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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Vichy idealia Life Serum

Being a full-time mom of 2 I've been known to relish the "mom time" after the kids go to bed. So much so that I rely on caffeine in the morning but the bags under my eyes that give me away.

Fortunity I was able to try VICHY Idealia Life Serium along with some friends courtesy of VICHY and Crowdtap in exchange for our honest feedback. We all got 8 day samples to notice the difference and review.

I have to say this stuff even comes in a pretty package! I was a little disapointed though as I had to Google the instructions and attach my own instruction sheet to it for the ladies. We were supposed to use it one or 2 times daily. Most everything on the packages was in French (I believe).

The ladies and I were all so excited to try this. I use moisturizer daily & feel my skin is "ok" aside from my bags and pore size. But I'm always up for trying something new. 

The first time I opened a package and squeezed some in my hand I was surprised by the consistency. It almost feels like shampoo (not bubbly). It's also very shiny. But what had me hooked from the first second is the smell! I don't like perfumish smelling stuff but this smells amazing!! I wanted to put it on twice daily (especially right before bed) just to smell it. 

After day 1 I could tell that my skin was smoother. One of my friends compared the feel of her skin after a few days to "wax" because it felt so soft and smooth. I thought about it for a bit and I have to agree with her. Unfortunately it didn't shrink my pores, but it did make my skin look more healthy with the glow. 

Here's days 1-4

Here are days 5-8

VICHY Idealia Serum is available at Ultra.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Verizon Family Education Tools

Wishing your kids would quit playing Angry Birds on your phone & wishing they'd play something more educational? I know I was recently discussing that with a friend!

It seems like kids are spending more time on our electronics. I wouldn't mind it as much if they were learning something while they were playing. I know my friend felt the same. We both had some edicational apps on our phone/tablets, but the kids ignored them and went straight back to the "fun" (aka non educational) apps.

Amazingly, about 2 weeks after our, conversation about school starting again & needing to find learning apps that they find fun, I learned about Verizon Educational Tools App!

Verizon Family Education Tools is an app designed for kids from kindergarten to high school senior and even special needs. The apps are reviewed by educational professionals who know what helps our kids learn. The app is well designed and easy to navigate, arranged first by grade level. Then subdivided by category (mathematics, vocabulary, spelling, calculus, etc).

The Hungry Fishie Game is currently a favorite of my kids. They "feed" the fish whatever number is on his tummy. The higher the difficulty the more bubbles you had to combine to add up to equal the number the fish wants.

Some of the apps are free, some are not. For me, having a new 2nd grader I love the portability and ease to navigate. He can pick and choose the apps he'd like. My daughter is in preschool so sadly, there's no category for her yet.

For some reason the app seems to be having a log-in issue suddenly. Hopefully by the time you read this it'll be resolved, but it keeps asking us to log-into our accounts. 

The only other issue I've herd with the app is it only seems to be supported on iPhone, iPad or iPod. Both my kids have a Kindle and I try to keep them awayfrom my phone unless I forsee an emergency meltdown coming. They really like the games, but now constantly want my iPhone to play on because they don't have these games on their kindles. If your kids have iPads, like one of my friends' kids, this seems to be a must have app.

The game prices range from free to $9.99 (I believe). I just noticed they also have test preps available - apps for ACT testing as well as SAT. I'd much rather be paying for fun educational downloads then paying for the non-educational games that my kids won't get much out of.

I highly recommend a quick download just to check it out instead of buying another app that the kids will play for an hour and be bored with.

*Compinsation was provided by Verizon in exchange for my review of the Verizon Educational Tools.

Friday, August 15, 2014

GNC Total Lean Shake BURN

I recently got invited to try a new product called GNC Total Lean Shake BURN courtesy of GNC and Crowdtap. If you know me you know I don't hit the gym much, but really enjoy running and doing in-home workouts. Recently in my weight loss journey I've hit a plateau so I was happy to mix it up a bit and try something new.

I've never tried to boost my workouts with protein powder but, I'm willing to try it to get to my goal. According to the GNC Protein Number (88) I should be consuming 88g of protein daily. If you'd like to calculate your protein number you can find the GNC calculator here: GNC Protein Calculator  I should also mention that when you do find your protein number you can also receive a $10 off select GNC proteins coupon if you give them your email address.

