Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Time to Get Ready for Summer

Say what?? Get ready for summer?

Yes, even though we are having the first real snowstorm in the Northeast today, with 11" expected, I am already thinking about getting myself ready for summer.

Right about the beginning of March I start concentrating on getting my skin, nails and muscles ready for nice weather. I start this far ahead to have enough time to get them to where I feel comfortable exposing all the parts of me that have been covered up all winter.

Although I don't wear shorts anymore, I do want the lower part of my legs and of course my feet to look good in my capris and sandals.

I do go sleeveless so the upper arms have to be buff (or somewhat shapely!)

I recently discovered body sugar scrubs. I found a recipe to make my own chocolate scrub and it is yummy! Always use a plastic container to put it in for use in the shower!

Here is the recipe thanks to Dee from

DIY Chocolate Sugar Scrub


1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix all ingredients together until fully incorporated.
Spoon into small plastic jars.

This was so easy to make and I was able to make it right out of my pantry....no need to run to the store for ingredients.

One tip: In the shower, be sure to rub the sugar scrub into your skin till the sugar has dissolved. It leaves a satin finish to your skin that water will bead off. Pat dry.

Once your skin is nice and exfoliated, apply this next product.

Although I am 100% Italian, I am pretty pale or fair skinned so I have to use a self tanner. I am not supposed to go out in the sun for long so this stuff makes me look like I do!

I discovered Jergens Natural Glow a few years ago and I think it is the most natural looking self-tanner there is. I started with the Light for fair skin but have graduated since up to the Medium to Tan. I also choose the +Firming option. Not sure how much firming it does, but why not?

I have used Original Jergens lotion forever mostly for the scent of "Cherry Almond Essence" but it is also a rich lotion on your skin. They work well together.

Some tips.....

*rub the Natural Glow in well and as evenly as possible. I don't have problems with streaking when I do this

*let it dry completely before getting dressed. It does transfer onto clothes.

*use it daily until you get the color you want and then every other or every few days for maintenance.
* make sure to wash the palms of your hands or you will have tanned palms!

For sandal ready feet, I use my foot brush, a foot emory/file and Burt's Bees Miracle Salve. My toenails tend to get very dry over the winter so this salve truly is a miracle. It is great for fingernails too.

And probably most important but not very fun for me is the use of my two pound weights EVERY NIGHT. I found a few exercises for my upper arms that really define them. You will have to find what works best for you. Just pumping your arms up and down holding the weights does wonders!

Last but not least, check all of your bottles of nail polish to make sure they are in good condition and not dried up for sitting over the winter.

Now, if you live in a warm climate where you always have a nice pedicure, or you keep up on them over the winter, you probably are good. I only use my nail polish on my toes in warm weather.

I like to have a variety of colors for my changing mood. My favorite brand is OPI. I love the colors and the names. That gorgeous aqua color is called "Can't Find My Czechbook".  Following through on my own advice, I found two bottles that are dried up and useless. I am sorry to see "Alpine Snow" and "I'm Not Really a Waitress" go.

Last tip:  Make your first pedicure of the season appointment early but not too early. One thing I can't stand is to get a great pedicure and then have to cover it up with socks because it is cold out. I wait till mid-June here in the Northeast. Lucky you, if you have more warm than cold weather or if warm weather starts earlier for you!!

If you start now along with me, we will both be toned, browned and polished by the end of June!!

Do you have any routines for getting yourself ready for summer?

AnnMarie xoxo
***I was not compensated for mentioning any of these products. I just love them and wanted to share.

I am linking up with these great blog parties:


  1. I love these sugar scrubs, don't you? I try to make them up so that I have a supply for a month or so. They make my skin feel wonderful! I've been trying to get the arms in some sort of toning order..I tell you though, it is tough to get those muscles toned after so many months of doing nothing. I'm trying to get myself ready for summer also....some exercising, skin moisturizing and toning up. It will take me until June, so I have to start now! :-) Love and hugs to you sweet friend!

  2. Oh, my - you must smell great! Here's a laugh for you - I saw a "helpful money saving tip" from a blogger. She suggested using cocoa powder as eye make-up. Pleeeeese...

  3. I love all of these wonderful beauty tips! I will have to give the sugar scrub a try sometime as it sounds really nice! Hope you have a nice week.

