My Skin Care Routine Plus Bonus Secrets I Use To Keep My Skin Looking Healthy

I don’t like to toot my own horn but I am almost always asked how I keep my skin so clear.

Although a bit of it is makeup magic, 99% is the healthy lifestyle that I live and keeping up with a routine. Everyone is built differently – some people have extremely oily skin, others have extremely dry skin, some peoples skin type changes drastically during the colder or warmer months. For this reason, not everyone can use the same skin regimen.

Today I’m going to walk you through how to figure out your skin type and which regimen is best for you!

Let’s do it… Continue reading →

How to Get Rid of Hiccups the Right Way

getting rid of hiccups with a lollipop

My youngest son had the television on the other day and an interesting segment came up about a girl who invented a cure for hiccups and they’re lollipops. But the best part is she’s only 15 years old!

I was amazed.

I did a bit of digging and found out that her name is Mallory Kievman. Her whole company began when she was thirteen years old, searching for a way to get rid of hiccups after she was plagued with them for hours and hours at a time. This is a condition known as “chronic hiccups”, something I was unaware of until reading up on it.

What I found really touching about this story was the fact that she wants to use her invention to help people who, like her, want to stop hiccups. You see, hiccups are a spasm caused in your diaphragm. Your brain is basically telling your lungs to try to “reset” so that you can get more oxygen. Some common reasons for getting hiccups include drinking soda or eating food too fast – both inhibit your body from breathing oxygen. What you don’t often hear about is the many people who have hiccups after certain surgeries or patients receiving chemotherapy.

I was able to track down the video that inspired me to write this post. Check it out below!

After reading up on Mallory and Hiccupops, I did some more research on the other ways to treat hiccups. Previously, I only thought there were a few (holding your breath, spoonful of sugar) but after searching for over thirty minutes, I was astounded at the amount of hiccup remedies I was able to find – hundreds. Now, some seemed legitimate but others were downright funny.

I’ve collected my ten favorite below… Enjoy!

  1. Blow on your thumb.
  2. Sing loud and with heart.
  3. Scream for as long as you can.
  4. Make yourself gag.
  5. Drink a full glass of water.
  6. Sit down and hold your breath.
  7. Breath into a paper bag.
  8. Gargle with ice cold water.
  9. Pull out your tongue.
  10. Eat a spoonful of peanut butter.

 

New Job, New Stella!

Many of you might not have known that I graduated from Stevens University (in Hoboken, NJ) with a BA in Marketing. After spending a few years working at an agency, I met my future husband. Once we had our first child, I decided to take some time off from work to raise him, giving up my job. Of course I absolutely love being a mother, but always wonder what my life would have been like if I stuck with my marketing career.

After purchasing this website to work on my writing and really getting into teaching myself WordPress, I learned more about a internet marketing and how it can help all types of businesses. Well, I was hooked! John let me redesign our company site a while back and I began learning about an industry called “Search Optimization” or SEO. It is a beautiful symmetry of science and art that comes together to help push websites up in search engines. I was amazed when I started learning more… Prior to my introduction to SEO, I always thought the search engine rankings were based on clicks (yes, I’m not the smartest cookie). Being a passionate person, I began reading more and more about this industry, learning about how everything worked together. John and I worked with some of our partners to help their websites grow (Anello’s and Halls’ sites). This leads me to what I’m very happy to announce… A family friend of ours saw the interest I had in this and decided to offer me a position at his brand new agency as Head of Content Marketing! Although I was not familiar with the term “content marketing” prior to our discussing, I was informed that it is basically what I am doing on the ReynoldsFence.com blog and on my personal blog. Since I also have experience with graphic design and SEO, it made me the perfect candidate :).

Even though I will technically be working two jobs, I am ecstatic to begin working on the projects lined up. Please feel free to check out our website here and my biography page!

P.S. That is my crazy/silly brother-in-law, James in the image above. I told him I would include that picture in my blog. Happy, James? :)

Update: The Vacation

Wow, what an amazing experience. Even though there were a few “speed bumps”, our trip was great!

It all began on a slightly chilly morning. Our bags were packed, passports in hand, but taxi was no where in sight. Apparently they had miss-booked us. Of course, I went into a melt-down thinking we were going to miss our trip but John stayed calm (he always keeps me grounded). We were eventually able to book another taxi service, putting us only 30 minutes behind. Once we got to the airport, it was a fairly straight forward process. Being 4:30am, no one was there and there were no lines. My adrenaline was already pumping (even though I hadn’t slept) so I was wide awake.

The plane ride was a bit bumpy as we hit some turbulence but I had a few glasses of wine and fell asleep around 8:30am (technically night time in Italy, so it’s okay). We arrived early in the morning and began our day as soon as our bags were in our room.

My absolute favorite spot we visited was the coliseum (below).

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When you actually get near it, you can feel the history come to life. It was a very strange feeling.

