A month of Sure Beauty’s MS-12C2 Ultrasonic Cavitation 2.5 Body Slimming Machine 

Over the past month I have been testing out this ultrasonic cavitation 2.5 body slimming machine (MS-12C2) sent to me by Sure Beauty. While this machine was gifted to me, all thoughts are my own.

For me this was a very interesting test. When you look at all of the photos of people using any sort of fat burning tightening machines, they are almost always people who do not have all that much fat to lose or who don’t need that much tightened. I understand the advertising aspect of this, it isn’t rocket science. But if you have been following along with my posts for any length of time now you know that I have 80-90 lbs to lose to be into a healthy range. At least according to my doctor. I will be playing the exact number by ear, but at the moment I have a long way to travel before my weight loss journey ends.

That being said, I don’t expect magic from this machine. I did not go into this thinking that i would be 90 lbs over weight and at the end of thirty days some how magically the weight my doctor thinks is ideal for my body type. That isn’t how these things work. That being said, I do have a lot of fat to test the fat burning machine on. So first let’s look at what the machine is supposed to accomplish.

It is a unoisetion ultrasonic cavitation 2.5 body slimming machine to melt fat and tighten loose skin. This fat burner ultrasonic cavitation machine is just what you need to explosive or blast stubborn fat. That promotes your metabolism to keep your body shape. It is a machine that burns fat cells while eliminating cellulite as well as uses ultrasonic cavitation treatment to enhance collagen production and tighten skin.

Sure Beauty

As you can see from the description, it is not magic.

The process of using this machine was interesting. The manual is easy to read and in case the words are confusing, there are handy pictures for you to follow along. What you need to do when using this is clear and easy. It is an easy machine to use, and easy to keep clean.

The directions suggest that you make sure your skin is damp and that you use the gel with it. Essentially it is yo keep you from using the machine on your dry skin. I used it three times a week and found it most convenient to use it post shower. That way my skin was well dampened and the gel could be applied. The instructions also recommend that you use it after eating so you have food in your belly when using it.

I did try it on an empty stomach and ended up feeling a little nauseated so i’d recommend you follow that direction. I did not try it on completely dry skin, however dry skin was an issue. The ‘Sessions’ with the machine were half hour ones. Even with the gel on my skin (the gel helping to keep the skin moist and allow the machine to run smoothly over the skin) after about ten to fifteen minutes, my skin started to dry out a bit. If I applied more gel, the skin tended to get a little sticky. I found it best, to keep a wet wash cloth (in a bowl of water) handy, then after 15 minutes, take a break, use the wash cloth, then apply more of the gel, and then finish the session. This was the best method for me.

I did go through a lot of the gel. You may notice that the tube pictured is the fresh unopened tube. That is because it ran about about a week ago and without thinking I threw it out. Since then I used Vaseline. The Vaseline kept the machine moving smoothly and didn’t dry out so I only needed to wipe off a little extra Vaseline when i was done instead of rewetting the skin and using a second application. So I would say that the Vaseline did a better job of keeping my skin from drying out and the machine from sticking than the gel. I think the gel just needs a degree of moisture to it to keep from getting sticky that the Vaseline simply didn’t need.

The machine manual suggests that you start on a low setting and work your way up. This too was interesting. When I first used it I didn’t feel anything with the lower settings. So I turned it up until I felt something (About midway up the dial). I left it there as I could feel it doing something. At the end of my session I didn’t feel anything. It was the next morning that I felt I had done a whole munch of sit ups the day before. So that is something to watch. Start low the first day, because the next day you will feel more than you thought you would.

Gradually my tolerance increased and I was not so sore the next morning. When this happened on my next session I turned the dial up slightly. Slowly I increased the vibrations. I had no issues when doing this.

Now as I said, the big issue with machines like this is that you can expect miracles. I did take a photo at the beginning and at the end. i can find no way to edit them to a level of nudity I am comfortable posting, however the fact is the before and after photos don’t look any different. However this is not to say there wasn’t any change. I have lost one inch off my waist. Which is interesting as this month i think I gained a little weight through holiday eating. My bust and hip measurements are the same but my waist has gone down an inch. In addition I have quite a few stretch marks that have appeared as my weight has decreased. A couple of the more long standing ones are not as pronounced as they were. Again, in the photos they look the same, but when I run my finger tips over them they are slightly less.

