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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Huge May Empties: Health, Beauty, Makeup, and Skincare!



I love reading empties posts as well as sharing what I've used up. 

As someone who is constantly trying out new products, it isn't always easy to finish up products. This month I definitely did well in finishing up quite a few items.

Here is a link to last months empties with a lipstick purge if you are interested in checking it out.

Let's start out with skincare.

Skincare



Garnier Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask- There are 6 masks in this pack. It's a 10-minute sheet mask and I find these very convenient. The masks were very saturated and left my skin feeling smooth and hydrated. I found it on sale for a great deal. I do like the mask and would re-purchase for the right price but unfortunately, I find the regular price in stores is far too high.

Lise Watier Hydraforce Hydra-Protective Comforting Creme- I received this product for trial purposes from Glamsense. I really like the product and found it very hydrating. It did not irritate my reactive skin and I didn't experience any breakouts at all. I would purchase this product if I wasn't constantly trying out new skincare. It definitely does what it says. Full review can be found by clicking this link.

The Face Shop Raspberry Roots Mask- I received this sample from The Face Shop in my local mall. I got 2 uses from the little pot. This definitely isn't the right product for my skin as I woke up with deep acne forming. Luckily, once I stopped the product the acne disappeared.

Oz Naturals Super Youth Under Eye Gel- I received this product for review purposes and I fell in love. It's loaded with advanced skincare technology and although it didn't help with my under eye puffs, it did help with my hooded, over the eye puffs. I love the hygienic dispenser except for the fact that I couldn't tell when I was about to run out. I would purchase this eye gel and I can see why it's an Allure beauty winner! Full review can be found here. 

Kirkland Daily Facial Towelettes- These were one of my go-to makeup removing wipes. They are a good wipe and get the job done. However, I recently discovered a much better value that does the same job. So I probably wont be repurchasing these. A review of my new, budget friendlier makeup wipes can be found here. 

Cotton Rounds- I buy my quilted cotton rounds at the dollar store. There are 100 in a pack and I find they are just as good as the ones in the drugstore. So, for only $1, I will keep repurchasing these.

Makeup




Elf 6pc GEO 2nd Version- Besides the odd name for this palette, it is not a bad palette but it's not great either. Some of the colours are very chunky and just crumble. The colours that I would use are nice and creamy but in such a small pans that it's difficult to get my brush in. I have so many other neutral shadows that I reach for more often, so I am giving this one away.

Essence All About Matt Fixing Compact Powder- I liked this powder but it did leave a tiny bit of a white cast on my skin. I think this is best to be used for touch ups throughout the day instead of using it to set my makeup. I would repurchase it to be used as a touch-up product. Note: Once I hit pan on it ,the product shattered shortly after when I dropped it into my sink. It may be too fragile of a powder to carry in my bag.

Beauty Sponge- This was an Ebay purchase that was supposed to be a dupe for the Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponge. I am so happy that I've repurchased my Real Techniques sponge in a money-saving 2 pack as this "eBay dupe" didn't even come close to being a dupe. Full review can be found here.

Other



Triaxon Ionic XP KeraPro CMC13 Inner Core Reconstructor- I purchased this product EONS ago from The Shopping Channel here in Canada. I always used this product as a leave-in treatment before I would go in for my quarterly highlights. I felt that it helped to protect my hair from the damaging effects of the bleach and hair dye. Sadly, I haven't been able to find this product to repurchase it. 

Tom's of Maine Long-Lasting Deodorant- This is an aluminum free deodorant which is what I like to use on a day to day basis. I try to stay away from aluminum based deodorants/ antiperspirants and save those for certain days where I need more protection. I'm constantly trying new, natural deodorants. I liked this one and would repurchase when I'm not trying something new.

Now Foods Xyli White Toothpaste- Anyone who's seen my hauls or empties posts has seen this one before. This is hands down my favourite toothpaste. It's fluoride, SLS, gluten, and paraben free! I've had better dental check ups since I started this toothpaste. The active ingredient for healthy teeth in this product is Xylitol at 25%! It does come in mint flavours, but I like the cinnamon. 

Supplements



Madre Labs CocoCeps- I repurchase this every month. I use it in my protein drinks. It has heart-healthy antioxidants like organic dark cocoa and immune-boosting organic cordyceps and reishi mushroom powders. This product is unsweetened, so I use stevia to sweeten my beverages. It tastes delicious too! 

Now Foods Kelp Powder- This superfood is rich in iodine and great for thyroid support. I like to add it to my protein drinks with the Cococeps powder mentioned above, and I can't even taste the kelp powder. It's also a vegetarian product. Note: you use so little of this kelp powder that I recommend sharing the bottle with someone. Mine expired before I could use it all.

Nature's Way Alive Once Daily Women's Ultra Potency- My diet is far from perfect. This is a fabulous once a day multi that fills in my nutritional gaps. It contains all the vitamins that I need plus so much more! You really have to check out the ingredients and I think you'll be impressed.  It's food based, has a heart blend of nutrients, plus enzymes, amino acids, fruit and veggie blend, CranRX,  digestive blend, organic mushroom blend plus hair, skin and nails blend. It comes in formulas for men and women, with iron or without plus formulas for 50+.  I'm currently testing out a new multivitamin but I would definitely repurchase this one in the future.

