Beauty: Why you should care about what you put on your body!

Back in March I was able to attend a wonderful event at the Whole Foods in Lynnfield for the Hello Beauty Week! The event featured three experts with local brands to talk about the importance of clean beauty products and how their brand commits to that. Let me start by saying that anyone could attend the event and it was free, you just had to register in advance.

Slowly, I have been trying to switch over to a more natural skin care/hygiene regimen. I make it a priority to eat clean, make sure I buy the dirty dozen organic, and make sure I know as much about my food as possible. The one message that all three experts said was that, what goes on your body is just as important as what goes in your body.

shamanuti

The first brand discussed was Shamanuti. The company was started because of the owners love and respect for nature. She also shared that most common (and cheap) products do more harm than good. Most products strip the skin, dry it out, and then replace the natural oils. It makes you feel like your need more of that product to keep your skin healthy.

Just like with food, understanding what’s in the product should be high on your priority list. If alcohol is one of the first 3 ingredients, it will strip your skin, like I mentioned above. The difference between food and beauty products is that beauty products tend to use the latin terms for the plants that are used in the product, so you may not be able to pronounce the word, it could still be good for you.

When asked what is the #1 product she would suggest using every day, it would be charcoal. Charcoal products have recently started becoming very popular, what they do is bring your skin to a pH neutral balance.

laughingtree

The second company that spoke to us was Laughing Tree Organics. They have only been in business for about a year, but they already have a lot of products available and a great following. The products are 100% plant-based and have no artificial ingredients. They are trying to offer cost-effective, plant-based products with a sustainable approach. So many of these products we use, not only is the product made of chemicals, but the packaging and some of the product ending up in our landfills, water supplies, etc…

The owner talked about how it takes only 26 seconds for chemicals to enter the blood stream and the average person puts on seven products a day! Seven, that is a lot of chemicals! She talked about how some beauty & hygiene products have a role in issues with fertility, birth defects, early puberty in offspring, etc… While I haven’t done a ton of research in that area, it is definitely something that I plan on delving deep into and making my self extremely informed.

The products are created through a cold press process with no fillers so that a little of the product goes a long way! I was able to try their Natural Organic Lip Balms (coconut is my favorite) and I have to say it made my lips, which tend to try out easily, nice and soft, and I didn’t feel the need to put on lip balm 75 times a day.

thesis

These are hand-made artisanal skin care products. As with most, the owner started with switching to organic food and slowly moved to switching to skin care.

While researching beauty products she couldn’t find anything chemical or preservative free, and she also couldn’t find organic brands that were affordable. So she developed her own brand after a full year of research.

They also use a cold press process to make their products, no synthetics used at all. Part of the reason this company was started was to make products that pregnant women could use and feel comfortable with. While she suggested switching to a natural skin care routine prior to getting pregnant, you can start any time.

This company was the only one that kept its products in glass. Dark brown glass keeps the product fresher for longer, but it is more expensive. The bath products however, use recycled plastic.

Samples

After the talk, we were each given a swag bag with tons of samples and some of the brands above gave out extra samples to attendees. I have tried most of the brands you see above, and still have plenty of samples, so if you’d like to try something you see, don’t hesitate to ask me!

Weleda

I was also gifted this basked of Weleda products to test out. My absolute favorite is the Sea Buckthorn Creamy Body Wash. My skin doesn’t feel dried out and I love the way it smells! I’ve gone back and purchased this product for me to keep using.

MyChelle

I was also given the opportunity to try a few full size items. After talking to the Whole Beauty expert, I picked these three products for myself. My face was always feeling dried out. So I picked the MyChelle Honeydew Cleanser which is unscented and for sensitive skin. I wash my face twice a day and the product lasts forever. You don’t need a ton of product, trust me, I learned the hard way! I started using these products in the winter when my skin, especially my face, would flake like crazy. Ever since I started using this regimen, my face has felt moisturized and healthy.