I suspect that this machine, if I continue to use regularly, will help reduce those marks and possibly keep new ones from forming. I also suspect there would be a more noticeable difference on someone who doesn’t have as much weight to lose and who just wants to work on tightening skin and working off a little stubborn fat. Asking the machine to shift 90 lbs in thirty days is not a reasonable expectation. However it did give me enough reaction to let me know that it was doing something. While I wanted to do a thirty day post, I think given my size it really needs to be a six months on kind of post. Now that I am in the habit of using this, I think that I may continue and see if six months sees some more drastic changes. For me, given the length of time used one inch down was quite impressive and I am looking forward to seeing more longer term results from this Sure Beauty machine.

Snacktime: Modern Mill

I know what you are thinking. That is a salad topper, not a snack. I know, but stick with me. The Modern Mill Salad toppers are a line that is carried at most grocery stores, at least the ones near me. There are a bunch of different varieties. This particular one is my favorite. It has edamame, cranberries, cashews and sunflower seeds.

Now here’s the thing. As a salad topper, I am not a fan of this. I’ve tried most of the line and while I purchase them, rarely do any of them make it onto my salad. I think it is a bit too heavy for a salad topping. The cashews are whole and over all this mix tends to dominate whatever salad it is put on. There are also just too many things going on with it. It’s like they pack one too many ingredients into the mix for me to feel happy with it on my salad.

However, as much as I am not a fan of this on my salad, I love it as a mid afternoon snack.

With the whole cashews, sunflower seeds and edamame adding salty nutty crunch and the cranberries adding a tart fruity note, it is actually a really good snack. Very well balanced and really enjoyable. Especially on those days where you just want something to crunch into.

One fourth of a cup is 140 calories so it is a snack for a day when you are going the extra mile with your work out, not for one where the most activity you are getting is chasing a paperclip that some how shot across the room. However there is no filler. The ingredients are really edamame, sunflower seeds, cranberries and cashews. It has 11% of your fiber and 7 grams of protein.

While this isn’t something I enjoy on my salad, I love keeping this in my pantry for a protean packed pick me up. It is well worth having on hand. Just remember that it is very easy to go over board with it, so measure it out instead of simply eating from the bag. I love measuring it out into a small container and taking it with me on bike rides or to snack on between meetings. It is also a good reminder that just because a product is designed for one thing, doesn’t mean it can’t be fabulous for something else.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Green with Apple from Smoothie Box

This is it my darlings. We have reached the fourth and final smoothie variety in the Smoothie Box that the brand sent to me for the purpose of review. Each Monthly Smoothie Box contains four packs of Smoothies. Each of the packs contains five separate smoothie packets so in total there are 20 smoothies included. Each packet contains two portions. In general I find that if I am eating the smoothie for a snack i will only eat half of the package (1 portion) but if I am using it as a lunch then i will mix up the full package. So I would get 20 lunches or 40 snacks out of a Smoothie box. Of the three I’ve tried, the Orange (Clementine) and the Cacao smoothies are fantastic for lunch replacements and the Berry I actually prefer for a snack.

This is the first of the Green with Apple that I have tried so let’s see where I would place it. I will be honest, I left this one for last because I thought it would be too sweet for a meal and thus end up as a snack item. I decided this solely based on the fact that there are both apples and pineapples on the front picture. I know, you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover or a smoothie by it’s bag.

out of the bag (pre blending)

So I blended up the smoothie to see if it would be a lunch item or a snack for later. I blended it with skim milk as I didn’t want to risk the Almond milk making it sweeter than it might be on it’s own. Plus I find that milk is a nice neutral base so that i can determine the actual flavor before I start to adjust it. I can’t lie, when I blended it, the smoothie very much resembled my homemade spinach dip. which isn’t too surprising considering spinach is the first item on the ingredients list.