I am supposed to consume 88 grams of protein daily to continue my weight loss

OK, enough of that and onto the results. I was hesitant when I received it that it would actually taste anything like "Chocolate Fudge", and more like chalk. However, I didn't think it was bad. It reminded me a lot of the powdered NesQuick as a kid... but mixed in water; instead of milk. Had I mixed it into milk I think I would've loved it.

I tried to mix it in a clear glass to show what it looked like mixed, unfortunately I only had a green glass
When you 1st try it, if you are new to it only do half a recommended serving until you know how your body will react. It took me a couple days to get comfortable with upping the serving. The first gave me crazy amounts of energy, but I was almost a little dizzy or spacey so I was afraid to go for a run with my head buzzing. The next day it wasn't nearly as bad. By the 4th day I felt completely comfortable and didn't really notice anything but the insane amount of energy I had. On day 5 I upped the ante and went up to a full dosage strength.

I will say, that I'm glad I didn't stop after that first day. I had continued my workout regimen but hit a plateau at 149 pounds. I attribute the weight that I've lost in the last few weeks to the change-up in my protein intake since starting GNC Lean Shake BURN. I'm now down to 140 so I've lost 9 pounds which puts me so much closer to my target of 130# I can almost taste it. The GNC Lean Shake BURN is really great a curbing my appetite so I'm not finding myself craving donuts or wanting to eat anything I can find.

My husband has been trying it with me as well. He says he can feel the difference and we both have noticed he's lost some pounds but he hasn't been keeping track like I have so I can't officially report his progress. All-in-all I found it to be a good product that I plan to keep up with. Once I hit my target goal I think I'll use it to maintain my target weight, or even see if I could go just a bit lower. I'm not sure if I'll try any of the other flavors since I'm happy with the chocolate fudge, but I know I'll find myself buying the "to go" bottles.

Friday, March 21, 2014

FREE Disney Frozen DVD/Blu-Ray Movie (Expires Today:: 3/21)

Today only, you can puck up Disney's FROZEN movie on Blue-Ray or DVD at your local Wal-Mart! You'll need to order the movie for in-store pickup using the following steps:

Head over to Top Cashback and sign up.

Search for Wal-Mart in the Merchant Finder

Click on "Get Cash back Now"

Find the FROZEN Blue-Ray (or DVD depending on what's in-stock at your store)

Add it to your cart

Select in-store pickup

Checkout (make sure FROZEN is the only item you purchase in this order)

You'll receive your cash back from Top Cashback in approximately 30-90 days. You should see the credit pending within the next 7 days.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Running with PUMA

Those of you who know me know a few months ago I took up a new interest... Running. I have always been the type who have (literally) said, "I hate running! The only time I may actually even think about running is if someone scary is chasing after me... MAYBE I would run... Maybe!"

Having a mom who can run circles around me and recently finished an Ironman triathlon made me figure if she can run 26 miles, swim 3.2 and bike 116 I should be able to run my younger butt a 5K!

I started off the the Couch to 5K app (C25K) and 8 weeks later I was running 3.2 miles in 30 minutes! I even signed up to run my first 5K race so you can imagine how excited I was when I discovered I was accepted to sample some running products from PUMA! Thanks to Crowdtap & PUMA this is what I got to test:

Sorry for the sideways pic... I cannot get it to rotate!

I was a little worried about how the shoes would fit; since I didn't get to try them on first, I picked my size and they sent them. I saw lots of people complain about their shoes being a bit big, but as a runner (yes I can now call myself a runner) you want your shoes to have some room for swelling during a run & the shoes I got were perfect! From the warmup walk, to the run to the cool down I noticed a huge difference between those shoes and my previous pair! I actually felt like I could've kept on going (not usual for me).

The shirt was actually different than I was expecting. I received a short sleeve shirt instead and a light long sleeve jacket (PUMA Pure NightCat Reflective Running Jacket). I have to say I love the jacket and shirt so much that I'm not bummed out at all about not getting the long sleeve shirt. The jacket is very reflective (great for the fall/winter shorter days), and the shirt feels so light I feel like I'm just running in my sports bra.

I know I look awful but it's post-workout & early morning!

