Adventures of Gus and Kim: Don't miss the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens!

How I Finally Made My Foundation Last All Day!

Adventures of Gus and Kim: Top 10 Places To Eat in Destin (2018)
Rejuvenate Your Skin with Nurysh Lyft 2.0 (and a discount code!!)

Rejuvenate Your Skin with Nurysh Lyft 2.0 (and a discount code!!)

Anyone out there wishing their skin looked better? I see you, girl! We all have our own definition of "looking our best" and for me, it means looking as good as I can for my current age. I’m not trying to look 30, but I want to be my best version of 57.

I tried Botox around ten years ago, but I wasn’t impressed with my results at that time. I may give it another shot in the future, but let’s face it (pun intended) - whether it's cost, upkeep, or results - it’s not for everyone. I have an arsenal of skin care serums and creams that have improved the look of my skin, but I'd like to turn it up a notch. Who’s with me?

Box containing the Nurysh LYFT 2.0 Skin Rejuvenation Device and all of it's accessories

(Thank you to Nurysh for sponsoring this post. The opinions in this post are based on my experience with the product and are 100% my own.)

One thing I hadn’t tried was a home facial toning/rejuvenation device like the LYFT 2.0 by Nurysh. I was aware of science behind the device, so I was really excited to test it out. How it works (in basic terms): LYFT focuses four low power beams deep into the dermis. The revolutionary and patented BIOWAVE technology stimulates dermal activity (tightening of collagen fibers and increasing new collagen production). The skin becomes firmer and more supple, and fine lines and wrinkles are reduced.

Lid of the LYFT 2.o Skin Rejuvenation Device box listing the benefits it offers.

Some of the benefits that may be seen with regular use:
  • reduction of fine lines and wrinkles
  • improvement of skin tone and texture
  • tightened skin
  • balance of uneven pigmentation and redness
  • reduction in puffiness
  • minimization of pore size and breakouts
  • reduced appearance of scars

The device comes in a sturdy box, and includes a protective cap, charging/storage stand, charging cord/adapter, eye protection goggles, a few cotton pads for cleaning the probe, and an instruction booklet.

The LYFT 2.0 Skin Rejuvenation Device sitting in it's storage stand on a table with the charging cord and protective eye goggles nearby.

One of my favorite features is that you can customize the treatments to best suit your skin needs. There are single functions: Cleanse, Deep Cleanse, Nutrition, Nutrition Plus, Anti-Aging, Anti-Acne, and Face Lifting - all of which can be used on their own. But I’m a multi-tasking girl and I prefer to get the most bang for my buck, so I like the multi-function treatments. (*my favorites)

  • Deep Cleanse + Face Lifting
  • Nutrition + Face Lifting
  • Nutrition Plus + Face Lifting
  • Nutrition Plus + Anti-Aging
  • Anti-Aging + Face Lifting
  • Anti-Acne + Face Lifting
  • Nutrition Plus + Anti-Aging + Face Lifting*
  • Nutrition Plus + Anti-Acne + Face Lifting* 

Close-up of the LYFT 2.0 Skin Rejuvenation Device lying on a table.

It’s so easy to use! You just power it on, chose your treatment(s), and slowly move it around your face. You wear the goggles for any treatments involving the LED lights (anti-aging, anti-acne). Most treatments last 5-10 minutes making it easy to incorporate into your skincare routine. If you're a visual learner, there’s a short instructional video that explains how to use the device.

I have a few problem areas that I focused on: nasolabial folds (marionette lines), jawline, and the front of my neck. The front of my neck is an on-going battle because not only has it lost firmness and elasticity due to aging, but I had two cervical spine surgeries where they used a frontal approach. Those surgeries left me with two horizontal scars (thoughtfully placed in the creases of my neck), and loosened skin.

I've been using the LYFT daily for the past three and a half weeks - which is the minimum amount of time needed to see results. Below are my before and after photos - even I was surprised to see the difference! I took the before and after photos in the same place with the same lighting - and I attempted to recreate the same position/pose. The photos have not been retouched other than trying to even out the lighting.