Post-cleanser I use one of two products. If I am spending a ton of time outside or it is going to be a hot and sunny day I opt for the Mineral Fusion Mineral SPF 40 Face Moisturizer. Due to being a tad bit Irish, I burn easily, but the worst is always my face. For me it is vital to have a moisturizer that also doubles as a sunscreen because I just don’t have time for 65 beauty products in the morning.  If I wasn’t really going out, which happened a lot due to modified bed rest, exhaustion, etc…. or I was washing my face before bed I used the MyChelle Deep Repair Cream. This cream is wonderful, I never feel like my  face is dried out and the product is not oily which I love. My only con about these two products is that they have a light scent. It doesn’t stay with you for more than a few minutes, but it is something to bare in mind.

The Whole Beauty Expert was so helpful in picking out the three products above that I also asked her about baby and kid products. Unfortunately, B1 has my dry and sensitive skin. The expert showed me some bath wash, shampoo, bubble bath, etc… that would be great for infants and toddlers, the prices were even cheaper at Whole Foods than at Target.

emily

I also took home a sample for Emily’s Baby & Adult Skin Soother. This is a very local product that is similar to vaseline in consistency. It is great for dry patches, whenever B1 has a dry patch of skin, I put a tiny dab on the area before he goes to bed and 90% of the time the dry patch is better after 2 days of application. It has been a life saver not just for B1, but also for me. I get extremely dry knuckles in the winter and this has helped me not to only stop the cracking and bleeding, but also to stop the skin from drying out at all.

I am still in the process of looking for natural makeup, so if you have suggestions send them my way!

Do you use natural body products? If so, what are your favorites?

My First Maternity Stitch Fix: April 2015

I still owe you all a Stitch Fix (<–referral link) review from October, but I cannot find the paper with the clothing information on it anywhere. Maybe once I finish cleaning my desk I will be able to get that out to you all.  After that last fix I found out I was pregnant and so I decided to put my fixes on hold. I wish I hadn’t since plenty of people received maternity items before it was made public that they were carrying those items. Oh well, you live and learn.

Because I was pregnant with B1 around the same time as B2 I thought that I would be fine with the clothes that I already owned, maybe buy a few tanks and t-shirts, but not much.  I was so wrong. I lost a lot of weight when I was pregnant with B1, and could wear workout clothes comfortably until week 30, and by that time I could wear maxi dresses and skirts, I bought one pair of maternity jeans, and maternity shorts, and of course tanks and t-shirts.

I was definitely a bit delusional thinking it would be the same, with B2 I didn’t lose as much weight, thankfully, and I am carrying her much lower than I carried him making even some workout clothes uncomfortable. I ended up purchasing some leggings (capri & ankle length) from Motherhood Maternity because they are cheap and comfortable. I also bought some t-shirts, tanks, and long-sleeved shirts at various places like Kohls & Target.

As soon as Stitch Fix mentioned they were carrying maternity & petite clothes I decided to give it try. I told the stylist exactly how far along I would be when the fix arrived. I said that I wanted layering pieces as we are transitioning into warmer weather, and I also mentioned that I have bridal and baby showers coming up and I wanted something to wear to those events. I mentioned no heavy winter types of items like jackets or heavy cardigans. So how’d we do?

First, I am very frustrated that I scheduled my fix for the earliest possible date (April 2nd) and as I checked the website it wasn’t even being put together as of April 1st. This is the second time this has happened to me, and considering the fact that the last time was 6-7 months ago is ridiculous. If they are having problems with fulfilling orders then they shouldn’t be accepting as many orders. I emailed customer service and received a rude email in response, telling me that the date a customer picks is the ideal date, but that they have 7 days to get the fix to the consumer. I combed through all the information online and I couldn’t find that specific information anywhere, not exactly the best customer service.

Now, on to the fix. When I read the card from the stylist the first thing I noticed was that they had zero options to send me in regards to my request for dresses and skirts. I don’t really understand that since they are everywhere during this time of year in the stores in MA. I do think that the stylist nailed my style in terms of colors and types of clothes though.

MaternityStichFix1

Seriously love the packaging!