Full ingredients: Organic Spinach, Organic Granny Smith Apples, Organic Pineapple, Organic avocado, Organic apple juice, Organic Lemon Juice, Organic Brown Flax Seeds and Organic Hemp hearts.

Smoothie Box

And each serving is 80 calories.

When pouring the smoothie into my cup I thought spinach dip. I had to look away to convince my brain that it wasn’t spinach dip. It didn’t smell like spinach dip, which helped. while there is an undertone of spinach the smoothie tasted predominantly of brown flax seeds with a little bit of the hemp hearts thrown in. Occasionally there would be a little nibblet that would make me think apple or pineapple, but it is overwhelmingly flax and hemp heart. It is a very seed-y tasting smoothie.

Which is not a bad taste, just not what I was expecting. And oddly, I miss the sweetness. I think this one could do with a little hint of sweetness added to kind of balance out the seed/nutty taste. In all of the smoothies there were recommendations. With almost all of them I was worried that the additions would make them too sweet and take them out of lunch territory and into snack milkshake ground. (Except for the cold brew coffee added to the cacao smoothie. If I could have that for breakfast every day I would.)

with this smoothie I think the add ins would not only make it delicious, i think they might make it better. The suggestions for possible add ins include, Protein powder, Almond Milk, fruit juice, banana or nut butter. I try not to do too many add ins because I don’t want to increase the calories too much. For me though I think adding the almond milk and banana are the way to go with this smoothie. The almond would pair well with the nuttiness of the seeds and add a little sweetness and the banana I think would bring the other fruit forward a little more.

The smoothie isn’t bad on it’s own, but it feels very one note. I love the iron level, calcium, and protein that I get form this, I just want to add a little bit of sweetness. I will happily have this smoothie as a lunch, but it is the only one that I received in the variety pack where I feel the add ins are needed. In every other smoothie the flavors were complex enough that it feels like a full developed well thought out smoothie. The add ins would be nice but not necessary. This one, needs just a little bit of help. While this Green with Apple is probably my least favorite of the smoothies, it is still quite delicious and I will be consuming all of them during various lunch times. I will also be picking up a bunch of bananas.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Clementine from The Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box sent one of their Smoothie Boxes over to me for the purpose of review. The full review of the box can be found here. This is a review of the individual smoothie, Clementine. As always my thoughts and opinions are my own.

At this time of year, time is at a premium. It is almost as though with the arrival of spring the world wakes up shakes off it’s lethargy and goes into hyperdrive. It is my busiest time of year and honestly, my lunch time game suffers because of it. While a lot of studies go into breakfast being the most important meal of the day, for me lunch time is key.

As anyone following along with my posts on a regular basis knows, I am working towards losing weight. I have no desire to run around in a bikini or imitate any form of model-esque appearance. My goal is simply to be a healthier me. And for me to be healthier I need to get some weight off of my bones. If nothing else it will help out my joints in the long run.

today’s add in

the thing is, I cook. I love to cook. Even before activities were curtailed we ate out at most once a month. Other wise I cook. Which, when paired with a weight loss program, means breaking down recipes by caloric intake and portioning things out. Time is often a factor (for everyone, I know) so a lot of times I will make a larger meal, and then portion it out into several meals, freezing portions so that on days when it is to rushed to cook, I have a meal handy.

In theory, this is fabulous. In practice it means that on the nights I cook I really have to monitor what it is that I am portioning out and not say to myself, ‘Well it wouldn’t hurt to have a little extra since there are so many left overs.’ The key to not doing that is a good lunch. And often an afternoon snack.

These smoothie packs are fantastic for that. The calories are listed on the back, all the ingredients are chopped and ready for blending and they are a great mix of ingredients. This Clementine Smoothie (renamed Orange Smoothie on the website)is 120 calories per portion and has loads of good stuff inside. There are two portions per bag. If I am having it as a snack I will only have one portion. If I am having it for lunch i will have two.