Renew Life Critical Omega- This was my first time trying out this particular fish oil. I try to take a fish oil capsule everyday. I find it helps with my skin and hair but it's also crucial for our hearts and our brains. My favourite fish oil is Jarrow Max DHA which contains higher amounts of DHA which is so important for brain health. 

From iHerb: " DHA is the predominant fatty acid in the brain, nervous system and retina of humans. DHA is important for fetal and infantile neurological development. DHA also supports neurological function in seniors."

Garden of Life Primal Defense- This is the best probiotic I have ever tried. I have a whole blog post dedicated to this wonderful product! I have had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and digestive issues my entire life. This single supplement has taken care of all of my digestive and IBS issues. I have been using it for over 18 years now and I will NEVER be without this product. It's worth its weight in gold. It is pricey but I stock up with the biggest bottle and I find I only have to take one a day now, so it lasts me for 216 days (the value size bottle usually gives you 216 caps).  You can start out with a smaller sized bottle to see how it works for you before you decide on purchasing the "big daddy." It also comes in a powdered form for those who don't like swallowing capsules, as well as a banana flavoured formula for kids

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I used up, what I liked and what I didn't. I tried to be brief with my reviews of each product but in some cases such as supplements, I know that more info is often warranted. 

Please remember to always check with your Doctor before implementing new supplements into your routine as everyone is different and some supplements can interact with some medications.

If you have an empties post I'd love to come and check out what you used up! Please leave a link in the comments!

ps. come and join the fun over at a Fabulous and Fun Life and The best of blogosphere!

*Some products have been gifted for review and some have been purchased by me, my opinions are always honest and my own. Some links may be affiliate links.

Amy
xoxo



Friday, May 27, 2016

Week 7: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight! #injury



This is supposed to be my week 7 update on my get fit and lose weight journey where I list all my workouts and weigh in. Here is a link to last weeks post and also a link to the original post.

I have been pretty much incapacitated since last Wednesday. So, unfortunately, I haven't been able to workout at all.

If you read what I wrote in last week's post on day 2, you'll see that is when I must have caused the injury.

It's been really frustrating and scary too as I've been in chronic pain but didn't know why. I've had a bunch of tests run and after getting all the results in, the Doctor has diagnosed that the problems I have been experiencing are injuries from working out. He's a funny guy and said that the lesson here was that working out is bad for our health! haha

Until my body heals fully, I wont be able to do any working out. It's been very frustrating as I want to keep going with my workouts but I have let my body rest and heal first.

It was during a workout in week 6 when I must have caused the injury. I remember not being up to working out that day. I didn't have the energy to do it but I forced myself  to workout anyways and I know my form was bad because I didn't have any energy. I was really sore all over after the workout but it wasn't until 2 days after that workout that the pain became isolated and chronic.

I am still in pain but I'm letting my body rest, hoping that my body will heal itself and I can get back to working out etc.

My lesson is that if I don't feel the energy to workout but I force myself anyways if in the first few minutes I am still not feeling it, I will stop. It's better not to workout at all than have poor form leading to injuries. Please make sure you do the same!

I hope to be back to normal soon and able to continue working out as soon as I'm able.

Amy
xoxo

Beauty on a Budget: Equate Makeup Removing Towelettes/ Wipes #review



Okay, so where have I been? Or, how come no one ever told me about these? Or, are they brand new?

I was in the market for some new makeup removing/ cleansing wipes. I normally buy the big box of Kirkland wipes at Costco or stock up on Balea wipes when Shoppers Drug Mart has them on sale.


I was at a Walmart in a different town just picking up a few necessities and of course, I had to breeze by the beauty section. And, there on and end-cap were racks and racks of Equate brand wipes. They were in giant boxes for $14, so I had to check them out.



Inside you get 4 full-size packs of wipes, each contains 60 wipes. In total, you get 240 wipes for $14! 

This works out to .058 cents per wipe. Talk about savings!

They are made with chamomile, vitamin E, & Triple Tea Complex.




I find them gentle yet effective. Just as good as any other makeup removing wipe that I have tried! They don't irritate my skin or cause breakouts on my very reactive skin. I was leary because of the price but they proved me wrong. 

They aren't too thin or too small and they are saturated sufficiently. All in all, they take my makeup off just as good as the other wipes I've mentioned.

Anyone who knows me knows that I love my skincare. I spend a lot of money of good quality products, but if I find a place where I can save some money and not sacrifice anything, I'm in!

If you want to save a few bucks (I mean, who doesn't!? It means you can buy more clothes! hehe), give these beauties a try.

What great bargains have you found lately? Please share in the comments.

Amy
xoxo

Monday, May 23, 2016

Fun and Easy Beauty Hacks




I was thinking about some beauty hacks that I use and decided to compile a list.  I had so much fun putting this together for you!

Some of you are probably familiar with some of these hacks but hopefully you'll find some that are new to you.

Many of these are just tips to use when you're in a pinch and you can substitute your normal product or routine with the ones suggested.