These photos show my "marionette lines" and you can also see a bit of the "orange peel" texture on my chin as well as the pores on my cheek. The depth of the lines has definitely decreased and the texture of the skin on my cheeks looks smoother (pores less prominent).

Before and after photos of nasolabial folds after using LYFT 2.0 for 3.5 weeks.

The photos below show the front of my neck. You can see the two scars as well as the loose skin and crepe-y texture. In the after photo there is a marked improvement in not just the texture, but the skin is visibly tightened!

Before and after photos of front of neck - after using the LYFT 2.0 device for 3.5 weeks.

Another benefit I've noticed is that my foundation seem to go on more easily, looks smoother and stays in place a bit better. A couple of weeks ago, we were at the Tampa Zoo from 10:30am to 1:30pm in 80+degree weather. It was very hot and humid - my face was damp and "glowing" (with perspiration!). When I got to our car, I expected to see my makeup pretty much ruined - but I was shocked to see that it looked the same as it did when I applied it that morning! I used all of the same products that I normally use so the only difference was that I had been using the LYFT device.

A reminder: Be sure you've removed the protective cap before starting a treatment. The cap is clear, so it's easy to forget it's there - especially when you do your treatments at night when you're tired. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it.) Yes, I've done a complete 10 minute treatment with the cap on. More than once. I think I'm going to put a brightly-colored sticker on the cap so it doesn't happen again. It would be nice if the cap wasn't clear - maybe a bright color as a visual reminder to remove it before starting your treatment.

DISCOUNT CODE: Now let's talk cost. The kit I described above is priced at $159.95 AND Nurysh has been kind enough to offer a code for my readers to receive 20% off - bringing the cost down to $127.96! Just enter 20KAPROMO at checkout to receive the discount!

I'm thrilled with my results and can't wait to see if improvements will continue over time. I will post updated photos at the eight week mark.

Infographic showing before and after photos and the Nurysh LYFT 2.0 Skin Rejuvenation Device

If you decide to give the Nurysh LYFT 2.0 a try, I'd love to hear about your results. Post a comment here or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat! And don't forget - you can also follow Nurysh on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to see more about their products!

Kim A.
Adventures of Gus and Kim: The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden - Cincinnati, Ohio

Adventures of Gus and Kim: The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden - Cincinnati, Ohio

Last week, I was working on a blog post about the Nashville Zoo and I realized that I have never done a post about the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden! We've been members for many years and spent a lot of time there when our kids were little. We still visit a few times a year and try not to miss the Festival of Lights every winter - it's a family tradition!

The elephant house at the Cincinnati Zoo during Festival of Lights
The Elephant House during Festival of Lights 2018

(This post is not sponsored and there are no affiliate links. All opinions are, as always, 100% mine.)

You may have heard that the Cincinnati Zoo is "The Greenest Zoo in America", But if not, I'll bet you've heard of our precious Princess Fiona. She just turned two and she IS the cutest baby hippo! The circumstances surrounding her premature birth and amazing fight to survive seem to have given her a unique bond with humans. It's not unusual to see her interacting with the crowds and posing for the cameras.

The last time we saw Fiona, our visit coincided with BiFi's (as they are affectionately known by those who 'ship BiBi and Fiona) after-breakfast nap!

Mother and baby hippo napping in the water at the Cincinnati Zoo
Naptime with BiBi and Fiona!

As cute as she is, Fiona isn't the only adorable animal at the Cincinnati Zoo (have you seen the baby tamandua???). We love the penguins in the Wings of the World building. My cousin just happens to work there, so we have been lucky enough to go behind the scenes and get up-close and personal with them!

Several king penguins standing together on rocks
King penguins (I can't see their bands so I'm not sure which is which) - there are six: BeBe, Burger,  Stacey, Martin Luther, Coretta Scott and Larry (who was standing on a rock in the middle of the water), .

