Monday, July 30, 2012

This blog has relocated!

This blog has moved up in the world to  Click over there to see what I've been cooking up and what we've been doing!

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Glam May Review

In May, I signed up for a MyGlam subscription for the first time and I was pretty happy with it, though I'm super-late posting about it because I've already received my June MyGlam bag.  MyGlam is a beauty subscription program in which you receive 4-5 full-size or deluxe beauty products in a little cosmetic bag for $10 per  month.  When you sign up, you take a quiz so they can customize your Glam bag.  You can cancel your subscription at any time, so it's pretty low risk!  It would also be a fun gift idea for a friend or sister!

May MyGlam Bag:
The makeup pouch was cute, but it has an awful smell.  I've had it airing out for a month, but it smells weird and chemically, so I'll probably throw it out - it can't be healthy.
  • Philosophy Love Sweet Love Spray Fragrance - this has a nice clean scent - sweet,  but not coying.  The retail price is $42, which isn't terrible for a large perfume.  I don't wear perfume all of the time, so I never really buy big bottles.  I just use a sample-size when I do wear it. 
  • Studio Gear Complete Color Lipstick in Warm Embrace - I worried that this was going to be a horrible shade, but it really isn't!  I actually love it!  It's definitely redder/darker than what I usually wear, but that's because I never find a red that I like.  It claims to plump your lips, though I can't say I noticed a difference.  I've worn this several times since I got it and would consider buying it again for $15.  This is a full-size product, so it exceeded the price for the subscription and made it well worth it.  The picture below is me wearing this shade - and no other makeup.  I also didn't apply the lipstick very neatly, but it still gives you an idea of the shade.  
  • Miss Beauty Nail Bling - These nail stickers are cute, but I haven't worn them yet so I don't know how easy they'll be to apply.  I feel like they'll be a little much to wear on all fingers, as sparkly pink hearts, but they'll be cute as an accent finger.  I couldn't find the price of these, but I'd guess $10 or less.  I probably wouldn't buy this design/color, but if these wear well, they'd be fun occasionally.
  • myglam Concealer Brush & Defining Eyeliner Brush - To be honest, I don't really know which brush is which because they aren't labeled.  One is a thin fine brush which could work well for applying small dots of concealer or for a fine line on your eyes, and the other is a thin, stiff brush, which would also work for both applications.  I've used these, but I still haven't determined which is which.  I think I used the stiffer one for eyelining and will probably keep it that way since I don't really do a very thin line on my eyes.  These are an exclusive myglam product, so I don't think you can purchase these separately, but I probably wouldn't anyway.  
Studio Gear Complete Color Lipstick in Warm Embrace
Final thoughts?  I felt like MyGlam compared pretty similarly to Birchbox - some hits and some things I wouldn't purchase, but I really love this lipstick.  After June, I'll pick one or the other to get for the month instead of both, but I haven't really decided which yet.  I may do another month of MyGlam since I've already received several months of Birchbox - or I'll try to find a new one.  Have you tried any beauty sample subscriptions?  What did you think?

Disclosure:  I purchased the MyGlam subscription on my own and am under no obligation to post about it.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Crème De Lys Chardonnay 2010

This is one my favorite white wines now, thanks to Kelley!  Other than the taste, the best part about Crème De Lys is that it's usually on sale for about $8.  It's a little hard to find, but one of the stores near where we now live carries it regularly, so I'm all set!  This is a nice light buttery wine with pineapple and apple notes.

Until about a year ago, I used to exclusively drink red, but I think it's because I'd only tried really sweet or really dry whites. Now I pretty much stick to chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and occasionally, pinot grigio.  I mostly stick to whites that I've had before, brands that I know are good (like Cameron Hughes), or whatever Kelley pours into my glass. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Workouts: June 11 - 15

I decided this week that I'd try to do 5 days in a row of yoga.  I was hoping to get in a leg workout and spinning workout, but I failed at the leg workout because I had to flex my lunch out on Monday to 30 minutes because we had to leave early to sign our life insurance documents.  I know that I had time to do a 30 min. workout...I was just kind of too lazy to do it.  I was glad that I did the 5 days of yoga, but next week I definitely need to get in more cardio again. 

Noon:  Lazy.
7:00: 80 minute Hot yoga at Go Yoga

Noon:  Yoga at Capital Club - I hadn't been to one of Mary's classes for weeks and really enjoyed it.

Noon:  Had to flex out my lunch because I needed to run to a couple of stores during lunch to pick up some things for the Foodie Pen Pal exchange. 
7:00:  GoYoga Flow Hot Yoga 80 minutes- Holy crap we did so many vinyasa pushups - it was such a hard class!