  • Use an unscented lip balm to moisturize dry skin around eyes (keep this balm exclusively for this) use your finger to warm up product and pat onto dry skin around eyes as needed throughout the day
  • I'm sure by now everyone knows the tape trick for getting nice crisp lines with your eyeshadow
  • Coconut oil makes a fabulous hair treatment. Apply to dry hair, leave on as long as desired and wash out
  • Use your facial toner as a setting spray
  • Some concealers work great as eye primers. If you've run out of eye primer, try this trick
  • Add moisturizer to your foundation to customize your own tinted moisturizer/ BB cream (use a moisturizer with SPF to increase your sun protection).
  • Add a drop of any beauty oil to your foundation for hydration and to create a dewy look
  • Use olive or coconut oil to remove eye and or face makeup
  • Use hairspray on an eyebrow brush to tame eyebrows
  • Use a brow gel to tame fly away hairs if you're out of hairspray
  • I found Micellar water is great at removing lip stains from your pout
  • Micellar water makes a great facial toner
  • Use matte eyeshadows as brow powders
  • Use a taupe eye liner as a brow pencil
  • Bronzer makes a great eyeshadow, especially as a transition colour
  • Mix a little hair conditioner with water in a spray bottle and shake for a leave-in conditioner
  • Use blush as an eyeshadow
  • Use a shimmery eyeshadow as a face highlight
  • You can also use a shimmery eyeshadow to highlight the center of your lips for a larger looking pout
  • Spritz a tissue with rubbing alcohol to spot clean makeup brushes
  • To smooth out hair and tame flyaways, use a dab of hand moisturizer, rub into hands and gently smooth hands over your hair
  • Make a fab face exfoliator with some rice flour, MSM powder or ground oatmeal, just add water and massage away (mix with an oil or yoghurt for more of a facial. Leave on face, massage, then rinse)
  • A baby wash cloth also makes a great exfoliator, whether you've run out of your exfoliator or not, it's a great and gentle way to exfoliate! (recommended to me by a great esthetician)
  • Exfoliate your lips gently with a baby or soft wash cloth
  • Use olive or coconut oils as beauty oils (apply alone to damp skin, or on top of your favourite serums and moisturizers)
  • Use castor oil on lashes and add a drop to your shampoo for hair growth (I cleaned out a mascara tube and filled with castor oil and apply lightly at night)
  • Use cornstarch as a dry shampoo. This is best if you're hair is light in colour. For dark hair you can add cocoa powder, but you will smell like chocolate! (I like to use a shaker bottle to dispense. A salt or pepper shaker will do)
  • Massage your gums with baking soda for healthy gums and whiter teeth (I don't recommend doing this more than 1-2 times per week)
  • Braid your hair when slightly damp before bed and wake up with gorgeous waves, sans heat. For tighter waves make smaller tighter braids. For looser waves, make large, loose braids
I'm sure there are a ton more beauty hacks. These are just the ones that I use at the moment.

Please share your beauty hacks in the comments below. I'd love to learn some more!

ps. Come link up at fabulousandfunlife for Monday Makeup Madness and The best of blogosphere!

Amy
xoxo

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Week 6: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



Hopefully, this will be my quickest post ever. Not that I don't love blogging! I just want to get this post up for you.. maybe no one is even reading it.. lol

I may not be online very much for a while. Unfortunately, I'm sick and out of commission for now.

Here is last weeks post on my get fit journey in case you missed it. And, here is the link to the first post on this journey.

Here are my workouts for the week:

Day 1- Intentional day of rest for my body
Day 2- Jackie Warner Personal Training DVD - 40 minute Power Circuit Training (Very sore after this workout, and not in a good way. Hence the yoga the next day)
Day 3- Kundalini Yoga, Solar Power DVD - 50 minute Solar Power workout
Day 4- Sick and out of commission
Day 5- "
Day 6- "
Day 7- "

On day 2, I wanted to switch up my workouts so I didn't get bored. So, I broke out another Jackie Warner DVD, her Personal Training DVD. I was very low in energy that day and didn't feel like working out at all. But, I figured that once I got started, I'd get into it, but that didn't happen this time. I must have had horrible form from my severe lack of energy. As a result, I ended up very sore all over, and not that "sore in a good way" after a good workout. I was so sore that I decided to do some yoga. So, I decided to do some Kundalini yoga. I haven't done this type of yoga in at least a year.

My lesson here is that if I don't feel like working out and don't have the energy that day, I may try to do the workout but if I'm still not feeling it, it's better to stop than have improper form and end up with injuries.

Weight- down .5lbs (unfortunately, it's probably from being sick and not from working out)
Body fat- no change

I can't wait to be feeling better and getting back to work and blogging and such. Not to mention working out!

See you soon!

Amy
xoxo


Thursday, May 19, 2016

Oz Naturals Ocean Mineral Facial Tonic #Review



I've been using Oz Natural's Ocean Mineral Tonic for a few weeks now and have noticed improvements in my skin so I wanted to share my experience.