The ingredients in this smoothie mix are: Mandarin Segments, Organic Sweet potatoes, Organic Ginger, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Dates, Organic Coconut Cream, Organic Lemon Juice, Carrots and Pumpkin seeds.

Smoothie Box

It is a really interesting mix. The carrots, mandarins and dates make up the sweetness but the ginger and lemon bring it into the savory category. It is a spicy carroty orange flavor which I really enjoy. While the back of the package recommends adding in bananas, Protein Powder, Banana yogurt Orange Juice or Pineapple juice, today I went rogue. I added coconut water and then added a scoop of vanilla bean Greek Yogurt (I am absolutely loving the brand Noosa right now. For me the Vanilla bean has taken the place of after dinner ice cream. It is my favorite.)

blend

The blend oddly enough ,makes it taste a little more like carrot cake. Which I have to admit is my favorite kind of cake. I have had this smoothie with orange juice before and the juice bumps up the orange flavor (obviously) but even with the added sweetness it still has that ginger spice to it.

drink

For me, I am okay with the sweetness, but if it is too sweet then my brain won’t register it as a meal. It will simply thing of the smoothie as a “treat”. Even though it was vaguely reminiscent of carrot cake, it wasn’t too sweet and it made the perfect lunch. As I knw this afternoon was going to be crazy, I went ahead and mixed it up in the morning and put the smoothie in the fridge to wait until lunch time. That’s actually why I used the yogurt. well besides added taste. It keeps the smoothie thick even though the fridge lets some of the frozen bits melt a little by lunch time. It is still just how I like it. This Clementine (Now Orange) Super Smoothie was a fabulous addition to my day.

Snacktime: Super Smoothie Cacao from Smoothie Box

Recently Smoothie Box gifted me a Smoothie Box for the purpose of review. For the review of the box as a whole you can click this link. As I work through the box I will be trying out each flavor. As always my opinions are my own. The Smoothie Box I received was the variety pack. If you remember some of my earlier posts, I love a good variety pack. It is a great way to try out a bunch of flavors and get a good idea about the brand as a whole. I love this approach with everything from food to perfume Samples.

I put this review in my snack time line up because these smoothies can be either a snack or a lunch time option. Each smoothie is in an individual bag and has two portions in it. I generally find that if I am eating it a a snack, I will blend the entire bag, and then only drink half. If I have the entire bag then I will use it as a meal replacement. So since it can be both, we are calling it Snack time.

the Smoothie I am trying out today is the Super Smoothie Cacao. Like all of the smoothie bags it has two portions inside. each portion is 130 calories. To mix up you need eight to twelve ounces of liquid added to the mix in the bag when you blend it up. I have a traditional blender (although i am looking at some of the more updated blenders because mine is getting up there in age) and to get the smoothies to blend well I need 12 ounces of liquid. With eight ounces things tend to get stuck and it becomes too thick. So I use eight ounces of Skim Milk (90 cal) with four ounces of water. which means when I have this Cacao Smoothie for a lunch it comes in at 350 calories which is the perfect lunch time meal for me.

The contents of the bag

On the back of the bag there are listed recommended add ins which I really like. Sometimes I will add other items into the mix, just so that it varies them a bit more nd makes them taste different. A lot of the times I just add the milk and water. Smoothie Box recommends Bananas, Protein Powder, Almond Milk, Cold brew, and Nut butter. Quite frankly all of them sound like they would be delicious add ins.

They recommend you add in the contents of the smoothie bag first and then add the piquid, but I find with my blender adding the milk and water in first helps keep the frozen bits from getting caught under the blade.

All blended

I chose this smoothie first from the box because I often have issues with chocolate based smoothies. I actually expected this one to be the one I liked the least. I am not a huge fan of overly sweet things. My tastes tend to lean towards the savory. So when you get Cacao type smoothie mixes two things can happen. One they will be very sweet and it will feel like you are drinking a milkshake.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of milkshakes. However, if I drink something that tastes like a milkshake for lunch it will feel like I am just having dessert. My brain will not think of it as lunch and a little while later i will think, ‘Wow that was a nice treat, but I better have some actual lunch now.’ and I will over eat.

the second thing that can happen with chocolate themed smoothies is they can become chalky. I think to make them healthy a lot of healthy smoothie mixes will reduce the amount of cocoa fat too much and they become chalky that way. At least that’s my theory.

