Thursday, April 30, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 4 Update- Final Week!?

Today is technically the last day of my 30 days of fitness challenge. Dealing with a sick family member this last week made it really tough to get my workouts in and although it was on my mind, it wasn't the first thing on my mind for obvious reasons. Due to this, I would like to extend this challenge by a week and kind of pretend this week never happened, and I will make next week the final week of this challenge.  

I did get in a couple of workouts this week and will list and link them as usual, but there's really not much to report this week.  Also, the stress of dealing with a sick family member certainly didn't help with eating a healthy diet. The usual stress cravings kicked in as well as time being an issue so I was reaching for quick foods like pizza more often.. not that I'd ever stop eating pizza anyways, I just ate more of it!

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days:
  1. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  2. Toning- YouTube- Jessica Smith Full Lower Body Exercise  (40 min)- Awesome workout!
  3. No workout
  4. No workout
  5. No workout
  6. No workout
  7. No workout 

Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.0 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs 

Wow, it was almost more painful for me typing "no workout" over and over again in the days listed above rather than doing a workout.  But family comes first and I am just reminding myself that there's always tomorrow. And one rule I've always lived by (sometimes to my detriment) is that rules were made to be broken, so I'm breakin' em, and I will continue the challenge this coming week-starting tomorrow.  I am also thinking that once the challenge is over, I may start a Fitness Friday to keep up my workouts and progress, keep me accountable and make sure that I reach my goals and stay there.

As far as my weight goes, I have found from A LOT of past experience that my weight is mostly affected by my diet and not exercise, so yes, i need to tweak my diet too. But, there are so many benefits and results that I am looking forward to from exercising that I really want to keep it up. I don't focus so much on the scale but rather how my clothes fit, how I feel and am I gaining muscle and losing fat, those are my objectives.

If you've been working out, I would love to hear any tips, tricks or even great workout resources that you have found or use yourself.

Xo Amy

Friday, April 24, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 3 Follow Up + HUGE Skinny Teatox giveaway {over}

The last week has really been up and down with my workouts. I've had some rather large obstacles that made it impossible to workout on some days but life happens sometimes and you can't beat yourself up about that. Despite this I am sticking with the challenge and will update my progress and workouts completed in this post. If you missed the post regarding the challenge, here is a link to it 30 Days of Fitness Challenge.

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days:
  1. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (35 min)
  2. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  3. No workout- family outing
  4. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss yoga, total body yoga (24 min)
  5. Toning- The Firm Hi-Def Sculpt Express workout (25 min)
  6. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (65 min)
  7. No workout- sick :(
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.5 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.0 lbs
The scale doesn't seem to want to budge very much but I'm definitely firming up and that's enough to keep me going. Hopefully next week will be better. I know that if I keep at it I will eventually see the results I want and that keeps me motivated!

If you haven't heard of Skinny-Teatox yet, they are currently holding a HUGE giveaway right now! I haven't tried their products yet but have been hearing a lot of buzz about them and hope to soon. Check out the contest if you are interested, it's a big one!!

$1,200 Victoria's Secret & Teatox Giveaway- Enter here!

Here is a link to their website if you just want to check them out- skinny-teatox

See you next week!

Xo Amy

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pure + Simple and Holistic Vanity #earthday Celebration Specials!

I have been shopping at Pure and Simple Spa's for a few years now. For the last two years I have participated in their amazing Earth Day celebration and I already can't wait until next year!

All you have to do is bring in some empty skin care products from any brand for recycling and they will give you 50% off of their products (Maximum 3 products per person.) Included in this sale is the Pure + Simple line, Holistic Vanity as well as their Minimalist line. They have 3 spas in Toronto and  1 in Waterloo. If you live out of town they even offer a mail in program to participate. 

I stocked up on 2 of my favourite skin serums: 100 ml Algae Serum
And I traded in my empty Holistic Vanity Argan oil to try their Camellia Oil: 100 ml Camellia oil
I even received a free sample size of their all natural deodorant. 

Remember, you will get 50% off on Earth Day, April 22nd. If you miss this sale they always have monthly sales on different products, usually 15%-20% off.

