Tag Archives: acne

Image Salicylic Flash Peel followed by Glycolic/Retinol Peel

2 Sep

‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels!  Yes! My skin was starting to break out from some life stress and my lackadaisical summer fun on the Cape was coming to a close (i.e. I will be out of prolonged sun exposure). My typical home-care regimen includes retinol and a skin lightener, which allows me to peel without prepping, so I was ready for my first peel of the season! I needed it too!

Pre-Peel Protocol

Prepping Your Skin for a Peel is very important.  At least 30 days prior to your peel you should not tan or burn your skin. And tanning or burning your skin should be a habit you avoid, in general. Also, it is advised that you discontinue use of any retinoids, retinols, glycolics, or AHA’s at least 48-72 hours before your chemical peel or any resurfacing treatment.

Customizing My Peel

The treatment I received was an Image Salicylic Peel followed by an Image Glycolic/Retinol Peel. The Salicylic Peel is designed for patients with acne, oily, or acne prone skin (me!). Salicylic Acid works to slow down the sebaceous gland, thus slowing oil production that clogs the pores. The Glycolic Acid gently exfoliates the dead skin cells, which in turn increases cellular turnover. In this case, we are also using the Salicylic Acid to dissolve the dead skin cells on the surface of my skin to therefore also allow the Glycolic/Retinol peel to penetrate my epidermis more evenly and allow for deeper penetration of the preceding peel, and therefore softer, smoother skin.

Anyone who has mature, dry, sensitive skin can have a peel, but some modifications would need to be made.

Step 1: Cleanse

My skin was cleansed with the Image Ageless Total Facial Cleanser, which contains 12% Glycolic Acid. Glycolic Acid is excellent for exfoliating the skin, leaving it fresher and brighter looking! The Ageless Total Facial Cleanser has a great tingly feeling, so you KNOW it’s working! It is excellent for keeping pores clear and occasional breakouts to a minimum.



Step 2: I-PREP Degreasing Solution (Professional Only Product…btw)

The degreasing solution is applied with gauze to remove as much of the surface oils on the skin as possible. This will allow for the product to evenly and more effectively penetrate the different layers of the epidermis (that’s a fancy word for skin)!

Step 3: Salicylic Peel is Quickly Applied and Then Removed

(this technique is referred to as a “flash” peel)

It is important for a peel to penetrate the epidermis to have visible improvement in the condition of your skin.

The white spots on my face is called frosting. Achieving frosting is the goal with chemical peels. This is a reaction of the skin’s proteins with an acid in a low pH resulting in coagulation. The lower the pH, the more coagulation will result. The peel destroys the existing tissues in order for the body to heal and make new tissue.

Image Skincare’s chemical peels have a low pH (which means they are strong acids) and are therefore able to penetrate more deeply into the epidermis, and thus make more new tissues.


Step 4: Image Skincare Glycolic/Retinol I-Peel Applied and left on up to 5 minutes.

This peel from Image is in an Aloe Vera base, so this allows the peel to be massaged into the skin. The Image peels also contain other healing properties, besides aloe vera, like Vitamin C, skin lighteners, brighteners, antioxidants and peptides. So, the peels are actually healing your skin, as they peel it, giving you a healthier result, faster, because your skin is less traumatized by the peel!


Step 5: Peel is quickly removed with cool water.


This is what my skin looked like just after the peel was removed. You will notice my skin is a bit flushed or a little red, this is called erythema and is a normal, expected side effect from a peel. One of the amazing things that chemical peels do is stimulate blood flow and increase the rate of skin turnover, bringing newer cells to the surface more rapidly. This allows skin to begin to appear smoother, more hydrated, and more plump. Also, the increased blood flow brings more nutrients to the skin, therefore creating healthier skin!



Step 6: Ormedic Balancing Gel Masque


An ultra-gentle, organic cooling gel masque developed for compromised, inflamed or irritated skin. Organic Aloe Vera, Arnica Montana and licorice quickly help reduce redness and other signs of irritation while bringing sensitive skin into healthy balance. Also may used for highly reactive, rosacea or acneic skin types

Step 7: Vital C Hydrating Enzyme Masque


Gently exfoliates dead skin with enzymes and adds essential anti-oxidants and minerals to improve skin health.