Magellanic penguin standing on a rock near water
Jerry the Magellanic penguin

Rockhopper penguin standing on a rock
Bombadil the Rockhopper penguin

In the photo below, you can see Buddy's girlfriend and Jerry getting acquainted. Jerry was very social the day we visited - or maybe he was hungry. He kept nibbling at our boots and arms!

Magellanic penguin standing next to a young woman
Jerry the Magellanic penguin

Chester, the Andean bear enjoying a lovely selection of fruits and vegetables. I think this is one of the only times we've seen him awake!

Andean bear eating fruit
Chester the Andean bear

Our polar bears have a great habitat, but it will be getting an upgrade as part of the "More Home to Roam" project. Some of the improvements will make the environment more conducive to breeding - so fingers crossed for baby polar bears in the future!

Polar bear lying on a rock
Little One

Some of the animals you'll see while walking through the Africa exhibit (which is also where you will find Bibi and Fiona): pelicans, a warthog, lions, African painted dogs, and vultures!

Two pelicans sitting on a fallen tree
Skipper and Gilligan

Warthog grazing in the grass
Walter the warthog

Male lion walking in straw

Four African painted dogs - two standing, two lying on the ground
African painted dogs

Lappet-faced vulture sitting on a rock
Lappet-faced vulture

Gorilla World is one of the newest habitats, and we love being able to see the family group interact. I believe it just reopened after being temporarily closed for some upgrades, one of which was to reduce/remove the glare on the glass (seen in the photo below).

Female Silverback gorilla sitting in a tree eating
I'm not sure which of the adult female gorillas is pictured - there are seven adults: Males: Jomo, Mshindi; Females: Chewie, Asha, Samantha, Mara, M'Linzie - and three little ones: Gladys, Mondika (Mona), and Elle

Male Silverback gorilla sitting outside holding onto a small tree
enjoying the outdoor area

More of the beautiful animals you'll see at the Cincinnati Zoo:

close-up of a giraffe
I think this is Zoey 

Snow leopard reaching up on the fence with paws
Nubo the snow leopard

Indian rhino walking
I think this is the Indian rhino, Manjula (unfortunately little Kendi the Black rhino wasn't out when we were there)

chuckwalla sitting on a rock

As I mentioned earlier, they've got some great things planned for the future with the More Home to Roam project: Roo Valley (a kangaroo walkabout), a new, larger elephant habitat, a new rhino reserve, and much more! You can check out all of the upcoming improvements here.

When you're in the Cincinnati area, we highly recommend making time to visit the zoo. It's such a fabulous experience! And keep in mind that if you're a member of another zoo, chances are that you will be able to get 50% off the price of admission. 

If you're interested in becoming a member of the Cincinnati Zoo, there are several different levels of membership. Gus and I have a Dual Standard membership which includes free zoo admission for both of us, free parking, $2 tickets to the 4-D Special FX Theatre, free Admission to PNC Festival of Lights, two half-price guest tickets per day, early entry into zoo (9 am mid-March through October 31), discounts at all retail and food service locations in the zoo (some exclusions may apply), discounted admission to over 100 reciprocal zoos, and invitations to special events and previews. We renew our membership when they offer a discount (usually during Festival of Lights), so it only costs around $80. Buddy has an individual membership (all of the same benefits) and I believe his was $44 with the discount. Definitely worth the price!

Beautiful pink and blue sunset with holiday light display
Beautiful sunset at Festival of Lights

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
3400 Vine St.
Cincinnati, Ohio 45220

Open January 1st – December 31st at 10am. The Zoo is closed on December 25 only.

January 2 – March 8: 10am-5pm
March 9 – May 24: 10am-5pm (early entry at 9am for members & Adventure Ticket holders)
May 25 – September 2: 10am-6pm (early entry at 9am for members & Adventure Ticket holders)
September 3 – October 31: 10am-5pm (early entry at 9am for members & Adventure Ticket holders)
November 1 – November 15: 10am-5pm
November 16 – January 1: PNC Festival of Lights – 10am-9pm (Sundays-Thursdays)/ 10am-10pm (Fridays-Saturdays)

*PNC Festival of Lights is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve. The Zoo is closed all day on Christmas.