Neither of those things happened with this smoothie. There is a chocolaty taste which is quite nice. There is also a banana taste which is quite nice. And actually it is more banana forward than chocolate. There is a nuttiness to the mix and underneath is a light vegetal note. It is this note that makes it feel like a meal rather than a milk shake. I know it sounds strange but the mix really works well together. It is actually quite delicious.

Smoothie Box has really managed to get the mix right with this one. And what a mix it is. Let’s look at the ingredients list shall we?

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree, Organic Zucchini, Organic Kale, Cacao Chips, Organic Coconut Water, Organic Sunflower Seeds, Organic Coconut Cream, and Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder

Together the elements simply work. It tastes like a banana chocolate smoothie with a nutty back note, the vegetables only balancing it to remove some of the sweetness and make it feel more like a meal.

Well not only taking the sweetness. All of the elements are good for you and work towards making this a very nutritious meal. According to the ingredient break out:

Organic Bananas and Banana Puree: High in aspartic acid which helps every cell in the body work. It plays a role in hormone production and release and normal nervous system function.

Organic Zucchini: Zucchini is rich in vitamin B6. This vitamin can help with regulating blood glucose which plays a protective role against diabetes.

Organic Kale: Kale contains several antioxidants that help the body remove unwanted toxins that result from natural processes and environmental pressures.

Cacao Chips :To efficiently package ingredients we mix several ingredients together and then freeze them into a smoothie chip. This allows us to include beneficial ingredients like coconut cream, cacao nibs, and other fun ingredients.

Organic Coconut Water: High in electrolytes which are minerals that help your body carry out a variety of vital functions, such as hydration, muscle contractions, pH balance, and nerve signalling.

Organic Sunflower Seeds: Sunflower seeds contain vitamin E, magnesium, protein, and linoleic fatty acids which may help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar.

Organic Coconut Cream: Rich in vitamin C, vitamin E and other B vitamins. These vitamins are good antioxidants which help fight free radicals and thereby reduce the risk of most major diseases.

Organic Cacao Nibs and Cacao Powder: Cacao in any form is exceptionally rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and inflammation. Cacao has been linked to reduced heart disease and diabetes risk.

Smoothie Box

It is a well thought out mix that is quite honestly delicious. As there were five in my Smoothie Box Variety Pack, I am very much looking forward to having the other four come up in rotation.

Kitchen Kit: Size Matters

Bigger is not always better. Sometimes it helps to go small, especially when you are trying to do portion control. Recently I picked up a set of bowls from Target’s Threshold collection that have proven to be absolutely fantastic additions to my kitchen and helpful in maintaining my portion control.

I do like the design (and they do come in several colors), however it’s main benefit is it’s size. This bowl holds eight ounces of liquid perfectly. It isn’t filled to the very brim, there is a space left at the top so you don’t slosh over the sides, but it is designed to hold eight ounces of liquid comfortably.

This makes it perfect for a cup of soup at lunch time. It keeps bowls of cereal and even pasta in check. It’s eight ounce size makes it easy to figure out exactly how much I am portioning out, even if i don’t feel like weighing out food on the scale or measuring it with a measuring cup.

It’s shape is also a benefit as well. Because it is round, it feels like it is deeper than it is and that it is holding more than it is. One of my favorite afternoon snacks is about four ounces of yogurt measured out of one of those large containers. Sometimes finding the measuring cup takes a bit more time then I am willing to give my afternoon snack. Because I know how full the half a cup of yogurt makes the bowl it is easy to figure out without hunting down a measuring cup.

And some days easy is better.

The shape of the bowl always makes me feel as though I am getting more though. In a bigger bowl, four ounces feels like a small amount. In this bowl four ounces feels like quite a lot. It makes my brain think that i am giving myself an extra large treat instead of skimping myself on a snack. And to be honest, sometimes tricking yourself helps.

