Wednesday, July 17, 2019

The Best DIY Homemade Iced Coffee | Tim Horton & Starbucks Dupe


If you're like me and you love a great iced coffee and saving some money at the same time, read on for my recipe for the ultimate homemade iced coffee...

I've been making iced coffee at home for years. It started out with just some milk and instant coffee but has progressed over the years as I've found some ingredients that have stepped up my coffee to a whole other level. This drink now rivals the iced coffee at expensive coffee houses for a fraction of the price!

Here's my DIY el-cheapo iced coffee recipe:


Nescafe decaf is my choice for instant coffee for this recipe as it dissolves easier and has a rich, bold taste. Choose any instant coffee that you like. They will dissolve as you stir it in the milk.

I use regular milk but you can use lactose-free or any dairy alternative that you like. I recommend organic milk if you are in a country that allows hormones and antibiotics in their milk.

Everything in this recipe is customizable. Just add more or less of each ingredient until you reach your desired taste. You could even make this without the stevia but I don't recommend leaving out the Silk Vanilla Creamer. However, there may be other flavours of this creamer that you could also try.

I don't even measure the Silk Coconut Vanilla Creamer. I probably use more than you need to but this is the product that REALLY takes this iced coffee to the next level, so just keep adding until you love the taste. You don't taste any coconut but it adds a sweet vanilla taste.

If you prefer a chopped ice type of iced coffee, just add more ice and blend in a blender.

This drink is addicting and you'll save TONS of money making your new favourite iced coffee at home! You can thank me later 😋

Let me know how you like it and if you made any changes to the recipe that I need to know about. 


Monday, July 15, 2019

Grit and Zest Athleisure Wear Review


Athleisure wear is still going strong and if you haven't heard of Grit & Zest, you should definitely check them out if you're into the whole athleisure wear thing. Besides their great styles, the quality is impeccable.

I have to admit that it took me some time to get into the whole athleisure wear thing, but I'm glad that I finally did. It's not only fashionable, but it's also comfortable. One of the things I love the most about this trend is that I have one less excuse to workout when I don't have to change my clothes.

I tested out Grit & Zest's Black Valley Sports Bra and their Black Easy Leggings. I went with my usual medium for the Bra but I chose to size up to a large for the leggings as I want them to be comfortable vs tight. I'd say their clothing is true to size. I could definitely have gone with my normal size medium in the leggings as the large is slightly loose on me. For reference, I'm 5.71/2" and 143lbs.


Black Valley Sports Bra

Back of bra

Shell 90% Polyester 10% Spandex, Mesh 93% Nylon, 7% Spandex
 
From Grit & Zest:
Built for medium impact routines, our slim-fitting Valley Sports Bras are made of breathable, anti-wicking, fast-drying, and four-way stretching tech fabric. Featuring a contouring neckline, adjustable straps, mesh details in front and back, and removable cup inserts. This is something special we made for those looking for a low-key counterpart to our Glitter Valley Sports Bras.
 
My take on it:
I love the style of this sports bra. It has a mesh insert in the centre, the perfect amount of padding as well as adjustable straps. I like that the bra has a thick band at the bottom so I don't get any back fat, which is something I always look for in my bras. It fits great, is super comfortable, has great style and is very well made. It even looks cute peeking out of my tank tops. 


Black Easy Legging


Black Easy Legging / Retail $45
90% polyester, 10% spandex

From Grit & Zest:
Our Easy Leggings are made of anti-wicking, fast-drying, and four-way stretching tech fabric. Be comfortable and at ease wearing black full length leggings that fight against sweat marks and leave you feeling dry. These leggings are high-waisted with a gusset that will holdup throughout any vigorous workout. Signature side panel style lines sit perfectly flat against your skin. You won’t feel the seams, which reduces irritation and adds a bit of unique design and fashion to your athleisure attire.

My take on it:
These leggings are quite lightweight which makes me feel less hot in them than my other thicker leggings. As I mentioned before, I find them to be true to size. I am normally a medium but ordered the large to be safe but I find them a little loose, so I should have gone with their size chart and ordered the medium. Otherwise, they are super soft and comfortable and they are really well made. I like that they are higher waisted without being TOO high. I find when I get leggings that are super high-waisted, I feel suffocated. I don't feel that way at all with these. I found these to be quite long so if you're a tall girl you're in luck, otherwise, just roll them up. I like this style because it's so versatile and they can be worn with anything. They can take you from lounging around to running errands and to the gym for a full-on workout. Grit and Zest also sell crops and cutouts if that's something that you are looking for.


Workout-ready. Just throw a top over and I'm ready to head out the door or just lounge around.


Look Ma, no back fat!