Romolo Connor Hammered Oval Link Necklace – $38

Romolo Connor Hammered Oval Link Necklace

I need to take necklaces off my okay to send list. I have only received one that I liked, but also this necklace is extremely heavy, and I think it is silly to send a long necklace to someone who will have an infant in a few months. If someone is breastfeeding, that necklace will only get in the way. Status: Returned

Rune Kile Maternity Ankle Zip Leggings – $58

Rune Kile Maternity Ankle Zip Leggings

When I pulled these out of the box, I was like crap, I wasn’t planning on buying any more pants, but I LOVE the look, and the fabric was super comfortable. Unfortunately they were too long. When I updated my style profile I also added myself to the petite selections, because I am very short. I pulled the maternity band of these pants all the way underneath my chest and they still bunched around my knee. Status: Returned

Loveappella Maternity Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top – $48

Loveappella Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top

knew as soon as I saw Leslie’s Maternity Fix this morning that this shirt was going to end up in my fix, mostly because I didn’t want it too. It reminded me of a shirt I got in my 6th Fix (that I didn’t end up purchasing), but in Leslie’s photo it looked extremely long in the back…

Loveappella Plumeria Mixed Material Maternity Top

Not the best photos, but I feel like it also looks long on me. I know this is a maternity shirt, but I want the items I keep to be able to transition well in to postpartum wear and maybe even long-term wear. It doesn’t look like a typical maternity shirt, so I think it could transition well, and it was extremely comfortable. My reservations are with the back of the shirt. Is it too long? Does it look stupid with my lack of height? Status: Undecided

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan – $68

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan

When I first pulled this cardigan out, I was like what am I? 65? This is an old lady cardigan.

Pink Martini Morset Textured Cardigan

Then I put it on. It was so soft and so comfortable. I am not sure how I feel about the 3/4 length sleeves. I have plenty of shirts with them, so I don’t hate them, but I don’t have more than one or two cardigans/sweaters with them. It is also not a maternity specific piece, so I can obviously wear this postpartum, especially paired with a maternity tank and jeans or leggings, I will look more put together than I probably will feel ha. I just don’t know if it is worth the price tag. Status: Undecided

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top – $48

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top

As soon as I pulled this top out of the box I was in love. The deep cobalt color. The faux leather trim, the key hole. I definitely thought it was a keeper.

Loveappella Maternity Gonna Key Hole Detail Maternity Top

When I put it on, I loved how it felt and looked, but I am not sure of the length. I have a decent belly to fill out the front and pull the length up, but I am worried that post-partum it will be more of a sexy dress than a nice fitted tank. Thoughts? Status: Undecided

I have no idea what to keep. If I keep all three items that I am on the fence about it would be silly to not keep everything as it would only be $10 more.

 

What Should I Keep?

 
pollcode.com free polls

I’m Back…

It has definitely been awhile since I wrote a blog post or even opened up WordPress. I didn’t have a ton to write about and I wanted to spend some time with my family, so I am glad for the break, but now I am back. The only thing I bummed to have missed was my FOURTH blog anniversary. I can’t believe I have been blogging for this long, and I am ready to get things going in 2015. Before I start sending out new content, I figured I’d catch everyone up on a few things that have been going on!

 

BUT, Before that I am applying to be DanceFIT Studio’s Spokesperson of the Year. If you feel like I would be a great fit, I would love a nomination. All the details can be found on my FB Page.

dancefitstudio

{Review Here}

First we had some awesome family photos taken by the amazing Caroline in early November, and I wanted to share a few with them all of you, especially now that our Christmas cards are out.

winn_141109-2477I got my hair and makeup done at The Luxe Bar in Peabody, and I am so happy I was able to do so.

The Luxe BarThis is just the hair styling side of the salon. Makeup is at the far end, they also have manis, pedis, bronzing and a brow bar! There is also a kids and bridal section!

EVERYONE raves about them, and there is a reason! Chelsey did both my hair and my makeup, which was nice because some other places typically have two different stylists for the services and the appointment had a great flow to it and I didn’t have to wait between getting my hair done and my makeup, so I ended up being done a little earlier than I was scheduled which is always a plus.

Chelsey made some great suggestions as well, when I get a blowout I always get my hair pin straight because it is hard for me to do on my own since my hair is extremely thick (and my patience is not high), she suggest some curl at the bottom to make it bounce which I think was great for the photos we took. The only downfall was that I can usually keep a blowout looking good for 4-5 days, and with this hair style it definitely fell out after about 2 days. She also made great suggestions for my eye makeup and used my own lip gloss instead of a lipstick so that I could reapply as needed!

