Friday, December 30, 2016

2017- In Full Swing

Ah yes, a new year a new you. BARF! I think I've posted something similar like this before. While I love the feelings of refreshing and renewing attitudes a new year brings I do think it's hogwash to make "resolutions". Yes, I used to be one of the people who made resolutions and I STILL believe in motivating yourself, it just has to stick throughout the year. I'm reading a book right now that I got for my birthday called "Living Well and Spending Less" by Ruth Soukup and even though I'm not even half way through the book it's the first time I've ever tabbed pages and highlighted with a real highlighter! I love it so far! It's REALLY invigorating me to live a better life. I then was perusing Facebook and saw a video posted about zero waste living and THAT made me more curious. I, again as you do, was scrolling Facebook tonight and a pal posted about a documentary on Netflix about living minimalistic and it made me ill, to look around at all the STUFF we own and still think that we need more! I literally want to cancel the contract we're under building a new house, it has effected me that badly. While my husband has talked me off that ledge I still think we can do a LOT to live more minimal and zero waste in our lives. I've love 2017 to be about finding myself because I have felt so lost this later half of the year. Perhaps it was the new baby in our family and the way that damn postpartum affected me, perhaps its it not bringing home a paycheck for the last 6 months or any number of things that are, for no particular reason, leaving me feeling negative and desolate inside. I literally have SO MUCH to be grateful for and this new year I want to focus on those. My husband who is my soul mate and my everything is always standing behind me rooting me on. My mom who is essentially the only family I have in town who is a source of wisdom and love.

This year I will hone in on becoming the best me yet!

Thus far, starting Wednesday, I've started eating healthier and am making a movement to actually structuring my days, starting with a daily schedule to keep me on task and have everything laid out in front of me. From drinking water and eating right to when to go to bed and read a book. I feel confident this will be great.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

LipSense Review

LipSense Ya'll, am I the only one not loving the kool-aid?!

I've been a lip balm Burt's Bees lover since around 2006 when first introduced to Burt's Bee's lip balm from a co-worker and it became my new lip go to. I NEVER wore any lipstick, ever. It just wasn't my thing. I had always WANTED to be a lipstick wearing gal but I just couldn't get into it. I'd purchase a lipstick here and there and wear it once or twice always hating the color and then it would eventually fall to the wayside and get lost at the bottom of my bag or my makeup vanity. Well, now that I'm my own boss I thought wearing lipstick would be an easy way to class myself up a bit so I went to Ulta and had it in mind to buy an inexpensive lipstick, since I could never get the color right, and then splurge on the same color in a different brand later.

That was about 15 lipsticks ago.... and I carry them all in my bag (or purse)! I have found a new makeup addiction and it's terrible for my bank account! I'd recently heard of this new lipstick called LipSense. It's supposed to be the no budge, smudge or kiss off lip stick that stays put for up to 8 hours. Ok, I'm intrigues at this point. My husbands ex-wife becomes a distributor so I was immediately NOT interested anymore, but secretly I was. I wanted to try it!

For my birthday I had found a color I thought would look good through Amazon and past it along to my husband as part of a wish list. My husband did purchase the color and the gloss for me.... from his ex! Ugh, that darling man. After reading the directions, yes there are directions, I gave it a go. I was actually riding passenger in a car with my BFF headed to a Paint Nite event so maybe not the best of times to try it out but I was dying to get it on. First impression was I loved the color! It was a purply color called Purple Rein and I was in love with it. This is a product you put three coats on, letting it dry for 5-10 seconds between each coat, and then toping with the gloss that is supposed to "seal" the color on your lips for, what I found out, 3-8 hours. Right after getting the first coat on it is VERY drying. It drys in that crackly fashion on your lips. Oooook? I put the two ore coats on and was dying for the gloss, which by the way I HATE gloss. It's goopy thick garb and has never been my favorite.

Gloss is on and it's a typical gloss but felt good on my lips as far as re-hydrating the dryness of the color. While I felt a mild burn after putting on the first coat it is hit and miss, sometimes I feel a more intense burn and others no burn at all. This burning sensation is a common complaint, I've learned, with this product. It was never so bad I couldn't continue to use it though. You're supposed to re-apply the gloss as needed, making sure your lips aren't ever dry. That is the key in keeping the color on which I was not privy to this information ever before. I'm thinking, if I'm going to reapply gloss why not just re-apply a lipstick!? Anywhoo, I don't even recall how I felt about the lip product by the end of the day except it didn't work. A few hours later the color had worn off on the inner part of my lips leaving me with almost a lip liner. I continued to try the product hoping that it wearing off was just a fluke but I found myself being SO self conscious about the color, constantly checking the mirror to make sure it looked ok. One day it was flaking off so badly it was all over my chin. It was TERRIBLE.

