Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Week in Review


Hi all,

This week I decided to make change happen! I decided to pre-plan and prep 3-4 days in advance and it has made life SO much easier! I decided on the weekend that I was going to fill my cupboards and fridge up with healthy, clean foods. Which I did! Since doing so I have been snacking on healthier things, thinking of healthier options and  making both mine and Pete's lunches in advance. It's a good feeling to not wake up in the morning and feel like you're rushed and scattered. I am also able to prepare something a lot more healthier options instead of grabbing something quickly. PLUS Pete is loving on my salads!

My 30 day no-fast food challenge is going very well. Today is day 10 and I've already realized quite a few things... the major one being that I am addicted to fast food and junk. For 5 days straight after saying "no" to fast food I had intense cravings. I kept thinking "I could get a pita for lunch" or "might as well stop off at McDonalds while I'm driving by to pick up breakfast" or "I really want froyo!!". Every. Day. That made me really sad. It's kind of scary to think I'd usually just give into those tempations.. but not this month! I've also realized that I can and should take a black coffee home and put coffee mate in it instead of tons of sugar and cream. Saves over 200 calories. Since I started I've been making much better choices and the cravings have really subsided.

Now the next thing I need to work on is curbing my late night snacking. That's going to be something I am going to work on over the next week. Here's to future success!

Thanks for reading,

Steph

August Ipsy Bag Review











Hi all,

Here we are once again with my Ipsy Glam Bag product reviews. If you haven't had a chance yet, please check out my July Review. I've been noticing a lot of other subscribers complaining about their glam bags lately and it really rubs me the wrong way. If you're willing to throw $10 away at something.. what you're getting in your bag is a pretty damn good deal! (Yes Canadians have to pay $15 as $5 is for shipping). I have discovered some amazing products during my time trying out the different bags and boxes and can't complain!

/rant

Anyways..  Once again I will do my reviews in order of picture.

Urban Decay: Revolution Lipstick (sample size)

Shade: Anarchy (very, very bright pink/fuschia)

They weren't kidding when they mention colour payoff in their description. This is one solid lipstick! I found this to be comparable, if not better than my M.A.C lipsticks. I applied it and was WOW'd (!!) by the colour pigmentation and smoothness. Usually a colour with such high pigmentation will make your lips look dry or flaky.. well not this one! It also lasted for quite awhile and I was surprised that it was still on my lips after an entire afternoon of coffee drinking!

Plus the little sample size was sooo cute and tiny! I have a lot of lipsticks though and can see me keeping the small size around for awhile. I will FOR SURE be purchasing the Revolution Lipstick but in a more natural shade. Can't wait to go to Sephora with Jenn and try out some other colours!

Review: 5/5 Would try again and would recommend!

Pixi Beauty: Lash Booster Mascara

Shade: Blackest Black

Jenn's Review: This product applies in very thin layers and feels sort of dry during application. It is buildable but it takes many many layers to get full looking lashes. I wore this product all day and had no fall out which was nice. Removing this mascara was difficult, I had to use a makeup remover product.

Review: 1/5 I would not recommend this to a friend.

Steph's Review: I decided to not review this product mainly because of all of the negative, negative (understatement?) reviews I read on this one. Plus, I left the product at Jenn's house and really wanted to push this review. If I try it later I will let you all know.

Overall: 1/5

Michael Todd: Jojoba Charcoal Gentle Exfoliating Facial Scrub

This was BY FAR my favourite product out of everything I received (maybe even overall from my 2 ipsy glam bags!). This one blew me away. I decided to try this one soon after I received the bag and was kinda surprised at how gross it looked lol. I'd never used a "charcoal" product before. That all went away after I felt how AMAZING my skin felt afterwards. It was so smooth and soft. I loved it! It made my skin feel so lovely.. I want to use it every day now (I've been resisting). I also gave this product to my mom to try and she thought it was just as amazing as I do. Products like this is why I love receiving beauty bags. I would have never tried it.. now I've found something I LOVE!

Side note: I need to remind people that this is NOT a cleanser and just a scrub. Please wash your face before using or you'll be very surprised at how much makeup and dirt is still likely to be left on your face.

Review: 5/5 Would most definitely buy and try again. Would recommend!

NYX: Rouge Cream Blush

Shade: CB01 Rose Petal

Jenn's Review: This product is not hard to use, it is very sheer and buildable in colour. I use my fingers and pat it on my cheekbones and blend by only patting the product into my skin, absolutely no rubbing. This colour is a nice natural pink shade and would work with most skin tones. I didn't notice a shimmer or any sparkles in it which is nice. It provides a little bit of a dewy finish without feeling sticky.