In all, it was a very relaxing, romantic vacation that John and I need badly. Although, it is great to be back to work and see the family again.

I will be uploading more pictures of the trip in the coming weeks! Just have to figure out my new camera – ahhh!

 

Another New Member – Everyone Meet Alicia!

Before I go off on how amazing my trip with John was (FYI, sorry for not posting in a while!), I would like to introduce a very special new addition to our Reynolds Fence family! Everyone meet Alicia!

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She is a college friend of mine who recently moved here from frigid Chicago. In fact, she was the first girl I roomed with when I joined a sorority. Her, Steve Feldman, and I would always pull all-nighters in the old library on 4th Street. I am so glad her and her family decided to move to the NJ shore :).

Funny enough, she did the accounting and was the general manager at Steve’s Law Firm in Chicago. Since she’s already a part of the family and we are expanding rapidly since the merger, we decided to make her our full-time general manager at the North Jersey contracting office.

Again, super excited to have her aboard :).

Keep an eye out for pictures from the vacation in the next week or so!

Travel Time!

italy-tripIt’s official – the trip is 100% booked. Anyone who knows me knows that I am a crazy person when it comes to booking traveling arrangements. Maybe it’s the OCD in me but I just need to have every second of the trip planned. Usually this need for control annoys people but my love doesn’t seem to mind – that’s why I married you, Johnny ;).

Where are we going, you ask? I’d be glad to tell you in full detail!

Our trip starts May 22, where we leave out of Newark Airport at 10am, which means we need get up by 6am – not bad – to make it there and through security before the flight leaves. I’m a bit paranoid when it comes to being on time at airports because when I was in college, studying abroad, I missed my flight home and had to stay in England an extra three days (it cost a poor college girl a lot of money).

We touch down in Rome around 6pm that day and will spend the next few hours getting to the hotel and unpacked. That night I reserved a table at one of the best restaurants in Rome, Roma Hamasei. I watch the food network a lot and saw this place and fell in love.

For the next week in Rome we will be doing all the tourist stuff – seeing the colosseum, taking boat rides, museums… Then we head to Sicily!

I’m particularly excited for Sicily because John has relatives there. Also, his father, the one who started Reynolds Fence, was born in Sicily. We’ll be meeting a few distant cousins, aunts, and uncles. John speaks a bit of Italian so hopefully we can get by because they don’t speak any English – yikes.

We spend a week in Sicily with the family before our final destination, Naples. The travel logisitcs are a bit off because the week we’re in Sicily is the only week we could get all the distant relatives together.

I’m excited! This is the romatic/fun getaway that Johnny and I really need (and deserve) right now after the crazy year we’ve had. Oh, and don’t worry, I’ll be updating the blog and Facebook with pictures along the way :).

Vanessa – Our Newest Team Member!

With the recent changes in our business, we’ve had to expand… A lot! By expand, I don’t just mean our new showroom, three new trucks, and machine that makes chain link fences (honestly, I don’t know the name – lol). I mean we’ve increase our work family by five people! To a lot of people, that may not seem like a lot but all business owners know that’s a huge increase. If you think that they are making at least $40k per year, that’s an extra $200,000 in payroll – wowza! Of course, we’ve merged with Anello Fence and Halls Fence, which has lessened the financial blow.

I’m getting a little off-track writing this, let me reel myself back in. I’m just excited to announce that my niece, Vanessa, has joined our team! She recently graduated from Rutgers with a degree in Marketing & Communications and will be helping us with market the newly merged business. Not only am I excited, but also relieved. You see, before the merger, I was the one running the show in terms of marketing everything. Now, I like to consider myself tech-savvy but having to juggle Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Houzz, our email list, commercials, and more was too much. I was putting in eleven hour days and feeling like still nothing was getting done. Now that Vanessa is on our team, I can finally step back and hand the reigns off to her. This also comes at the perfect time, since I’ll be taking a few weeks off for my vacation to Europe soon (yay!).

I’ll give you a brief little synopsis of what Vanessa will be doing…

Since we’ve increased our product line, we’ve been trying to think of ways to market all the new types of fencing we carry. This can be tough since when people think “new fence”, pictures of split rail fences, wood fences or vinyl fencing usually pop in their head. With the recent advancements in plastics (PVC/vinyl) and wood treatment, the amount and quality of fence products have skyrocketed. Two to three years ago, we were unable to install wood fences around pools. We had to install a specific vinyl pool fence because the chlorine would literally erode anything else. This is due to the way the plastic is treated with specific chemicals that not only protect it but also don’t seep into the ground and destroy your grass, flowers, etc. At the most recent fence trade show we went to, we were introduced to a new type of wood fence that has specific chemicals literally injected in them before being pressurized and treated again, making it indestructible (when it comes to chlorine). The guy running the booth showed a side-by-side comparison of a regular wood fence and the treated fence after two months of being exposed to chlorine and the results were astonishing…

So, Vanessa and I have been working on reaching out to pool companies to try to market our product wholesale (since we became a supplier almost instantly after seeing the video at the trade show – lol). It’s been tough but we came up with a great outreach program using email, social media, and our network of current buyers.

