Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Revealing Radiance Facial Peel

Wow! That is quite the name for a product! What does it even mean? Repair Revealing Radiance. That sounded like something I could definitely use. My skin had just been through the ringer between stress and winter. Dry, dull, sad, breaking out, you name it.

So! I was able to have an amazing Mary Kay consultant come to my home for my little facial. It was all fun and games and girly just having fun until I applied the facial peel. I was confused! A facial PEEL? This feels like a really soft luxurious moisturizer of sorts. Not a peel. You usually think of peels as either thin and sticky that you eventually peel off or something pretty rough on your face to slough off all the crap. So I was intrigued. How could this texture possibly perform the way it claimed it would? It was soft, almost buttery without the stick factor from butter. It almost felt refreshing. Can "refreshing" be a texture? I'm having trouble coming up with how this product feels on the skin. All I knew is that I loved how it felt and wanted to know how it was going to work. 


I will say that the first thing I noticed about the peel was the smell. I swear to you guys, if I could bathe in this scent I would. I don't know what it is about it but it just smells so clean! Again...refreshing. Ha!

The time came to wash it off and as usual, my skin felt amazing. In my experience, that's usually how your skin feels immediately after ....well.....any product, really. Soft, smooth, clean, impurity free. You know the drill. So of course, I loved it. But I knew the real test would come later. Hours afterward. Would my skin feel stripped dry? Would it start to actually peel from the potency in the ingredients (like most other products do on my skin)? 

I obviously didn't want to make my consultant hang around for hours and hours on end before I made my decision, so I went ahead an bought it so I could test it out. She handed me a bunch of the microdermabrasion samples and advised me to apply that one day and then wait a couple of days to apply the facial peel because together they are a dream team.

I did NOT feel that way! The peel stood the test of time for a full day (haha), meaning that my skin did not get dry, it did not react negatively at all. It just stayed the same nice clean and smooth moisturized way it was right after I'd washed it off. BUT, after I started using it with the microdermabrasion, my skin started peeeeeelliiiingggg ooooofffff! Like crazy peeling. It was terrible. I wasn't sure if my skin was finally reacting to the peel, or just the microdermabrasion or the combination of the two. So I quite using the microdermabrasion. 

I went ahead and just used either my GlamGlow skin brightening mask or my GlamGlow hydration thirstymud mask the couple of days before my facial peel day. My skin cleared right up and got back to normal. So I'm assuming it was the microdermabrasion that caused me trouble!

For the past two-ish months, I have continued on with that same routine. My skin is brighter and happier and moisturized. The past two weeks I quit using it to see what would happen. I immediately started nursing about 5 giant zits all over my face and crazy dryness on my forehead. What the HECK. I've started up with the peel again and things are going back to normal. So I have to say that can't be coincidence. The ingredients are gentle enough that it can work like some kind of magic on your skin without roughing it all up. All the while, you smell like a dream. 

It's pretty rare for me to find a skin product that I feel like I HAVE to repurchase after I've used it all up. I can normally just buy something else that does the same thing and call it good. I don't have any major loyalty to anything because I never really feel like I find anything that my skin is in love with. I'm already getting anxiety about running out of this stuff! It's a huge bottle though so I've got plenty of time (a little goes a long way). 

Monday, June 5, 2017

Redefine Lip Renewing Serum

By now, most of you have probably heard about Rodan & Fields. How could you not, they are the #1 skin care company in the nation as of right now. They specialize in skin care regimens that have an insane success rate! Since I'm a pretty skeptical person in general, I figured I'd give their lip repair serum a try to get a feel for how their products and company work.

My R&F distributor advised me to do the treatment day and night for one week at first and then just once a day. Here is my before & after! Yes, the middle one really is me. I wasn't very diligent in making sure the lighting was the same in my pictures and it really shows. The first one is in my bathroom with a mixture of natural and artificial light, the second one is in my bathroom with only natural light and the last one is in my car with only natural light. I hope you can still see the differences-


Let's get to the details! Here is what you will get-

On the inside are little capsules with the serum inside of each one. Mine came with 63 capsules, so one could argue that you are given 63 days worth of treatment. However, upon opening up my first capsule and applying it to my lips I quickly realized that there was waaaaaay more than enough for two applications per capsule. So, with my recommendation of applying it morning and night for a week, that meant I only used 7 of my capsules for that.

My first impression when I first applied the serum was, "ooOOOooo!" It honestly felt like it was kind melting into my lips with the warmth of my body heat. It was very smooth and comfortable as a serum and not sticky or overwhelming. It absorbed well over time, thought when I woke up in the morning after my night time application I still felt like my lips were moisturized and nourished, yet I couldn't really feel any product on my lips? I note that as a good thing.