I also like the way the shape of the bowl fits into my hands. These were relatively inexpensive bowls to pick up, $5 for a set of two, and they have more than proven their value and earned a spot in my kitchen. These stoneware bowls are dishwasher safe and microwave safe. Although if you do use them in the microwave they can get really hot so get a pot holder or towel handy to take them out.

In my kitchen I tend to keep what works and what I use, while letting go of the rest. There simply isn’t storage space to keep every kitchen Item I want to try out. There have been quite a few things that seemed like a good idea at the time, were used for a little while and then ended up donated to my local charity shop. These bowls however, will be staying with me for quite some time. Their size makes them useful in the kitchen and amazing at helping me stay on track with my portion control. Way to go Threshold and Target.

Save 22% Off All Cookware & Bakeware! Use Code: LUCKY22

The Daily: March 14th, 2022

Oh my darlings, we had ourselves a rollercoaster of a weekend here. I went to bed on Friday night and it was 57 degrees outside. Temperatures plummeted in the night and I woke to 22 degrees and four inches of snow on the ground. I know that doesn’t sound like much but when you live in an area that sees more wind storms than snow storms, it was enough to cancel any form of plans anyone had. most places were closed and for some reason everyone raided the grocery stores for bread and milk, along with coffeemate. I don’t know if the store was just running low but every flavored coffee creamer in the refrigerated aisle was cleared out. Which I found a little amusing.

And right on cue with the snowstorm, my Easter dress arrived from Ever Pretty. I remember so many Easter Sundays where I had the thin little Easter dress and was given the pretty cardigan to wear over it to keep warm only to have my legs feel like they were freezing off. So it seems appropriate that the dress arrived.. It also necessitated a full length photo which I almost never take, mostly because I tend to take the photos myself. If given a camera my babydoll will aim it in the general direction, take the photo as quickly as possible before moving away, lest he be asked to take another one. He is not a fan of the camera.

But I needed the picture so he took it. And while I love the dress the full length photo reminded me how much weight I still have to lose. I can pretend if it is just a head shot. And I know, I am doing the slow chipping away, but it feels like I have been at a stand still for a while, so there may be some revaluation this week, possibly followed by a consultation with a professional. I ended up feeling both good about myself and bad about myself all in one fell swoop.

I’d like to say I am above it and that because i am working on my weight I let it go, but it is a hard thing to let go of. It was harder as this past week showed a gain. Even though it was justified, it still didn’t help my frame of mind. I’m using it to motivate me instead of letting it get me down. That’s the positive.

I’ll also say that the time change didn’t help matters. I woke up feeling like someone stole an hour from me this morning. I’m not a morning person and Spring Forward always hurts Me and the coffee pot are best friends today. So yeah, over all this weekend was a real rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts for me. But thus far Monday has actually been chugging along nicely. I’m anticipating a late afternoon crash and decline in productivity, but this far, things are going well.

Today’s Look:

Primer: Too Faced Hangover Replenishing Face Primer

Foundation: NARS All Day Luminous Weightless Foundation

Bronzer: Buxom Staycation Vibes Bronzer

Blush: Ciate London Marbled Light Blush

Highlighter: Nomad Cosmetics in Moonlight

Powder: Becca Cosmetics Pink Haze

Eyeshadow: Karmela Cosmetics Defiance palette

Mascara: Big Poppa from Wet ‘n Wild

Lips: Uoma Lip Liner in Angelou and MAC Love Me Lipstick in Bated Breath

I am still working my way through the primers and foundations to see what stays and what goes. I’m actually impressed by how many foundations I let go honestly. I know some of them were almost empty but it still counts. Today I paired the Too Faced Hangover primer with the Nars foundation. They are actually a great pair. The too Faced Primer I can only wear for a limited amount of time in the year. It is a fantastically hydrating primer. Unfortunately once the world heats up, it is a little too hydrating for my skin. It is great at this time of year though. And I enjoyed using it.

