Monday, April 28, 2014

Origins Checks and Balances Face Wash and Dark Spot Remover

One of my goals for 2014, has been to get my face back to a state that I can be happy with. The English weather didn't do my face any favors and this chocolate skin was in desperate need for some sunlight and moisture.  No matter what kind of facial wash I bought, or how well I moisturized, the UK was brutal to my skin.  But since I've been back in the states, I've noticed a difference in the brightness, my complexion, and how soft my skin is.  So I thought I would share my favorite face wash with you.

I've been using checks and balances face wash on and off since 2009.  Why on and off? Because I tried so many things to to try and get my face in order over the past few years, but I always end up coming back to this.

And origins itself.

I am completely in love with this company. Origins' mission is to "create high performance skin care that is powered by nature and proven by science".  A friend of mine from Phoenix was obsessed with the company and bought me little gift set for my birthday. I've been hooked ever since.  After a few months, I barely put on any foundation.  I hoping to get back to that life.

This is what the packaging looks like.  All that pretty tissue paper makes me feel like I'm getting a present!

Usually, when you order over 30 worth of products, you get to choose between a few free samples. I've lost them all lol.

Checks and Balances Frothy Face wash- I am completely in love with this product. It actually feels like lotion right out of the tube, but a little water goes a long way and you are full of lather before you know it.  I literally put a pea sized amount in the center of my clarisonic and my face is covered with later when I'm done.  Don't be put off if you don't have a clarisonic because I used it for years without one.  Its rare that I have absolutely nothing bad to say about a product, but it's so true.  I absolutely looooooove this face wash.  My skin feels soft, clean, and it smells delicious. $21.00

 This was the best example of a lather I could work holding a camera in my other hand.  I promise it gets frothier than that!

Skin tone Correcting Serum-  As I've said before, these damn dark spots on my face wont quit.  When I lived in Phoenix, I used this serum and got great results.  The problem is that I hate waiting on them.  It's been about 3 weeks and I've seen them lighten up a bit, but I not enough to make a serious statement about the effects.  I am going to revisit this in a few more weeks.  But I DID get rid of my spots a few years ago with this stuff, but they weren't as bad as they are now.  Alas, only time can tell. But it definitely makes my face feel like butter!  $55

I tried to get a good shot of the ingredients but you know how those cell phone cameras are.  I wont get my DSLR until all of our furniture arrives from England, so this will just have to do.

What's your favorite face wash?  Are you a fan of Origins?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ginger Lemon Water in the Am?

I've been drinking my Lemon Ginger cocktail for a while now and I thought I would share some of those benefits with you.  Lemons are nothing short of little citric miracles.  From adding them to your water to throwing some juice in your tea, lemons are just amazing.  The Food Matters website is one of my favorites for all things natural and healthy.  Every morning I have this little toddy after I oil pull.  Here are a few of the reasons why lemon ginger water is how you should start your day.

  • Lemon is an excellent and rich source of vitamin C, an essential nutrient that protects the body against immune system deficiencies
  • Lemons contain pectin fiber which is very beneficial for colon health and also serves as a powerful antibacterial
  • It balances maintain the pH levels in the body
  • Having warm lemon juice early in the morning helps flush out toxins
  • It aids digestion and encourages the production of bile
  • It is also a great source citric acid, potassium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium
  • It helps prevent the growth and multiplication of pathogenic bacteria that cause infections and diseases
  • It helps reducing pain and inflammation in joints and knees as it dissolves uric acid
  • Ginger is  one of the best anti-aging foods there is.
  • It helps cure the common cold 
  • Ginger aids in digestion
  • The potassium content in lemon helps nourish brain and nerve cells
  • It strengthens the liver by providing energy to the liver enzymes when they are too dilute
  • It helps balance the calcium and oxygen levels in the liver In case of a heart burn, taking a glass of concentrated lemon juice can give relief
  • It is of immense benefit to the skin and it prevents the formation of wrinkles and acne
  • It helps maintain the health of the eyes and helps fight against eye problems
  • Aids in the production of digestive juices
  • Lemon juice helps replenish body salts especially after a strenuous workout session

Do you have a a morning ritual?  Plan on trying lemon ginger water?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Self Love Challenge

My knee hurts. 

I went to the gym yesterday and did a series of leg work, including weighted squats, jump squats, presses and weighted lunges.  And now...

My damn knee hurts.


I must have pulled, twisted, ripped, or chipped something in there because this thing is on fire.  I tried to workout today and that was a bad idea.  Rob and I decided to do a T-25 workout in the living room and it started out great.  I figured the pain would work itself out if I stretched and exercised a bit.  WRONG!  I almost fell over. The pain was so out of this world that I just stopped working out.