From Amazon: 
  • PROFESSIONAL GRADE
  • PH BALANCED - This anti-aging toner is made using natural ingredients and is safe for most skin types Active ingredients include glycolic acid amino acids ocean minerals Vitamin C and plant extracts.
  • USES THE HIGHEST concentration of natural and active ingredients possible - Never compromising on quality and performance.
  • Natural - Fragrance Free
Using a well-formulated facial toner can supercharge the rest of your skin care regimen. Applied after cleansing and exfoliating, but before your serum and moisturizer, a skin toner can help boost the efficacy of the products layered over it. Our well-formulated face toner also helps to deliver superior benefits to the skin. OZNaturals Ocean Mineral Tonic is a natural skin toner containing a potent blend of glycolic acid, ocean minerals, Vitamin C + amino acids and is considered to be one of the most effective Vitamin C Toners available. The active ingredients in this spray glycolic toner help restore skin, as well as support a synergistic relationship with any skincare products layered on top of it          

My Experience: 

My skin loves this toner! I was afraid I might have breakouts or reaction since I already use Retin-A and this has glycolic acid in it along with many other active ingredients. I had zero bumps or breakouts and my skin looks clearer, brighter and more toned.

I use the toner after cleansing my skin and in between layering my serums, moisturizers, and any oils if I use them. It helps to make my other products absorb better into the skin.

The Glycolic acid turned out to be the perfect addition to my Retin-A treatment. They compliment each other perfectly as the Glycolic acid helps to slough off/ exfoliate the dead skin, making my skin brighter and clearer.

I find my skin is clearer than ever. My acne has cleared up, and old acne scars and other discolorations are fading and my skin is brighter overall.

This product is chocked full of other antiaging and antioxidant ingredients like Vitamin C, Hyaluronic acid, and Algae Extract. I've never found a toner with such active, anti-aging ingredients in it. I am really able to step up my skincare and anti-aging routine by adding this toner to my skincare regimen.

This toner has so many wonderful. active ingredients. that it's like a toner and treatment in one! If you are looking to step up your skincare game, I recommend this product to anyone who wants to improve the look of their skin.

I was also happy that even with all the active ingredients, the product does not irritate my eyes at all when I spray it on. It is also gentle on my skin yet effective. The product is fragrance free too, which is another added bonus.

Add in that the product is paraben free, 99.4% natural, and this company is cruelty-free and can I just say "winning!"

I received this product free for review purposes. This does not sway my opinion. As always the opinions in this review are 100% honest and my own.


Amy 
xoxo

Monday, May 16, 2016

I Won a Dave Lackie Beauty Giveaway!


I won a Dave Lackie Twitter giveaway!

I was so excited!

Thanks again, Dave!!!

Dave Lackie is the king of beauty gurus! I've watched him on Cityline TV for years. I've been watching Fashion Friday on Cityline for too many years to count. Plus, Makeover Madness on the first Tuesday of every month. They're such fun shows!

Dave Lackie is a makeup, skincare, and beauty expert. He gives insider beauty tips and hosts giveaways every day on Twitter, his blog, and his Instagram. If you're not already following him and you like everything beauty related, you really should!

Here's a link to his Twitter page and his blog. Oh, his giveaways are international, too! He's so generous and I really don't know how he keeps up with everything. 

Was I excited when I just finished baking (in the oven, not makeup wise) and saw that my phone practically blew up with messages of congratulations, and I saw that I won this fabulous Estee Lauder giveaway.  The package showed up the next day!

Here is what I won:


  • Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Synchronized Recovery Complex II
  • Estee Lauder Little Black Primer


I had tried Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair serum way back when it first came out (it was a different version of this one). I was in my 20's and a friend asked why I was using something that I "didn't need yet." I guess the truth is I'm just a skincare junkie. I remember when my best friend and I would go to Shoppers Drug Mart to buy eye cream when we were 16 years old! The only one they sold back then was a pink gel eye cream by Loreal (I think).

Anyways, I've been using this Estee Lauder serum since I received it on May 12th. I've actually been using it during the daytime since I use Retin-A at night.

I swear I'm seeing and feeling a difference already! I need less makeup and my skin feels firmer. I was hoping I wouldn't love this serum so much, as it's much pricier than when I purchased the serum in my 20's. Okay, that was a long time ago so what can I expect, right!?



I've yet to try the Little Black Primer.

Look for updates on these products, either in a separate post or in my monthly empties post.

ps. come and join the blogger linkup over at Fabulousandfunlife!

Amy
xo

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New! Live Clean Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen SPF 45, Baby and Sport Formulas



I am so excited that my favourite natural and cruelty-free line at the drugstore has just introduced new Sunscreens to the market!

Since May is skin cancer awareness month, this is a great opportunity for all of us to be reminded of the importance of sunscreen and to be sun-safe.

As much as I believe that the sun is vital for our health, I also believe in always wearing sunscreen (even on cloudy days) to protect my skin from the powerful rays of the sun. It's not only the best way to prevent aging of our skin, but also our best tool to stay safe in the sun and decrease our risk of skin cancer.