   
#nofilter

I find this set to be pretty slimming as I am about 10lbs over my normal weight here thanks to all the ice cream I've been eating this Summer. I may not be some IG fitness model but I sure feel good in this gear! 😊

There are so many more great styles to choose from on Grit & Zest. They are definitely worth checking out. 😍


PR samples. All opinions are mine.

#gritandzest #fitover50

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Suncare Essentials With Live Clean Cruelty-Free Sunscreens


Summer is finally here, officially tomorrow! 🌞 Which means many of us will be getting outside a whole lot more and getting a lot more exposure to the damaging rays of the sun. So it's time to step up our suncare game and protect ourselves and our families from damaging UVA and UVB rays which pose a risk for sun damage, aging skin, and skin cancer.

Although it's a good thing to wear sunscreen all year round, it's important to take extra precautions during the Summer.

When looking for a good sunscreen, look for ones that offer both UVA and UVB protection. Mineral sunscreens are my favourite way to go as they are natural and they physically block UV rays. On the other hand, chemical sunscreens filter the rays and may pose potential health problems. Live Clean's Sunscreens are mineral based, are completely void of any chemical sunscreens, and offer both UVA and UVB protection, they're hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and do not contain nanoparticles.

Live Clean has been my go-to for years when it comes to affordable, accessible, natural mineral sunscreens that work! Live Clean is an eco-friendly beauty brand that uses natural and plant-based ingredients.


Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45:

This is a great choice when you're going in the water or playing sports as it's water and sweat resistant for up to 80 minutes. It has a thick consistency and doesn't leave a white cast like many mineral sunscreens can. It's naturally derived, doesn't contain chemical sunscreens, and is non-nano. It offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

Medicinal ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.0%


Live Clean Face Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45:

This is my favourite SPF to use on my face because it is non-comedogenic and therefore, I don't breakout! Many sunscreens will make me breakout if used on my face but this one does not. It also does not leave a white cast like many mineral sunscreens can. Again, no chemical sunscreens in this on and non-nano as well. This one also offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.

Medicinal Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 9.0%, Titanium Dioxide 7.0%


Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Spray SPF 30:

This spray form is a great choice as it's so easy to apply with its continuous spray nozzle. It's especially helpful if you don't have someone around to help you get areas that you have difficulty reaching. This one offers water and sweat resistant protection for up to 40 minutes. Like the others, this offers broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection and does not contain any chemical sunscreens, and is non-nano.

Medicinal Ingredients: Zinc Oxide 16.5%


Live Clean 98% After Sun Aloe Vera Gel:

This is a must-have! I always make sure we have some all year round as it has so many uses! It has such amazing healing properties and helps to heal skin that's been exposed to the sun and can be used for minor burns. The aloe is naturally hydrating and will soothe your skin and reduce itching. It's 98% certified organic and is a special blend with certified organic Arnica Extract, Australian Tea Tree Oil, plus Vitamin E. Combined, these ingredients will reduce itching, hydrate and soothe your skin while replenishing the skin's moisture barrier.

Like all Live Clean Products, These Are:
  • petrolatum free
  • silicone free
  • paraben free
  • phthalate free
  • dye free
  • vegan
  • gluten-free
  • cruelty-free
  • hypoallergenic
  • fragrance-free
  • dermatologist tested
  • affordable and accessible


Other precautions we can take is to wear a hat, use an umbrella (especially when at the beach), there are even clothes available that have sun protection built in (I've seen some at Old Navy). Don't forget to protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that offer both UVA and UVB protection.


Live Clean products are available at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Well.ca

Wishing everyone a fun-filled and safe summer! 🍉





PR samples. All opinions are mine

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Revive Organics | Frozen Superfood Subscription Box!


@reviveorganics is the busy person's solution to a healthy breakfast or snack!


They are Canada's 1st frozen superfood subscription service. 🌿 They deliver nutrient-rich, delicious smoothies and overnight oats, farm frozen, right to your door, and shipping is FREE!.


It's so easy! Just choose your plan then build your box. You can choose from 12 smoothies and 4 overnight oats. 🍒 They arrive at your door frozen. Toss them in your freezer and follow the simple directions once you're ready to eat! Enjoy them right out of the cup! 😋

I received 3 smoothies and 3 overnight oats. The directions are really simple: add your choice of liquid to the cup, I used almond milk. Blend for the smoothies or put in the fridge overnight for the oats. That's it!

Smoothies



Overnight Oats





Strawberry Zen Smoothie!



Carrot Spice Overnight Oats


These have come in super handy! Now I have no excuse to not have a healthy and nutritious breakfast or snack! So healthy, and super tasty!

I think this would also make a great gift for someone you know who may be going through a difficult or busy time and may not have the time or energy to make themselves a healthy breakfast or snack that they can enjoy at home or on the go.

Delivery is free within Canada and the USA
 and you can skip or add new deliveries anytime!

