Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Smooth Viking Beard Balm

This post has been crazy delayed because, well, I don't have a beard and had to get the feedback from my other half. My boyfriend really liked the products, specifically he likes the conditioner and balm the best. He has/had a crazy, full, curly, thick beard and it was getting intense and out of hand. It also had split ends and just looked nuts because, like a girl messes with her hair when she is anxious, he messed with his beard constantly when he was anxious. And I saw had a beard, because he shaved it off two days ago! 

The company is called Smooth Viking (seriously, I love that name) and these were found on Amazon here. Each product is around $16 and contains all kinds of great things for skin, argan oil, almond oil, shea butter. Ingredients you can pronounce and actually know what they are. I use varying forms of these on a daily basis!

He said that the balm was great for when he wanted it to be a little more "flat" and not as poofy. With the weather being so muggy here lately, it was sticking straight out and this helped alleviate that. It tamed it like an anti-frizz girls hair product. 

The conditioner was an improvement for both of us because he kept using my curly hair conditioner on his beard which made me a little (lot) crazy.

The only one he wasn't crazy about was the oil, but I think that has more to do with his hair type than the actual product. He actually liked it but it took a long time to get it back out for him. His hair tends to get greasy fast and I think the combination just didn't work well with his hair. 

They all smelled like, well, men's products so that's a good thing. If something smells slightly feminine, he's done and he said he liked the masculine, but not overpowering smell of these products. 

Vegetarian Challenge

Rebekah Borucki, or more commonly known as BexLife on her site and YouTube channel, and Danielle Diamond of Xen Strength decided to put together a Vegetarian challenge and I, for some reason, decided to try it.

I had started noticing that a lot of foods were triggering my weird pain condition, but I wasn't always sure which ones. My boyfriend was a bit more observant and realized gluten was a big trigger to me just generally feeling like crap. I cut that mostly out but still had it a bit but it was almost always consumed with meat as well.

So onto this challenge. There is a bit more to it than just eating a vegetarian diet. Actually, not even everyone in the challenge, myself included, has strictly eaten vegetarian. I have mostly been consuming a vegetarian diet, but often have had meat (fish mostly) once a day due to limited options and not feeling like cooking separate meals. The last couple of weeks however, I have stuck to it more diligently and can absolutely tell a difference in how I feel, my pain, headaches, stomach issues, and even my skin.

I'm still eating yummy, super filling foods that taste great. It's taken some time to navigate it all, and I'm tearing up cookbooks and websites finding yummy recipes. But I've also taken a bigger notice of where my food is coming from and the impacts on the world. It makes me happy.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dead Sea Mud Mask review

I look crazy in this pic (like my Bondi Band?) But this is what the Dead Sea Mud Mask looks like on my skin. Not too thick or chunky, and goes on easily. You really only need small amount. I have tried putting it on thicker, but it honestly didn't make a difference to me.  Warning: It's cold at first! But refreshing. It does have a smell but it's not bad and didn't cause any discomfort for me. My normal acne mask smells way worse ha! 

I should have taken an after picture, but as you can see, I'm terrible at selfies so I didn't. My skin felt smoother, softer, and some of my visible scars looked diminished. I asked my boyfriend if he could tell a difference (he's brutally honest, and he works in film so I usually get a good opinion) and he agreed that skin felt softer and looked clearer. I've been using it about once a week and I love the way my skin feels and look afterwards. I do tend to wash my face first, just with water, and then use the mask but I've also used it after using my acne face wash and love the combination of the two. 

I love mud masks, and have used clay masks before and this works better I think! It also helps control oil buildup on my T-zone. It also has 1200 4.5 star reviews on amazon and at $25, is reasonably priced as well! 

I received this product in exchange for my honest review. It has become a staple in my skin care routine and I will absolutely buy it again.

Cassey Ho's Hot Body Year-Round Book!

My workout journey began because I just felt blah. I remembered how much I loved the team workouts when I played volleyball in high school so I talked to my boyfriend who encouraged me with weights.

Around this time, I also found Cassey Ho, or better known as, Blogilates. I've loved yoga and pilates based workouts for a while, courtesy of Kristen McGee, so I was interested in these crazy workouts I saw all over You Tube and online in various other social media places. They are tough sometimes, but so fun and they work! So when I saw that Cassey's book had come out, I was super curious. And while I haven't done her Blogilates workouts in a while, I still love them and have been slowly trying to incorporate them back into my workouts. (I have a favorite here!) The biggest changes I have had in my body have been with her videos.