I went to the kitchen and cried. Because all I could think was "do my knees hurt because I've gotten so f.a.t? Am I getting old?".  Urgh. I'm usually not such a negative nancy, but that took the wind out of my sails a bit. Made me have some serious self doubt, and we all struggle with that demon once in a while. Even the fittest and prettiest have trouble getting over that hump.

After my little baby tantrum, I wiped my face, and decided to take a shower and get ready for our trip to Atlanta tomorrow.  But before I did, I just stood there in the mirror- naked.  I didn't want to continue my day with all those negative thoughts in my mind. So I just stared at myself naked, took some deep breaths, and did one of the hardest things you could do when you are feeling self conscious;

I said nice things about myself.

I started to feel better immediately, and after about 5 minutes of this seemingly simple activity, I felt like a million bucks.  I've read about the benefits of positive self talk and thinking "it" into existence, but I never really gave it a serious shot. 

So I decided to really take a stab at it.  For the next 30 days I am going to make it my business to point out things that I love about myself.  No superficial shit either. Im going to take all my negatives thoughts and turn them into positives...eventually it will all be second nature. 

My plan is to start my day by looking at myself naked and taking deep calming breaths, continue to workout and eat clean (because that always makes you feel better) while taking it easy on my knee, and post my daily positive talk about myself on my instagram.  I will also post those pictures here at the end of every week.  

I'm excited but a little nervous.  I know it sounds crazy, but I don't know if I can come up with 30 things ! And after losing my grandmother this week, I don't want to spend any more time being down on myself.  When I'm 90 I want to look back with out regrets or "I wish I would have..." Well the challenge  

Want to join me? 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Publix: Where Have You Been All My Life?

I have like 3 different blogs just chillin in the Draft holster, but I had to post about this real quick.  Those of you that already know about publix, or live in an area that has one, already know about the magical aisles that I lost myself in today.

I WAS BLOWN AWAY!!! Let me start by saying that I've never been to a publix before, and after being in England and only having the commissary or Sainsbury's for shopping, the whole experience of shopping had become dull and monotonous.  BUT HARK, THE GROCERY ANGELS SING!!

Now we don't have a whole foods in Valdosta, so I was worried about getting my good fruit and veg, but this grocery store (though expensive) is a pretty decent substitute.  Needless to say, I spent quite a bit in there.  It makes sense though.  We had a bottle of almond milk and  a box of Special K in the pantry before we went on that trip.  It was necessary... Mostly.  Maybe I didn't need the pound of cashews.  Or the Canadian Cheddar that we got from the deli.

Fruits and Veggies and Cheeses, Oh My!  In other news, putting together a house is so expensive.  I am now on a self mandated spending freeze (Not all the way "Self", husband said "Shaina, you need to get your shit together and get out of my wallet) and I will not be buying anything else in the way of house putting togethering-ness.  But the fridge is looking great, thanks to Publix- My new favorite place in Valdosta!!!

Are you a Publix fan? What is your favorite grocery store?  

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Finally Settled in Georgia

After what seemed like an 8 year experience, we are finally settled into our new home in Valdosta, Ga.  I am not going to get into a lot of details here because I have several blogs pending.  I have to write about my show and my last few emotional days in England.  This post is just to say HELLO!!! And to remind you that I'm still here hahahaha.  It was hard to find time to write between the show, parties, dinners, and travelling.  But I'm finally here!!
The First time at the house

We found this amazing couch set on Craigslist and I absolutely them.  They were a steal and are literally the most comfortable thing in the world.  The girl we bought them from was super sweet and so was her boyfriend.  Valdosta friends anyone?
We also finally bought a new bed.  We saw a "Mattress Firm" store while we were getting our new cell  phones turned on, and after the salesman stopped trying to sell us $8000 tempur pedic beds, we found a delicios pillow top king that was within the buget.  I sleep like a baby.  I'm not kidding.  As soon as I get into the bed I am out like a light.  We needed something to sleep on so I bought this cheap set from walmart.  I never would have guessed that they would be so butter!
We went to petsmart and I HAD to buy these shirts because, as you can see, they are absolutely amazing. I mean really, how stinking cute are they?

Check out this back yard.  This is just a piece of it too.  It's huge.  I am so in love with this house.  I am sure I will say it another 1000 times on this blog, but I am really in love with it.  Of course there will be more pictures to come, but this is just a taste of the awesomeness.
And lastly, we got the babies shaved and groomed.  Let's just call it what it was- PUPPY SPA DAY!!! They were washed in an oatmeal bath, had their ears cleaned, nails filed- I mean, the whole 9 yards.  And when they came out, they were wearing these little petsmart ascots..real Fred style (Fred from Scooby Doo for those of you young'uns reading this).

All in all, it's been a helluva few days.  In an amazing way.  More to come later my darlings!