  4. I need to get ready too...I need to start walking and getting in shape after sitting by the fire for so many months in a row. Love that scrub. Sounds yummy enough to eat! ;)

  5. Wonderful tips - I think I need a spa day! My poor feet have been stuck in woolly socks all winter. I like the idea of the self-tanner after the scrub. Thanks for the recipe - it must smell so good! I need to do some arm toning....x K

  6. Sounds like you are ready. I'm ready too. This GA girl is accustomed to pedicures and flip flops all year long. It's been a while now. I am in desperate need of some good exfoliator. I love the idea of the sugar srub. Yummy!

  7. I've been accused of being Italian myself:) Only the short, little fat mama!

  8. Such fabulous tips Ann Marie! I just bought some sugar scrub today.mits called Raspberry Gelato :).

    I know only too well about nail polish getting old. It seems every time I go to use one, it's dried out. Happens a lot with paint too, but I digress. lol


  9. Sugar scrubs are so enjoyable and leaves your skin oh so smooth. I'm going to give the recipe a try, so thank you. Ann Marie you're smart to plan ahead for your best Summer you. I am fair skinned too, very sensitive to products but I'm gonna check out Jergens for a little sun kissed look. I have a tip for you - store your nail polish in the refrigerator it doesn't thicken and lasts forever.

  10. Hi Ann Marie, this was so much fun and your tips great. I also use the firming lotion by Jergens with the almond cherry scent. Love it.
    The scrub sounds great. Thank you for the recipe. I'm half Italian and pretty fair from my dad's side being Irish. But, I do tan very easy and get dark. However, over the years I watch my time in the sun and also use a bronzer to get started. I haven't tried the one you recommend. Sounds good.
    Nail polish does dry out. They say to keep it in the fridge but I've never tried that. Some people add nail polish remover to moisten it back. That didn't work for me.
    I know the weights really work. Been doing this one for years. Have a great rest of the week. Thanks for stopping by. Let's think Spring!!! Blessings. xo

  11. Fun post AnnMarie, especially with all the snow on the ground :) We didn't get your storm; we got rain instead, which melted the few inches we got Monday night. I haven't had good luck with self-tanners. I get out into the bright light and find I have a couple of orange-ish toes and/or knee cap!!! I may try again, but apply it more carefully, as you suggest :)

  12. I enjoyed your post and all the great tips and reminders. I think I will be making some of the Chocolate Scrub. Like you, I think Jergens is still a good stand-by, even after all these years, and cherry almond original scent is still my favorite too. I have some of the self tanner but I always forget to use it. The tube I have is probably too old now (lol).

  13. I've never tried a sugar scrub, but have always wanted to. I was just afraid it might hurt. My daughter and I like to have lots of color varieties in our nail polish too.

  14. We tend to have summer weather all year round so parts of my body are exposed all the time. I like your tips about the scrubs because my skin tends to be dry all the time now. And if I can't eat chocolate, then a scrub sounds pretty good.

    Thanks for sharing at SYC.

  15. We over here make a brown sugar scrub and facial it's the best glow is it not.
    And yes I need to start now to prepair for summer or it will be here before I know it and darn I just won't be ready for it.
    Love all your beauty tips in pampering.


  16. Ooh, that scrub looks good enough to eat! I've tried sugar scrubs before and love the way they make my skin feel. Thanks for sharing your tips at Talk of the Town.

  17. I've never made my own sugar scrub and I'm not sure why. I always look at them longingly convinced that it would be wonderful. You are so right that it's time to get ready for summer. I have to get my arms a little more toned right now! Just read yesterday that wearing sunless tanner keeps you looking younger. I'm all for that.

    So glad you linked with Thoughts of Home on Thursday. Pinned.

  18. I've never tried a sugar scrub but a chocolate one just might make me want to. Around this time I start getting back into my yoga regimen every night. I slack off during the winter every year just because it's cold and I get lazy. I'm very fair skinned and can't take the sun at all, and I actually think I'd look strange with a tan so I've never tried self tanners.

  19. Lots of good hints! My skin is in need of a good scrub. I am a fan of Jergens Natural Glow, too....the most natural I have found.

  20. Oh yes, I would love to start with you, sweet friend :) And chocolate sugar scrub! Yes, please :)

    My mom stopped by today and guess what?! She brought a piece of your cake {{smiles}} Oh my, was it ever good! I took photos of it and am hoping to share it on my blog this coming Tuesday with a link back to you.

    Thank you so much for joining Roses of Inspiration. Hugs to you!