The pants were pretty crazy when I got them. I was surprised by what I called "traction control" inside them. It essentially looks like little rubber tire treads inside the tights. It does make them a little more difficult to get on, but that may have more to do with the fact that they sent me a small & I could've used a medium. The treads are actually athletic tape strategically placed to actually massage your muscles as you run. I'm not sure how well they worked since it wasn't like a masseuse giving me a massage but I can say the 1 knee that usually gets achy about mid run hasn't bothered me. Not sure if it's that it just decided to quit fighting me, or the massaging tights, or the new shoes (I'm guessing the new shoes helped a lot though).

This new gear really helped motivate me to keep going dispite the dropping temperature, and daylight hours here in Minnesota. I knew I wouldn't keep running outside in the cold so as of last week signed up for a gym membership that has lots of nice indoor treadmills! Thanks again Crowdtap & PUMA!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Activewear at Old Navy

Sheree & I showing our "guns" wearing our Old Navy Activewear

Summer is what everyone looks forward too all winter long... until you realize you're about to head to the beach with a spare tire below your bikini tops, and above your bottoms. This year a friend of mine, Sheree and I have decided to try and get our winter guts under control before we bare it all at the beach. I have to say she's been doing awesome checking in at the YMCA at 4:30 am and listing her workout. I've been doing mostly in-home workouts, walking/jogging and eating better. Anyways, when Old Navy & *Crowdtap granted me an amazing opportunity to head into my local Old-Navy to get some new Activewear, I knew just who to bring!

I asked Sheree to meet me in the store and wasn't real sure what she was coming for. When I busted out the coupons for a free Activewear outfit from Old Navy she couldn't hardly contain herself! She was planning a trip to Old Navy anyways because she loves their Activewear; as do I. I've been wearing it for a couple years now and from the beginner to the hardcore they're Activewear has you covered!

Anyways, away we went to the area we needed to be and they have everything from shoes, to running shorts, to sports bras, capris, jackets, etc. The variety at our store was pretty good and we easily started picking things out here and there and adding them to the cart. We finally made our way to the dressing room and were both completely shocked when we needed to grab SMALLER sizes in everything we picked out. Granted we didn't loose any weight while being there but doesn't it always make you feel better when you can get a medium instead of a large or a small instead of a medium? I'm taking it!

If you've never tried on Old Navy Activewear I highly recommend the Compression Pants. I can't say enough about those things. I still have a long way to go to get back to pre-pregnancy size but when I put those things on I feel like I'm tiny again. I literally get compliments from complete strangers everytime I wear them out and about. The mesh bubble tanks are my favorite this year and I love the bright colors available for summer. Yes, this too I wear running errands or wherever because I am obsessed with this top. It's actually one of my favorite tops right now.

Our jogging outfits
We both ended up walking out with 1 free top and bottom each and a couple extra outfits that the coupons wouldn't work with because they were on clearance! All-in-all it was so much fun and really helps motivate me to keep up the workouts because wearing. Activewear makes me want to be active! If you'd like to check-out Old Navy's selection of Activewear you can find them here.

*This opportunity was provided to me from Crowdtap & Old Navy. If you've never tried Crowdtap it's a website that looks for consumer insight for brands like Old Navy. Sometimes you are provided with sample shares like the one above to review your experience. You can find Crowdtap here.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Shore-ly a Beach Beauty in Old Navy Beachwear!

I know what your thinking... cute swimsuit, right? Well, that's what I was thinking as soon as I saw it online! How lucky for me that I got to go into Old Navy with 3 of my besties and get this swimsuit, flip flops, towel and beach bag FREE?!? Amazing. How? I'm a member of the Old Navy Style Council on Crowdtap. Occasionally they choose people to go in-store for a clothing sample and review the items they received and their in-store experience.

This was an excellent opportunity and we had SO much fun trying out the different styles. If you haven't been to Old Navy swimsuit shopping yet, I highly suggest you check out their swimwear here. They had an amazing variety from 1 piece to tankini to bikini. If you weren't aware of their beach accessories you should check those out as well. I bought a few of their beach towels last year and it was no secret they were and still are my favorite!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Ivory® 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash Trial

I recently got an opportunity from a company I'm new to called, Influenster. I had no idea what product they were going to send me aside from the fact that it was a 2-IN-1 shampoo/conditioner &  body wash. It's the kind of thing I'd buy for hubby (who could care less about the hair under his baseball hat all day everyday) and something I'd immediately dismiss for my own use. But figured I'd at least stick to my word and give it a shot. After all, I'm a busy full-time mother of 2. I find it hard enough to find time to change my clothes let alone find enough shower time to shampoo, rinse, condition, rinse, body wash, rinse....