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In addition to taking family photos, I am also going to be an ambassador for Zooma Cape Cod for the third year in a row! (2013 and 2014 recaps), you can use code: KELLY15 for 10% off the half marathon or 10K!

Zooma Cape Cod 2015Ambassador_Badge

ZoomaCapeCod2014Ambassadors

And some of you might remember that I did some work with Feetures during the 2014 race, and they released the video, this took a lot of courage on my part, as I don’t like being on camera that much, but I am so proud of myself.

I also spent a majority of my “off time” with my family and just hanging out. It was nice to not be in the social media for a while and I am glad I took some time off. I do have a long overdue Stitch Fix recap for you and some other posts that I have been working on.

I hope you all had a great start to 2015! Update me on what’s new in your lives!

Stitch Fix #6: September 2014

Disclaimer: Some links are referall links. Not a sponsored post.

Stitch Fix

I was pretty excited to get my first Fall Stitch Fix, I specifically requested the same stylist that I have had the past 3 fixes, while I haven’t kept more than one or two pieces, I felt like the style and fit was on point. I also requested fall type clothing. Leggings, tunics, long sweaters. I also keep requesting a colorful statement necklace that has a long chain, and I ALWAYS request low price points. My previous stylists were always able to do this for at least 4 of the pieces, usually just one was in the $100ish range, if that.

I scheduled my fix for Monday, because I had tons of things going on at the tail end of this week and I just didn’t think I would have time or remember to get the return pieces in the mail. Monday at 5 pm came and I realized not only had I not received my Fix, I hadn’t received the normal email that notified me that it had been shipped. I reached out to customer service and was able to resolve that. Annoying, yes. A deal breaker, no.

My fix came, and I pulled out the note, and usually the notes are long. They explain why the stylist picked the pieces for you, did they see it on your pinterest page, did it meet the requirements you requested, etc… This note stated that Jackie could not be my stylist and listed the 5 pieces, that’s it, very curt. I pulled out the price sheet and the lowest price was $34 and that was a necklace, everything else is over the $50 mark, which was a bit frustrating.

Pixley  – Leighton Metal Bauble Necklace – $34

Pixley Leighton Metal Necklace

Finally, this is the style that I have been asking for, but it is all silver, I wear a lot of clothes that are single colors, I want some fun jewelry to jazz up these items. Also, I feel like this is expensive for a necklace. Returned

Collective Concepts – Ronaldo Graphic Print Lace Detail Tunic – $68

COLLECTIVE CONCEPTS Ronaldo Graphic Print Lace Detail TunicWhen I first saw this on the styling card I thought I was going to hate it, but I love the color scheme and the lace detail on the back. Again with my broad shoulders, it fit and buttoned but there was an awkwardness around my shoulders, and that price, yikes. Returned

Market and Spruce – Xander Short Sleeve Woven Back Sweatshirt – $54

MARKET AND SPRUCE Xander Short Sleeve Woven Back Sweatshirt

At first I didn’t like this piece, it was like a mullet shirt. Comfy in the front, party in the back. But it was soft, and I think it looks good on me. But I am struggling, I don’t know if I can justify the $54 price tag. HELP! Undecided

StitchFix Market Spruce1

Kut From The Kloth – Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pant – $68

Kut From The Kloth Danny 5-Pocket Knit Pant

I am bummed that I got these, and that they were super skinny and low-rise, not exactly super mom friendly. I tried them on, but I felt like a plumber. Returned

Kensie – Adolfo Faux Leather Elbow Patch Sweater – $98

KENSIE Adolfo Faux Leather Elbow Patch Sweater

I knew that even if I liked this sweater I would not be purchasing, it is just way to expensive, it was also pulling a little, not a good sign. I did find it at Macy’s, same price as above, so I am going to keep an eye on it, because it was super comfortable and it is something I’d like to add to my wardrobe, just at a lower price. Returned

I think I will give it one more go until 2015. I am hoping Jackie will style me again, and I really hope that I will receive a box full of items that I love!

