrilled about is the fact that I have a fool proof plan to avoid serious winter dry out.  Do you want to restore your skin's luminosity??

Ready, set, winterize:

1.  Hydrate.  Hydrate.  Hydrate.
Hydrating from the inside out is essential during the cold and dry winter months.   I am either carrying a water bottle or hot green tea at all times!  Not only will this help your skin stay healthy and hydrated, it will also help flush out impurities that can cause congestion and build up on the skin's surface.  Want to hydrate in style- I LOVE this S'Well bottle!  It's so pretty!

2.  Commit to Your Skincare Ritual
Winter is not the time to put your skincare ritual on hold.  Daily skincare coupled with weekly treatments are crucial in keeping your glow!  Always opt for a creamy cleanser (other cleansers can dry out your skin, doing more damage).  My preference is for the Purity of Elements Daily Detox Exfoliating Cleanser.  Why is this one so great- not only is it a creamy, hydrating cleanser that won't strip your skin, it is also infused with micro exfoliating scrubbers to gently slough away dead skin (which has a tendency to build up over the winter).  This daily exfoliation helps prime your skin for your concentrated, repairing serums.

3.  Treat Skin to Restore Radiance
Serums are taking the beauty world by storm- make sure you pick the right one!  For me, the loss of luster is the number one problem I face.  When my skin gets dry it becomes dull and the luminosity slips away.  Use Radiance Face Serum morning and night (and add as needed throughout the day) to restore balance and luminosity to your skin.  This serum is infused with a patented Copper 5 Complex- created with actual Copper minerals.  We know Copper is essential for the health of our body and Purity of Elements has added this to their antioxidant rich blend.  90% of women in a consumer survey agreed to seeing an improvement in their skin's texture after one use.  Read that last sentence again and tell me it isn't worth giving it a try.

4.  Layer on the Moisturizer
Another trend that I love- double moisturizing.  It's super easy and exactly what it sounds like.  Add two layers of your most hydrating moisturizer (over your serum).  In between layers I might brush my teeth just to allow the first layer to absorb a bit.  Then I go ahead and add another layer on to really lock in the moisture.  This is the perfect buffer to combat the dry heat that's cranking in our homes right now.

And there is it- this is my ritual to combat winter skin!  Have anything else you'd add?  Share it in the comments!

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Friday, January 27, 2017:

Is this Real Life?!

My GOODNESS!!  Last night/early this morning I was able to realize a MAJOR life dream!!  Anyone who has been following along knows how hard I've been working with Purity of Elements- trying to get the amazing news about our Radiance Face Serum out there!!

It really is a game-changer in the skincare arena!!  Seriously, learn more about our Copper5Complex!!

And last night we were able to reach all of YOU on QVC!  LIFE GOAL ACHIEVED!!

Thank you for everyone's support!!  And thank you for hearing the story of Purity of Elements- this skincare line is the REAL DEAL!

Sidenote:  We all know I am a mom of three young boys.  Most days I am exhausted, most nights I don't get enough sleep (who does?).  But seeing how parenthood and REAL LIFE took away the luster and luminosity of my skin was really tough.  Coupled with the fact that, as a mom, I had ZERO time for selfcare- all of my efforts were towards my family- keeping them on track and running them to their activities, even if it meant a bit of my own needs were put on hold.

But reconnecting with skincare and realizing that it was more than just taking care of my skin...it was taking care of ME!  And seeing the radiant changes in my skin- it reignited my confidence, my energy, my attitude!  And you CANNOT put a price tag on that.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Radiance Face Serum for restoring that luminosity, that radiance, the glow-- on DAY ONE!

You know, most mornings I run out of the house in my slippers, trying to go in a million different directions, but knowing that my skin looks healthy, youthful and glowing gives me a bit of confidence to make it through a really challenging day!

I digress....(but I really DO love this serum...please check it out, if not for you, than for ME!).

So, without further ado, please enjoy this little link for your QVC viewing pleasure!!


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017:

It's Finally Happening!! QVC + Purity of Elements!! TUNE IN!

Ok Ladies (and Gents...if you're reading)- it has been a YEAR in the making but we are SO SO SO EXCITED to ANNOUNCE that we will be featured on "Beauty We Love" on QVC Thursday Night into Friday Morning.... ok, that part is confusing...let me clarify.

Stay up LATE THURSDAY to catch us at 12AM FRIDAY- Purity of Elements should hit right around 12:15AM.

And I can't share too many details, other than to say that there are some SERIOUS SAVINGS if you go through QVC for our Radiance Face Serum!!

Thank you thank you thank you for all of your support throughout this journey!  Please share, tune in, and, if you feel so inclined, order to experience was skincare inspired by the southwest really feels like!

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Monday, January 23, 2017:

50% Off Purity of Elements

These Purity of Elements Skincare baskets were a HIT over the holidays and we've been able to get them back in stock for you all!!

To celebrate, we are offering these custom tailored skincare sets at 50% off.  AMAZING Savings!!  ENJOY!

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Monday, January 9, 2017:

My FAVORITE Cleanser is on Sale! Just wanted to share ;)

And I'll just leave this riiiiight here....

You guys already know how much I adore Purity of Elements.  And while the super hero product of their line is undoubtedly their Radiance Face Serum (did we mention this is Customer Top Rated on QVC), my personal favorite is the creamy and indulgent Daily Detox Exfoliating Cleanser.

I LOVE the way it smells and the texture (just enough grit to gently slough away dead skin to reveal the smooth and supple skin below).

So hurry up and grab your TODAY during the Purity of Elements Cleanse and Renew Event- 30% off some essential skincare products!

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