My husbands ex ended up messaging me asking how I liked the product I told her the truth, that I really wanted it to work but it just wasn't. She offered to let me try a different color and that my husband had left this one in the car for like a week and forgot about it so maybe that was effecting the color and also that the purples are more fickle than the other colors. I was open to trying a different color, after all I DID/DO want it to work like it says it should! I tried a mauve-ish pinky color called "Fire n Ice". She told me to absolutely NOT use any other lip balm as the flaking was due to "Exfoliating". She said "exfoliating" just short of a million times but I tried it. Taking a lip balm gal and forcing her to just use gloss, even not over color, was maddening! So you're telling me not only do I need to reapply gloss all day but I can't even use other products for fear of getting a waxy build up? I'm out. I'm finished. Count me out! But, UGH, I continued to use it. The Fire N Ice went much better than the purple and stayed on I'd say about 3-4 hours nicely. After that it did start to wear away. I eventually ended up purchasing the lip balm they offer (no where near gave me the lip penetration of hydrating formula I crave from my Burt's Bees) and another color "Praline Rose" a very neutral color very close to my own lip color. The problem with the other colors is when it wears off it looks patchy like I have some blister or something on my lips, the Praline Rose you can't really tell it's wearing away unless you're up in my fries looking at it.

I'm still in the same boat... I REALLY want it to work but it just doesn't seem to jive well. I still carry them and wear them every now and then but again, feel self conscious all day that I look like a fool! I'd much rather eat off my normal shades evenly in 2 hours than to have to reapply a gloss, use a sub par lip balm and look like I have an STD. BUT! I seem like the only one in the world who doesn't lip this product? Am I? Have you tried it?! Let me know! I had taken a photo of the severe flaking but it's long gone and too embarrassing anyway!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ZzzQuil Review

I was recently sent some ZzzQuil from Influesnter and I was excited to try it. Unfortunately for me a good nights sleep seems so far away in the distance as I have a newborn at home and am nursing. I didn't want to risk sleeping through cries or feeding time but lucky for me I have a wiling husband at home who loves sleep as much as I do (and gets to sleep more than I do these days). I asked if he'd be willing to try them and give me his opinion on them and of course he said yes!

He took the two capsules that were sent to me around 11pm, he was already pretty tired by then, as you can tell by the photo below.

He goes to sleep quite quickly on his own, always, and this night was no different. He was off to la la land in a snap. Snoring away. He got to sleep in until about 9 am and seemed to still look tired when he woke up (a usual side effect of having a baby and full time job). When he woke up the next morning I grilled him on his ZzzQuil experience.

 He said he still felt groggy and not 100%. I asked him if he had any bad dreams or anything (a usual side effect for me when I'm taking a sleep aide) and he said he did not. I asked if he slept peacefully through the night and he said yes, he only woke to turn over and then went immediately back to sleep. I then asked him how many stars, out of 5, he'd give the product, 5 being the best he gave them a 3. Not too bad. I'd like to try the product in the future so I could form my own opinion.

My mom said she had tried it before and liked it, didn't leave her groggy or anything afterwards so I guess it effects people differently! I did get these for free for testing purpose from Influesnter but the opinions are my own.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

UpSpring Baby Products- A Review for Breastfeeding Moms

I recently had a healthy 9.1 lb, 22" bouncing baby boy and I couldn't be more blessed. My little family is now complete! On my new/old mommy road I was sent some UpSpring powder from Influenster to test for free and share my opinions on. I'll be honest, I hadn't heard about UpSpring before I was contacted by Influenster but I gave it a whirl. Apparantly you mix the drink with your choice of cow milk and drink. It's supposed to help the milk production for your baby! I'll try anything that would directly benefit my new little.

I was sent several powders in Orange, Berry and Chocolate I figured they'd taste like crap but decided to dive in anyway. The first flavor I tried was Chocolate (naturally!) and I used the free plastic shaker bottle they sent me.

You mix 6 oz of milk with 1 packet of the UpSpring Flow and shake, or stir well. I may not have shook the bottle long enough because my milk was chunky, I shook longer and it blended much better but had a few chocolate powder particles floating around still. It was pretty good, I was actually surprised. It tasted almost like it had a hint of coffee flavor or something mixed with chocolate. I'd say it was slightly less flavorful than a Nesquick milk drink. I'd have it again for sure!  A few days later I tried the berry and it too was pretty good. Not the best thing on Earth but something I'd drink again. It was like a strawberry milk.

I was also sent some nipple cream and alcohol detecting strips. I have yet to test either of those but am currently having a margarita so I may have to bust out those strips soon! I haven't ever had any issues with dryness or cracking so I have yet to need to try the nipple cream but I may try it for fun in the next few days!
I'm thankful for Influenster for sending me these excellent products to try, the opinions, however, are my own. I'd recommend these products to my friends too! 

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pre and Post Pregnancy

9 LONG GRUELING months have now past and here I sit with a newborn at my feet and a 4.5 year old at my side. I never thought to imagine me a mom times 2 but here I am! It's been 1 week since I had my second son and life is starting to form a new normal. My body is still going through it's healing process after 9 months of being stretched, prodded and worn out. Hell, I'm still recovering from birth last week. I have places that are sore that I have no idea why they'd be sore! Birth, man. What a drag yet at the same time so rewarding and special. It's totally surreal to hold a 9.1 lb (yes, he was 9 lbs!) 22" human in your arms and think "Holy shit I made you and you came from my body?! How did you even fit in there??" The last few months of my pregnancy were hard mentally and physically for me. I gained just under 50 lbs and that alone was hard (I gained 30 with my first son) but I just felt SO huge. Not huge like "Oh my God Becky, I'm SO FAT!" but a "I can't get in and out of the car without huffing and puffing" my body was limiting a limited day.