After

This is what I looked like immediately after removing the masques, my skin is already less red and inflamed, and the healing and rejuvenating process has begun!

24 Hours Later
(no make-up)

The first 24 hours after having this peel your skin will feel tight and shedding may occur. The skin may appear darker, due to the exfoliation of dead skin cells that has melanin present. This will gently shed off.

Post-Peel Protocol

After this peel I used an Image Post Peel Kit, which contains the Ormedic Cleanser, Max Cream, Skin Balancing Serum, Ormedic Balancing Masque, and SPF. These products are used post peel because they are gentle, contain peptides needed to heal, melanocyte suppressants, and aloe for redness/irritation. It is especially important to use SPF and stay out of the sun post peel. Products containing retinol (only time I recommend NOT using retinol), glycolic acid, or alpha hydroxyl acid’s for about 5 days.

Xoxo, LK

***Guess what!!! I’m finally going under the knife and getting breast implants! You might think I don’t need it from my picture above, but I assure you… it’s all Victoria’s Secret! Of course, I’ll be blogging about my experience!


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More on Retinoic Acid (my fav!)

22 May

I LOVE RETINOL.  Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.  (Although the strength shouldn’t be the same for every woman!)

It is not just for acne; this cream has revolutionized nonsurgical treatments for sun-damaged skin (wrinkles!). Research shows it improves signs of both photoaging and photodamage.

Physical Change Results
Thins and compacts the top layer of the epidermis Smoother, softer skin texture
Thickens the lower layers of the epidermis Tightens the skin
Reverses keratinocyte atypia (some big acne word) Improves acne
Disperses melanin throughout epidermis (color of skin) Improves discoloration
Increases glycosaminoglycan deposition (sugars used for skin health) Increases dermal volume and tightens the skin
Increases neovasularization in dermis (blood flow) Gives a pinker, rosy hue to the skin

(Funny Story: My BFF Alexis recently read an article “Has facebook made you a narcissist?” … I told her “No, I’ve always been this way”… but really, your face is ALWAYS available to the public now.  Even if you’re not famous, you ARE!  Make sure you always looks picture perfect!  Nice skin makes life SO much easier AND more low maintenance.)

I’ve always recommended patients start on using a retinol product once a week and working their way up, but I’ve been reading that it should actually be done daily, starting at a low dose and working your way up. Retinol comes in several different formulations, the lowest being .01%. It can take two weeks for the skin to become acclimated to this product, and a little bit of redness or peeling can be expected.

If you are younger, and have less photodamage, or if you are older with sensitive skin a conservative approach to retinol therapy will give a good result (which will have little to no peeling or redness). Aggressive therapy is the only approach for thick, tough skin with severe sun damage. Peel baby peel (but don’t worry, the peeling will only be for two weeks or so, until your skin gets used to it… or physiologically… until your skin gets rid of all that dead stuff on top that’s making it look dull and yucky.)

If you are seeing an aesthetician and doing aggressive treatments like Microdermabrasion. or in-office chemical peels (‘Tis the Season for Chemical Peels! –but the summer is NOT) you should not use retinols until you are done with your treatments. AND hopefully after your treatments are finished you can use a more conservative retinol product to keep your skin looking good after treatments.

Retinol comes in 3 forms:

  1. Cream (.025%, 0.05%, 0.1%)
  2. Gel (0.01%, 0.025%)
  3. Liquid (0.05%)

But guess what. The carrier of the product can intensify the results. Creams are more moisturizing. Gels contain alcohol, and this makes it penetrate deeper. Alcohol also has a drying affect, which can irritate the skin even further. The liquid also is drying due to the effects of alcohol content.

(Yes. I really own this much retinol)

How to Use:

More is not better! Start with a pea size amount for your entire face.

(Retinol products are always yellow-ish in color).

My Skin:

I personally use a night cream that has Retinol and Glycolic. Once a week or so I add a Retinol booster (liquid retinol) to my moisturizer which sometimes makes my skin peel a little because it boosts the effect of the retinol by allowing it to penetrate. I recommend retinal products for everyone. Remember, this product makes you photosensitive; i.e. you should not be in the sun when you use it! …But you shouldn’t be in the sun anyways. SUNBLOCK cough.  It’s Sunny Out! (A Post in Honor of Sun Block).  Also, because of this photosensitivity don’t put these products on during the day.

