Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Zen Society Skin Care - Review

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With so many skin care companies out there, it’s hard to find one that is right for you.  I was really excited to try a product from Zen Society, a new skin care company that was founded right here in Connecticut!

They sent me their Tea Tree Facial Cleanser to review and I absolutely love it! You only need a small amount in the palm of your hand and it really lathers up nicely.  It goes on really smooth too, I find myself washing my face for a longer time when I use this because it feels so nice on my skin (and the tea tree oil smells pretty nice too!) It washes off easily and leaves me with a “squeaky clean” feeling.  Which, I usually don’t really like, but my skin doesn’t have that tightening, dry feeling that I get with other products.  In fact, I haven’t been using nearly as much moisturizer since I started using this! It seems like a really high quality product.

Zen Society’s great products aren’t the only reason I love them though.  They are a great company with great values.  They were founded in Stamford, CT by a Master Herbalist at Global College of Natural Medicine and a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.  Also:

  • All products are 100% Vegan
  • Gluten Free
  • They avoid fragrances and allergy prone ingredients
  • Ingredients are sourced from USDA Certified Suppliers in the New England area.
  • A percent of sales are donated to Friends of the Earth
  • Products contain no parabens, pesticide sprays, petroleum, silicone, synthetics, artificial fragrances, dyes, GMOs or harmful processed additives.

To find out more about Zen Society you can check out their website, follow them on twitter or give them a like on facebook!

I received a sample product for free in order to facilitate my review, all opinions are my own.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Mamavation Monday–Launch Day!

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Happy Monday everyone! Today is a very exciting day, we get to find out who the next Mamavation Mom’s will be tonight at the Mamavation Launch Twitter Party!

Also, the official weigh in for the Mamavation Grad Campaign is today.  I can’t wait to follow along with their progress as well!

I am finally starting to get over this cold.  Unfortunately though  I didn’t go to my 5k on Friday.  I just wasn’t feeling up to it and I had no one to go with.  So, instead I went to my favorite farmer’s market which is held at a local farm and winery and since my mother-in-law was watching my 3-year-old I was able to do a wine tasting with my mom and my sister.  It was a great time!

I’ve been keeping busy by taking an after dinner walk almost every night.  Usually with one or two kids in tow.  Also, on Saturday we went to the lake with a bunch of family and spent the day walking, talking, jet skiing, and I even tried kayaking for the first time – I loved it!

I hope everyone is enjoying these last couple of Summer weekends!

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Mamavation Monday–Back From Vacation!

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I hope everyone had a great weekend, I know many of you had a great time at Fitcation and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

We got back last night from our trip to Sesame Place. It was a lot of fun and a lot of work with two our two little boys but, we all had a really great trip.

Yesterday, on the way home I started feeling like I was getting sick.  Now I am achy and all stuffed up. Boo. I’m hoping this passes soon.  I was really looking forward to running in the New Balance All Out for Autism 5K on Friday and I hope I still can! I swear I’ve gotten sick more times in the past year than I ever have in my life!!!

This post is sponsored by Omron and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Rwanda Path to Peace at Macy’s

 

rwanda path to peace bowl

Have you seen these beautiful one-of-a-kind Fair Winds Trading Rwanda baskets at Macy’s?

I’ve got to say, they are pretty cool… and not just because of the design!  They support a really great cause.  These baskets are hand woven by women in Rwanda as a means to make real, sustainable income.  Each Artisan makes half of the wholesale price of each basket.

The baskets themselves are unique, well-made and vibrantly colored.  I have really never seen anything like them! I plan on using mine as a fruit bowl or as a centerpiece on my table.  They also have a wall hanger on the back so you can easily display them in your home.

Here is some more information on Macy’s Rwanda Path to Peace program.  Please read below to find out why this is such a great cause.

What is Macy's Rwanda Path to Peace?

Rwanda Path to Peace is a healing journey and a source of sustainable living that utilizes the incredible skill of weaving that is passed down by generations of Rwandan women. These beautiful hand-made baskets are made by the Rwandan women as a way to generate a sustainable income, support their families and rebuild their communities (sold at Macy's for $50 value).These women have seen their neighbors and their families destroyed by genocide and ethnic cleansing, leaving many of them broken and hopeless, lost in a country where women are considered second-rate citizens because of their gender. Although the genocide was over a decade ago, the recovery from a tragedy of this magnitude is a constant struggle. The sales of the baskets through Macy's has given these women a source of sustainable income and pride.

These women are warriors and have found a way to restore hope and love among their communities and families with the sale of their baskets. The women have gained respect among the men in their community and have been able to provide new clothes and food to their families and children because of the money they have raised. The baskets are a symbol of strength and courage among the Rwandan women who weave them. For more info go to www.Macys.com/Rwanda

rwanda path to peace bowls

Disclaimer: I was sent this basket free of charge in order to facilitate this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mamavation Monday

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Monday, Monday, Monday!