A couple weeks ago I got the package at my door. Excited to see the brand and smell what I'd be showering with for the next 2 weeks (yes, I was going to stick it out for 2 weeks, good or bad before I gave a fair review). Having extremely long, blonde hair I'm very fussy about my hair products because if it doesn't work, I'll be spending all that extra shower time I saved trying to fix whatever it did to my hair each day.

Contents of the package I received from Influenster.
The box arrived shortly after being accepted. Here's what I found:
  • Welcome Note
  • 1 full sized bottle of Ivory 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash
  • 3 coupons for $0.75 off 1 bottle of Ivory 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash
First things, first... the smell. I had nothing to go on yet aside from the smell since I'd already showered for the day and would start the next day. I gave it a quick sniff and can't say it was anything too overdone. It actually reminded me of a bar of soap. It wasn't real feminine like the products I'm used to, but not masculine either. It was a very clean scent though, one I could live with.

The next day I threw caution to the wind and grabbed it quick before I hit the shower. I was in a hurry anyways so I was really hoping it would cut my shower time down. When I put some in my hand I was surpised it didn't lather quite as much as usual shampoo, but then again it was supposed to be different. Rubbing it in my hair I thought felt a bit odd, but soon enough after a quick washdown and rinse I'd cut my shower time in half (impressive since I usually have to take fast showers anyways, as my 2-year-old allows me little to no privacy).

Rinsing my hair felt clean and ready to go. A quick towel off and I felt fresh head-to-toe. Brushing my hair I have to say wasn't quite as easy as when I use my normal product, but it was much easier then after I use those shampooing conditioner bottles you find in hotels. A quick spritz with my detangling spray and I was set.

I have to say, once my hair dried I was FLOORED! I don't remember the last time my hair was so shiny... yes, actually I do. After the last visit to the salon! I figured for sure that first trial had to be a fluke, surely it must have been the detangler that I sprayed in my hair. I made a mental note to brush through the mess the next day with no detangler. That seemed to work fine anyways because I didn't seem to need it as much the next day (maybe I just had awful bed head the first day)? Later, my hair dried... it sounds so egotistical of me and self centered but it was a sunny day and I had the sunroof open and with the sun shining in on my hair I could NOT stop looking at it.

My mom happened to be visiting and not wanting her to think I was a total ego maniac I told her what'd been going on and I was using the new Ivory 2-IN-1 Hair & Body Wash. Apparently she was intrigued and very excited when I said it was made by Ivory. She said, "Really? Ivory? That means it's affordable too!" Later she was headed to the gym and I caught her sneaking some from my bottle into her portable shampoo holder. She said she was out of shampoo and figured the gym (where she's always in a hurry to shower) would be the perfect place to try. She returned raving about it and telling me I had to give her one of my coupons.

I also tried it out on the kids' bath time and not only is it quick and easy, I found that it doubles as bubble bath. The kiddos love this stuff as much as I do!

I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Marc Jacobs DOT Party

It was time to grow up... I've been thinking that for awhile; in fact each time I'd spritz myself with my Body Splash. I know it's time for a perfume and really need a change from the same-ol-same-ol. My ever dying love of Body Splash vs perfume has gone on far too long. But I have the biggest fear of being one of "the perfume girls" you know the ones that you and walk down an isle in the store 2 minutes after them and can still smell their scent. Or the ones that your by in the checkout that make your nose run and your eyes water. I've been addicted to Body Splash for fear that a perfume would be too much.

Enter Crowdtap! They gave me an AMAZING opportunity to host a party featuring DOT by Marc Jacobs. I have to admit I was a bit skeptical of anything that was labeled, "Perfume." It's always been my experience that I thought they smelt a bit too much like my Grandma's perfume. Boy! Was I surprised!!!