I'm excited to try the Camellia oil. It's not only for Rosacea! It's supposed to be very calming to the skin and it has great reviews on their website. After a quick "google" search, I see that Camellia oil has numerous skin benefits and it's non-comedogenic (wont clog pores or cause acne.)

If you're in the Toronto or Waterloo area and want to participate, they are open until 9pm tonight (Waterloo is open until 7 pm.) Or you could call their head office and ask about the mail in program.  
Pure + Simple Contact info

How are you celebrating Earth Day?

(this is not sponsored and I purchased everything with my own money. I just love their products and service!)

Xo Amy

Monday, April 20, 2015

Haul: Makeup, Beauty and Clothing- Marshalls, Elf, Wet n Wild, Jordana, Sinful Colors with Swatches!

I have a small haul that I wanted to share today. It's mostly inexpensive drugstore makeup, a few dollar store finds as well as a fashion item that I'm loving and one I'm crying over leaving behind. :(

I scored these floral pajama bottoms pictured above at Marshall's for only $12.99. They are so comfy and light and perfect for summer. They are 3/4 length, cotton blend and have front and back pockets. They are super-flattering on. The manufacturer tag is still on them. They are made by a company called Jane & Bleeker New York and retail for $38.00. 

Since I'm on the topic of Marshall's here are the Michael Kors shoes that I left behind! 

I came across these shoes in a size 7 (not my size). They were on clearance for $80 and since I'm on a budget right now I didn't go looking for my size and I'm regretting it. I swear I could get rid of all the high heels that I currently own if I just owned this one pair! The picture isn't even doing them justice. They have rich gold hardware as well as a gold zip up the back.  Maybe I will go back and try to find my size- I need these in my life!

Dollar store finds:

Just a few finds from the dollar store. I didn't add the food items since I didn't think they were too exciting. I thought this pack of price stickers would come in handy for our yearly garage sale. I found this great eye mask for only $1 and this Sassy + Chic foot file that I've heard is pretty good.

Makeup Finds: 

As you can probably see I couldn't control myself and I broke into everything already!

Clockwise: Wet n Wild Lipstick in Will You Be With Me/ Elf Smudge Pot in Cruisin Chic/ Jordana Twist & Shine Moisturizing Balm Stain in Gorgeous Peony/ Jordana Easy Liner for Lips in Rose Crush/ Elf  Eye Shadow Quad in Blushing Beauty/ Sinful Colors nail colour in Tempest (Bonus: These brands are cruelty-free)

Elf Smudge Pot and eye quad in Blushing Beauty:

Elf eye shadow swatches:

From left to right: Elf Smudge Pot in Crusin Chic/ Elf eye shadow quad in Blushing Beauty (the cream colour and mid-tone brown in the palette are matte,)  I did a quick eye look with these yesterday and I was very happy with it!

Lip Swatches:

From left to right: Wet n Wild lipstick in Will You Be With Me/ Jordana Easy Liner for Lips in Rose Crush/ Jordana Twist & Shine in Gorgeous Peony (the Wet n Wild lipstick goes on much brighter than it appears in the tube)

Sinful Colors in Tempest

I've been addicted to purple and lavender nails for at least a year now and I'm still loving them!

I hope you enjoyed my little haul and the swatches. Let me know if you'd like any reviews on these products or if you've tried them, what are your thoughts?

Xo Amy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 2 Follow Up

It's been 2 weeks since I challenged myself to 30 days of fitness. It's been a challenge alright. Trying to find the time and having enough energy are my biggest challenges so far. As much as I feel good after completing a workout and keeping up with the challenge, some days I feel like I just can't do it. Despite this, I am pushing myself and that's part of the point; sometimes we need a push and it has to come from within ourselves, no one else is going to do it for us. The motivation comes from whatever it is we desire; wanting a better body, better health, better sleep, a better outlook or just being able to fit into all our clothes.  Whatever our motivation is, we have to use it as a powerful tool to get ourselves going and to stay on track.

I don't want the challenge to end after 30 days, I want this to become a habit, a way of life. That is another point to this challenge for me- to make fitness a part of my daily routine, to find the time, to make the time, to find forms of exercise that I enjoy and keep at it!

