Thursday, August 21, 2014

Apothederm Skin Firming Serum Review

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If you can’t tell by reading my blog and instagram I’m skin & beauty product junkie. It’s so important to take good care of your skin. I love, love, love trying new products. I am not familiar with Apothederm skin products. For this reason, when contacted to see if I would be interested in trying Apothoderm’s Firming Serum I jumped at the chance.

I have some mild wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes (crow’s feet) that are noticeable without a good primer or tinted BB cream. I wanted to see how well this product really worked so I stripped down my skin routine to simple products. I used Cerave facewash & moisturizer in the morning and NARSskin or Purity at night with Cerave night moisturizing cream. I did this for one month and noticed a significant reduction in my crow’s feet. They were barely visible. My forehead wrinkles softened as well. But I was extremely pleased with the crow’s feet going away. I don’t use a special eye cream, just moisturizer. It has been two months and I'm still going strong using this product.

As to the firming claim, I’m not sure if my skin feels any “firmer.” It’s supple & soft, as usual. I didn’t notice much difference in skin tone. But the wrinkle reduction was clearly evident. I’m so happy with the results! After a month I went back to using other products on my face and all I can say is the results continue to amaze. I’m going to cry when my bottle is empty and will probably buy more from Apothederm's website. You can’t put a price on something that reduces (and hopefully will prevent) wrinkles! I’m an impatient, instant-gratification kinda girl, so the fact that it only took a month for this to work WONDERS is worth every penny!

Product Information:
Hydrate and protect with the Firming Serum
The combination of Palmitoyl Hexapeptide-14 and Heptapeptide-7 in the Firming Serum boosts collagen production and promotes keratinocyte proliferation and migration, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while increasing firmness of the skin. ($75)

Note: I received the product for review but all opinions (as always) are my own. I only share products I'm 100% in love with.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

FF Friday Vol III

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I haven't don't a FF Friday in awhile. Since my GI issues have flared up severely, I thought this would be a nice, easy post for me.
Enjoy the weekend!

1. I bruise like a peach. Breathe on me and there will be a big purple bruise.

2. Mr.Surly & I dated for 6 years (2 1/2 of them long distance in different states) and lived together for 3 before getting married. Yep lived in sin for 3 years with my lover before marrying him.

3. I'm obsessed with my fitbit flex's sleep tracker. Not totally accurate but close enough

4. One of my pet peeves is when people caption their photos "Jane & I." It's "me" people, "Jane and ME!!" Spread the word, please!

5. Lately, I've been obsessed with watching YouTube videos.

6. I proud of myself for learning, on my own, how to crochet a baby blanket for my unborn niece. (I lamented about this in FF Friday Vol II) I finally finished it!!! Now I'm hooked (pun intended) on crochet. Not sure what my next project will be.

7. Mr.Surly's wedding band is my grandpa's 18 karat white gold wedding band from 1941; surprisingly it was a perfect fit, no adjustment necessary.

8. I'm really into coral right now; lipstick, clothing, jewelry, etc.

9. I've been drinking a lot of coconut water lately. It's so refreshing and a natural source of electrolytes.

10. I have finally found a hair stylist here that I trust with my hair. It's hair to find a good colorist.

11. I just now discovered the show History Detectives. Not quite a 100% die hard fan but I find it entertaining.

12. Last week I accidentally wiped my iphone clean. Lost all my pics, contacts, etc. Thank God for apple support who walked me through how to get everything back.

13. Went to Nordstrom for their Anniversary sale & was overwhelmed. I'm not used to shopping in a store; I do it all online. I had all my items picked out on my Nordstrom app. I ended up only buying a winter coat (which I need now that I'm living in the North) and a new pair of jeans since my weight is changing again. Mr.Surly did find a lot of shirts & pants for work. We are buying winter clothes since we really don't own many. Ps Nordstrom sale ends Aug 3. We had early access which was nice.

14. I can't believe it's almost the end of July! I have been so sick that I haven't really noticed the weather outside.

15. I have been dabbling in making bracelets. Let me tell you, it's harder than it looks! Bending the wire is a b*tch, even with all the proper tools. I've made a couple for myself and some relatives.

16. Watched the movie "Can't Buy Me Love". If you want a taste of the 80s, in all its glory, this movie provides it all. Crimped hair, slang, pleated pants, AC Slater cropped tanks. This movie is one of my guilty pleasures.

17. Been really slacking on shaving my legs. I'm part Native American (Cherokee on my dad's side, Delaware Indian on my mom's side) so I'm pretty hairless. My legs don't get rough stubble, just soft hairs. One day I look down at my legs (the hair doesn't grow above my knees) and see that the hair is long & sparse. Gross. If I wasn't so sick right now I would be better at grooming.