Stitch Fix #1, #2, #3, #4, and #5

What do you think, should I keep the orange sweater? What has been the best thing you’ve received from Stitch Fix?

Stitch Fix #5: August 2014

It’s actually been awhile since I received this Fix (affiliate link), probably close to a month actually. Summer was just super busy and I kept forgetting to upload the photos and write the post.

Stitch Fix

I am sure most of you have heard the information on Stitch Fix. Just in case I will give you the cliff notes: Pay $20 for a styling fee, fill out your information, they send you 5 items and you can keep all or none. The $20 can be applied to your order, if you keep nothing you lose your $20.

I requested Jackie again, and I will continue to do so as long as I request boxes, even though I don’t keep all the pieces I get from her, the styles are pretty much on point.

Just Black – Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean – $78

Just Black Adora Ankle Length Colored Skinny Jean

Sorry for the blurry photo, I just realized it was like this. I loved the cut and color of the jeans and I really wish they fit better. I just couldn’t justify the cost for the fit. Returned

Pixley – Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee – $44

Pixley - Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material TeePixley - Indianan Chevron Print Mixed Material Tee

I loved this shirt when I saw it on someone else’s blog and I pinned it on My Style board, unfortunately it just didn’t look great on me. It was a bit too boxy for my frame. Returned

41Hawthorn Alessandra Striped & Colorblocked Blouse – $54

41Hawthorn Alessandra Striped & Colorblocked Blouse

Again, this was something I saw on a blog and requested, for me it was cut too high in the arm pit and the material was a bit itchy and wrinkled easily. Returned

Market & Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee – $44

Market and Spruce Sam Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee

I loved this top and had pinned it on Pinterest, in a different color, this shirt is so soft and comfortable, I knew immediately I would keep it! Kept

Bay to Baubles – Diaz Leaf & Bead Charm Layering Necklace – $32

Bay to Baubles - Diaz Leaf & Bead Charm Layering Necklace

This necklace matched some earrings I purchased in another fix, but it tangled so easily, a few wears and it would end up in knots. Returned

Have you gotten items from Stitch Fix recently? Leave your links below!

Stich Fix #1, #2, #3 and #4

Stitch Fix #3 and #4! June and July 2014

Before I get to my reviews, I would love if you could go LIKE this photo on Instagram, I am in the running to win a month unlimited at my local Pure Barre, I just need the most likes on this photo, any likes are appreciated, and I will make sure to follow you!

I appreciate all of your feedback on my last Stitch Fix post, I ended up not purchasing anything and emailing Stitch Fix about my disappointment. They ended up refunding my $20 styling fee and I emailed back and forth for a few days with a stylist, Jackie, who ended up styling fix #3 and #4.

Stitch Fix

For Stitch Fix #3 I asked for fun and flowy pieces and some options for my 30th birthday.

Andrew Marc Crystal Abstract Print Sheath Dress – $128

Andrew Marc Crystal Abstract Print Sheath Dress

This dress was way too long and boxy on me, I couldn’t even take a picture, I looked like a little kid in her mom’s clothes. Returned

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse – $58

Pomelo Moni Stud Detailed 3/4 Sleeve Blouse

I really loved the sheerness and style of this top, unfortunately, I have broad shoulders like a football player, and the shirt felt like it pulled too much in that area. I would have loved it if it was a tank top and a tad bit cheaper. Returned

Papermoon Andi Ikat Print Maxi Skirt – $58

Papermoon Andi Ikat Print Maxi Skirt

I LOVED this skirt, it was super soft and I loved the print. It was a bit long, but I have a family member that can hem it for me so I won’t have to pay for that. It was pricy, but I have never been able to find a maxi skirt that I love so I purchased it. Purchased

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress – $78

THML Kahlo Racer Back Striped Maxi Dress

I loved the color of this dress and the pattern and style, but I hated it when I put it on, it just wasn’t super flattering on me, which was a bummer since it was the perfect length for my 5’1″ frame. Returned

Bay to Baubles Salinas Carved Leaf Drop Earrings – $28

IMG_8603Bay to Baubles Salinas Carved Leaf Drop Earrings

I don’t own a ton of earrings, I loved that these were very lightweight! Purchased

2 Items Purchased – $86 – $20 fee = $66

Stitch Fix #4 - After the 3rd box I updated my Pinterest Style Page and made sure to send the link with my feedback. I asked for legging style or stretchy pants, as they are more conducive for running after a very active toddler. I also asked for flowy tops and statement jewelry.