Over the past 7 days of this challenge there were some days that I just wasn't up to doing much of anything. But, for the most part, I chose to do some form of activity rather than do nothing (with the exception of one fail day.) I will list the exercises that I chose to do over the last week and you will see that I found many options for those days that I didn't have the time or energy. I will link to items I used in my workouts this week where possible.

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 7 days (Day 9-15):
  1. Fail
  2. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss yoga, total body yoga (24 min)
  3. Yoga- Sara Ivanhoe's Candlelight yoga (45 min)
  4. Toning- The Firm's Hi-Def Sculpt complete workout (45 min)
  5. HIIT- 7 Minute Workout App -it's free! (7 sweaty
  6. Toning- The Firm Hi-Def Sculpt Express workout (25 min)
  7. HIIT- Youtube video- Fitness Blender's Brutal Fat Burning Cardio HIIT (27 min)
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Last week: 143.5 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs

Despite my one fail day, I chose an activity on 6 out of the 7 days, which I don't feel bad about at all. I'm not beating myself up over a fail day or even a shorter workout day as it's better than what I was doing before this challenge ie. nothing! Even on some of my most limiting days I found a way to squeeze in a little workout. For instance, some of the DVD's I have offer shorter workouts, and I finally used an app that I've had on my cell phone for eons- the "7 Minute Workout." It was a great workout and I actually worked up a sweat! Even though it was only 7 minutes, it felt good to get in a workout that day. I'm impressed with the app. and will definitely use it again.

I've read a lot of research over the last few years which says that they are finding out that short bursts of exercise are more beneficial than longer more traditional workouts.  Along those lines, HIIT or "High Intensity Interval Training" is gaining more and more popularity due to its purported benefits over conventional workouts. Many of you are probably familiar with or have heard of it. HIIT is basically a form of exercise where you alternate high intensity exercises with low intensity ones. One example would be running quickly for a few minutes and then walking for 1 minute (your rest period). This style of exercise is supposed to burn fat much more effectively than a steady paced workout. Here is Wikipedia's description of HIIT.

I may not have lost any weight but that's okay, I feel I am toning up already!

If you know of any great workout DVD's or app's please let me know.

Xo Amy

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Target Canada Closing Liquidation Sale- Final Haul: Health, Beauty, Makeup, Home

I did a few Target hauls during their liquidation sale here in Canada. The stores near me closed their doors for good this past Sunday and I decided to make a couple few more trips before they departed as I heard they had everything marked down to 80% off! I wanted to see if there was anything worth getting and take advantage of 80% off of course.

Just before the 80% markdown they were at 70% markdowns and the stores were still brimming with products. By the time I went back during the 80% markdown the store was pretty much bare. They had some health and beauty products, home products, a TON of Sonia Kashuk products as well as racks and racks of basic T-shirts for only $2, but that was pretty much it.

70% off sale

Above is the what the store looked like just days before the 80% off sale. I wasn't able to get photos during the 80% off sale due to crowds and security but as I mentioned it was mostly bare.

Sonia Kashuk!

Sonia Kashuk palettes (drool!) This is the only bin I was able to get a picture of. This is the  highly coveted Eye on Neutral Matte palette and there were even more of them in other bins! They were marked down to just $3.99!!

Haul #1

All of these items were 80% off, so most items were around the $2 range! woop woop!

Pictured above, clockwise starting on the left side. ("SK" will be abbreviated for Sonia Kashuk):

up & up waterproof makeup remover
SK body butter in Yellow Alluriana
SK Eau De Toilette in Yellow Alluriana
SK body brush 
SK Beautifying Blush in pink
SK Eye Duo in Leather & Lace
SK All Covered up Corrector in Ivory
Pixi Succulent Lip Twin in Opal Orchid
Pixi Fairy Light Solo eyeshadow in Nude Nouveaux
SK nail colour in Golden Ticket
SK Shine Luxe Sheer Lip Colour in Sheer Pink Lust (x2)
SK Satin Luxe Lip Colour in Nude Pink
SK Dramatically Defining Longwear Gel Eyeliner in Ebony

Haul #2

All items were 80% off with the exception of the cardigans which were 70% off:

Pictured above, clockwise starting on the left side:

Mossimo Cardigans at 70% off
Method Laundry detergent, bag and bottle (should have grabbed them all!)
Pixi nail colour in Mink Grey
SK Perfectly Neutral palette
SK Satin Luxe Lip Colour in Nude Pink (2nd one-love this!)
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Boho Bronze
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Bronze beam
Pixi Fairy Light Solo in Fairy Pink
Annabelle Single Eyeshadow in Suedine
Threshold pillow cases

How did I forget about my last little jaunt to Target before they closed!?