A Client of Mine…

Came in for Botox and I couldn’t get over her skin. I asked her what she was using. She said to me, I’ve been using that cream I got from you once in the morning and once and night. The cream she was talking about was the Reconstructive Repair Crème with the retinol in it. Well…. she looked amazing, and thank god it was during the winter time and she wasn’t out in the sun! She also told me she always used the sunblock/moisturizer on top of the crème. I’m not recommending anyone do this! I’m just saying, it made SUCH a difference in her skin! I could feel the difference when I injected her. Of course, I told her not to do this in summer time. J Mistakes are how we learn!

Product
Spotlight!

Image Reconstruct Repair Crème:

A highly concentrated blend of retinol, glycolic acid and oil soluble Vitamin C to resurface, rejuvenate and repair aging skin. Leaves skin youthful, firm and radiant after just a few applications.

Reconstructive Retinol Booster:

Mix two drops with the Vital C anti-aging serum or the MAX serum as directed. Must not be applied directly onto skin without prior mixing! Use only at night.

Hydra-facials are awesome.

19 May

(after picture)

Because I’m pretty and I say so. And in case that’s not enough of a reason… read on. J

A Little Latin Lesson in Linguistics (alliteration is as awesome as hydrafacials)

In case you’re a little rusty on your Latin, “hydra” means water and facial means … well facial isn’t Latin for anything. That I know of… but I’m not a linguist. Anyways. Hydrafacials are amazing! They work by infusing serums into your pores. Hydrafacial, or hydradermabrasion, is a noninvasive, non-laser skin resurfacing treatment that combines cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, hydration and antioxidant protection simultaneously, resulting in clearer, more beautiful skin. There is no discomfort or down-time (although you might have a little redness for about an hour). The treatment is soothing, moisturizing, non-invasive and non-irritating. It also has attachments that can be used on the back, neck, and décolleté (that’s actually a French word… not Latin).

The HydraFacial treatment improves the appearance of:

  • fine lines and wrinkles
  • congested and enlarged pores
  • oily or acne-prone skin
  • hyper-pigmentation and brown spots

Before starting, I washed all of my make up off (which I don’t wear much of because my skin is usually so nice!). This is my before picture. I was in DESPERATE need of a facial.

Pass 1: Activ-4™ Skin Solution

Designed for most skin types. It helps to promote the overall health of skin; improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation, brown spots, fine lines and uneven skin tone. The tip attachment used on the hand-piece during this step has a fine sandpaper-like part works like microdermabrasion. It mechanically exfoliates the top layer of skin.

My face is RED.

The black part is the microdermabrasion tip.

Step 2: Beta-HD™ Skin Solution

This Salicylic Acid based skin solution is specifically designed for acne-prone and oily skin (like mine). It softens sebum, dislodges skin debris and aids in painless extractions of whiteheads and blackheads.

Step 3
Antiox-6™ Skin Solution:

Containing Vitamin A, Vitamin E, White Tea Extract and Hyaluronic Acid, the Antiox-6™ is designed for overall antioxdiant protection and deep hydration on most skin types.

Other Steps

  • DermaBuilder™ Peptide Complex (
    DermaBuilder™): THE new, hot age-refining solution right now! The DermaBuilder™ helps to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, skin firmness, skin tone and skin texture.
  • GlySal™ Acid Peels ( GlySal): This special Glycolic Acid & Salicylic Acid blend combines physical & chemical peeling to achieve optimal results. Unlike traditional acid peels, there is little to no downtime involved. Skin is well hydrated, smooth and radiant after the procedure.

1 hour later …

In the CAAAAAH Leaving JAHHHHR. Boston. Haaaaaa.

Representing my team. I love Rondo! #9 : My man.

Very happy my skin looks so good. Now if we could just fix my skunk hair. Just kidding. I love my Ombre (hombre? I think that’s Latin?). As you can see I’m still a little pink, but my skin looks and feels so fresh and so clean.

Recommendations

Visible skin refinement and an even, radiant skin tone may be seen after just one treatment. The smooth results and hydration may last 5 to 7 days or even longer.  A series of 6 treatments is recommended for improving the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, hyper-pigmentation, acne and oily skin. Remember, using good skin care products at home will help these results last longest and help give you the most bang for your buck (did I just say that?) for any in office procedure. (Step 2: Spend wisely.)