18. I now have Physical Therapy homework: a 15 minute pilates routine, light band exercises, and stretching on a pool noodle. OMG, have you laid on a pool noodle, relaxed and stretched your body? It's so amazing. If you want details let me know; I'd be happy to share them with you. It's supposed to benefit everyone. My PT does it every night.

19. I have tapped back into my beauty obsession. When I was in Junior High my sister always joked I should write a book on beauty tips & tricks. With the ease of writing an ebook I'm seriously considering it (I'm not in it for the money, just to share knowledge). But I'll probably just write a bunch of posts about them instead because I don't know if I could handle a book. The task seems daunting.

20. Do I sound more coherent? My myofascial physical therapy is amazing & I'm able to decrease my meds. Still have double vision, short-term memory loss & mind fog but after some bullet proof coffee I find I can actually function semi-normally. I'm definitely not back to where I was before I got sick, but I feel like I'm slowly regaining some coherency. Still making mistakes but I'm better at catching them.

FF Friday Vol I
FF Friday Vol II

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Who Likes Free? Me!

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I am such a beauty product junkie; skin care, makeup, etc. I love it all. I love trying different products. Have you heard of Mario Badescu? He has a spa in NYC with celebrity clients. According to InStyle, Naomi Campbell visits him when she's in NYC. Naomi has skin that is to-die-for. She's timeless.

After some research I discovered that you can get samples in the mail, for free, from Mario Badescu. The Best part is you get products based on your skin type. It's so easy. You take a quiz which at the end lists the products they recommend for your skin. I think you might have to register; I can't remember. But after a week or so when you don't order anything from them you receive a follow up email saying, hey you didn't order anything would you like free samples sent to your house. Um, yes please! It takes a few weeks but free deluxe samples are worth the wait. If you don't see it in your inbox check your spam folder. Included is a daily skin regimen on how to use your products. I haven't started using my products yet but I will keep you updated with what I'm loving.

Get your free samples by taking the questionnaire yourself. Click here to get started. Everyone gets different products based on individual skin needs. I'd love to hear what products you get and how well they work for you. As I said I'm a product junkie and I'm open to trying anything.

Note: This post is NOT sponsored by Mario Badescu. I just want to share an easy way to try some new (and free!) skin products. Over and out.

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Summer Glow Must-Have: BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème Review

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I can’t believe it’s already July! Welcome to hot, sticky and humid weather. This is the time for light, shimmery makeup. I’m a fan of BB creams in lieu of foundation and in the summer I want my skin to shimmer with a faux healthy glow. I’ve tried numerous products and combination of products. Now I have found one product that does it all—gives me sheer coverage with light reflecting shimmer. Enter Gerard Cosmetics by Whitening Lighting BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème.

The product description from the company is: "A twist on a traditional BB Cream, the BB Plus+ Illumination is formulated with light reflecting particles and golden shimmer to add dimension and a youthful glow to any complexion. This luminous crème is easy to blend, long lasting and comfortable to wear, even in the warm summer months." Truer words could not be used to describe these product which I deem as liquid gold in a bottle.

I fell in love with this product from day one. Look at how gorgeous it is! It glides on the skin so smoothly.


After my cleansing/moisturizing routine I apply this to my forehead, cheekbones, nose, chin—the highlight areas of my face and blend with my beauty blender. Mascara, lip gloss, and I’m ready to go.

Sometimes, I’ll put this under foundation (I’ve used both liquid and powder) to give a gorgeous glow-from-within effect.

This product is long lasting. I use the e.l.f. makeup setting mist to set and the BB illuminator stays put even on days I go to the pool. It doesn’t rub off on my clothes (HUGE plus) and doesn’t slide off my face in the heat.

My favorite thing is that this is an all-in-one product so it takes up less space. Bonus.

Seriously, you guys, you need this product in your summer makeup kit. I'm going to and order some when I run out.

The BB Plus+ Illumination Facial Crème is available for $36 online via (or by clicking on links in post)

I get so many compliments on my healthy glow. I wish they could see my dull, sickly skin before I apply this liquid magic.

