Tuesday, November 18, 2014


I got my first care package of goodies to review as an ambassador for Ramblen. Ramblen is special because they're the first organization that asked me to represent them as an ambassador. Plus, I have a raging girl-crush on Danielle, who is one of Ramblen's founders and the writer for one of my favorite blogs, The T-Rex RunnerYeah, Danielle is THAT awesome.

Anyway. I got a box of organic personal care items from Acure: dry shampoo, lip balm, body wash, leave-in conditioner, skin toner, face and body wipes, and argan oil. 

Acure is not messing around. This is a
box of serious skin and hair care booty.

Due to time constraints and the sheer volume of awesomeness contained in this box, I am going to do a two-part review. Today, I'll be reviewing Acure's toner, lip balm, body wash and dry shampoo. 

Rose and Red Tea Facial Toner:

I love this product. It's smells wonderful and has a light astringent quality to it without stinging. The product is sprayed directly on the face, so it has a nice cooling effect on the skin.

All their products are certified USDA organic, which I love.
Plus, I'm all about pretty packaging. 
Pretty pretty! This bottle has fine-mist
pump that feels refreshing on the skin.
Dry Shampoo:

I don't have any experience with powder dry shampoo - and I had the tell-tale powder marks left over in my hair to prove it. Maybe there is such a thing as hair that is too dirty (I take my 'product testing' seriously, apparently) since I applied it after a sweaty spin class session. Out of the whole loot, this is what I was most excited about but ended up being the most disappointed with. It's difficult to apply and use -- I kept trying to 'pump' it into my hair -- but again, I'm sure there is a learning curve with a powder dry shampoo versus a spray. Plus, anything without aerosol is a win for the environment.   

Dry Shampoo - a runner's best friend!

Argan Oil Lip Balm:

I don't use lip balms frequently - or much make-up at all, really, but I loved this. I was pleasantly surprised with Acure's take on the typical waxy Chapstick-style lip balm. I applied it with a little too much pressure expecting a hard wax, but the argan oil made the lip balm much softer than I anticipated. It has a minty tingle and a yummy chocolate smell. The only thing that would make this product better would be to add SPF for UV protection...but maybe that messes with the whole 'natural' wah of their skin care line? *shrugs*  

Tropical Citrus Argan Oil Castile Soap   

A+ for eye appeal!
Babydoll loves a good aesthetic.
Castile is a more natural take on ordinary soaps or shower gels, so if you are looking for a luxurious Mr. Bubble-type experience, which I prefer...because I operate from the Bubbles = Clean school of thought, then this might not be your favorite body wash. It has a pleasant citrus smell without any lingering perfumes. It's a product similar to Dr. Bronner's Castile Liquid Soap, except with the added benefit of argan oil. I probably won't replace this product when I'm done, but my skin definitely felt softer after using it.

I received free product in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 10, 2014

6 Signs That I've Fallen Off The 'Clean-Eating' Wagon

For some, this may be more than you ever want to know about my poor eating habits...but if you relate, then we can commiserate together. Here are my top six 'fell off the healthy eating' wagon issues:

1. Watching TV, playing on my phone, or working at the computer while eating. Do other people do this? The reason it's an issue is because while I'm happily playing Hay Day or checking my email, I am missing the 'full' cue from my body. I am much more likely to absentmindedly consume extra food that I wasn't actually hungry for. Since I'm distracted, there is a disconnect between what I'm eating and if I've had enough. 

2. Eating ice cream. I'm sure that sounds nuts, but it's the truth. My teeth have a high sensitivity to hot and, particularly, cold foods or beverages. If I'm eating ice cream, then it's a sure sign that things are out of control with my sugar consumption. 

3. Drinking soda. When I was growing up, my mom seldom bought soda at the store. If she did buy any, the only kind she would get was caffeine-free Diet Coke. Ugh. I mean, why bother? It's never been a habit of mine...until recently. I'm especially fond of all those delicious, delicious chemicals in Diet Dr. Pepper. 