If like me, you are looking for an alternative to chemical-laden sunscreens, Live Clean is all natural and has just introduced two brand new mineral sunscreens to the market:

  • Live Clean Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45  
  • Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45

Formulated with: Zinc Oxide 9.0% , Titanium Dioxide 7.0% 

Both formulas contain skin loving ingredients like aloe, shea butter, echinacea extract, green tea extract, crambe abyssinica seed oil (similar to jojoba oil- deeply hydrating and used in place of silicones), and more.

These formulas are moisturizing, non-greasy, and 98% naturally derived in a non-whitening mineral formula.

Mineral sunscreens are a healthier alternative to using chemical sunscreens. Most mineral sunscreens use nanoparticles, but Live Clean's formulas do not!


Live Clean Baby Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45
113 g, SRP $16.99

Live Clean created this gentle formula specifically for babies sensitive skin.


Live Clean Sport Mineral Sunscreen Lotion SPF 45
113 g, SRP $16.99

The Sport formula was created to hold up against perspiration and swimming.


Both formulas are:

  • Moisturizing
  • Broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection
  • SPF 45
  • 98% naturally derived
  • Lightweight
  • Non-whitening
  • Water resistant (80 minutes)!
  • Non-greasy
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Dermatologist tested
  • Vegetarian 
  • Cruelty-free
  • Eco-friendly
  • Affordable
  • Accessible 


Formulated without: 

  • Paraben free
  • Phthalate free
  • Dye free
  • SLS free
  • DEA free
  • Silicone free
  • No synthetics/ chemicals
  • No nanoparticles
  • Petroleum free
  • Gluten free
  • Fragrance free

As you can see, what's not inside is just as, if not more important, than what is inside!

Don't forget to also protect your eyes with a good pair of sunglasses that also block UVA and UVB rays. Consider wearing a hat for extra protection when you'll be in the sun for extended periods of time. And, examine your skin regularly at home and with your Doctor or Dermatologist to detect any changes.

These products are available at Walmart and Shopper Drug Mart and retail for $16.99 each.


Live Clean is a Canadian company that not only offers natural products that work but they are also cruelty-free! They have been my go-to brand for years!

Happy sun-blocking!

*PR samples provided for consideration. As always all opinions are honest and my own.

Amy
xoxo

Friday, May 13, 2016

Amazing $1 Beauty Deals!

I'm known as quite the bargain shopper and I love to share deals that I find with my readers. 

There are a few beauty deals going on right now that I had to share because they are such amazing deals at only $1 each and I'm not sure how long they will last.

You can get them free with $5 off coupon code AGU725 
Just enter the code on checkout or use this link (all items listed are found in this link).



on sale for $1

Info: 
  • Natural
  • Gentle
  • Cleanses
  • Moisturizes
  • Tones
  • With Aloe Vera*
  • Undistilled Witch Hazel*
  • pH Balanced
  • Suitable for All Skin Types
  • Cruelty Free
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging
  • Made from Biodegradable Ingredients


The second item is also a Madre Labs Witch Hazel, alcohol-free toner but this one has Rose oil extract. Full size.

on sale for $1

Info:
  • Natural
  • Gentle
  • Cleanses
  • Moisturizes
  • Tones
  • With Aloe Vera*
  • Undistilled Witch Hazel*
  • Natural Fragrance form Rose Oil Extract
  • pH Balanced
  • Suitable for All Skin Types
  • Cruelty Free
  • Eco-Friendly Packaging
  • Made from Biodegradable Ingredients


The 3rd and last item in this post is this Madre Labs 5 piece makeup brush set that comes with a travel pouch! 

Also on sale for $1

Info:

new five-piece mini-brush set has you covered. These brushes included sustainable, natural bamboo handles with soft nylon bristles. The ferrules are made from recycled aluminum and the convenient carrying case is cotton. This little kit has everything you need to apply your make up like a pro.
  • Includes: Eye shadow brush, Kabuki brush, Powder brush and Concealer brush
  • For Use On the Face, Eyebrows, Skin and  Eyelids
  • Odorless, Latex-free
  • Hypoallergenic Materials
  • Cotton Carrying Case Included

Talk about amazing deals!

All these brands are cruelty-free!

There are more deals to be found but these were the best ones that I came across today. They also carry ELF Cosmetics, Real Techniques, and more!

I hope you get to score some of these deals. I'm sure they wont last long.

Happy shopping!!

*This post contains referral links. As always you don't have to use these links, but it is very much appreciated if you do!

Amy
xoxo

Week 5: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!


This is week 5 of my lose weight and get fit journey. Here is the link to the original post.

If you saw last weeks post (linked here), you know that my Jillian Michael's Ripped in 30 DVD broke. So, this week I decided to use my One-On-One Training with Jackie DVD.

The One-On-One Training with Jackie DVD is also an HIIT (high-intensity interval training) style workout- alternating weights with cardio.

The DVD has 3 workouts on it: 
  • upper body (20 min)
  • lower body (20 min)
  • core (20 min) 

20 minutes seems like a lot for just a core workout but I just do a portion of it, at least for now.

Jackie spends one minute on each exercise so you really get to workout each muscle group.

This week I used 5 lbs weights for all upper and lower body workouts.

