Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I LOVE Belli Skincare!

 

Last summer my skin was so, so, awful!

Not only did it look awful, it felt awful too! I ended up going to the dermatologist who actually gave me samples of hydrocortisone cream because of how inflamed and painful my skin looked.  After a series of different oral and topical antibiotics – my skin was slightly better.  It wasn’t as puffy, but still very red. 

I tried all sorts of different face washes and natural remedies but nothing seemed to get rid of the redness and breakouts. 

A couple months ago I received a sample of some new Belli Skincare products.  Now, I was already in love with Belli’s baby lotion that I had used on my kids, but I had never thought of trying their products for myself.

I tried out Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub (the PREP) and Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash (the CLEANSE)

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PREP:  Belli Fresh Start Pre-Treatment Scrub exfoliates to help prepare skin for the application of other skin care products.  This invigorating scrub for face and body sweeps away old skin cells to reveal soft, smooth healthy skin for better absorption and the optimal efficacy of any products applied afterwards. It features green tea extract and ginseng, both are rich in antioxidants and includes the refreshing aromatherapy of peppermint oil. Belli recommends using it 2-3 times a week.  SRP $24 for a 6.5 oz tube.

Belli-Anti Blemish Facial Wash-Tube-792734300265

CLEANSE: Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash leaves skin clear and refined, without over-drying. This pure facial wash features lactic acid to cleanse and gently exfoliate acne prone skin. It contains lemon peel oil, a natural anti-bacterial and skin brightener, as well as green tea extract and cucumber, both are rich in antioxidants.  Gentle enough to be used as a daily cleanser; it may also be left on the face for 5 minutes as an intensive facial mask.  SRP $22.00 for 6.7 oz. tube. 

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This is a picture I snapped a few days ago, right after a shower…. while I was laying on the ground. I can’t believe the difference!

It feels amazing to use too.  The PREP is fresh and cool with a gentle exfoliation that leaves a super clean feeling.  The CLEANSE is so soft and silky, my skin is addicted to it!

Plus, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, Belli teratology screens its ingredients for use during pregnancy, to avoid “teratogens” – chemical, synthetic or natural ingredients that have been linked to birth defects or miscarriage.  Belli also LactMed screens its formulations to ensure that nursing mothers can use products without hesitation.

Belli is available at fine retailers including buybuyBABY and Destination Maternity and online at www.belliskincare.com and ULTA.com

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Back-to-School with Epson LabelWorks™ LW-600P

I received this product for review, all opinions are my own.

It’s back to school time for the kids, that means lots of shopping! You’re dropping some serious money getting supplies and clothes for your kids.  You are also trusting your that your child will not lose all of their new stuff! A great way to insure they won’t lose their supplies and clothing is to label it.  In fact, all of my son’s teachers so far have requested that their supplies be labeled.

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This year I used my new Epson LabelWorks LW-600P printer to label everything – including sweatshirts, jackets and backpacks and I loved it! My son loved it too.

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I might just label everything I own now! Here are some of the key features of the printer:

  • Lightweight, small form factor – the smallest 24mm (~1”) label printer on the market
  • Includes over 100 label design templates and 400 symbols
  • Compatible with a variety of tapes, including iron-on, glow-in-the-dark, metallic reflective and ribbons
  • Bluetooth® connectivity for use with smart phones and tablets

For the kids back-to-school stuff, I connected the printer to my computer and earned some serious mom-points by downloading a Minecraft font for their labels.  My first-grader was so excited to show his friends! I was also able to print matching labels for their clothes (like sweatshirts that are often left behind), jackets and backpacks with Epson’s iron-on labels.

After I was done with the important stuff, I played around with the iLabel app on my phone.  It connects to the printer (which can also run on batteries) through Bluetooth® making it easy to use on the go!

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The Epson LW-600P and iLabel app takes full advantage of the capabilities of smart phones and tablets to offer features never before available with traditional label makers. Such as:

  • “True-view” label preview capability using the camera function to ensure labels perfectly match what’s on the screen
  • Wirelessly create, edit and print labels
  • Handwriting mode for custom drawing or annotation of labels using the touch screen interface
  • Speech-to-text voice transcription and printing
  • In-app storage of created labels for future use
  • Import of custom graphics such as symbols, logos and photographs to copy & paste onto labels for a more professional look or to add a personalized touch
  • Creation of QR code labels for content sharing or barcode labels for inventory management which can be scanned by third-party QR/barcode apps

Epson has also launched a developers’ program for the World’s first App enabled label printer.  Developers can access the LW-600P SDK and open APIs and very easily create personalized printing solutions with LabelWorks LW-600P.  For the LW-600P developer program please visit http://bit.ly/1tVG4gM

The labeling possibilities are endless! I love it!