I almost forgot about my last trip to Target. I just popped in quickly on the last day and picked up a few last things (shown above). As you can see, I have already dug-in to some all of them.

SK Lash and Brown Enhancer
SK Pearlescence Longwear Creme Eyeshadow in Tiger's Eye
SK Brightening Powder
SK Monochrome eye Quad in Textured Taupe

So, it looks like I have a ton of products to enjoy and to play with. This was a lot of fun and I really got some great deals to try some products that I probably wouldn't have tried otherwise.  Saying that, I am really going to miss my trips to Target and all the great product lines they carry.

If you would like to see swatches or reviews for any products, please let me know!

Xo Amy

Monday, April 13, 2015

At Home DIY Facial: nu-pore Cucumber Collagen Essence Korean Sheet Mask

A while ago a friend of mine gave me one of those Korean face masks to try. It's one of those creepy looking one's with the eye and mouth holes cut out. It's been sitting around in a box that I have that's full of samples to try out. With my skin feeling a little dry and itchy lately, I finally decided to break it out and give it a try.  This one is the nu-pore Cucumber Collagen Essence Mask.

Claims: Purifying, soothing and moisturizing. It also says on the pack that it contains vitamin E and collagen. It claims to make your tired skin moistened, elastic, clear and relieves your stress. Use 2-3 times per week.  The package also contains a number of warnings like not to use on blemished, irritated or sunburned skin.

Ingredients: Water, glycerin, butylenes glycol, hydrolyzed collagen, cucumis sativus fruit (cucumber) extract, methylparaben, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, carbomer, sodium hyaluronate, ceteth-20, steareth-20, tocopheryl acetate, glyceryl stearate, cetearyl alcohol, neopentyl glycol, dicaprate, cetyl ethylhexanoate, phenoxyethanol, sodium hydroxide, fragrance, allantoin, panthenol, disodium EDTA

Out of the package comes 1 pre-moistened mask -pictured above. It is very saturated. It says to apply to clean and dried skin and then to soothe your face with a toner before applying, unfold the mask and leave on for 15-20 minutes. Then, peel off the mask and massage the remaining collagen essence into the skin. After that I applied my normal toner and moisturizer.

It's a dark an rainy day here so I tried taking pictures in different lighting but couldn't seem to get rid of the shadowing. Seeing close ups of your own skin isn't much fun (just look at those pores!) But, hopefully you can see that my skin is hydrated after using the mask (I'm wearing a lip balm so my lips look super shiny). I have a lot of sun damage, scarring and imperfections on my skin and I didn't expect this mask to get rid of those problems (I probably need lasers for that!) What I found was this mask really did hydrate and soothe my skin as it claimed and that's just what I was looking for today. This mask was extremely easy to use and there was no mess to clean up afterwards. I would love to use these types of sheet masks but I will definitely be on the hunt for some without parabens in them.

Have you tried any sheet masks? Please let me know, especially if you know of any that are paraben-free and cruelty-free. 

Xo Amy

Thursday, April 9, 2015

iHerb Haul for Y'all: Health, Beauty, Skincare, Makeup, Supplements!

Health and Beauty Haul!

I received a package from iHerb today and thought I'd share my little haul with y'all. Maybe you will get some ideas for things you want to try. I love finding out about new products to try out. Some of these items are repurchases and other are some new discoveries for me.