I love that each workout is only 20 minutes, so it's really hard to find an excuse to NOT do it! And, I can feel that I'm really working my muscles which I love!

This DVD is much more simple in its exercises than the Jillian Michael's one and I find I'm enjoying it a lot more.

I wasn't great with my diet, though. I even had ice cream a few nights this week, just cause I'm a rebel like that! haha

I'm never going to be one to deprive myself when it comes to food. I wont starve myself. I do my best to eat healthy foods but I'm still going to enjoy small amounts of ice cream and such.

This week I feel changes happening to my body. I don't see them yet, but I can feel them. I feel muscles forming and that is enough to keep me going.

Here are the workouts I did this week:
(Note: I used the One-On-One with Jackie DVD for all 7 days this week)

Day 1- Upper Body - 20 min
Day 2- Lower Body- 20 min + Core- 7 min
Day 3- Upper Body - 20 min
Day 4- Lower Body - 20 min
Day 5- Upper Body - 20 min + 50 crunches + 50 reverse crunches
Day 6- Lower Body - 20 min + Core - 10 min
Day 7- Upper Body - 20 min

I weighed in on Friday morning as usual. Here are my results:

Weight: no change
Body fat: no change

Whaaat!?!?

I was really hoping/expecting to see some results on the scale since I really can feel my body changing now and I worked out every single day. But, I can feel those muscles building. So, I don't care what the scale says at this point. When you feel your body changing, that's motivation enough!

Do you know of any great at home workout DVD's that are short in length but work? Please leave a comment below!

Amy
xoxo

Thursday, May 12, 2016

My Spring and Summer Fragrance Collection!



I don't know about you guys but I love to change my fragrances based on the time of year. In the spring and summer, I start to crave lighter scents.

Although I don't have a large fragrance collection, I do have a few. One that is my go-to signature scent and a few that I use in the Spring and Summertime which are the one's I'm featuring in this post.



I've never been a fan of musky or heavy scents. Even my signature, an all-year-round scent is on the fruity side. If you're wondering, my signature scent is Brittany Spears Fantasy. It just goes with my chemistry I guess. 

Anyhow, I really like light, citrus, and fruity scents, with a bit of floral.. not too much floral, though. 

Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange

My first summer fragrance purchase was this Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange roll-on perfume. Pacifica perfumes are made with natural and essential oils. Just as the name implies it has a refreshing orange scent to it. Described as a blend, juicy and spicy Blood Orange is offset with subtle Strawberry and Raspberry notes and grounded in fleshy Mandarin and Italian Sweet Orange.

I also own the Pacifica Tuscan Blood Orange in a solid perfume (shown above). I love the solid perfume as I can throw this in my purse or use for travel without worry of any leaks. It's great to freshen up with this when you're on-the-go. The solid perfumes are made with organic soy and coconut wax.

Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom

The second Pacifica perfume I purchased is Malibu Lemon Blossom which has taken over as my favourite from this line. It's a very interesting fragrance and the most unusual of the bunch. As time went on I grew to love this one more and more. I will be purchasing it in the solid as well, as I like to throw them in my bag and use it as a little pick me up throughout the day. I find this one particularly good as a "pick me up."

Malibu Lemon Blossom is described as follows, "captures the free spirit of the Pacific Ocean with Lemon Blossom, Litsea Cubeba, flowering Angel's Trumpet, fresh herbs and salty sea breezes."

The Pacifica fragrances are:

  • cruelty-free
  • vegan
  • no parabens
  • no phthalates 
  • no propylene glycol
Sonia Kashuk Yellow Alluriana

My newest summer fragrance is Sonia Kashuk's Yellow Alluriana Eau De Toilette which I purchased at Target. This one also grew on me more and more as time went on. It's another refreshing one. I also have the matching body butter. This scent is also a great "pick me up" type of scent.

Note: It wasn't until I did research for this post that I found out that this fragrance was an award winner! "Award Winner: December 2013 WWD, Beauty INC “Best Product of the Year – Mass Fragrance"

Yellow Alluriana is described on Sonia Kashuk's site as "a burst of refreshing citrus notes and crisp verbena plays to the sensuality of musk, for the happiest, most vibrant and uplifting fragrance. A delight for the lively, bubbly and free-spirited." That's me... a free-spirit! I think the musk in this is what had me hesitate to buy it initially. But it has grown on me and I probably wear this one the most now.

I also get a huge craving for this Avalon Organics Hand & Body lotion in Ylang Ylang body lotion at the start of every spring. It is so refreshing, I can't even tell you... you just have to smell it! I use the lavender one by Avalon Organics all winter long and then switch to the Ylang Ylang scent as soon as winter ends. I just haven't repurchased it yet as I have several lotions to finish up first.


Avalon Organics Ylang Ylang Hand & Body Lotion




All of these fragrances are cruelty-free.

What are your favourite spring and summer fragrances?

PS. Come and join the blogger fun over at a fabulousandfunlife and best-of-the-blogosphere-linky-party!

Amy
xoxo

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Montlhy iHerb Haul: May- Health, Vitamins, Superfoods, and Beauty!


This month's iHerb haul is a small one but a good one! They were having a great sale, so I had to stock up on a few items.