I know, I know, no one is usually excited about Mondays. But, this is the start to an exciting week! I know a lot of the Mamavation sista’s are getting ready to head out to Fitcation later this week and although I am sad I am not attending, I am excited to see pictures & follow the #fitcation12 hashtag to see what they are up to!

But that’s not all! We are getting ready to take our first real family vacation! We’ve travelled before with family but this is our first time on our own. Just the 4 of us!

So, last week in my Mamavation Monday post, I talked about changing up some things in my diet so that they would be more paleo-like. I kept up with it for most of the week, I may or may not have made some s’mores cookies for a picnic on Saturday. I only ate 2!  I definitely noticed an improvement in how I felt after I cut down on the dairy, sugar, bread and pasta.

The weather has been cooling down a little bit and I have been able to start running around the neighborhood again.  I started back at week 5 of C25K so I can try to build up my endurance again. I also signed up for the New Balance All Out For Autism 5K towards the end of the month.

If you are headed to fitcation this week, I hope you have a blast!

This post is sponsored by GoVida Foods and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Feeling Great with Jasper State–book review

Some of you might remember when I first started this blog, it was to talk about what a picky eater my son was and trying to find ways to get him to eat! (Yeah, well, there was only so much I could write about that!) Anyways, I am still looking for ways to make him less picky!

There is this great new children’s book out called, Feeling Great with Jasper State: Eat Your Green Things Everyday by, “bark interpreter” Judith Margaret Johnson.  Jasper State Johnson is a miniature brown poodle who follows 5-year-old twins David and Dana home from school one day.  They bring him inside while they wait for his owner to come pick him up and soon learn he is a very special dog. Not only is he super strong and super fast, he can talk! He tells them all about his favorite thing – green vegetables.  He even teaches them a song (which is included on a CD with the book!)

jasper state cover

My boys really enjoyed the story.  My 3-year-old, the picky one, asked me all sorts of questions about green vegetables and told me he would eat them when he was 5 like the twins in the story. Haha, there is hope for the future! He absolutely loved the song on the CD and started dancing around and shouting out things like, “broccoli!” and “lettuce!” It was so cute and so out of character for him.  When my husband came in the room to see what all the commotion was about, he asked my son what he was doing and he replied, “I’m feeling great with Jasper State!”

So whether your kids are picky eater’s or not, I think they will really enjoy this book.  It’s a great story and the illustrations are so fun and eye-catching!

Check out the Jasper State website for fun activities and for information on how to order your own copy!

jasper state signed

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of the book to review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Year of Ups and Downs

It’s day 6 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge and today’s topic is:

“Your highs and lows from this past year.”

Well, I will start with the good! This past year, I completed a 100 Day Burpee Challenge, I participated in 5 5Ks, my husband was rehired for a job he was laid-off for previously and I started blogging!

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The downs were getting injured.  Shortly after running my first 5K in December, I injured my knee and wasn’t able to run again for months! Also, since I was sort of new to the whole fitness game I over trained a few times and got really sick. But, you live and you learn AND looking back, this year wasn’t all that bad. I mean, those were the only downfalls I can think of and really, they’re not that bad!

Mamavation Monday: Baby Steppin’

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My diet hasn’t been the greatest lately and it’s starting to show.  In my body, my skin, my hair and in my energy level.  It’s amazing how much the foods we choose affect our overall being.  So, last week I started looking into a 30 day paleo challenge and, honestly, it overwhelmed me.  I’ve never done any sort of elimination diet and I’ve never had any dietary restrictions.  I really like the idea of the paleo diet though. So, instead of going full blown paleo, I decided to make some small changes in my diet.  I looked at the parts of the diet that didn’t seem overwhelming to me.  For example, I’ve started using unsweetened almond milk in my coffee instead of milk and sugar.  For breakfast, I’m taking the time to make myself some eggs with cut up fruit or avocado instead of just grabbing a bowl of milk & cereal.  I grabbed some chicken to grill so I can throw it into a spinach salad for lunch instead of eating PB&J with the kids!

So, we’ll see how this goes! I need to up my water intake as well.  Sometimes I just forget to drink water and I start feeling dehydrated.

This post is sponsored and hosted by Mamavation – a community dedicated to obesity prevention & weight loss for women and I’m writing this to be entered into a giveaway.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

5 Food I Can’t Live Without

It’s Day 5 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge! Today’s topic is:

5 Foods you can’t live wiithout.

I love food! I get on these kicks where certain foods are the bee’s knees for a few months and then I move onto something else.  These foods, however, are one’s that are always go-to’s!