Review: 4/5 I would recommend this to a friend.

Steph's Review:  I LOVE this product! Not only have I recently discovered my love of NYX but I've also discovered my love of cream blush! yay!! So this was a perfect pick for me. Plus I've got about 2% left in my MAC blush .. it hit pan months ago.

Anyways the colour of this is very pretty and blended so nicely! For me it was a mix of a coraly-pink. It made my skin look dewy and slightly moist and stayed on ALL day. LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!

If you haven't had a chance yet, please check out my blog post on applying cream blush with a stippling brush.

Review: 5/5 I would recommend and buy again!

Pacifica Alight Multi Mineral BB Cream

Seems suiting to leave the worst for last. This is by FAR the WORST product I have EVER received from a beauty box/bag. The first time I tried it I thought "What is this even doing? What is the point?". It was so sheer and didn't cover a thing.. AND it looked glittery. I figured I'd try it under my foundation to see how it would look. My face looked soooooo greasy by mid day! I have not been using moisturizer and this product made me look like a grease master. Yuck!

I decided to give it another go the next day. Huge mistake (understatement of the year)!!!! I either had the worst breakout of my life or I broke out into hives all over my face. I had tiny, tight and itchy bumps ALL OVER MY FACE. My skin felt like carpet. I started noticing this on Sunday morning and today they are still there. I AM DEVASTATED. Do NOT use this product!

After reading other reviews on the ipsy website I was happy to see I wasn't alone in the hatred of this product. Every person either said "its too sheer" "too greasy" or "it made me breakout badly".

Poor product choice Ipsy :(

Review: 0/5 I would not recommend this to my worst enemy.

And there you have it!

Overall bag rating? 3.5/5 I won't let a few crap products distract me from the other amazing things I received!

Thanks for checking out my review! If you've tried any of the products I've listed above please share your thoughts!

Steph

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I've been a bully to myself


One thing I have come to realize lately is that I’ve been really mean to myself. I’ve been in a funk and instead of focusing on the numerous good things about myself; I’ve been focusing on the bad. I keep thinking about how much I hate my stomach or how awful my skin has been looking. I eat my feelings and then feel like shit. It's a cycle. Why all of a sudden after finally realizing my self love and respecting myself and the thoughts I have about my body have I done a complete 180? Easy answer... I have been feeling like a failure. This isn’t me.. this isn’t who I am or what I support. I preach the opposite! Why don’t I focus on the fact that I’ve lost 50 lbs and have come a long way? Why am I not focusing on the fact that I am giving and that my smile is contagious? Or the fact that I inspire others to start their own journeys? Or the fact that I've got rockin' legs and a chest most woman pay for!? I shouldn't be focusing on the fact that my stomach and inner thighs jiggle.. I have so many other great physical qualities. Plus I can one up all of that. I am a real, honest and good person. I needed this realization to make me think “what the heck have I been doing?!” I’ve since been working on my thoughts and positive attitude. Ive been trying to think positively and am being open minded. I am challenging myself. Yes, I know I am not where I want to be but I’m a hell of a lot further than where I was.. both physically and mentally.

I am taking steps to correct this.

XO
Steph


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Week in Review

Jenn: I am feeling pretty awesome lately, my hubby is even noticing my progress. Exercising and eating better really makes me feel good. I have been doing so well with not eating takeout meals, it’s been about an average of about once a week over the past month. A big reason why we stopped getting takeout was not only for ourselves but for our son Noah. He’s completely on solids now and whenever we would have takeout we would have it after he went to bed because I only feed Noah healthy meals. I think it’s so important that we all eat together as a family and eat healthy to set a good example for our son. It also saves time and when I make Noah his meals I make ours, we all can eat healthy and together as a family. 

I have been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather and sitting out in the sun. I have a little bit of a tan, finally! Feels good. 

It’s time for a new exercise challenge! I love how I feel after running on the treadmill, so here we go… I’m going to run a mile every day, and keep Saturday/Sunday as my rest days for two weeks. Pretty excited, and telling you all about it will keep me motivated because you better believe I will be checking back in to tell you how it’s going. This starts today! Whoot whoot! 

Steph: Hey all! I’ve decided to make some pretty drastic changes in my life (in almost every way). Pete and I have been talking lately and he’s been so supportive.. I’m even considering going back to school full time in the winter. 