If you still aren't convinced here are some more benefits:
Can be used alone, as a cream highlighter or mixed with your favorite liquid foundation

Blurs imperfections and corrects discoloration

Universal shade adds radiance to any skin type or tone

One thing I have to warn you about is this stuff really squirts out. I don’t know if it’s just my tube or what but the first time I used it, it squirted out and all over my clothes, the mirror & the sink. Ooops. After that incident I have taken to massaging the tube a bit, giving it a hard shake, then pumping. This has minimized the splatter to the back of my hand. Then just dab it on your face with your fingers or a foundation brush; depends on the effect you want. If you use the foundation brush you get a beautiful all over face glow. I have very high, defined cheekbones, so I use it in highlight areas and blend out around my face. This way more product accentuates the areas & features I want to highlight.

What can I say; I’m hooked! The only problem is now what am I going to do with all these products it has replaced? ;)

Sponsored by Gerard Butler Cosmetics by Whitening Lighting. I received a free tube for review but all opinions are my own.

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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Hair: Review BTZ Beach Head Review

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It’s summer time! That means time outside by the pool, beach, lake; whatever body of water is nearest. As you will see in the follow photos I color my hair (please forgive me the dark roots; I’m not trying to be “ombre.” My hair was bleached all over which ruined it and I’m trying to get it back to where it looks somewhat presentable). Since I go pretty blonde it can get pretty brassy if exposed to a lot of sun. Therefore, when asked to review some beach hair products for summer I was all about it.

I have very thin, fine hair; it never really changed in texture since I was a toddler. So keep that in mind as I discuss these products. I have to be very careful with hair products because my hair can look pretty greasy very easily. It sucks, I have to wash my hair every day or end up with an oil pit on my head. Bleh.

Ok, off on a tangent there, sorry. Let’s discuss these amazing BTZ products that have seriously transformed my hair in the month I have been using them. Lippe Taylor was generous enough to send me full sized samples of each BTZ product. You can purchase them at your nearest Sally Beauty Supply store. See below for prices and more on each product:

Now onto my hair transformation and thoughts on each product.

Here is a picture of me, right out of bed, with air-dried hair. There is no product in it. As you can see my ends are dry from the bad reaction my hair had to the bleach:

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First up to smooth out this awful dryness at the ends of my hair I tried the smoothing cream:

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OMG! Look at the difference it made in my hair. I shampooed & conditioned my hair then applied the smoothing cream to wet hair (working from the ends up to the roots), combed through my hair, and allowed it to air dry. Look at the difference! My hair looks soft and moisturized. The hair shaft is completely smoothed out and my roots don’t look greasy. Win. You can apply this to dry hair as well.

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This would be an amazing product to take the pool. Sometimes it’s so hot you have to get in the water to cool off. The chlorine is extremely drying so this would be great to stash in your bag and apply after getting out of the pool to wet or dry hair to prevent or tame any frizziness.

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Next up, the shining spray which is like a light hair spray/gloss.

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LOVE this. Look how shiny my hair is.  I applied the shine spray onto air-dried hair that had the smoothing cream combed through my wet hair.  I love the result. The hair still moves and you can run your fingers through it; not at all sticky, not even when sitting by the pool.

Last is the beach spray. This was fun for me since I have straight, fine, blah hair with no volume.

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Look at my curls! When it dries it leaves beautiful soft curls/waves in my normally straight hair. My hair doesn’t hold curl well, but I get beautiful waves from this. It also thickens my hair. And the best part? I can go a day without shampooing & not look like my hair could provide enough grease to fry an egg.

I use the smoothing cream every day. I love it. I’m addicted to it.

I use the beach spray when I want to thicken my hair. I spray it on dry hair, scrunch, and it gives me hair that I can pull back into a nice, faux thick bun. Then I spray on the shiny spray to gloss up my pulled back hair and leave my house looking elegant and summer cool. I couldn’t be happier with each product.

Sponsored by Lippe Taylor . While I received the products gratis, as always all opinions are my own

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Monday, June 23, 2014

reason(s) i've been missing

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i have been a bad, horrible blogger. life got in the way; i had issues that needed addressed. i've also had more tests done, i go back up in a week for results and the next step in my GI journey. then last week, stupid me, fell down 4-5 stairs, hit the wood floor & bruised my tailbone. it's extremely painful! i cannot sit up & it's hard to type reclining. i do have so many review posts coming of some really great products that i can wait to share with you.

i have not been cooking. i'm mostly living on a mostly liquid diet to ease GI issues. been trying a few different types & brands of "juicing" juices to get my fruits & veggies.

my life has been a whirlwind of appts & now i'm slowed down with this stupid bruised tailbone. i'm so embarrassed about it. my PT checked it out and thank goodness it wasn't worse. the bruises are awful. it's frustrating bc i can't sit up straight and it hurts to bend down.

i have to end this post; typing is just too difficult but i will be back soon with products that i am really excited about. i'm also trying to throw in a food post.