Infographic with photos of a polar bear and penguins at the Cincinnati Zoo

Do you have a favorite zoo? I'd love to know so we can check it out!
Kim A.
5 Tips for Beauty and Travel

5 Tips for Beauty and Travel

Do you experience anxiety when packing your beauty products for a trip? Wondering how you'll manage to take everything you need and worrying you'll forget something you can't live without? That used to be me - but I conquered it and so can you!

infographic with travel-sized beauty products lying on a cosmetic bag with an overlay that says "5 Tips for Traveling with Beauty Products"

(Some of the products in this post were provided by Too Faced. All opinions are 100% my own. There may be affiliate links in this post which were added to make it easier for you to find the items. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you). If you make a purchase from a link, I thank you for your support!).

Over the years, I've learned a few things - 1) I don't need to pack everything, 2) there's an efficient way to pack the necessities, 3) if all else fails, I can purchase what I need/forgot once I get there.

I also have a "master" packing list. I can make any edits and print it out so I can check items off as I pack them. Since I've been using this, I haven't forgotten anything! (I think I'm going to work on a printable copy for my email subscribers - so keep an eye out!)

various beauty products (some travel-size) sitting on a wooden table

Bottle of Too-Faced Hangover Rx 3-in-1 Primer & Setting spray and Too-Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow Palette

1) Take advantage of multipurpose products.
If you can pack items that serve more than one purpose, you will save tons of room! Eye shadow can also be used to fill in eyebrows, cream blush can double as a lip color, and products like the Too Faced Hangover 3-in-1 Setting Spray can be your primer, setting spray, and makeup refresher - all in one bottle. It's also available in a 1 oz. size, making it perfect for tossing in my travel bag. Then I can just refill it from my four ounce bottle as needed.

Living Proof dry shampoo and Restore shampoo, conditioner, and perfecting spray in travel sizes sitting on a wooden surface

2) Utilize travel sizes.
This one is pretty obvious, right? I love travel sizes! I stock up on deluxe samples from Sephora or Target's Beauty Boxes. Smaller sizes often cost more per ounce, but I look for containers that can be refilled, like shampoo, conditioner, and makeup setting spray.

various makeup pencils lying on a black & white polka-dot cosmetic bag

3) Pencil please!
Beauty pencils take up almost no space in your makeup bag. Eyeliner, lip liner, blush, highlighter/contour, lip color - even foundation can be found in a stick! And there's the bonus that they aren't liquid, so no worries if you're flying!

Too-Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow palette on a wooden surface

4) Palettes, palettes, palettes!
You can find palettes for just about every type of makeup product - eye shadow, blush, contour, lip, and more. I love eye shadow palettes for traveling. I take neutral colors like Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow Collection. I can get a variety of looks while taking up very little space in my makeup bag (and it smells like coconut). With palettes you can use the colors as is or mix them to create your own custom shades. You can use them to fill in your brows, as eyeliner by applying with a dampened brush, and a shimmer/satin can double as a highlighter.

Multiple travel-sized beauty products lying on a fuzzy cream surface

5) Don't pack everything!
Yes, you heard me correctly - leave that stuff at home! If you know that you can easily buy a travel size of what you need once you arrive at your destination, don't pack those items. For instance, we always end up at Target, Walgreens, or a grocery store on our trips, so I know I'll be able to find essentials: toothpaste, mouthwash, shaving cream for Gus, etc. If we're staying somewhere that has a washer and dryer, I will buy small packages of Tide Pods or liquid Tide/Gain, too. If anything is almost empty before we leave (and I'm not planning to reuse the container), I pitch it. More room in the suitcase for fun purchases!

Do you have any packing tips? I would love to hear them - leave them in the comments or talk to me on Instagram or Snapchat!