I’m so proud to see her all grown up, doing what she loves :). I can still remember when she was born but, I wont embarrass her because I know she periodically reads my blog!

The Seriousness of Drinking & Driving

robbie-thanksgivingIt was an early Sunday morning, unlike any other day. The sun had just peeked up over the horizon as my brother, Robbie, was on his was to visit our mother. What he didn’t know was this would be his last morning ever.

As Robbie got on to the highway, he noticed an SUV swerving going the other way. The police reports that we read indicated that the person driving that car was falling asleep at the wheel due to a night of heavy drinking. Since this was on the South Jersey parkway, there was (unfortunately) no median. The driver of the SUV lost control and ran through the grass dividing the two lanes, heading straight for Robbie’s car – crash. Instantly both cars flipped and Robbie was thrown from the car into the nearby woods.

I can still remember exactly where I was when I got the call. I’d just dropped Tyler off at soccer camp for the day and walked in the door to hear by phone ringing. That call changed my life forever.

As I write this, I have to remind myself that this isn’t to just tell Robbie’s story but, rather, to send a message to everyone that reads my blog – friends, family, colleagues. We have all had those nights where we went out drinking and maybe had one or two drinks but decided to drive. I’m writing this to tell you, please don’t drive after drinking, even if it was only two to three drinks. You see, the person driving the car that killed my brother only had two to three drinks the night before. But combined with a hard day of work, no sleep for 16 hours, and having recently gotten over a cold, he was fatigued. Driving fatigued is just as bad as driving drunk – it slows your reactions, or worse, you can fall asleep behind the wheel.

A good friend of mine from college, Stephen Feldman, is a DUI attorney and criminal lawyer out of Chicago. He told me that the majority of his clients are not the wild and crazy alcoholics that you think get in the car and drive. The majority of individuals that cause serious accidents from drinking and driving are normal people who accidentally combined small amounts of alcohol with being tired, long days, or cold medicine.

I know it can be tempting to only have a drink or two after a hard days work and drive home. But please, when you’re about to order that drink, think of my story and think about the consequences…

 

Summer is Almost Here & Vacation Update

europe-vacationYes, that’s right, summer is almost here in the great Garden State. We’ve finally made our way through one of the coldest winters and can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel (the warm, warm light – haha).

Summer is my favorite season, and for good reason – everyone in our family has their birthday in the summer! Mine is on July 15th and John and I are going on a second honeymoon to Europe! So excited for this, because since he took over his fathers business, we haven’t taken one vacation :(. He’s leaving the business with his partner over at Anello Fence for three weeks and we’re traveling all over France and Italy.

Since my fathers side of the family is French, I looked up some old relatives and we’ll be visiting them as well. We’re still planning things but the tickets are booked, now it’s just down to finalizing the details of what tourist stuff we’re going to do.

Our Family Business: Reynolds Fence

Fence Company NJStarting a business may be hard but, in my book, taking over a pre-exisiting business is much harder.

My husband, John Reynolds, took over his fathers business (Reynolds Fence Company) over ten years ago when we first met. The transition from working for a business to working on a business was interesting to see. Maybe you have to understand who John is. You see, when I first met him, he was a shy, timid guy but he had a huge heart. When his father passed away, he was forced to take over the business or sell it. I was 100% sure he was going to sell the business, being the reserved man he was but the crazy thing is, he didn’t. The day his father passed away, he changed. He went from being a timid, shy kind of guy to… Well… A man.

Since ten years ago, he has taken Reynolds Fence to new heights and I couldn’t be happier at what he accomplished. The business has went from a small local business to one of the largest fence companies in NJ. When his father was running it, they only served a small section of north NJ. Today they serve the entire state! Not only have they expanded locations but they have expanded their selection as well to include various types of fencing that they previously hadn’t, such as…

In order to expand, John took a lot of risks. In fact, about five years ago, when he was trying to open two new locations, we almost went bankrupt. It put a huge burden on us financially. I can remember praying for help and one day John got a call… It was a call from the owner of Anello Fence. He had been hearing a lot of good things about Reynolds Fence and wanted to sit down to discuss a possible merger. This was during the time when we thought we were going to be broke (seriously, we could barely pay our mortgage). That day Reynolds Fence merged with Anello Fence, as well as the companies it works with (Halls Fence Company and Bowman Fence Company).

I don’t want this post to sound too “salesy”. That’s not what I’m going for. I just want to show you that whether you start a business or take over one, it’s always going to be a journey. Even though we were about to go broke, we had faith and worked hard. If you do those two things, you can achieve your goals in life!