Here is a link to last months iHerb haul if you'd like to see what I purchased in April.


Here is what I scored:

- Paradise Herbs, Orac-Energy, Earth's Blend, One Daily Superfood, Multivitamin with Iron x2- wow, that's a mouthful! But, this multivitamin is chocked full of great ingredients. It's a superfood multivitamin with whole-food goodness, vitamins, minerals, probiotic, and herbs. It's also a best of supplements award winner. And, you only need to take one per day! Click here for more info. (note: they also have a formula without iron). I paid $14.99 per bottle.

I'm hoping these will fill in my nutritional gaps and give me some much-needed energy!

From iHerb: "Based on our original ORAC-Energy Green Formula, just one vegetarian capsule provides the antioxidant power of over 7 servings of fruits and vegetables (4000 + ORAC) while supporting sustained energy, focus, vitality, immunity, and well-being."

- Nature's way, Chelated Iron, 18mg- I need extra iron in my diet and chelated is the way to go. This is an inexpensive way to add the extra iron that I need. I paid only $5.98 for 100 caps.

- Real Techniques Miracle Complexion Sponges, 2 pack- iHerb also sells this product as a single but I went for the two pack to save a little money. I already know that I love this makeup sponge. iHerb often offers sales, like 20% off beauty products and that's a great time to stock up! This was $10.99 for two.

Paradise Herbs, Once Daily Superfood Multivitamin

    Nature's Way, Chelated Iron                                              Real Techniques Beauty Sponge

I hope you enjoyed seeing what I purchased this month.

If you've never shopped at iHerb I highly recommend them for their huge product selection from health to beauty products and everything in between.

Their international shipping rates are so low. I usually pay a flat rate of $4 USD to Canada.

They also have the best selection of vegan, vegetarian, and cruelty-free products.

*You can get $5 off your first order by using this link or entering coupon code AGU725 during checkout.

Don't forget to check the top iHerb's page for specials, trials, and daily deals!

As always, check with your health care provider before beginning any new supplements.

Happy shopping!!

*Some links are referral links and we will both save if you use them. If you choose to use my referral code, I greatly appreciate it!

Amy
xoxo


New! Revlon Volume + Length Magnified Mascara #Review



Revlon has a new line of mascaras out, linked here. There's supposed to be a formula for everyone, depending on what look you're going for. 

Here are the options in the new line:The All-In-One, Dramatic Definition, Super Length, Ultra Volume, and Volume + Length Magnified.

I received a $5 off coupon so I decided I had to pick one up and give it a try. I mean who doesn't love trying new mascaras!?

I had heard some mixed reviews on the one with the red cap, I'm pretty sure it's the Ultimate All-In-One. So, I went with something different.

I chose the Volume + Length Magnified mascara in Blackest Black #301 because I want both volume and length.

From the package: "High shine black fiber formula provides amplified volume and length."

Ha! I had no idea that this one had fibers until I read the packaging when I got home.



Let me just say that I adore the brush! I could feel the bristles on this wand grip every lash. It was amazing! This has to be my favourite mascara wand.... ever!

This must be why- From the package: "Square brush designed to anchor formula to lashes for intense volume and length." ( I didn't notice the brush being square).



As you can see it gave me tons of length and a good amount of volume too. I'd say this definitely gave me more in the length department vs. volume, although I did get both.



Had to get some strange angles to show just how much length I got.


Here it is at the end of a long day. It wore all day. I didn't have any transfer with my hooded eyes, no smudging, and no flaking!

Thankfully, it was also very easy to remove and I didn't lose any lashes.

I am so glad that I picked this up. I think I may have a new favourite mascara! Okay, maybe that's jumping the gun a little. I will have to see how it performs over the next 3 months. But, so far I'm super impressed!

This retails for around $9.99.

Have you tried any of Revlon's new mascaras? If so, which one(s) and what was your experience?

Thanks for stopping by!

Amy
xoxo

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Week 4: My Health and Weight Loss Journey to Get Fit and Lose Weight!



This is my week 4 update of my health and weight loss journey. Here is a link to last weeks if you'd like to check it out.

I didn't even get a chance to do this post until today. It was a super busy week for me.

My Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 DVD broke on me right at the beginning of level 3! So much for finding out if I would have gotten ripped in 30....



I will say that level 3 was tougher. The exercises weren't as enjoyable as in the other 2 levels. I had some trouble with balance during week 3/level 3- and I usually have great balance.

I will also say that I've come to realize that I don't enjoy doing the same workout every day. 

Although, if the DVD didn't break on me, I would have continued with the DVD for the 4 weeks, just to see what kind of results I would have gotten (even if I wasn't able to do the workout every single day).

I have plenty of other DVD's that I can use and rotate through. I think I will enjoy it more when I change up what I am doing more often.

After my J.M. DVD bit the dust, I hit up my treadmill for a little workout.