Noon:  Spinning - my legs were already sore and tight, but I thought it would help.  It was nice to be back in the saddle and get sweaty from something other than hot yoga.
5:30: Yoga at Capital Club - She went a little easier on us today, I think because she made me do so many vinyasa pushups the night before, she said we wouldn't have to do many. 

Noon:  Lunchtime yoga at Capital Club - I wasn't looking forward to this because I thought it would be so hard, but it wasn't that bad. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffin
I'm definitely not vegan, but when I had 4 VERY brown bananas hanging out in the fridge that needed used and no eggs, I figured a vegan recipe was my best option! I googled around until I found this recipe from Whipped, which I used as a base and made the changes that I needed.  When I subbed evaporated cane juice for agave nectar and I needed to add additional liquid, but I ended up pouring in too much.  The flavor is excellent, but the texture was a bit moist, or undone, so I corrected the amounts in the recipe below.  The extra liquid is also why they sunk in the middle. 

Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins
  • 2 cups Jules all purpose gluten free all purpose flour (already contains xantham gum, but if your favorite flour does not, add 1 teaspoon xantham gum to the flour)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or sugar (evap cane juice is actually granulated like sugar - not a liquid)
  • 1 cup coconut milk, not canned (or your preferred type)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees and lightly grease a 12 cup muffin pan and some other sort of pan for the extra batter (I used a pie plate).
  • Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Add 1/2 cup oil and sugar, milk, and vanilla to dry ingredients and stir until smooth.
  • Using a spatula fold in bananas.  Stir in chocolate chips or sprinkle on top - I only put 3-4 chips on top so they'd be a bit healthier.
  • Fill prepared pan halfway with batter.
  • Bake on the center rack for 35 minutes, rotating pan after 20 minutes. Cook until when you press on the loaf is bounces back slightly and a toothpick comes out clean.  The pan may be done before the muffins if it's much thinner (mine was)
  • Let muffins sit for 20 minutes before removing from pan.  I like to turn them upside down so the bottom dries up a bit, especially since mine were so moist.  
Gluten Free Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Muffins
bottom of muffins
I could  have just cooked mine longer, but I needed to leave for yoga.  I kept these in the fridge, especially since they were so moist, because I was worried they'd get moldy easily.  I threw a couple in the freezer that we weren't going to eat before the weekend.  The next time I make this, I'll sub yogurt or applesauce for part of the oil to make them even healthier. 

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Neutrogena Cosmetics Review

I'm not a super girly, nor am I "good" at applying makeup, but I love trying new products and playing around with them.  When BzzAgent gave me an opportunity to try new Neutrogena® Cosmetics that claim to improve your skin, I was all about it.

While I wasn't holding out hope for huge skin improvements, but as long as a products aren't irritating or harsh, I'm usually happy.

I was surprised at how many products they sent.  Here is what I received, along with the descriptions and my opinions.  

Neutrogena Healthy Skin® Brightening Eye Perfector – this multi-tasking concealer immediately evens skin tone, conceals dark circles & boosts radiance, while a patented blend of antioxidants work over time to actually improve the look of skin. 

I like the actual product a lot.  I have dark circles under my eyes and I thought it made my eyes look brighter without looking cakey.  However, I didn't notice any particular skin improvement, as my dark circles are from genetics, so nothing is going to make them go away.  What I didn't like is the dispenser.  You twist the bottom of the tube to make the product come up through the brush, which has rather long bristles.  By the time you get enough product in the end of the brush to apply, too much product is in the brush and ends up being wasted.  You have to wipe the bristles after you're done or else the extra product kind of dries up in the brush.  I feel like a sponge-type applicator would be better.  My work-around for this problem is to get just enough of the product in the brush to smear it on my finger, and then apply with my finger.  I get better coverage because I can pat it into my skin and I don't waste as much product.  This retails at $13.99, which I feel like is a little expensive, especially considering the applicator wastes product.

Neutrogena® Nourishing Eyeliner – instantly defines and brightens eyes with luminous, conditioning color that wears beautifully all day. Olive oil and rainforest shea butter nourish the delicate skin around your lashes, while subtle light diffusers make the whites of your eyes appear whiter.