I even got Alexis to love them (the Image Rep slash Skin Guru). And she is so picky about her skin. See. She’s smiling.

Body Acne

30 Apr

Summer time! Ya!  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve been hitting the gym.  Trying to get my 22 year old body back (you know, to match my 22 year old face).  A lot of my friends are doing the same, and it’s come up as a common question to me:

“How can I prevent Body Acne?”

Cuz there’s nothing worse than looking hot in your bathing suit but being all broken out.

 

Body acne can be difficult to treat due to the thickness of the skin and the number of sweat glands in this location.  Pores on the back are typically larger and produce more oil than on the face.  A mixture of sweat and physical irritation (like from clothing) can aggravate break outs.

 

Recommendations:

  • DO NOT GO TANNING.  That’s actually going to make your acne worse.  Being in the sun or even worse, indoor tanning only makes your skin darker to cover the redness of the acne lesion and sun exposure to a lesion could lead to a permanent dark spot on your skin (ie hyperpigmentation…yuck)!.  Excessive tanning also dries out your skin and causes your skin to produce more oil…ever notice how much more you break out once you have stopped tanning or being in the sun?  Another great reason to wear a broad spectrum SPF…prevent acne from worsening!  Oh yeah, and another thing about indoor tanning, think about how much bacteria is in a tanning bed.  Yea, they clean them… but…
  • SHOWER AFTER WORKING OUT.  The most important thing you can do is take a shower immediately after a workout.  Do not sit with sweat and dirt on your body.  Add a salicylic cleanser into your body wash.  I use Image Clear Cell.  I add about a dime size amount to my body wash.  It definitely helps.  Make sure the active ingredient is “Salicylic Acid.”  Also make sure the label says “Paraben Free,” Paraben’s are preservative chemicals that make the product last longer on the shelf.  If you have acne prone skin, this can cause a flare up.  A lot of people unknowingly are allergic to parabens, and the reaction can appear anywhere from little bumps or large cysts that can be mistaken for acne.
  • KEEP SPORTING EQUIPMENT CLEAN.  This seems like a no-brainer, but I have parents come to me and say “my 15 year old who plays lacrosse and wears the same pads every day has horrible acne on his body.”  Same pads every day… same sweaty pads.  Do you wash them?  No?  The same dirty sweaty pads irritating your child’s skin is most definitely going to cause them to break out.  Wash your sporting equipment.  And if your child is 15ish… you should probably bleach them every once in a while.

 

If these steps don’t help, talk to a dermatologist.  You may need to go on oral antibiotics or use prescription strength topical.

Evaluating Your Skin

23 Jan

Like your personality, everyone has different skin, and there are many extraneous factors that affect the physical condition of your skin.  Even though I know a lot about skin, I don’t pretend I know it all, and I often ask my aesthetician friends what they think about my skin’s appearance. Usually, when my skin deviates from the norm, it’s from something I did.  By looking at your skin, an aesthetician determines the classification (Skin Care Classification Systems.) but they should also ask you the following questions to evaluate the overall health of your skin. 

Skin Evaluation Questions 

(Marmur, Ellen, M.D., 2009, Simple Skin Beauty:
Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin, 20-21)

  • How does my skin usually behave?  Does it tend to be dry or oily?  Does it get irritated or red or hyperpigment easily (a sign of sensitivity).

My skin is normally a little oily, with rare break outs (because I regularly see an aesthetician and use products that are appropriate for me–but trust me–I’ve had my fair share of acne, hyperpigmentation, and dryness).  Because I take care of my skin, I no longer easily get irritated, red, pigmented, or break out.  But that’s MY skin). 

  • What is my lifestyle like?

I think there is not a woman alive that doesn’t have a high stress lifestyle.  But, when our stress levels get higher than normal, that’s when we can run into problems!  When I opened my first office, I’ve never had such HORRIBLE skin.  I was under so much stress!  I wasn’t eating, drinking, or sleeping (healthy right?).  I was broken out and my skin literally had a blue hue to it from not having enough oxygen and water.  It was NOT attractive.  Now I’m back to a regular level of high stress.