My husband says I felt that way at the end of my last but I do NOT remember that at all (he also says I have baby amnesia!). These last few weeks I was past ready to get this baby bean out of me and get my body back to some sort of normal. In that time I had a lot of hours to reflect on my body and all the amazing things it can do, including squeeze out another human! The night we got home from the hospital I made a beeline for the shower and actually got to shave my legs and dry my entire body off! Oh, it felt amazing! I got out of the shower feeling anew. I looked in the mirror (can't avoid it since it's right in front of the shower) and was SO happy to have my body back. Yes, 50 lbs heavier (well probably 40 now that the monster is out) but in love that I could grab and squish my tummy again. No longer tight from a growing uterus and no longer sticking so far out I could see it in my peripheral vision, I found a new love for the part I've hated for so long and even more during the last months of pregnancy.

I feel a sense of well being and needing to take care of my body more. Again, I'd love to eat healthy, know I'm eating healthy, and just feel great. I want to be able to play with my kids, especially my oldest since he's SO active, and concentrate on them and not the ways my body is inhibiting me from doing things I want to do or enjoying things I should be able to enjoy. Starting off a new, old, journey again of self help and self care. Eating right and eventually working in that exercise I need.  For now, I'm just lucky to say I've got that 4.5 year old at my side and a newborn at my feet. Such a blessed life that I don't want to take fro granted.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

More Influenster!

I received yet another wonderful "Vox Box" from Influesnter and I'm happy to be able to rave and not rave about the items I received! I had thought I'd taken a photo, in fact I'm sure I did, but it has since gotten lost somewhere in digital land. Let's break the items down:

My favorite item was the Hormel Taco Meat. Well, we received a coupon to purchase the meat and that was good enough. I must complain a bit I had to travel to a store that I never go to to get the product and my coupon didn't quite cover the cost of the item so I ended up paying $1.15 for the Shredded Pork, but it was worth it! This meat tasted literally just as if I had made it fresh myself that very moment. The Mexican spices were fabulous and very fresh tasting. It was a breeze to whip up and if I ever make it back to that Smith's (Kroger) again I'll be sure to pick some up. I wish these were a little less pricy because at $6+ tax it seems a bit budget heavy BUT at 7 servings per package and knowing I always have taco makings on hand this would be a great item to store in the freezer for last minute dinner. A+ rating.

My second favorite items were the Suave Professionals Shampoo and Conditioner. I've always used Suave because, let's be honest here, they are inexpensive and smell great! It's a trusted name for me and I've never had a problem with their products. These Coconut scented items were the best. They made my hair SO silky smooth and my whole bathroom smelled of delicious coconut mixture. I'd buy more of these and most likely will. A+ rating.

Third favorite was the Dr. Teals Relaxing Epsom Bath Salts. Wowee. What a strong lavender scent this had but very relaxing and soothing. The directions say to use the whole bag but I only used half thinking the whole bag was a bit much (plus I wanted my husband to have the opportunity to use some too!). I rubbed some salts on my feet before letting it dissolve in my bath water, ahhhh. I have used Dr. Teals before in my bath bomb making and should I make more I'd give these a whirl. Left my skin feeling nice and soft and I was ready for bed afterwards. A rating.

Moving down the line to my lessor liked products we have the Way Better Snacks in Sweet Chili. When I popped these opened and had my first taste I hated them. I immediately tossed them on my pantry shelf and eventually came back, hard up for a snack, a few weeks later and gave them a second chance. They seemed to taste better, or not terrible like I first had thought so I took them to the couch. A few minutes later and the taste seemed to be gone, like the chips weren't privy to the spice sprayer or something. They were bland, maybe because I let them sit for a few weeks but still, the second time I tried the first chip it did have flavor. The chips look funky with their seeds and what not and I just wasn't a big fan. I tried them with salsa in hopes they would be better and they were slightly. At that point it tasted like a sadder version of a tortilla chip. These chip were not my style. D Rating.

Lastly the Yay App. I have to admit I hated this. Yet ANOTHER app to install on my phone and yet another healthy app that is supposed to keep my exercising in high gear.... Uhh... what exercising? Hah. Maybe that's the point? To get me to exercise? It's going to take more than an app, where I have to add friends, to get me to exercise. #SorryNotSorry. Pretty much added the app and pretended to care because I really just didn't. in fact, the name of my group is "the Lazy Ass" group. Does it get anymore to the point than that? If I were to exercise I'd use my RunKeeper or download MyFitnessPal again because I don't need to add people to be able to use the functions.  F Rating.

And there you have it folks, my honest opinions regarding all the products I received for free from Influesnter. Thanks again to Influenster for sending the items to me, too!