As usual, I tore into everything right away! Not pictured in the haul pic above is an Elf eyeshadow that arrived as dust. :(

This is Elf's Pressed Mineral Eyeshadow in Lunch Break it's currently on sale for only $2.10! The great thing about iHerb is that they immediately refunded my money and I am reordering this with my next order. I did manage to swatch this and it's BEAUTIFUL! I actually didn't expect it to be such a nice colour from the swatches I found online.

The rest of my items and all the deets:

Rainbow Light Multivitamin

Rainbow Light Just Once Women's Food Based Multi 150 tablets for $32.89- this is a repurchase. I love this multi because it's made from food-based ingredients so our bodies recognize the ingredients more compared to manufactured ingredients and it has some herbs specifically for Women's issues and you only need one a day!

From iHerb's website:
#1 Natural Women's Multivitamin Brand
    • Promotes Bone, Breast, Heart & Skin Health
    • Provides Energy & Stress Support
    • Easy to Digest with Probiotics & Enzymes
    • Gluten Free
    • Soy Free
    • Dietary Supplement
    Naturally nourishes, energizes, and protects the major systems of a woman's body.
    Just one tablet of our food-based Women's One multivitamin goes beyond minimal daily values to deliver clinically researched key nutrients in forms that are easy for your body to absorb.
    • Bone, breast, heart, skin & immune health
    Vitamins B, C, D3, E, K • 2:1 calcium : magnesium ratio • antioxidants • whole foods
    • Energy, mood & stress management
    Women's Nourishing Blend • potent B complex
    • Brain & nervous system health
    B6 & B12 • choline
    • Easy to digest: can be taken on an empty stomach
    Fast-acting probiotics • plant-source enzymes 

Country Life Coenzyme B-Complex

Country Life, Gluten Free Coenzyme B Complex Caps, Veggie Caps 60 caps for $11.99 or 120 caps for $17.99- this is a new purchase for me. It's supposed to be easier for our bodies to absorb because of the Coenzyme formula.  

From Iherb's website: "Coenzyme B-Complex contains essential B vitamins in its active, "coenzymated" form. This complex that you've known and loved for over 15 years now includes Methylfolate (Quatrefolic) - the most advanced form currently available. And as always, you don't need to worry about the typical vitamin B taste or odor."

Reviva Labs Rosewater Facial Spray

Reviva Labs, Rosewater Facial Spray  8oz for $6.51- this is another new purchase. I love my facial sprays and I'm so excited to try this one, it has great reviews on iHerb`s website. 

From iHerb's website: With Aloe, Herbs, Minerals & Hyaluronic Acid, Refresh Skin & Set Makeup, Spray Away Perspiration, Moisturize Skin & Hair in Dry Weather, Use as a Sensitive-Skin Tonic. "Natural extract of roses makes this Facial Spray very refreshing and stimulating. Helps moisturizers and night creams have better effects in making skin look better with makeup, or "setting" makeup; you'll find dozens of other uses. For male and female athletes, this mist is a great refresher and cleansing aid."

Now Foods XyliWhite Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste

Now Foods, XyliWhite Neem & Tea Tree Toothpaste 6.4oz for $4.57- This is another new product that I'm trying. I usually use this product in the regular XyliWhite cinnamon flavoured toothpaste and have had great results. Once I saw this formula with Neem and Tea Tree I had to get it. 

From iHerb's website: XyliWhite is a remarkable fluoride-free toothpaste gel that uses natural Xylitol as its main ingredient.
  • Formulated with the purest ingredients
  • Free of SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate)
  • Vegetarian/vegan ingredients
  • Cool, minty, refreshing taste
  • White, stronger teeth
  • Contains 25% Xylitol, one of the highest contents available
  • For adults and children

Healthy Origins 5-HTP

Healthy Origins 5-HTP Veggie Caps 50mg/ 120 veggie caps for $10.98- This is another new product that I'm excited to try. It has great reviews and I'm hoping it will help with sleep and mood etc.

From iHerb's website: 
  • Economy Size
  • Naturally Sourced
  • Non-GMO
  • Soy Free
  • Supports a Positive Mood
  • Vegetarian Formula
  • Dietary Supplement
``Healthy Origins 5-HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan) is a naturally occurring substance extracted from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant. 5-HTP is a precursor to serotonin which is a vital neurotransmitter in the body. Serotonin is one of the primary neurotransmitters which supports healthy mood, appetite, and sleep.``
Healthy Origins 5-HTP is guaranteed to be free of "peak x" contaminant.