I decided to start a new 30 day challenge this week from the encouragement of my friend Chan. I was talking to her about how crappy I felt and I was really unmotivated. She convinced me to start this and I now feel a lot more motivated. The challenge was no fast food or eating out for 30 days straight (though if I am eating in a restaurant with family or Pete I’ll obviously have to order something… it would just be a healthy option). I had been struggling with convenience eating and hadn’t been taking the time to prepare any healthy option. I started Monday and already turned away two opportunities of eating out on Tuesday and today. It feels good to have the strength to say no!
I’ve also decided to not focus so much on my weight but instead focus on my health (Jenn and I both feel this way). I find it’s not helping me when I’m focusing on the number instead of just bettering myself in general. I’d rather consume healthy and clean foods instead of eating within a calorie budget. I will still be tracking on MyFitnessPal but will be focusing mostly on getting used to clean eating and making better choices. Yesterday I bought a TON of healthy food and tried my best to shop only on the outskirts of the store. It’s already inspired me to want to try some new things :).

Anyways.. I hope you had a good week. I will be posting some of my beauty box reviews soon :)

Take care!


Steph & Jenn

Heads Up! 50% off Skincare at Body Shop!



This deal was too amazing NOT to share!!

Today skincare at the Body Shop is 50% off! This deal is available both online and in store!

Soooo AMAZING!

Here is what I got!:



So basically I got everything for less than the price of 1 cleanser before tax. WOOHOO!!!

Steph



Thursday, August 15, 2013

My Favourite Way to Apply Cream Blush

Hi all,

Wow.. it’s been an absolute crazy month and I really haven’t had much time to sit down and type out a post. Here is my first one in awhile!

Today I want to talk about something that at one point in the last year I really hated. Cream blush! It is exactly as it sounds.. blush that has been potted into a cream form. I never really understood how to apply cream blush and when I tried I always, always failed. It was very discouraging! Cream blush is way harder to apply than most powder blushes which I am very used to. One main difference is that it melts into the skin as opposed to sitting on top of it like a powder which does not allow much room for error.

I decided to try cream blush again a few weeks ago and picked some up when I made a major E.L.F haul. During this purchase I also decided to get a stippling brush which was only $3!!! This is key to my application and will be mentioned again later. While shopping I decided to pick out this blush in the shade Seductress. This shade is FABULOUS, looks wonderful on and has a matte look to it which I thought would be perfect for fall :). I now have another cream blush from NYX in the shade Rose Petal which I received yesterday in my Ipsy Beauty Bag (which will be reviewed soon and posted next week). This one is slightly different in texture and gives me more of a dewy look.. though it is not sparkly which I am happy about.

Cream blush is not something you want to try for the first time when you have somewhere to be.. this takes practice! With practice comes perfection and that is why I am posting!

When I applied cream blush with my fingers it just didn’t work. It looked streaky, uneven and just plain bad! I almost gave up on the cream blush and thought “Screw this stuff! I’ll stick to my loyal and user friendly MAC blush” (which is still seriously the shiiiiiiiiit. I use and LOVE springsheen). I am happy I didn’t! I remember thinking “why the hell did I get a stippling brush? I’ll never use liquid foundation!” *light bulb* “o0 I have an idea!!” I picked up my blush and stippling brush and decided to try them together. MAAGGGGIIIICCCC!!!! I have to be honest and admit I used WAYYYYY too much blush and looked VERY, VERY flush. The E.L.F blush is very highly pigmented which means I only need 1-2 applications while using VERY, VERY little product.

To say I was pleasantly surprised was an understatement! Here are my daily steps (yep this is now my go to blush!):

  1. Apply primer & foundation
  2. Pick up stippling brush and dab it VERY lightly (barely touching) 2-3 times in the cream blush
  3. Start to apply to your cheeks by dabbing it quickly and moving the brush up towards your ear. (I start directly under the apples).  I tend to rotate the brush in my hands while I am doing this.
    NOTE: DO NOT RUB OR BLEND.. DAB or lightly buff!!
  4. Continue doing this until there are no more dots on your face :) 
  5. If you do not think you have enough pigmentation start over from step 2
  6. I like to finish this with either a thin layer of powder or my E.L.F Mist & Set spray


Voila! You’ve got pretty cheeks :)!

Hope you will try this method and will give cream blush a chance!

Thanks for reading,

Steph

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Week in Review



Steph: Here we go again! I stayed the same.. I’m just happy I didn't gain! I really do feel like I’m in a rut and have not been focusing on my health at all lately. I've just been so stressed and very .. unhappy lately. I can’t really go into that though :(.