I received this is Cosmic Black.  It also comes in Brushed Pewter, Spiced Chocolate, and Twilight Blue (which sounds fun).  I think I would have liked this product, but I also had a problem with the applicator, which in turn kind messed up the product for good.  It was mostly stupidity, but I can't imagine that I'm the only one whom this would have happened to.  The product is an eyeliner at one side with a built-in sharpener and a smudger on the other side.  The first time I tried the product, I lined and then smudged, but when I went to put the caps back on, I put the smudger cap (which is shorter) on the liner side and smushed the liner.  I didn't think it would be a big deal, but since the sharpener is built in, it doesn't sharpen anymore.  Now the tip is flat instead of pointed, which makes it less precise to apply.  That being said, I like the eyeliner a lot (especially when it was actually pointed).  It lines very smoothly and the light diffusers make it look shimmery without being sparkly.  It smudges well too, which is important because I'm pretty terrible at drawing a straight line, so I have to smudge any eyeliner so it doesn't look like a 4 year old applied it.  This retails at $7.99, which I think is a fair price for an eyeliner, as long as you don't put the wrong cap on the wrong side (if they made them the same length, it wouldn't be a problem). 

Neutrogena® Revitalizing Lip Balm – sheer, moisturizing color that transforms the look of lips by making them softer, rosier and more defined. In just one week, it actually improve lips' texture, so lips look naturally beautiful – even after you take it off!

I LOVE these lip balms.  I'm super excited that I got three tubes since it was my favorite.  The shades that I got are Healthy Blush, Sunny Berry, and Petal Glow.  Every time I've bought tinted lip balm, the color is always weird, too bright or pink, and not really wearable.  I can wear every single one of these colors, even though I had my doubts when I looked at the tubes.  I have them stashed in various bags and don't even look to see which one I'm going to apply because they all look good.  The balm goes on so smoothly and has a nice light scent (I really hate weird, chemically smelling lip products).  It also has SPF 20, so I can wear it when I'm going to be in the sun without worrying about my lips getting dry and burnt.  These retail at $8.99, which sounds like a little much for a "lip balm", but is TOTALLY worth it.  Plus, makeup goes on sale all of the time, so I never really pay retail price.

This was a great BzzCampaign altogether.  I liked all of the products, even if I didn't like all of the dispensers, and I will definitely be buying the Revitalizing Lip Balm again.

Note: BzzAgent send me these items free of charge but in no way required me to give a good review, or any review on the products.  I chose to do the review because I liked the products.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Workouts: June 4 - 8

This week was super yoga-heavy and I was feeling it!  Every morning when I got out of bed, my back/shoulders would be SO sore!  Part of that was from a short shoulders lifting routine, but the rest was from doing wheel a couple of times. 

Noon:  30 minute leg routine - I just did some of the harder leg exercises from P90X.  I had a hair appointment that I had to leave work early for, so I took a shorter lunch.  I was pretty sore the next day.
Noon:  30 minutes elliptical and 10-15 minutes shoulder/back routine.  I hadn't bee lifting anything with my upper body much because my elbow isn't 100% yet and yoga already hits those spots quite a bit.  But this short upper body workout was great, but it definitely made me sore for a couple of days when combined with 4 days of yoga.
7:00:  Candlelight hot yoga - I thought this would be more of a relaxation yoga with  a lot of stretching, but it definitely wasn't - it was a great workout. 

Noon:  Run and stretching - I thought it was Thursday for some reason and I was looking forward to spinning, but I realized while I was changing that it wasn't Thursday.  I didn't have any plan for a workout so I headed to the gym. When I got outside I realized it was a really nice day and I was in the mood to run (which almost never happens).  So I just took off towards COSI.  I thought I'd run a couple of streets back from COSI and then run the stairs in front a little bit.  My kneecap started bothering me about halfway around, so I had to stop and massage it and walk a bit.  I didn't run the steps because I didn't think it would be good for it and there wasn't anyway to access the steps from the side I was on because of construction.  I just jogged back to the gym and did a little stretching.

7:00:  GoYoga Flow Hot Yoga 80 minutes- This class is with our favorite instructor, Anne, but that also means that it's  hard because she's the hardest instructor I've ever taken.  The room was set WAY too hot, like last week, so it was extra sweaty. 

Noon:  None- my stomach was bothering me and I was afraid that if I went to spinning, I get nauseous and have to leave.
5:30: Yoga at Capital Club - HARD.  We did some things in the class that were a little more advanced because it was just 3 of us.  It was a good class.  I've been able to do headstands against the wall, but I could only get one leg up when not using the wall - I think it was mostly a trust thing - I didn't think I could do it.  Next time I will!

Noon:  Lunchtime yoga at Capital Club - this was a really hard class compared to other lunch classes.  She isn't my favorite instructor, but it was a good class. I was a little offended when she said to go into downward dog or child's pose "because I know how this class likes child's pose".  No one who was in the class ever drops down into child's pose or slacks off, so I don't know what she was talking about, but I thought it was a little rude.  I hadn't been there for a couple of weeks, so maybe in one of the classes people did, but I just thought that it was said very negatively, which isn't cool.