California Gold Curcumin C3

California Gold Nutrition, Curcumin C3 Complex 30 Veggie Caps (at the time I purchased they were on a trial special for .90cents) iHerb always has super specials and trial specials going on, you just have to click on those links on their site. I have taken curcumin before but not by this brand. Curcurmin has so many purported health benefits. Info on Curcumin.

I love shopping at iHerb. The products are much cheaper than if I were to buy them in retail stores and they have superb customer service (eg. it took me about 3 minutes on their live chat today to tell them about my broken eye shadow and they quickly refunded me.) They operate out of California and because I`m in Canada I use international shipping. Even with international shipping, this entire order cost me a flat $5.34 USD for shipping. Depending on the weight I often get shipping for a lighter order for just $2! Everyone will receive a discount on orders over $40 and if you`ve never shopped with them before, they will give you $5-$10 off your order by using this iHerb coupon code  . I`ve shopped around and always find they have the lowest prices and lowest shipping charges. 

I hope you enjoyed seeing all the new products I purchased. I know I`m excited to try all of the new ones! If you have any questions or would like any reviews on any of the products please let me know. 

Xo Amy

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

30 Days of Fitness Challenge: Week 1 Follow Up

Today marks the one week period since I started my 30 days of fitness challenge.  Here is the link to the original post Day 1: 30 Days of Fitness Challenge . I'll be honest, I have had a few fail days where I just couldn't squeeze in a workout for one reason or another. The point for me is that once I fall off I do climb back on. I am not discouraged. In fact, I feel more motivated to do better next week. I am doing this challenge to try and get back into shape, to challenge myself and to try and develop the habit of workout out. I think they say it takes 27 days of doing something consistently for it to become a habit, so I may have to challenge myself to this again once this challenge comes to an end. And, the reason I allow myself to choose to do whatever workout I'm in the mood for is so I enjoy it! If I'm not enjoying it, I wont want to do it.

I think one of my issues is time management. I always plan to workout but some days time just gets away from me. I also struggle with insomnia and severe fatigue on some days and this is a work in progress.
Today's workout

Here is what I have accomplished for the last 8 days (Day 1-8):
  1. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Flow Yoga (65 min purify workout)
  2. Fail- migraine kept me down an out
  3. Tony Little's Easy Shaper workout
  4. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss Yoga (18 +24 min workout)
  5. Fail- too tired
  6. Yoga- Trudie Styler's Weight Loss (24 min)
  7. Yoga- YouTube video (15 min)
  8. Yoga- Seane Corn Detox Yoga Flow (65 min purify workout)
Weigh in:
  • Starting weight: 145 lbs
  • Today's weight: 143.5 lbs

I weighed myself at the same time of day- in the morning before breakfast. I didn't lose a lot of weight, but I am happy that I lost something. With such a small difference in weight it could even be a difference in water weight. Although, I did eat a TON of salty popcorn last night (fail) so I would think that I would retain water. I do feel that I am slowly gaining muscle as I can see some toning going on in my legs. *gets excited

It seems like I really was drawn to yoga this week and a little bit of weights and toning exercises. I think I have steered clear from the cardio partially due to a bad knee. Although, since I have started this challenge my knee seems to be getting a little bit better. The yoga DVD's that I have been doing have mostly been the weight loss kind where you use your body own body weight as resistance and I definitely feel it in my muscles the next day.

Yoga has served me well for weight loss in the past. I had a large weight gain (for me) at one point in my life and I worked out hardcore to Turbo Jam every single day only to gain weight after a month of this. And, it wasn't muscle gain as my clothes became even tighter and my scale showed a higher percentage of body fat. So, I dropped that like a hot potato and I started doing 20 minutes of yoga a day using Sarah Ivanhoe's Yoga Body Makeover Series and suddenly the pounds started melting off! I guess that's what my body wanted and needed. Hey, whatever works right!?