I am very satisfied with my results and tell everyone I know about it. I am very confident and comfortable with the idea of ordering more product from this company. I already know what I'm getting next and and I can't wait! If you are wondering what on earth you would get from Rodan & Fields but you're curious about what they have to offer, take their little quiz right here which will guide you to the perfect regimen for your skin! Or you can just browse around and get familiar with all they have (like their brand new hydration serum that has caused a crazy stir in the skin care/beauty industry already)!

Bottom line: On a scale of 1-10 (my favorite way of rating products), I give this an 9.5. It's in the pricier side, but with how much product I received and the overall results I got, it was very VERY worth it. The ONLY reason I did not give this a 10 is because of a minor packaging detail and the issue is only an issue because there's so much product..... so am I really I'm a place to complain? You decide!

Here's what I mean. Since there is too much product for just one application (for me personally), I'm left with an open capsule and no real way to seal it or keep it closed until my next use without it just pouring out all over. I quickly discovered that my bobby pins "teeth" clamped the opening shut tight enough to keep it closed until my next use.


I just placed my capsule carrying bobby pin over the container and it stayed that way just fine! 

So, I don't know. Is that fair to complain about? There's probably a better way to deal with this and I made it complicated. I might as well have given this a 10!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Sesame Noodles


First let me just apologize for this picture. It was just sitting on the counter waiting to be eaten and I remembered I needed a picture. So I didn't try to make it look fancy. It's just as is. Also, I just had angel hair pasta on hand, so it looks a little "off," but I promise you it's good!

I have no idea where my head was at, but as I was preparing meals for our "health week," I looked at my plans for buffalo chicken lettuce wraps and thought an Asian noodle side dish would pair well. They were both great on their own, but together I have no idea why I put them together! It's not even really like they're super healthy, but hey, I had already drowned chicken in hot sauce so.... we'll just go with it.

These had really good flavor, most likely due to the sesame oil used! My husband loooooves sesame oil so I had zero reservations about the whole thing. They were deeeelicious! Of course. Pioneer Woman, right? Not to mention, this whips up FAST. You're using thin noodles so they don't take long at all and everything is just kind of dump and mix and go. Loved it!




What you will need:

  • 12 oz. thin noodles, cooked and drained
  • 1/4 C soy sauce
  • 2 T sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 3 T pure sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. hot chili oil
  • 4 T canola oil
  • Green onions, thinly sliced (optional)
Directions:
  • Mix all ingredients (minus the noodles) together in a bowl
  • Toss the cooked and drained noodles with the oil
  • Top with green onions (optional)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Cake Mix Peanut Butter Bars

So yesterday happened, which was a Sunday, and my husband was craving a dessert with peanut butter in it. Specifically, peanut butter bars. The catch? We only had 1 stick of butter. Since we don't go shopping on Sundays I was up for a bit of a challenge in finding something that would satisfy his craving!

But you guys, I did it! And, of course, it's a Six Sisters Stuff recipe. I swear between them and Pioneer Woman they are always saving the day.

I was a little skeptical at the whole cake mix idea of it. I was sure the texture would be way too off to be considered a "bar." The recipe was so dang easy though it was worth it to just go for it and see what happened.

Well, here you have it! Freakin' YUM! I love these things. My husband says that the cake flavor mixed with the peanut butter isn't quite up to his standards, but it satisfied what he was after. I, on the other hand, had zero issue with the cake flavor mixed with the peanut butter! I thought the whole thing was great and we both agreed that the texture was definitely that of a bar!


What you will need:

Bars-

  • 1 box vanilla cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1 C peanut butter
Frosting-
  • 1 stick (1/2 c) butter, softened
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 3 T cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tsp. vanilla (I used 2)
  • 2-3 C powdered sugar (I ended up using 2 1/2)
Directions:

Bars-
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Spray a 13x9 baking dish with non stick spray
  • Mix cake mix, egg, water and peanut butter together until mixed well
  • Pour and spread mixture into the 13x9 dish
  • Bake about 20-25 minutes
  • When completely cooled, spread frosting on top
Frosting-
  • Mix all ingredients together until a smooth frosting forms. Add powdered sugar as needed for desired consistency
  • Spread over the top of the peanut butter bars

It's Official: I FinallyTried Shakeology

Finally, after YEARS! I have tried Shakeology. 

Let me first start by mentioning that the Beachbody program drove me absolutely nuts from the start. The constant selfies with their "superfood, dense nutrition shake!" along with becoming a nutrition coach from simply paying a fee was not rubbing me the right way. So I stayed away from the whole thing. Far, far away.

Now of course, since it's been years of Beachbody not going anywhere, I have seen people actually benefit from it. My husband is a Chiropractor so we are no strangers to a holistic and nutrition based approach to health. He is required to attend classes and seminars with top nutritionists from all over the world every year, so there is no lack of knowledge in that area in our home. We have both scrutinized the Beachbody programs; the meal plans, the workouts, you name it. While it tends to follow "what sells" as far as the meal plans go and not always super up to date, there is no doubt that it's good for you!