I really need to make some serious changes and I’m going to set a plan of action and DO it. I’m not sure if I’m not sticking to my current plan because I’m just lazy or if it’s because I am really not focused on losing weight and am happy where I am at. I need to figure that out and decide where to go from there. Something needs to be different.

This is what I think I need to remember and act on it:


Anyways, I've got a few posts for you this week .. so watch for them! :)


Jenn: I stayed the same this week too. I did have a bad week food wise, I went to birthday parties and wonderland. It was lots of fun! August for me is full of birthdays, so much fun but lots of delicious high calorie foods. I still have two more to attend this month.

As of yesterday I have officially completed my 30 day workout challenge and squat challenge. I feel fantastic and much stronger. Although there was room for improvement with my challenge I am very happy with what I have accomplished.

Now I am considering doing another challenge, I’ll let you all know what I decide!

Thanks for reading!

Steph & Jenn

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Why I think you should try Zumba!

Zumba is by FAR my absolute favourite way to get a workout in. Why? Because it's fun, gets me moving and it makes me feel GOOD! Plus I get to do one of my favourite activities frequently during a 1 hour class. BOOTY SHAKE!!!

Never heard of Zumba? Here is a video example. Zumba is a fitness program that combines dancing and aerobics. I've experienced all kinds of different styles of dance but the ones I really enjoy are hip-hop, soca, merengue and belly dancing.

There are a few different classes you can attend including Zumba Gold, Zumba Toning, Aqua Zumba, Zumba circuit, Zumbatonic (for kids), and Zumba Sentao. I have tried regular Zumba, Toning and Aqua Zumba.

Here is some more info:
  • A 1 hour class can burn 500-1000 calories
  • Zumba is for everyone! It doesn't matter your size or your age
  • You don't have to know ANYTHING going into it. Can you move your legs? You can do Zumba!
  • You go at your own pace and intensity
  • Zumba moves in the song are fairly repetitive so you know what the next steps are
  • Really boosts your confidence! I smile through the entire workout!

Also, they have really, really cool Zumba gear! You should check it out!

If you're in the Waterloo region I recommend you check out Studio Fuzion as they offer so many different classes every day of the week! Jenn and I both love it and we laugh A LOT because it is sooo fun!

Hopefully I will see you there!

Steph

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Week in Review!


Jenn: This week I challenged myself to track absolutely everything, and to do it before I ate. I did really well, and I feel good being back on track. I lost a couple pounds as a result. My workouts this week are better, I have been running and completed a 12 minute mile as well as a 10 minute mile. That might not sound like a big deal to some, but for me it really is, I never thought I could do it. I hope to build up my endurance and be able to do a 7 minute mile. That’s not the only exercise I did, I also made a point of going for lots of walks.

My squat challenge is on it’s home stretch, I am at 220 squats today. My legs are feeling stronger than ever. I am looking forward to finishing this challenge!

I love seeing a change on the scale, so I am feeling more motivated to have another good week!

Steph: I had a decent week.. it started off very well and as usual ended poorly. I did get very sick though starting on Thursday night and am only feeling better(ish) today. I hate being sick! Pete and I also celebrated our two year anniversary on Monday :) ..though we will be re-celebrating with our rescheduled reservations on Friday (as we are both sick now). I'm looking forward to that. :)

This week I am going to stick to my goals and move forward. I didn't see a gain for this past week but I want to ensure I see a loss in the next few days :). I'll keep you guys updated!

Here are my goals:

  • Tracking everything NO MATTER WHAT. Doesn't matter if I go over or stay under.. its being accountable that is important
  • Tracking everything before I eat (usually really good at this until 9pm rolls around)
  • Working out at least 3 times

And there you have it..

Thanks for reading!

Steph & Jenn

Monday, August 5, 2013

Motivation Monday!





I pass this on to you my friends. I know some of you are going through tough situations and could use this advice.

As long as you are a good person that is all that matters :). Remember to treat others how you wish to be treated and when you do good things .. good things will be returned! Ignore those who treat you badly and use that energy to focus on bettering yourself and your environment.

Always try to live a positive lifestyle!

Hope you're able to enjoy the day off!

Steph


Friday, August 2, 2013

Skip the diet, make a lifestyle change!

I found this video the other day and it really makes some relevant points and made me feel a lot better. I am a person who struggles to be a certain weight, I'm starting to learn that it's just about feeling good and healthy. 

This video is worth watching and if you're feeling down about your image it helps you to feel better, because you are beautiful so rock it! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASCruaLwRZc&feature=youtu.be

Until next time!
- Jenn
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