Here are my workouts of the week:

Day 1- J.M. Ripped in 30 - week 3/level 3
Day 2- No workout
Day 3- J.M. Ripped in 30- week 3/ level 3 (DVD broke!)
Day 4- 30 minutes of HIIT on treadmill (walk 2 min / jog 1 min) + 50 bike crunches + 40 squats with overhead press (8lb weights) + 20 pushups + 40 arm curls (8lb weights)
Day 5- No workout (Thanks to a "visitor") ugh. 
Day 6- No workout  "
Day 7- 20 minute walk on treadmill

I did weigh in Friday morning.

My weight - no change
Fat % - no change

waah!

I hope this coming week will be better and I hope to see some results when I weigh in next Friday.

Have you found any great at home workout DVD's? I would love to find a few new and enjoyable one's that work!

Amy
xoxo

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Alba Botanica Broad Spectrum Sunscreens: SPF 40 for Face, Sports, and Kids



May is skin cancer awareness month. So, in this post, the spotlight is on protecting our skin with broad spectrum, natural sunscreens.

Did you know that 1 in 5 Americans will develop skin cancer in the course of a lifetime?!

With summer just around the corner, many of us are thinking about our summer plans, whether it be summer vacations, getting to the beach or just looking forward to more outdoor activities.

Little fact: Sunscreen is actually my number 1 anti-aging tip (just wish I knew in my 20's).



I'm all ready for summer. I've got my favourite flip-flops and sunglasses ready, and I've already upped my sunscreen game with a higher SPF for Spring and Summer.

I'm currently using Alba Botanica for my sunscreen. With an SPF of 40 in a broad spectrum and water resistant formula, I feel protected from the harmful rays of the sun.

Alba's sunscreen range offers water resistance formula's for the face, sports, and for kids.

Alba is one of my go-to brands for all natural, cruelty-free products, and they leave out all the nasty chemicals. Their formula's are 100% vegetarian and broad spectrum, which includes both UVA and UVB protection. 


These formula's are fantastic! They are super moisturizing, absorb right into the skin with no greasy residue and do not leave any white cast.

They are also fragrance free, PH balanced, and dermatologist tested.

They also contain botanical extracts known for their moisturizing properties. Botanicals like Lavender Flower, Aloe Leaf, Calendula Flower, Camelia Leaf Extract, Chamomile Flower, Coneflower, Ginko Biloba, and Ginseng Extract.

I'm so happy that Alba has a formula specific for the face as many SPF's for the body can make me breakout.

For extra sun protection, I like to layer sunscreen with other beauty products that also contain sunscreen, like my tinted moisturizers and BB creams. 

This brings me to another point about sun protection, which is a good pair of sunglasses, which I never forgo these days. Make sure to purchase one's that have UV protection.

When I was young, I used to literally bake my skin in the sun with baby oil. Now that I know better, I take extra care to protect my skin. Even on the most overcast days the UV rays are still out and sometimes even stronger than on a sunny day. 

The lines on my left eye are evidence that the sun even penetrates our car windows. I commuted to work for years with the sun beaming into the driver's side window and my right eye is virtually line free!


Alba's formula for kids also offers broad spectrum SPF 40 in a water resistant, non-greasy formula that is fast absorbing. 

Available in a lotion (113g) or convenient spray (110ml)

Both retail for only $9.99



Alba also offers a Sports formula for the sports enthusiast.

With broad spectrum SPF 40 in a sweat-proof, water resistant formula.

Available in a lotion (113g) or convenient spray (110ml)

Both retail for only $9.99

I don't believe that the sun is a bad thing. In fact, I believe the opposite- the sun is vital to life and our health. We just have to be sun-safe. That includes applying broad spectrum sunscreen daily, even in overcast weather, and of course wearing a good pair of sunnies.

I am so glad that natural and cruelty-free companies like Alba Botanica offer a great line-up of sun care products.  I really appreciate that this line is made with healthy ingredients and is free of nasty chemicals.

Benefits:

SPF 40
broad spectrum UV protection
water resistant
fragrance free
lotion or spray formulas
vegetarian
fast absorbing
non-greasy
PH balanced
dermatologist tested

Formulated Without:

parabens
phthalates
artificial colours
propylene glycol
aluminum
mineral oil
petrolatum
oxybenzone
PABA
nano-particles
DEA
MEA or TEA
PEGs and PEG derivatives
ethoxylated ingredients associated with 1,4 dioxane
formaldehyde donors
GMOs

As you can see, and I'm sure you're aware, what's not inside is equally, if not more important than what is inside. 

The long list above of what Alba's products are formulated without are known, or believed to have negative effects on health, and many are hormone disruptor's. Remember, our bodies absorb whatever we put on it. Just think of the nicotine patch, birth control patch or even hormone creams.

Personally, I can't wait to stock up on some natural vitamin D but I want to do it safely, so you wont catch me without my sunscreen and my sunglasses on.

Alba Botanica has been one of my go-to lines for natural and cruelty free products for years. They have been around since 1979!

If you're looking for some sun protection that's natural, affordable, and without all the nasties, Alba is a great choice.

Whatever your plans are this summer, have fun and stay safe!

Ps. come and join the blogger linkup parties over at fabulousandfunlife and the best of blogosphere!

*PR samples provided for consideration. As usual, all opinions are 100% honest and my  own.


Amy
xoxo


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