This one I need a bit of help with, I just got it yesterday, and need to return what I don’t want tomorrow, but I can’t decided!

Tart Eames Geo Print Gathered Waist Knit Shirt – $64

Rune Porter Basic Legging – $38

Rune Porter Basic Legging

Um, awkward hands. I LOVED the leggings, they were thick, comfortable and fit perfectly! And the price is perfect! I am definitely keeping these.

Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank – $48

Le Sample Kahlo Embroidered Racerback Tank

I loved this tank, it is pretty much the same as the maxi dress above. I loved the blue colors and the design! I am wearing the leggings they sent with this top as well!

Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket – $78

Kut From The Kloth Callie Denim Jacket

I am on the fence about this jacket. My sister loved it, but it is a bit expensive. I also wanted to show you the back of this tank!

Zad Lisa Beaded Open Shape Bib Necklace – $44

Zad Lisa Beaded Open Shape Bib Necklace

I liked the look of the necklace in the box, but it isn’t as great as I thought it would be. The material seemed sort of dingy and not worth the price tag.

So here is my dilemma, I am for sure getting the leggings and tank, I can’t imagine sending them back. However, if I get the jean jacket it would be only $20 more to purchase everything (with the 25% discount for purchasing everything). What do you think? Jean jacket, yay or nay?

If you want to try Stitch Fix, feel free to use my referral link, I would greatly appreciate it!

Stitch Fix #1 and Stich Fix #2

Have you tried stitch fix yet? Link your review if you have one! 

Five Things Friday: Giveaway, Stitch Fix, & Reviews!

Five Things Friday

 

It’s been awhile since I had one of these so lets jump right in!

1. How I Met Your Mother

Nick and I have finally watched the series finale, and I cried, a lot. Part is probably hormones, but part is because I felt like it was the show of our generation. I mean we all watched Friends, but as adults it seems like our lives match more to the likes of HIMYM. I liked how it ended, it was sad, but it felt real, all of the crappy things that happened at the end, those are real life. If everyone ended up happily ever after I think I would be more disappointed. What do you think did you like the ending?

2. Stitch Fix

So I drank the Stitch Fix* kool-aid. If you don’t know what Stitch Fix is leave me a comment and I will send you more info, but basically you sign up and fill out a style profile. You give them your info, sizing, style preferences, what types of items you want to receive, etc… and pick a date for your fix. You can either pick a single date or pick to have a recurring fix. For each fix you pay a $20 styling fee, if you like something that is in your fix then that $20 is credited against what you purchase, if you buy nothing then you lose the $20.

When you get your fix, which is 5 items, you will receive a list of the items you received and the price for each item as well as a style card. The style card has each item that was in your box and 2 ways to style that item. The also send you a pre-paid USPS bag to send back what you don’t want. If you purchase all 5 items you receive 25% off the entire purchase. You have 3 business days to return the items you don’t want.

Pink Martini Sally Mixed Striped Dress

1. Pink Martini Sally Mixed Striped Dress –  $98 – I loved the cut and the color of this dress, but it was snug around the thighs and it wasn’t flowy enough for me to wear to an event if I have B with me.

Kensie Jeans Sophia Ankle Length Skinny Jean

2. Kensie Jeans Sophia Ankle Length Skinny Jean – $88 - Again, I loved the color and style of these jeans, but they were snug around the thighs, at the price point it wasn’t worth it for me to keep them.

Striped Dolman Top

3. Pomelo Corinna Striped Dolman Top – $48 – I loved this top. I liked the shorter sleeve, and the material was super comfortable. I’ve bought a lot of long-sleeved shirts over the years that end up with holes or pulled material because the quality isn’t great, so this shirt was a keep.

