Hi! I’m so happy you found me. My name is Anne, Annie to my family. I am a 46-year-old mom living in North Carolina with my husband and our blended family of 3 kids.
Our life is simple, yet it’s simply amazing. My dreams of what I thought happiness was in my younger years pales in comparison to what it actually turned out to be.
My journey to inner peace has been a bumpy one. But now, maintaining that peace is my top priority and I do it every single day by taking impeccable care of myself. It has been my life’s greatest gift and I want that for you, too.
My wish for you is that you glow with an inner radiance that makes you look as if you are lit from within. You glow because…
You are so excited to wake up every morning because you love what you do and you can’t wait to see what the day will bring.
When you look at yourself in the mirror you know how truly beautiful you are, inside and out.
You feel comfortable in your skin, and with your skin.
You know that you deserve to be treated in the best way possible and because of that, you take extremely good care of yourself.
Your relationships with your family and friends fill you up. Spending time with them makes you feel happy, recharged and loved.
Your home is your sanctuary. It’s beautiful and filled with things you love. When you are home, you are at peace.
The relationship you have cultivated with yourself is one of compassion, trust, respect and most importantly, love.
This is what life is like for me now but it wasn’t always this way.
In fact, I spent most of my teenage years fighting with horrible acne and a variety of other skin issues. I hated my body, was constantly on a diet, and my self-esteem was in the toilet. I loathed myself, and the really mean girl who lived in my head didn’t make it any easier.
The really messed up part is I lived a charmed life. I came from an extremely loving family, both immediate and extended. My parents provided my sister and me with everything we could possibly need or want.
We had amazing experiences like summer camp and family trips to wonderful places. From the outside looking in, I was a perfectly normal girl living a privileged life who had no reason not to be happy.
But I was dying inside. I hated myself and could think of nothing other than how fat I was and how many new zits I would have in the morning.
Every night out, wedding, picnic, church – any event that required dressing in something other than jeans and a huge sweatshirt was a nightmare! I hated how I looked in everything and I always had to worry about covering up my chest, neck or back because my skin was a mess.
I was shy and introverted and I just didn’t want to be noticed. I wanted to fade into the background. I felt safe when I just blended in.
Where it all started
My self-esteem issues started with the onset of acne at 12 years old. I made my first visit to the dermatologist then. He immediately put me on lots of topical meds and an antibiotic. He also told me to never go to bed without washing my face. This advice was probably the only good thing that came out of that appointment.
Since that day I have never missed a night of washing my face. That’s approximately 12,410 times.
Yeah…I know, a bit obsessive.
This obsession to achieve perfect skin and a perfect body went on for years. I bought every skincare product or diet book I could get my hands on hoping it would be the Holy Grail. But nothing ever worked. I was never good enough and I was completely miserable.
A turning point
Albeit a small one, it was one of those moments that sort of shook me awake. It helped me see things in a new perspective and I’ve never forgotten it.
I was on my way to visit my extended family in Connecticut. My aunt picked me up from the airport. It had been about a year since I had seen her last. When she saw me she gave me a great big hug and said,
“Annie, the older you get the prettier you get!”
Whhhaaaa?? We can get better as we age? I was only in my twenties at the time so I wasn’t really “aging” but it totally shifted my perception and it also brought to light that maybe whatever I was doing was actually working.
I was still battling acne and fighting with an extremely negative body image. But this comment was a lifeline for me. By this point in my life I had started paying attention to what I was eating. My obsession with my weight and prefect skin had turned in to learning everything I could about nutrition. But still, the mean girl in my head was relentless. She would not SHUT UP! And then…
A huge wake-up call
In the first part of 1999, at 29, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. At first, I was really excited which lasted a couple of days until it all came crashing down, and suddenly I was filled with a sense of dread.
I was terrified I was going to have a girl. I didn’t want a girl because I didn’t want her to feel like I had felt for so long. I didn’t want her to hate herself. What I wanted was for her to love and accept herself and to know, without a doubt, that she is perfect.
But here’s the thing. How could I teach my daughter to be strong and confident and to love herself if I had no idea how to do that myself? I knew, in that moment, that the only way I could teach her is by learning to love myself. Just telling her she should love herself wouldn’t work. I had to walk the talk. It was time to change.
So, I bargained with God
“Please God, if you give me a baby boy this time, I promise I will learn to love myself. I will do whatever it takes!”
And so it began. I placed my order with God, “baby boy please” and then I let it go. I let all the self-hatred and perceived imperfections go. I was building a human for God’s sake, I deserved to be nice to myself! So I was…
Being pregnant was the first time in my life I actually enjoyed my body.
I let her do whatever she needed to do to build that beautiful baby.
I honored her anyway I could in the form of manicures and pedicures, beautiful maternity clothes, naps, movies and whatever she wanted to eat without judgement or guilt.
It was a beautiful time for me and my body. It was the perfect way for me to start building a relationship with myself.
Fast forward 16 years
My prayers were answered; my first baby was a boy. Two years after that, I had a little girl. I kept my promise and today I am a totally different woman than the one from 16+ years ago.
A lot has happened in those 16 years. I went through a divorce, I lost two jobs, I’ve lost loved ones, I’ve lost 3 amazing dogs, I had to sell a home I adored.
But what I have gained is awe-inspiring. There is no other way to describe it. It hasn’t been easy but I wouldn’t trade any of it for what I have now. I had lots of help along the way. Coaches and counselors, friends and family, each of whom gave me their own unique pebble of wisdom that helped push me further down my path.
The love and acceptance I found for myself has completely changed the course of my life…
My struggle with acne was such a huge factor in my own negative self-image that I decided to get license as an esthetician. Becoming certified to treat the skin has given me a much deeper understanding of the skin and has allowed me to help others who struggled with the same issues.
I attended the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in NYC and became a Certified Holistic Health Coach. When I combined my knowledge of skincare (as well as pure, clean products) with my knowledge of nutrition, my skin changed within days. I am told on a regular basis that I “glow”.
It is because of this approach that I no longer fear getting older. I know that I control how my skin looks and I will continue to age gracefully.
I have 3 wonderful children (2 are mine and one is my “bonus” daughter). A note about my daughter, she is the strongest, most confident young woman I have ever met. She is truly remarkable! I could have only dreamed of being that way at 14!
I live in an amazing little bungalow that I LOVE. It’s filled with things I love and I am surrounded by beauty. Home is my safe place, as it should be for everyone. Every time I walk in the front door I feel at peace.
I discovered a passion for cooking really good wholesome food and a love of decorating. Two things I didn’t even know I was capable of, much less good at until about 10 years ago.
And then there is my husband…oh my husband!!! I could write pages about my husband (but I’ll spare you). One thing I know for sure is this, the love I found for myself opened the door to the most meaningful and beautiful relationship of my life. There is no way I could have shared a love this deep if I had not learned to love myself first.