Monday, September 1, 2014

10K Training Week 3

I finished week 3 of Run Double’s 10K training plan way back on August 4th.  For some reason after that run I had trouble breathing in all the way, I just kept yawning and it lasted for a couple of days.  I wasn’t sure if it had to do with allergies or what but I took a week off and started week 4 with no problem!

Week 3 consisted of 4 repetitions of running 525 yards followed by 525 yards of walking.  My best time for the week was 24:39.  I also signed up for a 30 Day Yoga Challenge on DoYouYoga.com.  I am not normally a huge yoga fan, but I am totally fan-girling over the instructor, Erin Motz.  I’m on day 15 of the challenge and I am thinking I might start it over again once I am done!

I’ve also been reading this great book Build Your Running Body on my down time. It is jam packed with everything you would ever want to know about running, including:

  • 393 photos that make it easy to follow every step of every workout
  • 10 training programs to help runners of all levels integrate the total-body plain into their daily routines
  • More than 40 charts and tables that illuminate the physiological gains of full-body strengthening
  • Interviews with leading runners, exercise scientists, and coaches that reveal how elite runners train today
  • Injury-prevention exercises to help runners avoid and rehabilitate all the most common running-related ailments
  • And more than 30 recipes to speed recover and cement fitness gains.

I cannot put this book down! It gets me excited and motivated to go out running.  Maybe I can actually do this?!

Here is an excerpt showing one of the workout routines from the Build Your Running Body:

The Runner 360

The Runner 360 is an all-around strength program for runners who prefer the outdoors or their own living rooms to the weight room. Best of all, fitness motivator and running yoga instructor Angie Stewart Goka, MPH, CSCS, has crafted a workout that can be completed in 12 minutes and that targets every muscle that runners need for strength and balance. Angie models the exercises to ensure proper form and offers a wide variety of workouts for runners who want more at angiestewartfitness.com. First, five quick rules for the workout:

1. Perform each exercise, in order, for one minute.

2. When the workout calls for left and right sides individually, perform each for 30 seconds.

3. Do as many reps as you can while maintaining good form (no cheating on form for more reps!).

4. Keep a log of reps as a way to track improvement.

5. For a more intense workout, repeat the entire set of exercises (up to a maximum of three times).

The following twelve exercises, from the Inchworm Plank to the Supergirl/Superman Plank, are all part of the same continuous workout.

Skill level: All levels

Inchworm Plank

The inchworm plank helps to awaken your muscles, working both flexibility and strength. And if you’re not very flexible, it’s okay to bend your knees for this exercise.

Inchworm Plank 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez

1. Begin in a standing position with your arms straight up. Be prepared to perform this exercise as quickly as you can without losing form.

 

 

 

Inchworm Plank 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Come into a forward fold, dropping your hands to your feet.

 

 

 

Inchworm Plank 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Keep your legs straight (or bend them if you have to) and then walk your hands out into a plank position.

 

Inchworm Plank 4.Photo credit Diana Hernandez4. Perform one push-up. Then walk your hands back to your feet and return to your starting position. Repeat.

 

Squat-Thrust Climbers

Squat-thrust climbers are a great way to work your glutes (buttocks), quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Squat-Thrust Climbers 1. Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Stand with your feet close together and your arms at your sides.

 

 

 

Squat-Thrust Climbers 2. Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Squat down to the floor with your knees close together, placing your hands flat on the ground, shoulder-width apart.

 

 

 

Squat-Thrust Climbers 3. Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Keeping your abs tight, jump your legs back to assume the push-up position.

 

 

Squat-Thrust Climbers 4. Photo credit Diana Hernandez4. For 5 seconds, “run” your legs under your chest, bringing your knees high and keeping your hips low. Then jump your legs back to the squat position, stand, and repeat.

Curtsy Lunge Hop

Curtsy lunge hops are the best calf-strengthener on the menu, so work them! You’ll also target your hip abductors, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Curtsy Lunge Hop 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Start with your feet hip-width apart.

 

 

 

Curtsy Lunge Hop 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Step backward, moving your right foot diagonally and to the left of your left hip. Simultaneously drop your right knee and bend your left knee.

 

 

Curtsy Lunge Hop 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Propel your right knee upward as you come off the ground with your left foot, and lift your left elbow by swinging it up and forward. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

 

 

Scorpion Fighter

The scorpion fighter works your shoulders and core while stretching your obliques and hip flexors.