First off, the bottle. I know you love it! What's not to love. I have a black & red bedroom and was SO excited to display this bottle unlike my Body Splash I have to hide. When my DOT party started I lost track of how many people just got excited over the design of the bottle. I do have to say it's great marketing. Everyone that owns this perfume will leave it sitting out for guests to see. Guests see it, think their host smells good and know exactly what she's wearing by the cute bottle they are drawn into look at. Therefore creating more sales. Genius!

Bottle on Display (cute, right)?

My friend Holly was already familiar with Marc Jacobs and currently wears Daisy. She was excited to try another scent from Marc Jacobs and fell in love instantly. Last I talked with her about it she's been alternating DOT with Daisy depending on her "feel" for the day.

I tried it up against the most important critic in my life (aside from myself); my husband. I gave myself a small spritz and shortly after went and snuggled up next to him so that I knew he'd be exposed to the scent. It didn't take long until he said, "You smell good." That's all it took for me.... SOLD! I like it and hubby likes it. That's all that matters.

Though I do need to share my 5-year-old son's reaction. He saw me dressed up in my black button down with my red tank underneath my dark jeans, red belt, red shoes and the red & black polka-dot headband from Marc Jacobs. He then saw the table setup for the party with the bottles displayed and said, "Are you having a ladybug party?" I said, "Something like that" (just to spare the drawn out explanation to a 5-year-old) and proceeded to tell him it was for a perfume. His reply, "Can I smell it? I've always wondered what a ladybug smells like!" I couldn't stop laughing. I told him I was wearing it, he smelled me and said, "I guess I like how ladybugs smell, Mom. You smell good."

The kit that I received from Marc Jacobs & Crowdtap

If you're wondering about the leys, my friend Melissa had just found out before coming she'd won a trip to Hawaii and stopped and picked up some extra swag for us all. Congrats again Melissa, you deserve it!

Crowdtap is a company that gets consumer feedback on brands & products. In exchange for your thoughts and input  you get points that may be redeemable for prizes and gift cards. You may also get selected for the occasional sample and share like the one demonstrated above.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Cottonelle Clean Care Routine

Cottonelle Clean Care Routine

I'm sure by now you've seen the commercials and herd about the, "Cottonelle Clean Care Routine" and probably giggled at the advertisements much like me. But have you actually thought about the point they're trying to covey? I can't say I really had until I got the chance to give the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine a shot for free thanks to Cottonelle & Crowdtap.

They sent me:

  • 18 roll pack of Cottonelle Clean Care toilet tissue
  • 2 - 4 roll packs of Cottonelle Clean Care toilet tissue
  • 3 packs of Cottonelle Flushable Moist Wipes

The idea behind it actually a basic and something that most people already know. Cleaning with water, is better then cleaning without. Think about it, when you have a child do you pull out the regular toilet tissue... nope. We want to make sure their little bottoms are extra clean to prevent any rashes. It's the same concept, applied to everyone though, including adults.

I gave out a 4-pack of toilet paper & flushable wipes to my mom and a package to my brother. Neither of them were familiar with the Cottonelle Clean Care Routine. Once I enlightened them it seemed to make sense but my mom, a loyal Charmin Extra Soft user was hesitant and my brother seemed a bit reserved but agreed that it made sense.

Flash forward a couple weeks later and I asked them about their experience...

My mom was pleasantly surprised by the toilet tissue thickness and quality. She didn't think it was stiff, but being an Extra Soft kinda girl said she'd actually keep using Cottonelle and ditch the expensive Charmin and try the Cottonelle Soft. She also said she enjoyed the wipes so much that she purchased an additional package for the car for those long road trips. As for my brother, he didn't go into much detail but did said he'd most likely purchase more of the Flushable Moist Wipes.

As for me, I have tried them before and used them often for camping. Having these on the back of my toilet has been awesome though! Having an soon-to-be 6-year-old who is still having wiping issues was getting old, and he was getting old for having the problems still. He would either not wipe, or he would be wetting down large amounts of toilet paper and using that (which resulted in LOTS of clogged toilets). I introduced him to these and his initial reaction was that he was using "baby wipes." I reassured them that these were for big kids & adults and I haven't dealt with a clogged toilet since and I haven't had to worry about him ignoring the wiping process either! I've also been potty training my 2-year-old and having them handy makes things SO much easier then running to find baby wipes after each of her potty breaks.