If you look at woman from other countries, you usually see they have nice skin.  Even though they smoke.  Well, the American life-style is high stress.  Women juggle families and careers and high levels of stress due to the pressure to achieve, and I think this is especially true of the Boston Woman.  Read more about  Skin Under Stress.

  •  Have I been doing anything differently in the last few weeks?

First Rule in Nursing:  have you done anything different?

Second Rule in Nursing:  stop whatever it is you did.

Did the symptoms stop too?  Cause and effect!  When it comes to skin reactions I like to ask if you have started using any different skin products, or have you changed your detergents?  (I personally am allergic to dryer sheets and I sleep with my face on a pillowcase… that would have touched a dryer sheet!)

  • What climate do I live in, or have I traveled somewhere recently?

Ugh, it is officially winter.  I know I have my heat on 80 right now and I am so thankful it is not forced hot air!  The type of heat you are using to heat your home will affect the air and your skin. (Check out Hydrating Ingredients in Skin Care Products.)  When the temps start warming up, of course we have the humidity… “it’s not the heat it’s the humidity!”  which can cause our skin to feel more greasy.

Changing climates from the dirty city are to the clean country air can affect your skin.  My skin likes the city 😉

  • What foods have I been eating recently?

Your diet DOES effect the appearance of your skin.  I’m not saying chocolate causes acne (don’t worry, there is zero truth to this one), but certain vitamins and minerals feed the skin.  Certain foods are healthier for your skin, just like certain foods promote a healthy liver (off the top of my head I can think of one food that is bad for your liver- alcohol)!  Avoid things high in sugar, they promote bacterial growth.  Look for foods high in vitamin A, C, and E.

  • What kinds of products do I use on my skin and how often?

I really hope by now you’ve gotten my point about over the counter products, and how they don’t do much but put a hole in your wallet.  But, pharmaceutical products aren’t always good to use everyday.  Case in point – Retin-A.  LOVE IT.  I really think Every Woman Should Own A Retinol Product.  But I don’t  think it’s for everyone EVERYDAY.  I recently upped my topical Retin-A usage to every other day.  My skin looks AMAZING, but if I use it everyday it gets red, dry, and flakey.  Ew.

**I would like to add that I also just read in a medical book that Retin-A and sunblock are the only PREVENTATIVE topicals when it comes to fine lines.

  • What kind of makeup do I wear?

I ask my clients this all the time.  Usually I ask it like this:  “Do you wear MAC make-up”  and they say “yes.”  NOOOO.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love MAC’s eye-shadows.  I love their fake eyelashes.  But their face make-up is “stage make-up” which is NOT for everyday use!  It clogs your pores and can make acne much worse.  PLEASE stop using this product everyday!  Start using good skin products, and throw out your make-up!  Be natural!  (Yes, the Botox Queen supports natural!).  When I do feel the need to wear a face make-up, I stick to mineral make-up.

***Also, did you know that if your skin tends to be greasy you should use powder based foundation, and if it tends to be dry you should use liquid based foundations?

  • How many showers a day do I take?

I know we love long, hot showers in the winter, but try to keep it quick.  Not only does it make you “green,” but long, hot showers dry out your skin.  Moisturize!

  • Do I have a stressful job?

Obviously!  I’m not even going to start on this one!

  • Do I smoke?

I hope the answer to this is no.  It’s funny.  We know how bad smoking is for your health, but for some reason people still do it.  Well, if the threat of cancer hasn’t stopped you, and the insane cost hasn’t stopped you, perhaps this will:  smoking is bad for your skin.  It prematurely ages you.  It thins your dermal layer, destroys your cell’s DNA, and gives a yellow hue (from toxins).  I pray that if you have stopped by medical reasons, perhaps vanity can play some roll in ditching the cancer stick.  I know it’s hard, but it is really, really bad for your skin (and health and wallet).

  • Do I take any medications regularly?

There are TONS of medications which can interfere with the health of your skin.  Read your bottles.  Do any say stay out of the sun?  I promise you, the bottle is not lying to you.  Hypersensitivity to sunlight is a common side affect with many medications.  Be extra careful to wear sunblock, even in the winter.  Please and thank you.

  • Am I pregnant?  Have I recently had a baby?