Products seen in this post:
Too Faced HangoveRx 3-in-1 Replenishing Primer & Setting Spray
Too Faced Natural Matte Eye Shadow Collection
Too Faced Borderline Anti-Feathering Lip Pencil
Living Proof Restore Shampoo
Living Proof Restore Conditioner
Living Proof Restore Perfecting Spray
Living Proof Dry Shampoo
Aveda Cherry Almond Smoothing Shampoo
Aveda Cherry Almond Smoothing Conditioner
Peter Thomas Roth Cucumber Gel Mask
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask
La Roche-Posay Toleriane Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
MAC Lip Pencil in Edge to Edge
Buxom Plumpline Lip Liner in Dolly Danger
Sephora 12hr Colorful Contour Eyeliner in 15 Flirting Game
Maybelline Brow Precise Micro Eyebrow Pencil Makeup
Kat Von D Tattoo Liner in Black

Kim A.
Tuesday Brewsday: Little Miami Brewing Company - Milford, OH

Tuesday Brewsday: Little Miami Brewing Company - Milford, OH

Welcome to Tuesday Brewsday! It's been awhile since I've done a brewery post, and I'm pretty excited to be telling you all about the Little Miami Brewing Company today!

Red brick building with red fermentor that says Little Miami Brewing Company

The Little Miami Brewing Company is located in Milford, Ohio, right next to the (you guessed it!) Little Miami River. Gus and I met my cousin and his youngest son there a few weeks ago to grab some lunch and beer.

red brick building with a USA flag

They have a dedicated parking lot, which is always most welcome at breweries (and really anywhere, am I right?).

wooden tables and chairs inside a room with red brick walls and a USA flg hanging on the wall

tables and chairs inside a room with concrete floors and glass garage doors

You walk into a pretty good sized taproom - spacious with lots of tables. The bar is on the left, and yesssss, there is also pizza!! If you walk straight through the taproom, you'll enter the covered outdoor area, which is where we sat. The Little Miami River is just over the bank. I'm not sure why I didn't take a photo of the outdoor area!

chalkboard featuring list of beer available hung above the taps

Gus and I ordered a pepperoni and mushroom pizza, and it was really good! I'm pretty picky about pizza, but I really liked this one. Gus is always down for pizza. I don't think he's ever met a pizza he didn't like!

slice of pepperoni and mushroom pizza on a blue plate

Gus went for the Blackbird Fly, an unfiltered American wheat beer with blackberry puree. He liked it a lot - which is kind of surprising because he usually doesn't like anything that is fruity.

half glass of purple-red beer in a glass on a wooden table

I had the Pterodactyl (a hefewiezen) and Cherry Creek (a cherry wheat beer), and I enjoyed both. I also liked the Blackbird Fly. I would've tried more, but they only do half pours (not flights) and 16 oz. is my limit for lunchtime.

two half pint glasses - one with a cloudy golden beer and the other with a cloudy reddish-purple beer

We both really liked Little Miami Brewing; both the beer and the atmosphere. Fifty West Brewing (another of our favorite breweries) is only about 5 miles away. Both are a good 40-45 minute drive for us, but my orthopedic surgeon's office is only a 15-20 minute drive from the breweries, so an appointment with him is always a good excuse to stop by!

If you're in the Milford/Beechmont/Loveland area, do consider stopping by Little Miami Brewing Company for pizza and beer!

Here's where/when you can find them:
Little Miami Brewing Company
208 Mill Street
Milford, Ohio  45150

Monday 3pm - 10pm
Tuesday - Thursday 11am - 11pm
Friday - Saturday 11am - 12am
Sunday 11am - 10pm
Facebook - Twitter - Instagram ~ Untppd

pinnable image of the tables and chairs in Little Miami Brewery, as well as the tap list

Do you have a favorite brewery? Tell me about it - we're always looking for new ones to try! If you're interested in following along on our food/drinking adventures, be sure to find me on Instagram and Snapchat - I share a lot there that doesn't make it on the blog.