I am excited to continue with this challenge and looking forward to the next week of workouts. That's what's great about allowing yourself to do what you want when you want, you don't end up dreading it!

Let me know what tips you have for staying in shape or keeping on track. Or if you want to join this challenge at any point it's never too late! ;)

Xo Amy

Sunday, April 5, 2015

March 2015 Favourites- Beauty, Makeup and Health!

March Favourites!

I wanted to share my first ever monthly favourites for the month of March. I figured better late than never.  I have a little bit of everything from March plus some newer products and some older products that I dug out of my stash.

Twin Labs Iron- has been a life saver. I tested slightly low previously. I don't eat red meat or much meat at all for that matter. The iron has increased my energy, I have better sleep and I'm noticing less hair loss! This one is a low 18mg capsule.

Essence lip combo- My favourite lip combo right now; Essence In The Nude liner with their Nude Love lipstick gives me the perfect nude lip! Sold at Shoppers Drug Mart here in Canada.

Real Techniques Blush Brush is a rediscovery this month. I dusted this baby off when I did my dupe comparison (See blog post on brush dupe) and I'm loving it more than ever. It's the perfect blend of a super-soft, fluffy brush with a little density for a nice diffused look with my blush. (No one wants "crazy lady" blush.)

Silicone Brush Cleansing Pad- Now that I have it, I'm not sure how I lived without it! I got it on eBay for only $1.41 with free shipping!  It really deep cleans my makeup brushes!

Pacifica Malibu Lemon Blossom roll-on perfume-What can i say, I'm obsessed. This is a fragrance that is impossible for me to describe.  It's not like you end up smelling like a lemon, it's some unique blend that is exotic, and has grown on me more than any other fragrance. The roller ball makes it great for throwing in my purse. Bonus- it's cruelty-free!

North American Hemp Co. Never Too Late to Repair Deep Hair Treatment Oil -That was a mouthful.  This is the only hair oil I've used that doesn't just sit on my hair, it really seems like it's getting absorbed into and healing my hair. It's made from a blend of oils. I use it every time i wash my hair. To make it easy to work into my hair, I add one pump of it to my styling cream, mix together between my palms and then apply.

Badger Sleep Balm- Another re-discovery. I've used this for years and although it's not something that's going to knock you out but I do find that I sleep more deeply and dream more when I use this. I massage it on my wrists and temples before bed. It's certified organic and made with Lavender and Bergamot.

Four o Clock, Almond Biscotti tea- Addicting! made with white tea which i love. And, if I had known it would be this good I would have bought them all! It's a little bit sweet but subtle, I found this on sale at Shoppers Drug Mart for .99 cents.

Sonia Kashuk Eye on Neutral Palette- I got this on clearance at target for $7.99.  Although I haven't had it for the whole month, I have been using it every single day. mainly for the crease or for a simple eye look. Although it doesn't have everything I need in one palette, it definitely has come in very handy and I don't see myself ever putting this down!

What are your favourties this month? I love finding out about new products to try out.

XO Amy

Friday, April 3, 2015

Product Empties: Beauty, Skincare, Health #review

Happy Friday, everyone!

I've been collecting my empty/ used up health and beauty products over the last while and I wanted to share them with you along with mini reviews on each product. I find that once you've used up an entire product, you have a pretty good gauge on whether or not they worked for you and whether or not you would repurchase them. I will provide links to products where possible.

Here are the items I finished over the course of a few months, at least. It takes me a while to finish products as I have so many to finish (from left to right):

  • Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream (light)

Source Naturals, Calcium Night

This Calcium Night formula by Source Naturals has quite the blend of vitamins and minerals to help with bone support as well as sleep. It's designed to be taken at night. I would definitely repurchase as it does help with my sleep (as well as menstrual cramps.)