  21. How ironic that I just read this post....I did a pedicure this morning before work and used my callous remover in the shower. My skin has been horribly dry this winter - self tanner will not work well on me with my Irish skin, unfortunately! I wish it would....I just stay white all year. Sigh. And yes, time to get out the hand weights!!

  22. Thank you for the sugar scrub recipe. I bet it smells divine!
    It is such a joy to have you join the gathering at Thoughts of Home on Thursday. You really help to elevate it to something very special.

  23. One question only: did you ever eat up all the scrub before applying? like maybe the tongue needs it more? haha. It's so yummy and easy to make. I'm the southern hemisphere & am loving the sun like crazy. Will put on this scrub, since heavy doses of sun screen's making my skin dry & flaky!

    Tweeting this, & pinning to the Practical Mondays Board:) Keep em coming!

  24. psst..p.s...i'll probably use olive oil instead of coconut oil since I don't have any , think that's okay?

    1. Hmmm, I don't see why not. I do have a high end moisturizing cream with olive oil in it. I don't know if the amount would be the same, but try it! Let me know!

  25. The sugar scrub looks amazing and like you I can not wait for my favourite season to be here


  26. Thanks for the great tips! I used the same self tanner for my 20th high school reunion (ten years ago) and it worked very well for me too. I usually don't think about getting ready for summer weather until Memorial day! Then it is almost too late. :) i might try the weights though, good idea!

  27. Great tips because spring will surely be here before we know it.
    Mary Alice

  28. I love these tips and tricks for Summer time. Just like you I use a self tanner too, in fact I need to be using one now.
    A slight tan, polished nails and a smile sure do look good!

  29. Body scrubs are great, AnnMarie. Yours could double as dessert. LOL Seriously, these are all excellent tips. It's sunny outside today and I think a walk is in order. Have a great week! xo ~ Nancy

  30. I'm so glad you liked it, and thanks for sharing! By the way, I love your nail polish! It's already warm enough for sandals here, and I need to get a pedi, ASAP. :)

  31. Girl, you will be ready! I have been working on my feet as well. My oldest daughter gave me a battery thing that cleans all the dead skin off of your feet. Tried it the other night and it works great. I like tan legs and arms as well. Hard to believe, but I have some type of pigment in my skin that I don't completely lose my tan over winter so after being out in the yard for spring it comes back quickly. I have always tanned easily and by the end of summer my feet are so dark they look dirty. lol! Glad you will be sharing with SYC.

  32. What a lovely, summery post, dear AnnMarie! Even though we are heading into Autumn, we are still able to wear dresses and cooler clothing! Love your idea for chocolate body scrub...sounds delicious! Hee!
    Hugs and love to you...thank you for sharing your lovely tips!

  33. This is such an uplifting, fun post! So thankful you stopped by my blog today...it was wonderful to meet you! God bless you with a wonderful summer season ahead!

  34. I guess I better start getting ready too! That scrub sounds so good, I bet it smells great also. It would be so hard not to give it a taste!

  35. I do like those products I use several of them! Hope spring comes soon for you!

  36. What beautiful photos.

    Your post got me enthused, Spring and Summer really are just around the corner. Although like you, they are calling for close to 1 foot of snow here tomorrow with high winds - can't wait! I may need to pull out my weights too and I like the toner idea.

  37. Great tips! We live in Texas so we don't get much of a winter. Thank you for sharing the sugar scrub recipe. Maria

  38. The way time has been flying recently, summer will be here before we know it and it had better not catch us unprepared :-) Great tips, AnnMarie. My magic word is sunscreen. The more the merrier.

  39. Great tips AnnMarie. That sugar scrub sounds wonderful!My feet get so dry during the winter months, but rubbing them with coconut oil and covering them with socks before bed really helps. I had never been able to use self tanners--I'm so fair they just looked orange, but another friend recommended Jergens, and I agree it is the most natural looking I've seen. Though I'm not as active in the garden during winter, I do Zumba year round ;)

  40. I can relate to everything you talked about, AnnMarie. I use a self tanner, too, but I'm going to try the Jergens that you recommend, and the salve. I'm also going to try that scrub - it looks delicious (hope I don't eat it by mistake!). I let my toes breathe without polish all winter, too, but I have my first pedi in mid-April. I tend to go from boots right to sandals!

  41. that snowy scene looks all too familiar! here (in Finland) sometimes doesn't get spring-like until end of april... this year, hopefully doesn't drag out too long. i'm very much looking forward to shedding the woolly layers (and some winter podge too...) thank you for your lovely comment on my blog the other day!


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