For the past year or so, I have been very happy to recommend Beachbody to people who are looking to lose weight. Why? Because time after time I have watched nearly every person touched by this program become happier and more confident. They have not only lost weight, but managed to keep it off because the program focuses so much on learning to manage lifestyle changes and WHY. 

Would I ever become a coach? Absolutely not. Their compensation and business plan is TERRIBLE in my opinion. I know so many who really love it, though, and actually know a couple who have become VERY successful with it. So, while I personally don't see it as worth joining, I would never tell someone not to do it. We are all different with our own ideas so if this is your thing, I say go for it.

Now, onto the Shakeology portion of the Beachbody program. Number one, it's expensive. Beachbody coaches will kindly remind you that it breaks down to only about $3-$4 a shake. So you can decide if that's a reasonable price for a meal replacement or not! 

For me, that's not too bad actually. However, it better be pretty good for me to commit to that pretty chunk of change. The ONLY flavors I have tried are Strawberry and Chocolate.
Image Source: Shakeology.com

I started with strawberry and got the low down from my experienced shakeo friends. I tried every single thing they recommended. I could not get through more than a few gulps before giving up each time. However, I was not about to go down that easy! 

I researched what flavor is the "best," and it's pretty unanimous that chocolate is the best tasting over all. I got excited and my friend gave me a full bag to have (I mean... that's a big gift). Both my husband and I were almost giddy to try it. I started Pinteresting ways to make it immediately.

My husband tried first and he made one that was actually decent tasting. It wasn't the best, but for the first time I felt like maybe I could get used to it. I got optimistic and saw myself actually becoming a Shakeology person! I WANTED to be a Shakeology person. There is no denying how amazing it is for you and I wanted that for myself.

It was downhill from there. We could never quite find a way that we could get used to and enjoy enough to go for it seriously. I think my biggest issue was texture. No matter what ways we tried it, I just couldn't get past it. I sort of knew that would be my biggest hurdle because here's a secret; I have never liked shakes in the first place! Now my opinion might as well be completely void. My husband, however, loves shakes. He is not as picky as I at all. He gave up days after I did and we both just had to admit to each other that it wasn't going to happen. I feel strange about this, like I'm wrong in this opinion, like we are the only ones who don't like it.

Bottom line. Beachbody itself is an A. Even with Shakeology. Why? Because SO MANY PEOPLE love Shakeology, it can't be some mass club where they all initiate the newcomers by forcing them to lie about how much they love it, right? Okay, I've seen people lie for less. But you know what I'm saying. I know so many people who just drink the mix with water and they are totally fine with it. I have some leftover chocolate Shakeology and I still plan on trying out new recipes to use with it in the form of healthy snacks. I'm still a little in denial here, can you tell? 

I think over all this is definitely something worth TRYING. And I know that you don't need to drop a ton of money to just try it. You can contact a coach and get a sample first if you're skeptical! I am so glad that I gave it an honest go, and to be honest, I'll probably try again when I'm not pregnant and see if anything is different for me!

Friday, April 14, 2017

Chocolate Chip Mug Cookie

This happened because I was scrolling through Pinterest and happened to have chocolate chips on hand. Also, I'm pregnant. As if I could have said no!

A chocolate chip mug cookie? As far as mug desserts go, this one I am sure I will go ahead and make again in the future. I wouldn't say that the cookie part itself offers much flavor, but it sure offered some great substance to eat some melted gooey chocolate chips with. So, when the craving hits, this will be a good one for me.



What you will need:

  • 1 tsp. oil
  • 3 T milk
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 heaping T brown sugar (not packed)
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 T chocolate chips to mix in
  • 1 T chocolate chips to drop on the top
Directions:
  • Mix together the wet ingredients (oil, milk and vanilla)
  • Add in the brown sugar and mix well
  • Mix in the flour 
  • Mix in the chocolate chips
  • Microwave for 1 minute if you want it nice and gooey, 1 minute and 30 seconds if you'd like it somewhere in the middle and 2 minutes if you want the dough to not be gooey but still a little gooey around the melty chocolate chips.

Easy Baked Chicken Taco's

I can't believe I don't already have these on here! This is seriously a family favorite, and considering that it's a sneaky way to make my kids eat tomatoes and onions, it's a big time personal favorite, too! It calls for a diced onion and a can of diced tomatoes. What I do is toss them in a blender until they make a sauce together and toss the shredded chicken with it. You can do it however you want, though!




What you will need:

  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning of your choice
  • 3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
  • Mexican shredded cheese blend
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • Hard taco shells
  • Topics of your choice
Directions:
  • When your chicken is cooked and shredded, add the taco seasoning in and mix well
  • Preheat oven to 350*
  • Either add the diced tomatoes and onion to the chicken and mix, or blend them in a blender until it makes a sauce or chunky texture to mix in with the chicken
  • Fill the taco shells with the chicken
  • Top with the shredded cheese
  • Bake at 350* for about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted
  • Top with favorite taco topics