IMG_7941

4. 41Hawthorn Abrianna Longsleeve Knit Cardigan – $48 – I loved this cardigan, the length is long enough that I can wear it with leggings but it is also lightweight. I can see pairing this with a maxi dress at a summer BBQ. After some texting with my sister, I ended up purchasing this as well. I have a thick pink cardigan that is similar, but like I said it is a heavier material and it is actually very short.

5. IMG_794341Hawthorn Holly Chevron Arrow Print Infinity Scary – $32 - I liked the scarf, but I already have scarves with similar color schemes.

Instead, I bought the infinity scarf I am wearing on the right. I purchased it after I completed Pure Barre Challenge as a gift to myself from the store at Pure Barre. The pattern is unique and it will match with a lot of my wardrobe.

The total of my items was $96 – my $20 styling fee. I paid $76.

3. Get Skinny Again

IMG_7785

I was able to receive a copy of Sarah’s book, Get Skinny Again*, awhile back, but I wanted to wait until I had the opportunity to try some of the recipes and workouts in order to give you a solid review. I am happy to report that my review will finally be on the blog next week! Spoiler: I really liked it. I have been reading Sarah’s blog and watching her YouTube videos for a long time so I am not really surprised, but it has a lot of things other diet books I have seen don’t have!

4. Avapalooza 

avapalooza

The charity yoga event with Yoga Jake that I attended a few weeks ago was to benefit The Cure ATRT Now Fund as part of this years big fundraiser called Avapalooza. Avalanna is this Saturday, April 5, from 11 am – 11 pm. There is spinning and yoga as well as a few fitness and nutrition classes. I am bummed I can’t make it to any of the events, but if you are local to Methuen check out the schedule or you can donate here.

5. Just Add Cooking Giveaway

JustAddCooking.jpg

Remember that Just Add Cooking review I wrote on Wednesday? Well, now I have a chance for you to win a 2-person, 3 meal box for yourself.

How to Enter the Giveaway:

This prize is for new clients only. Before entering go to Just Add Cooking and click on Get Cooking to create an account. There is no charge for this and you don’t need to enter a credit card. You also need to make sure you are in the delivery area, after you do that, enter the rafflecopter below. The giveaway ends Monday, April 7 at 11:59 pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What things are you excited about this Friday?

* are referral links

Five Things Friday: Thoughtful Posts

Five Things Friday

While I would argue that all posts, for the most part, are written to get you to think about something, I picked these 5 posts to feature in this weeks round-up because they are either things I have been thinking about lately, or topics that have been a part of my life.

Marriage Shouldn’t Work – The Wannabe Athlete

wannabeathleteI know Callie’s post is old, but I still love it. I’ve been talking with a good friend lately about marriage, about how some people don’t realize that relationships take work and effort and that it is not a fairytale. No man is going to come sweep you off your feet and keep you on this pedestal for the rest of your life, it’s just not realistic, and too many people want to be constantly wooed. Personally, I don’t want a man who is going to be making grand gestures all the time, because eventually they won’t be grand gestures and I will expect more and more. Instead, I want a man who will help me change the sheets at 3 am when our son gets sick. I want a man who will try all my new recipes, and laugh with me when we realize how truly terrible it is. I want a man, who at the end of the day, is someone I can laugh with, someone I can go out and have a great time with, or we can stay in and still have a great evening with a pizza and movie.

I also really like Callie’s point about protecting your marriage, 10 years ago you couldn’t go find your high school/college boyfriend or fling on facebook, and that was a damn good thing. It is so easy to have someone make you feel special and wooed through a text message or email, but that will only last a short time, eventually they too will stop trying to woo you. Also, check out this post, it has some other great points.

The Guilt Prison – Determined. To Be…

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All of Jolene’s posts make me sit and think all about what is going with me and my life, but this especially speaks to me currently. I have a lot of guilt about the miscarriage and the aftermath. Things have obviously changed, and life has gotten better, but that doesn’t mean I don’t carry the guilt with me. Or the guilt that came with emotional eating for far longer than I care to admit, the guilt of how I let my sadness affect my relationships with my husband and other people I love.

On Unfriending – The Lunchbox Diaries

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Colleen’s post says what a lot of us think or feel. How crappy we feel after spending time on facebook and looking at what all these other people are doing. Based on this post and Callie’s post I think we’d all be better off deleting the whole thing all together.