*A note about our beer preferences:
Me: witbier, Hefeweizen, fruit beer, Berliner Weisse, Gose, blonde ale, white ale, non-coffee-flavored stouts, Kentucky common ale, ginger beer, some saisons, and some Scotch ales
Gus: witbier, Hefeweizen, blonde ale, red ale, Belgian tripel, Kentucky common ale
Buddy: IPA, fruit beer, Berliner Weisse, Gose, blonde ale, red ale, stouts (especially coffee-flavored), porter, Belgian tripel, Belgian quad, saison
Kim A.
Save the Date! Let's plan a wedding with Basic Invite!!

Save the Date! Let's plan a wedding with Basic Invite!!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Basic Invite. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you follow me on social media, then you know that my daughter is newly engaged. The proposal was so well-planned by her fiance that it went off without a hitch. He was so sweet to not only involve all of the parents in the planning, but also to have us all there for the big day.

Now they've moved into the next stage: choosing a venue and date. We've toured a few places and have a couple more on the calendar. Can I just say that wedding planning is exciting and so much fun? And stressful! It's difficult when you need to rely on others to give you what you want when you want it. When you find companies with great products who deliver in a timely manner it definitely goes a long way towards relieving some of that stress.

Four different personalized save-the-date cards lying on a wooden table
Modern Painting, Brush Frame, Blushing Gold, and Heart Beat Save-the-Date cards from Basic Invite

While they haven't agreed on a venue or date yet, they do agree that they want Save-the-Date cards. They have a large group of friends in the 28-32 age group with very busy lives who will be invited to the wedding. Many live in different towns or states, so it's especially important that they get a "heads up" on the wedding date for planning purposes. Of course, family will attend the wedding no matter what, but they're going to enjoy having a photo as well as a reminder of the date.

Laptop computer sitting on a table (with flowers in the background) with the browser open to the Basic Invite save-the-date page

We ordered samples of my daughter's favorite cards from Basic Invite. There are so many ways to personalize your cards! Since we didn't have official engagement photos or a wedding date, we created our samples using a random date and photos we had on hand. Most of the personalization options are free, but there are a few modifications that have a fee. It's so easy - you just click to edit!

  • font style and color (free)
  • background color, if applicable (free) 
  • wording (free)
  • photo, if applicable (free)
  • choice of paper: signature matte or coated are free (others have an additional charge)
  • square (free) or rounded edges (add'l charge)
  • add text or design to back of card (add'l charge)
  • adding guest and return address to envelope, choosing font and font color (free)
  • add return address only to envelope (add'l charge)

Three different Save-the-Date cards lying on an open laptop computer
Blushing Gold, Brushed Frame, and Heart Beat Save-the-Date cards

We ordered the samples on September 5, and were given an estimated arrival date of September 18. The customized samples arrived in just four days - very impressive! I can't even begin to tell you how exciting (and emotional) it was to pull these cards out of the envelope! It's really happening, folks!

Heart Beat Save-the-Date card from Basic Invite
Heart Beat Save-the-Date card: we customized the color and placement of the heart 

The quality of the paper is amazing, the printing is crystal clear, and they look just like they did when we created them online! Samples are priced at $2.99 each (including an envelope), which is a great price for a fully customized sample that you can either mail or keep as a memento. Every bride wants each detail of her wedding to be perfect, so being able to see your unique Save-the-Date card before ordering a whole batch is a stress-reliever!

Blushing Gold Save-the-Date card from Basic Invite
Blushing Gold Save-the-Date card: we customized the background colors

Next up: Gus and I will be checking out another venue this week. This might be "the one" and it's so unique! Then we will be taking a family beach vacation in October, and we have a photographer lined up to not only take the official engagement photos but to also take photos for our 30th wedding anniversary. Life is good.

Pinnable image of three Basic Invite Save-the-Date cards lying on an open laptop computer

You can check out more from Basic Invite on social media:
Kim A.