The problem is that sodas and coffee are diuretics. If I had to create a sub-category, it would be 3a. Not drinking enough water because I'm am frequently dehydrated more often than not. Reaching for a soda that makes me even more dehydrated is not helping things along. I recently read a comment someone made that 'soda will be the cigarettes of the next generation.' And they're right: there is nothing beneficial in soda. My trainer's compromise: I can have a soda, just make sure I've consumed my minimum water requirements for the day first.  

4. Eating processed foods. I generally avoid fast food restaurants and hand-to-my heart, my son has never been to a McDonalds...but that doesn't mean we eat clean; white flour and sugars are a part of our daily diet. When I lost almost 25lbs a year ago, it had less to do with exercise and everything to do with what I was eating. 

I recently complained to my trainer about the weight that I've gained back. Her reply was a tough one to read: the reason I can't lose weight is because I continue to bring tempting foods into the house -- that I can't resist -- for my kids and my husband. She said that until I realize that it's no better for my family than it is me and we make a lifestyle change, I won't be successful at keeping the weight off. 


She's right, but man, did it ever piss me off to read that. 

5. Not eating enough freggies (fruits + vegetables = freggies). The name of the healthy lifestyle game is fiber. The harder my body has to work to extract nutrients from fiber-dense foods, the better it is at stoking my metabolic furnace. Unfortunately, my freggie intake drops as soon as I fall back into the bad habits above. 

The things that work for me are keeping accountable with a food journal, drinking lots (and lots) of water, and incorporating fruits and vegetables into every meal I consume. The less sugar I eat, the less sugar I crave.

What kinds of things make you successful in eating healthfully?

Monday, November 3, 2014

All Hallow's Eve

Our house is about 5 blocks above what I consider the Halloween epicenter in our town, and it's wildly popular with families and teenagers. The streets funnel into a circular drive where the most elaborate yards are found. One house was showing Monsters Vs Aliens in their yard on a giant movie screen. 

In past years, we have typically trick or treated along our street and the block above us, but this was the first year that I ventured down into the madness. I was loosely supervising a group of teenage boys while taking in the impressive Halloween decorations. 

Shortly before we headed home, I went into the neighborhood haunted house, 'Safe Haven'. I don't like to be frightened, and I certainly don't like people jumping out at me. I decided to go in for a host of stupid reasons, but primarily because I was dared by another parent. What can you do? ::shrug::

It was impressive, to say the least. They rented temporary construction-style fencing for their property, and each person was ushered into the entrance by a several shouting adults who offered a 'safe haven' from the zombie apocalypse. There were about 20 actors total that were either a) prisoners/zombie bait who were begging to be released b) military personnel or c) zombies. It was terrifying and enormously good fun. As we left the safe haven compound, there was a 'decontamination' area where we were blasted with air to rid any possible zombie exposure...only to be sneezed on as we crossed the threshold back into society. I'm not sure that's how becoming a zombie works, but whatever. Maybe it was a play on the Ebola scare? 

As soon as I stepped out onto the street, it started to rain. Things started to clear out pretty fast, but I was stoked to see some precipitation in our dry town. I hope you all had a great Halloween! Leave a comment and tell me your favorite costume that you saw this year. 

Dr. Lucy

Dead Fred's Disco

I was taking photos when I realized the hooded Jawas in the
foreground were actually children standing very still.
Yeah. I freaked.

H _ N G M _ N

This was the house showing a movie in their front yard.
Did I tell you this area was popular for teens or what??

My newest decoration: light up pumpkin Yoda

This was one of dozens of terrifying, live actors.
The zombie bride eating a human leg. Aiieeeeee!

Terrifying dummy inside Safe Haven haunted house.

My favorite decoration: misting pumpkin

My frightfully awesome porch

Hello Pumpkin
Hello Zombie

I was Luke Skywalker for Halloween. Of course,
I brought a little Halloween to spin class last Thursday.