🌟🌟🌟Use code HEALTH50 For 50% OFF your first box! (Non-affiliate code).🌟🌟🌟 



PR sample. All opinions are mine.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

New! Live Clean Super Fruit Waters Quenching Curls Shampoo and Conditioner Review


I'm so excited to share with you that Live Clean has just launched 2 fabulous new products just in time for summer! If you're a curly and/ or frizzy hair person like me, you know how difficult it can be to deal with this type of hair. Live clean has just made it a whole lot easier with these new products. Read on to learn more..

Live Clean Super Fruit Waters Quenching Curls Shampoo and Conditioner provide curl hydration with ingredients that also tame frizz. The shampoo has micellar water! How cool is that!? 💦 As always, Live Clean has added organic botanicals and extracts. These contain watermelon seed, aloe vera, papaya, and more!


I put these products to the ultimate test by using them on my frizzy hair on a rainy day. I normally hate when I have to wash and style my hair on a rainy day as it makes my frizz that much worse! 

After using the shampoo and conditioner, I could see that as my hair was drying, my hair was not getting frizzy like it normally does.  I thought my hair might get weighed down by the conditioner but it did not. And, the scents are nice, light, and fresh!


Live Clean Super Fruit Waters Quenching Curls Shampoo:
Provides hydration while also taming frizz. This moisture-rich shampoo contains micellar water as well as a blend of certified organic extracts- Watermelon Seed, Aloe Vera, and Papaya. It cleanses without stripping moisture and removes product build-up from your hair which is another enemy of curls. It's hydrating, nourishing, and helps to de-frizz.


Live Clean Super Fruit Waters Quenching Curls Conditioner:
Provides curl hydration, tames frizz all without weighing hair down. It leaves your hair with soft, frizz-free, moisturized curls.

Like all Live Clean products, these are:
  • Plant and naturally derived
  • With certified organic botanicals
  • Petrolatum and paraben free
  • Silicone and phthalate free
  • DEA and phosphate free
  • Dye-free
  • Vegan and vegetarian
  • Cruelty-free- Leaping Bunny Certified 🐰
  • Hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested
  • Contains biodegradable ingredients
  • Packaging is recyclable

My verdict: As a naturally curly/frizzy haired girl, I am super happy with the new Super Fruit Waters Quenching Curls line as it tames my frizz without weighing down my hair. This will certainly come in handy in the upcoming hot and humid months when my hair is usually impossible to deal with!

SRP $7.49-$7.99

Available at: Shoppers Drug Mart, Well.ca, Walmart.ca



PR samples. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Be.ful CBD Bath Bombs | Take Your Relaxation To The Next Level!


We all know that taking a nice hot bath is a great way to unwind and destress, but add some CBD bath bombs into the mix and you've just taken total relaxation to a whole other level!

I recently tested out Be.ful CBD infused bath bombs. Each bomb contains up to 50mg of active CBD compound, made with full spectrum CBD. They are also non-GMO, Paraben-free, Vegan, and cruelty-free.

The 4 pack of bath bombs include Eucalyptus, Lavender, Vanilla, and Peach.

This is the first time that I've accepted bath bombs to test for review consideration. That's because I've never liked the ingredients in most bath bombs. I find that a lot of them contain cheap, toxic and often harmful chemicals that I'm not comfortable using in my bath. After reading the ingredient list for Be.ful CBD bath bombs, I finally found a bath bomb that I felt comfortable using! These bombs are clean! Nothing toxic about them.


From Be.ful:

What is CBD (CANNABIDIOL)?

Cannabidiol (CBD) is a cannabinoid, one of hundreds of chemical compounds found on both marijuana plants and hemp plants, which has shown potential for having benefits ranging from pain relief to epilepsy treatment. Unlike THC, which is known for its psychoactive nature, CBD doesn't get you high. 


CBD is being used medicinally for:

  • Relieving stress
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Reducing chronic pain
  • Preventing diabetes
  • Balanced blood pressure
  • Reducing acne
  • Fighting epilepsy & MS
  • Increasing heart health
  • Reducing depression
  • Sleep disorders
  • Mental wellness
  • Inflammation
  • Fighting obesity
  • Reducing cancer risk

Be.ful's CBD Infused Bath Bombs use premium aromatics, and a proprietary blend of natural oils and herbs, they harness the relaxation powers of, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Vanilla and Jasmine.