Is BARBIE unapologetically herself? – Carla Birnberg

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Carla has written multiple times about how great it is to be unapologetically yourself, and now with all the media surrounding the Barbie Sports Illustrated business she weighs in with her opinion. What do you think about what she has to say?

Click.Snap. – Love Life Surf

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Christine’s posts about yoga are some of my favorite, and in this post she talks about her old yoga videos and how they allowed her to see the progress she has made. I know bloggers give other bloggers a lot of flack for progress pictures, etc… but this proves how I feel about them. Regardless of how fit you might think someone is they might be looking to improve or not realize they’ve improved, and videos or photos can really help you see the changes.

What are your favorite posts this week? 

Pin It Party #3

 

 

 

I know technically it is the fourth Pin It Party, but I didn’t participate in the very first one, so this is my third. Thanks to Lindsay for hosting this wonderful round-up, I hope you find a post you love while you are here! You can check my first and second posts if you have the time.

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So what is a Pin It Party? I share five of my favorite pin worthy posts with you, and link up on Lindsay’s blog. Once you write a post make sure you pin 5 blogs posts to support your fellow bloggers! Click on the photos to get to the post.

1. Toddler Time Workout

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A quick and sweaty workout at home!

2. Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Koulourakia

IMG_3803.JPGMy favorite Greek Christmas cookie

3. Stocking Stuffer Guide for the Host

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I know the holidays are over, but these are fun gifts to keep in your back pocket when you need to give a gift to someone who loves to cook, bake, host or all of the above. All of these items are under $20 so it won’t break the bank either!

4. My Favorite Books of 2013

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I made reading more of a priority in 2013 and I picked 5 books that I read that I absolutely loved.

5. Cold Weather Necessities

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I have extremely dry skin, couple that with this dry winter air and the coldness of the polar vortex? I have been employing every strategy possible to keep my skin from cracking and bleeding.

Cold Weather Necessities

I don’t know about you but even though I don’t like the cold weather my biggest pet peeve is the fact that it wreaks havoc on my skin. Couple the weather with well water, and I am in dry skin hell. It took me almost a year, but I have found products that work so that my skin isn’t cracking and bleeding all winter long. I bet you are loving that visual.

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I went into Sephora last winter and basically pleaded with the sales associate to find a moisturizer that would not make me want to claw my skin off after an hour or two of wear. I fully expected the woman to refer me to something that would cost a lot of money, but she actually referred me to the Sephora line.

The first layer is Ultimate Moisture Serum, I put this on immediately on after I get out of the shower. I wait a minute or two for it to set and then I do one of two things.

Most days I move immediately to the Intensive Instant Moisturizer, unless I am going out, then I use Smashbox BB Cream, it has a moisturizer in it so I don’t feel the need to use both.

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Cetaphil was actually something I found through B’s pediatrician. Unfortunately, B inherited my dry skin and no lotion we tried worked. His pediatrician recommended the Cetaphil Restoraderm Skin Restoring Moisturizer it is a long-lasting moisturizer that is approved for Eczema prone skin. It keeps B’s skin smooth and it helps keep mine from feeling dry as well. I also keep their Therapeutic Hand Cream in purse. When we are out I am constantly washing both of our hands and it dries out our skin and causes it to crack and bleed. This has been lifesaver, it is not greasy and dries very quickly.

A tip: if my hands start bleedings, especially the knuckles, I dab on some Aquaphor before bed and it is usually a lot better by the time I wake up.

Unfortunately, I also get chapped lips like crazy and for years I have been using Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm, it is a bit more expensive then your regular chapstick but I find it is the best for dry chapped lips. I keep tubes everywhere, my car, purse, house, etc…

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Lastly, I love having soft and comfortable sweats. There are some days that it can be too brutally cold to spend a lot of time outside. Those days B and I get dressed in our comfiest sweats and spend our time playing in our living room. Right now my favorite gear is the Batwing and Robin CowlNeck from Athleta and my Studio Poise sweatpants. They both are soft on the inside and outside, none of that itchy material. I ordered both a size up because I like my sweats kind of baggy.

What are your cold weather must haves?