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Monday, May 19, 2014

Review:: RealBeanz Coffee

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Product Shot 3

I love coffee. I need it; I’ve been diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome and my medications just increase the fatigue. It’s hard for me to get out of bed and I’m in a haze until I get that first sip of sweet liquid caffeine in me.

At least twice a week I’m running out the door to physical therapy. Often these mornings I am lucky to get up 15 minutes before I need to be out the door. I barely have time to dress, wash my face, brush my teeth and remember to put deodorant on. Sadly, most of the time I don’t have time to brew coffee to take with me nor stop for coffee on the way to the medical facility. I’ve been looking for an alternative and with summer approaching I figured a cold, premade beverage would be ideal. But I don’t want “bad stuff” in it (high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweetener, etc). I want whole, pure ingredients and it needs to be low fat (since I have fat malabsorption).

I'm happy to say RealBeanz fits the bill.

Here's part of their philosophy:

"RealBeanz® believes that an iced coffee beverage should do more than just satisfy your taste buds – it ought to help you get through the day and enhance your lifestyle without subjecting your body to harmful chemicals or unhealthy ingredients. (AMEN and AMEN)

RealBeanz® utilizes a blend of 100% natural ingredients in a flavorful coffee blend that’ll help brew the lifestyle you desire.

We know that you’re seeking coffee-based beverages that are big on flavor, high on quality and perfect for your health-conscious lifestyle. (this is definitely me)

No artificial flavorings, colorings, sweeteners or preservatives (YAY!)
Fresh, artificial hormone-free (rBST-free), reduced-fat milk maximizes flavor and health appeal” (Thank you!)

“RealBeanz iced coffee uses premium coffee beans and 100% wholesome ingredients. The beverage is low in calories, with no artificial flavorings, colorings, sweeteners or preservatives. RealBeanz also contains vitamins and potent herbs for the best in health and flavor.” (exactly what I'm looking for in my quest for iced coffee)

To see all the flavors, ingredients, and nutrition information click here.

Those are the fine details. Let's get down to taste.

If you follow me on instagram you know I love all things coconut. I recently discovered a lust for how hydrating coconut water is. I was excited to see that two of my full-sized (9.5oz) samples contained coconut water. Adding coconut water to the coffee? Pure genius! Two of my favorites together! Rehydrate with coconut water as I dehydrate with coffee.

Naturally I immediately tore into the Dark Roast with coconut water first.


Um, yum! I was a bit worried about the addition of stevia; I feared that it would be too sweet for me. But it was perfect, not too sweet at all. You couldn’t even taste the coconut. I got a great boost from the caffeine. And the best part? No coffee breath. Loved the boost of energy it gave me. My medications and chronic fatigue syndrome keep me so exhausted.  This product actually gave me the energy to do things. Seriously, I want an entire case of this flavor.

It was so nice to wake up the next morning, grab the bottle of cappuccino with coconut water and run out the door to physical therapy. Where has RealBeanz been? Why am I just finding out about them now? My physical therapy & early hospital days would have been so much easier for me had I known of RealBeanz. A bottle of this and I'm out the door. No fussing with grinding beans and brewing coffee. Just grab a bottle and out the door.

The flavor of the cappuccino was similar to the dark roast. It was nice to not have coffee breath during PT. This didn't have as much coffee flavor as the dark roast and did not give me as much of a boost, which I found odd considering cappuccino is made with espresso beans. But I would definitely drink this again. I just liked the dark roast much better.

Now onto the caramel flavor. This one did not have coconut water. Instead, it had Ginko Biloba to help brain function and focus the mind. Sad to say with my meds there is no help for me in that department. The taste was good. The caramel taste a bit to strong for me so I was a "bad" girl and put some whipped cream in it. It made the coffee extra yummy, as whipped cream is apt to do to iced coffee. Did not get a caffeine jolt with this flavor either. I'll stick with the dark roast.


The best part of all these flavors is that none of them gave me any GI issues. Thank goodness! I'm weary of products with dairy in them for the fact that I usually end up sick afterwards.

The price of each 9.5 oz is $1.99-$2.69 and you can find them at most grocery stores and retailers nationwide. You can also order cases of it on the RealBeanz website. Stock up, this stuff is amazing.

For more information you can check out the RealBeanz website, pinterest, facebook, twitter, instagram and/or YouTube.

Bottoms up!

Note: Sponsored by RealBeanz. While I received free samples of RealBeanz coffee all opinions are my own.

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