Healthy Origins, CoQ10

I take this CoQ10 regularly and will not be without it. It helps keep my MVP (Mitral Valve Prolapse) symptoms under control. It's also good for people taking certain medications. Our bodies produce Q10 but as we get older we produce less and less of it. It's found in every cell of the body and I feel it's a must-have supplement for anyone over the age of 40. (check with your Dr. of course)

Garden of Life, Primal Defense

Garden of Life, Primal Defense is my HG (Holy Grail) Probiotic. I have been taking it for over 15 years and will never be without it. It single-handedly controls my IBS symptoms. I wrote a whole blog post about it here Blog Post on IBS

Now Foods, XyliWhite

Another Holy Grail product for me. Now Foods XyliWhite Toothpaste is Fluoride-free, Gluten-free, SLS=free, Paraben-free. It comes in other flavours if you prefer something minty, I personally love the cinnamon. This toothpaste has changed my dental checkups for the better! Now Foods is cruelty-free.

Balea 3 in 1 Cleansing Cloths

I love these face wipes by Balea, a Shoppers Drug Mart house brand. They come in a two pack and I always wait for a sale plus they send me coupons for them by email, so I usually get these for around $7.99! They are nicely saturated with product and they do a great job taking off my makeup.(I do store them upside down as I do with all my wipes.) I follow up with a toner and/or washing my face. Technically, I should really wash my face after using these to remove makeup, but, sometimes I'm just too tired, so this is better than not washing at all. I also use them in the morning when I don't feel like washing aka. most of the time, hehe. I will continue to buy these. If I can't them on sale I will usually buy Kirkland wipes by Costco.

Reviva Labs, Elastin and Collagen Toner

This is also a Holy Grail product. I use to use Thayer's Rose toner, which is a great toner, but once I tried this one there was no going back. This Collagen Elastin toner is so gentle, you will never feel any sting. It doesn't break out my acne prone skin and it adds a lot of moisture to the skin! I find it extremely soothing to my skin. Reviva Labs is a cruelty-free line.

Martina Gebhardt, Black Mud cream

Yep, another Holy Grail product. Martina Gebhardt Black Mud Cream has saved my skin! I was introduced to this miracle cream when I was at one of Pure and Simple's spas. It was recommended by one of their estheticians for my combination/oily skin that is dehydrated and acne prone. At the time of my visit, I had a lot of active acne on my face. I was leery about using such a heavy cream but I was sent home with a sample and used it that night. The next morning it was like the skies cleared and all my acne was suddenly disappearing! Plus, my skin was plumped up. It's a little pricey, but, I always wait for a sale at Pure and Simple and stock up. I was advised to only use an amount the size of my pinkie nail and to apply to damp skin which assists with product absorption. Martina Gebhardt is a cruelty-free line.

Holisic Vanity, Restorative Raw Argan Oil

I also purchased this Raw Argan Oil by Holistic Vanity from Pure and Simple.  I placed an online order for this when I was ordering my Black Mud cream. It has lasted me a life time. I layer this with my other skin care as the last step. It is so soothing and moisturizing and is not too heavy for my combination/oily skin. My skin loves it! I would definitely repurchase this product. I also grabbed this one when it was on sale. I learn about Pure and Simple's monthly sales through their email subscription service. Pure and Simple is a cruelty-free company.

Physicians Formula Super BB All-in-1 Beauty Balm Cream (light)

Lastly is my Physicians Formula Super BB cream in light. I have never worn foundation. I use to just use concealer and powder but as I get older I find I need something less dry looking on my skin. Looks like BB and CC creams came just at the right time for me. I love that I get a bit of coverage, it evens my skin tone and has other skin benefits as well. It lasted for so long, I thought I would never finish it. Physicians Formula always goes on sale at one of the stores that carry it, so I always wait for a sale. And, their rebate program is awesome! I would repurchase this but I am currently starting to use their Organic Wear BB cream and will see which I like better. I like trying new products so I may even try one of their CC creams once I finish the Organic Wear. Physicians formula is one of my go-to lines at the drugstores as it is one of the few cruelty-free lines sold at the drugstore.

I do buy a lot of my health and beauty products on because they have super low shipping rates (as low as $2) for international customers including Canada. Also, most of the product lines they carry happen to be more natural and are cruelty-free. Their prices are also much cheaper than you will find in most stores.  New customers can get 5% off their first order by using coupon code AGU725. 

I hope you found some of these reviews helpful. If you have any questions about anything I may have not touched on, please let me know by commenting below. 

Hope you are enjoying Good Friday!

XO Amy

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