INGREDIENTS:

1. Each bath bomb is infused with up to 50mg of CBD

2. Fragrances from Essential Oils - All Natural ingredients - Eucalyptus, Lavender, Vanilla, Peach

3. Base Ingredients before Fragrance:
Sodium Bicarbonate
Citric Acid
Zea Mays (Corn) Starch
Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil
Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil
Magnesium Sulfate
Cannabidiol (CBD)
Water (Aqua/Eau)

I found that I only needed 1/2 a bomb for each bath to get the relaxation that was right for me, so I broke the bombs into smaller pieces and used them that way. This also makes them more affordable. 😊

The scents of the bath bombs are divine. The only one that I wasn't a fan of was the eucalyptus, but that's just a personal preference. After using the bath bombs, I not only left each bath feeling more relaxed and refreshed, but I found the oils in the bomb very hydrating, so I didn't even have to moisturize after my bath. I'm so thrilled to have finally found bath bombs that contain ingredients that I'm comfortable using in my bath!

Each bath bomb kit contains 4 bath bombs. Currently, they are on sale for $39.99.

Be.ful was kind enough to provide a code for my readers to save an additional 10% with code AMY10 (I do not make anything from you using this code).

You can learn more and shop the products at Justbeful.com


ps. I'm joining the ShareAllLinkUp #ShareAllLinkUp


Products were provided free for review consideration. All opinions are mine. No referral links are in this post

Friday, May 24, 2019

How To Declutter Your Closet | Tips, Tricks and Hacks!


So, I kinda Mario Kondo'ed my closet! I say kinda because I used some of her ideas but I didn't follow all of her methods. I can't believe how many things I had that no longer fit, didn't fit well, or I never wore. 🙈 I tend to declutter my wardrobe every season and it was overdue!

I love getting tips from others on how they declutter and what makes them decide to part with something. I figured I'd share my tips on how I tackled my current declutter and ways that I made money so I could purchase some new items.

I did not take all of my items and throw them in a pile per the Marie Kondo method. That might work for some but I have too many things. Instead, I broke things down into sections.

Sections:
  • I started with all of my undergarments and tried on EVERYTHING. Yep, even underwear. I couldn't believe how many bras and undies no longer fit or were just uncomfortable!
  • Outerwear was another category I did on its own. Again, I tried everything on
  • Next, I tackled my dresser and started with the top drawer and worked my way down
  • I went through my closet. Starting at the back and trying on each garment
  • Next were shoes, again, trying everything on
  • On another day, I went through my jewellery, hair accessories, purses, scarves, hats, and other areas of my home

Try Everything On:

I pretty much tried everything on. I especially recommend this if your body seems to change over time like mine does. Even when I got to an item and thought "nope, no need to try this on, I already know I love it." I forced myself to try it on and low and behold many of the items that I thought I'd never part with, I decided to let go of after trying them on.

Factors To Consider:
  • I asked myself "does this spark joy?" taken from Marie Kondo, but often they didn't but they were perfectly good clothes that I use to sleep in, lounge in, clean the house in, run errands in etc. This method may work for some but what worked better for me was to ask myself "Would I buy this in a store today?" If the answer was no, I got rid of it.
  • Do I like it?
  • Does it fit well/ is it flattering?
  • Is it your style?
  • Is it damaged? Can it be repaired? Is it worth repairing?
  • Is it associated with any bad memories? If so, get rid of it.
  • If you are still uncertain about a piece, take a selfie and that often can help you make the final decision. I used this method a lot!

What to do with the get rid of pile:
  • Give to friends and family
  • Donate
  • Garbage or better yet, use anything too beat up to donate as rags
  • Sell

How/ Where to Sell:
  • Consignment shops (Plato's closet, local shops etc.)
  • Online Consignment Apps (Poshmark, Depop)
  • Other Apps: I have a lot of luck with Letgo, there is also Kijiji, Varage sale and more. You can find plenty in the App Store on your phone
  • Garage Sale
  • Facebook Marketplace 
  • Swap (was recommended to me by an online buddy but I've never gone to one)
I donated anything that I didn't think I could sell, which really wasn't much. I sold everything else that was new or like new, which helps me purchase new items 😁 You'd be surprised at what will sell and how easy it is. Although, I will admit that it can be time-consuming. 

Selling inexpensive items in bundles is a great way to make a sale for items that would be difficult to sell on their own. I was able to sell the majority of my items this way, especially the inexpensive clothing from shops like Old Navy etc. Not knocking Old Navy, it's actually my favourite store!

Through consignment shops, Facebook Marketplace, and Apps like LetGo, I was able to sell the majority of my unwanted items. Anything that was of a higher value, I sold on its own, while inexpensive clothing was sold in bundles as described above. I sold everything from shoes, to hats, and even an old jewellery box as well as unwanted makeup!

Decluttering always makes me feel good as I have more open space and room to breathe, but inevitably, the spaces slowly get filled again. 🙈

I didn't touch on storage or organization in this post as this post would be far too long, so I'll save that for another day. What I will add is that bins and vertical space are your friends. :)
.
I hope you found some of my tips helpful! Let me know if you have any tips for decluttering! 💗 

Happy Friday and happy decluttering if you plan on tackling your home!



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