Image from
Cassey's book starts off with some background information about her. Her family, how she started Pilates, and how she started teaching it. A section on Getting Started regarding foods, fitness, motivation, a calendar for how to pair workouts, and some recipes.
NOTE: I've made some of her recipes from her website in the past, and some of these look really good!

The rest of the book goes through four seasons, starting with Spring. Each section has an introduction workouts, in season grocery lists, and more recipes with a meal plan. And the workout pictures? Are freaking beautiful! Each one fits the season with winter having an all white background (looks like salt flats, I have no idea) and Cassey in bright blue. So pretty!

Overall, I think a lot of people would love this book! If you are afraid of the gym, or group classes, or simply don't know where to start, I think it would be a great place to start. If you aren't sure how to properly do an exercise based on the pictures, hit up her YouTube channel, and find something that relates and see if it's there, or if you can't do an exercise, use it to find something comparable.

While I enjoy lifting, I definitely plan on incorporating her workouts as well and I regularly keep some older favorites in my queue for days when I want to do Pilates (her version is fun!) I forgot how much I loved doing them! Go get this book!

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest opinion.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Radha Argan Oil

I first heard about Argan oil when I received some as a free with purchase in an order from Sephora. My skin is kind of sensitive to some moisturizers (mostly it makes my chin breakout) so I was interested in trying something more natural on my skin and let's face it, chemicals are bad for you anyway.

So I was excited when I heard about Radha Argan Oil. Plus, I mean it comes in a really pretty cobalt blue bottle. I'm a sucker for things that are blue. (My nails matched on coincidence, my blue obsession is serious business you guys).

This is what the dropper and liquid look like. It doesn't have much of a smell, and the color is a barely there yellow. It comes with a normal screw on lid, and the dropper is in the box which also screws on.

I have tried other Argan oil products and loved them, so when the opportunity to review this one came up, I had to review it. I absolutely love this stuff! Most moisturizers break my face out, but this stuff doesn't at all and my face feels, and looks, so much better. 

I've been using it twice daily for a few weeks on my face. 

When I have hair flyaways, I put a drop or two on my palm, rub my hands together and lightly put it in my hair and they go away! 

Friday, April 3, 2015

Lighten up, y'all Review and Giveaway

Healthy. Southern. Food.

My boyfriend and I are both primarily Southerners so when this book came up, I knew it might be hit or miss because, honestly, Southern food seems to neeeeed the fattening, crazy ingredients. Thankfully, it was such a hit that we ate everything before I could grab pics!  This was also my first time cooking eggplant and everyone loved it.

Lighten up, y'all is a perfect book for Southerners who need to make their Southern recipes a bit healthier. Some can't be changed, I know, but some can and this book definitely proves it for me! Or if you just want to try some new, different, healthy recipes.

We made Eggplant Asian Stir fry and Peach Basil chicken. So good. We all devoured it and my son even requested the chicken as leftovers the next day (this rarely, if ever happens with anything but pasta for him).

The recipes were easy I felt like she knew what I was thinking while trying to prepare some of this. Especially the eggplant. I have literally, never purchased an eggplant before. I had no idea what in the world to do with this odd colored fruit/vegetable. Thankfully, Virginia explained it all perfectly so I couldn't screw it up. We all ate it and thought of ways to incorporate it into other meals. It would seriously be perfect in my chicken fried rice dish.

My 12 year old also went through the book and bookmarked a ton of recipes he wants to try. Some are very different and I love that he's interested in these. The pictures are also perfect (I mean, look at that dish in the pic?)

Also, I received two copies of the book; one to keep and one to give away. So what is your favorite Southern recipe? I'll randomly draw a winner from here, or instagram, and twitter.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Valentia Even Glow Serum Review!

I was given the opportunity to try out Valentia Even Glow Serum and here is my review! The product comes in a copper color, glass bottle with a dropper lid. It's 20% Vitamin C and due to this, is a great antioxidant driven treatment for skin.

I used it primarily on my neck, and d├ęcolletage area. My face is sensitive to Vitamin C apparently (though I had never tried it previously on my face, I found out the hard way...should have known better since I have problems drinking orange juice as well). It did however do great on the areas I did continue use on. The skin on my neck lost some of the visible lines, and my d├ęcolletage area lost some of the remnants of being out in the sun too much as a kid without sunscreen. The skin also feels tighter and less rough which is an A+ in my book!

Though I have only used this product for a month, I would highly recommend this to other people who want to get rid of signs of aging. It does smell a bit like orange juice, which I didn't mind and my boyfriend actually thought it smelled amazing (go figure).

For more information, go to the Valentia website here! When you purchase it, they also include some great "recipes" for skincare that I really liked.

All opinions are my own though I was given the product for free in exchange for my review.