Scorpion Fighter 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Start in the push-up position, with the balls of your feet on a bench or chair.

 

 

Scorpion Fighter 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Bring your left knee beneath your body toward your right shoulder.

 

 

Scorpion Fighter 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Now reverse directions, bringing your left knee back as you rotate your hips up and to the left, stretching your left foot toward your right shoulder. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Sidewinder Plank with Leg Lift

This exercise is great for your hip abductors and improving stabilization. It also targets your obliques, back, glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

Sidewinder Plank with Leg Lift 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Start in the plank position with your arms in full extension.

 

Sidewinder Plank with Leg Lift 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Rotate your body to balance on the heel of your right hand and lift your opposite arm straight up (your wrist is directly beneath your shoulder).

 

 

Sidewinder Plank with Leg Lift 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Lift and lower your top leg, keeping your hips level. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

 

 

 

Plank Pups

Plank pups will put the burn into your arms, shoulders, back, and core.

Plank Pups 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Begin at the top of the push-up position.

 

 

Plank Pups 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Bend your right elbow to lower onto your right forearm.

 

Plank Pups 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Bend your left elbow to lower onto your left forearm.

 

Plank Pups 4.Photo credit Diana Hernandez4. Lift your right elbow so that you can place your right hand flat on the ground, then do the same with your left elbow and hand. Return to original position, repeat for 30 seconds, then lead with your left arm for 30 seconds.

Lateral Speed Runners

Lateral speed runners work both your hip abductors and hip adductors, plus lots of core.

Lateral Speed Runners 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your arms at your sides.

 

 

Lateral Speed Runners 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Hop to your right, landing on your right foot while balancing your left foot behind your right leg. Simultaneously move your left arm forward and your right arm back in a runner’s stance.

 

Lateral Speed Runners.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Repeat to the other side. Focus on speed and control.

 

 

 

Windshield Wipers

Windshield wipers target your full range of abs, and they’re terrific for improving stability.

Windshield Wipers 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Lie on your back with your arms spread wide, palms down, thighs perpendicular to the floor and knees bent 90 degrees.

 

Windshield Wipers 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Maintaining the bend at your hips and knees, swing your legs to one side of your body. Make sure that your upper back maintains contact with the floor.

Windshield Wipers 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. Bring your legs back to center, then repeat to the other side.

 

 

Plank Rotations

This variation on the traditional plank offers good core work while giving your shoulders a workout, too.

Plank Rotations 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Begin in the forearm plank position, except stack your forearms horizontally.

 

 

Plank Rotations 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Rotate onto your left side, elbow beneath your shoulder and right hand on your hip. Your feet should be stacked, your body straight. Rotate back to the center, then repeat on your right side.

Single-Leg Deadlift

Single-leg deadlifts are fantastic for improving balance and stability. They’re great for your core, glutes, and hamstrings.

Single-Leg Deadlift 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Start from a standing position.

 

 

 

Single-Leg Deadlift 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Keeping your back straight, bend forward at the hips while lifting one leg straight behind you (in line with your spine) and reaching your hands toward the ground. Return to the starting position. Repeat for 30 seconds, then switch legs.

Marching Bridge

This exercise is great for your glutes and also works your hamstrings and lower back (it’s often used to help relieve lower back pain).

Marching Bridge 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet hip-width apart.

 

Marching Bridge 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Lift your hips into a “bridge position.”

 

 

Marching Bridge 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. March your knees toward your chest one at a time. Keep your back straight.

 

Supergirl/Superman Plank

The Supergirl/Superman plank finishes your workout with a tough challenge to your core, shoulders, and back.

Supergirl 1.Photo credit Diana Hernandez1. Begin at the top of the push-up position.

 

 

Supergirl 2.Photo credit Diana Hernandez2. Simultaneously extend your right arm in front of you and your left leg behind you. Stay level while balancing for 3 seconds.

 

Supergirl 3.Photo credit Diana Hernandez3. After bringing your hand and foot back to push-up position, repeat on the opposite side.

 

(As an easier alternative, perform this exercise from a “down on all fours” position, with hands and knees on the ground.)

Excerpt from Build Your Running Body: A Total-Body Fitness Plan for All Distance Runners, from Milers to Ultramarathoners—Run Farther, Faster, and Injury-Free, ©Pete Magill, Tom Schwartz, and Melissa Breyer, 2014. Reprinted with permission from the publisher, The Experiment. Available wherever books are sold.

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