  1. COFFEE. I cannot function without it. Does this count as a food? Well, it should.
  2. Avocado. They are just so tasty and so versatile. I like them with eggs in the morning.  I like them on my sandwich or in a salad for lunch or dinner.  I like them on their own and I like them as guacamole. I just like them.
  3. Berries. They are one of my favorite sweet snacks.  My favorites are raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.
  4. Eggs. I just love ‘em! Especially this time of the year when I get them fresh from my Aunt’s chickens! My favorite is a spinach, turkey and cheddar omelette…which brings me to my last favorite…
  5. Cheese! There are just so many different varieties and I have never tried one I didn’t like.  I know so many people who can’t have dairy and it always makes me think, “What would I do without cheese?”

 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Where I Was 2 Years Ago

It’s Day 4 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge and today’s question is:

“How have you changed in the past two years?”

Two years ago I had a very energetic and curious little toddler who I had a VERY hard time keeping up with.  I was completely out of shape and the thought of doing something to fix that never even crossed my mind. 

boy on beach

In August of 2010 my husband and I decided to try for baby number two and on August 28th, I found out I was pregnant! That was easy!

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Soon after my second son was born, I took my boys for a walk around the neighborhood in the double stroller.  I was so exhausted, I almost didn’t make it home. I was only a few blocks from my house but I just wanted to sit on a park bench and cry. Defeated.

Through the powers of twitter (lol) I found Pamela Kramer and the #100DayBurpeeChallenge! I started it at the beginning of August 2011 and I’m pretty stinkin’ proud to say that I finished all 100 days!

Pamela was part of this awesome group of women called Mamavation and sometime during those 100 days of burpees I joined up with them and officially became a Sista of the Mamavation Sistahood!

I’m so happy that I did, they are awesome, encouraging, empowering and pretty freakin’ hilarious. Since joining them I have completed five 5K’s and learned so much about exercise and healthy living.

Looking back, I can honestly say that these last 2 years have been great and I am pretty sure the years will just keep getting better!

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Friday, August 3, 2012

Where would you like to be 10 years from now?

It’s Day 3 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge and we’re talking about where we would like to be in 10 years!

This is kind of a tough question.  After my second son was born, I had this extreme feeling of bliss – I couldn’t wait for the 4 of us to spend the rest of our lives together.  But, I never really thought about what we would be doing! I guess just living, watching my boys grow up, growing together as a family and experiencing new things together.

new baby brother

In 10 years I will be 37, my boys will be 13 and 11 (I wonder at what age he will be more trying, 3 or 13??) and our house will almost be paid off (hopefully!).  I hope to be a little more well travelled than I am now. I hope to have a photo album full of great memories. Maybe be able to call myself a “marathoner”? Hmm.. That could be a goal… 26.2 by 37! But, most of all I hope that I look like I did 10 years ago and I am filthy stinkin’ rich  my family and I are all healthy and happy and enjoying life together!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Finding Time For Exercise

Today is Day 2 of the August Healthy Living / Fitness Blogger Writing Challenge and today’s question is:

“Do you workout in the morning or at night? Why?”

For awhile I used the excuse, “I just don’t have time to exercise.” Which, seemed true to me at the time but really, it was just an excuse. Life can be a little crazy but, I have found there is always time to get my workout on!

workout motivation

The time that I exercise depends on what else is going on that day.  My husband works at home so during the week, I will try to get out and go for a run during his lunch break.  If I don’t get to do that, I will go to the gym at night after dinner.  If I don’t make it out during lunch and my husband isn’t home at night to watch the kids while I go to the gym, I will pop in a workout dvd after the kids are in bed! On weekends I like to go for a run in the morning so I have the rest of the day with my family. 

When do you workout? Do you have a go-to excuse for not working out?

 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

5 Favorite Workout Songs

I am really excited to be participating in an August Healthy Living/Fitness Blogger Challenge hosted by Janice from Fitness Cheerleader.

This is the first blogging challenge I have ever done and I am hoping I can keep up! A post a day for a whole month? Whew!

Today’s topic is “Your 5 favorite workout songs and why?”

For the most part, I don’t think my favorite’s are really typical of workout music.  They are songs that I connect with on more of an emotional level.  The fact that they elicit emotions, makes me want to push myself harder during workouts. So, here they are in no particular order:

  • “My Body” by Young The Giant (“my body tells me no, but I won’t quit, ‘cause I want more.”)
  • “In The Sun” by Coldplay (feat. Michael Stipe)
  • “Mercy” by Duffy
  • “Far Behind” by Candlebox
  • “F**kin’ Perfect” by Pink

Do you have a certain type of music you like best for working out?

Wordless Wednesday: Backyard Oasis

 

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My mother’s backyard isn’t huge, but she sure did a great job making it beautiful! Plus, there’s no grass to cut!

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