I can safely say no to these questions, but, as I’m sure you all know, pregnancy comes with MANY hormonal changes.  And do not sound fun (I recently learned from patrons at a Botox Party the most important word to know during pregnancy- Epidural).

  • Have I had surgery or any health problems in the last year?

When your immune system is down, or your body is in a state of repair, the essential vitamins and nutrients your skin requires may be diverted to other organ systems that need them more.

  • Do I wear sunscreen?

EVERYDAY.  Even in the winter.  Like I said earlier, sun damage is the number one cause of fine lines.  Do you know how men can tell your age?  By looking at your hands, because they are always exposed to sunlight.  Ok, it’s winter, we go from home to car to job to home (at which point the sun is already probably gone).  So many of us think we don’t need sunblock.  WRONG.  You are exposed to UV rays in the car.  When looked at under a skin lamp, the drivers side of a face displays 90% more sun damage.

Check out There’s a fine line between tan and looking like you rolled in a bag of doritos.  (It is one of my most highly viewed posts!)

  • Do I pick at my face nervously?

I do.  It’s so bad.  I was actually put on Celexa at one point for this nervous habit.  I’m so glad I was too, because it worked!

  • How many products do I use on my skin and hair everyday?

You don’t need to be using a crazy amount of products, and you don’t necessarily need to be using everything, everyday.  We have this notion that if a little is good, a lot is better.  Not true.  Follow the directions for usage from your aesthetician, or at least the instructions on the products you are using (that are pharmaceutical grade).  As you can see from the picture, I have a lot of products–but I don’t use every one everyday.

  • Do I touch my face a lot?

As a nurse, I can tell you, nails are DIRTY.  Hospitals have banned acrylic nails for nurses in hospitals because of the germs they carry.  By touching your face, you are introducing those germs and bacteria to your skin.  One of the biological roles of skin is to protect the internal organs from infection.  If you are picking at your skin you are essentially breaking the barrier, and allowing an area of access for bacteria.

The skin is a protective barrier against dirt and bacteria.

Bacteria is under your nails.

Picking at your skin with your nails tears the skin.

THEREFORE:

Picking breaks the protective barrier and at the same time introduces bacteria and dirt from your nails.  BAD.

  • Do I use hair gel or pomades?

I don’t know what a pomade is….. I guess that is for short hair! I do know this… I often break out on my hair line when I am on day 3 of not washing my hair (you shouldn’t wash your hair everyday).  Hair products can contains skin clogging ingredients, or might contain ingredients that your skin is sensitive to.

**I’m not sure if I took this picture crooked, or hung the shelf crooked?            ———————–>

  • Is there a specific area on my face that is constantly a problem?

Like perhaps you break out where your cell phone constantly touches?  Swab down your phone with an alcohol pad, daily!

Skin Under Stress

29 Nov

“50% of my patients are presenting with stress-related skin problems”

– Leslie Baumann, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Miami Cosmetic Medicine and Research Institute.

I was given an interesting article from Allure magazine about skin issues and stress (which is a huge problem many of us have, including myself).  Eighty seven percent of respondents in the allure.com poll said they “notice a difference in their skin when they’re stressed out.”

When under stress, our bodies release adrenaline that elevates the level of a hormone called cortisol in the blood.  High cortisol levels also cause the skin to produce inflammatory agents, causing redness.  This hormone also tells fat cells to release sugar into the bloodstream for energy.  Stress cause our sebaceous glands to produce more oil that bacteria thrive on, leading to clogging and inflammation of a follicle.  If only we could stop stress!

Don’t Pick!

Finger nails are dirty, and long nails tear the skin, allowing more bacteria in.  Although it feels like such a stress relief to squeeze and pop pimples, it makes acne harder to treat, and increases the chances you will wind up with red or brown marks.

Stick a Post-it note on your mirror, keep your hands busy with a stress ball, and STAY OUT of the magnifying mirror (in fact, throw that thing out!).  Being around aesthetician’s all the time has helped me stop touching.  They are constantly asking me:  are you touching your face?  Have a friend ask you.

This time of year is exceptionally stressful.  So find something that relaxes you!  Yoga, tea, music, reading my blog 🙂 … anything.  Enjoy your busy December everyone!

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