The NARS foundation I forgot about. It is more full coverage than I usually use, which is why I haven’t reached for it. It is a great formula though and as most of the foundations I did clear out are more full coverage, I will be keeping this one and using it up. It is a bit on the light side for me, which is another reason that I don’t reach for it a lot. While I like the formula, I don’t know if I would purchase it again. There are other formulas I simply prefer more.

I really should have paired it with a darker powder but I saw the Pink Haze and realized I hadn’t used it in a while. It is a Becca product and Becca is, alas, no more. I am trying to use it up to clear it out and then looking for a new pink powder to replace it with. i really like having a pink setting powder for days where I just look a little pale and wan looking. It is a great way to brighten the skin with out going crazy. It is a subtle warmth to the skin.

Both the Buxom Bronzer and the Ciate London blush are two of my favorites, although the blush is deep enough I probably should wait until I have more of a tan to use it. I was sad to see that it wasn’t listed on the Ciate Site any more. I think it is just not currently available rather than discontinued. At least i really hope it isn’t discontinued as it is my favorite Ciate Blush. their other blushes are okay, but this one works well and blends much more easily than the others I’ve tried. So hopefully i is just out of stock.

Today I reached for the Nomad highlighter because it is one I’ve been holding onto for a while without using. It is a purple toned highlighter that looks a bit holographic when it catches the light. It is lovely and I love looking at it. But I don’t wear it much. In truth the reason it has lasted so long is because I have no other highlighters like it, not because I wear it. It wants to be just a bright stripe of highlight and doesn’t blend well, which is what I like my highlighters to do. I put it on and wasn’t really a fan. I think what I may do is transfer it to my single shadows drawer and see if I like it better there. It is a fantastic color, just not for my cheeks.

This was the second use for me of the Defiance Palette. Today I went only with the mattes to see how they worked. They apply with nice pigmentation and I like the range of shades as it looks like a good everyday palette. The blending didn’t go so well. Several of the shades disappeared when I started blending. I think tomorrow I may try it with a lid primer, but while the colors are nice, the shadows were not that impressive.

I am more and more impressed with the UOMA lip liner though. I am finding myself reaching for it more and more often. The shade is perfect for an everyday look for me. It is stiff enough that it gives sharp lines well, but soft enough that I don’t feel i am using a number two pencil on my lips. On it’s own it can be a little drying, but it is not nearly as drying as most lip liners when used for lipstick and can be worn on it’s own. Usually when I wear it alone I put a little lip balm over it which helps. It also pairs well with one of my favorite lipsticks and that is the MAC Love Me Lipstick in Bated breath. The color is fantastic for everyday wear and I have worn it quite low. I am going to have to replace it soon actually. And when I do I will probably also add Ruby to my order. It looks like the perfect red shade for me and you know I am still on the quest for the perfect red lip. If it is MAC I will be thrilled because I love this formula.

And finally I topped this look off with the wet n wild mascara. It is a great formula that gives me length and volume and quite honestly puts some of my more expensive mascaras to shame. It is one of those use well after opening. I only keep mascaras six months because of possible eye contaminants, but this is a mascara that won’t let you keep it past six months. Right on the six month mark I’ll notice it starts to clump a little. Until then it works perfectly. It is almost like a built in product timer. Which I’m not mad about. Partially because I sometimes lose track of what I opened when. This year my goal is to have fewer mascaras open at a time. I think I am down to about four open ones so I am doing pretty good. I have a couple of open ones that have only a few more months left so I think I am doing well. Personally I would like to only have about two open at a time. I’m not sure I make that goal though as I sometimes have a hard time not opening a new mascara. But I am going to try.

And so my darlings that is me today. I am chugging along, trying not to grumble about the time thief who stole an hour from me this morning and I am thinking of ways to revamp my workout routine and possibly start chipping off some of the weight a little faster. Not hugely fast you understand, because it always worries me when weight drops too fast. I just want fast enough that I no longer feel like I am standing still. And god almighty I would like to get under 200 lbs. You have no idea how much I want that. So tonight there will be time spent in reevaluation. For now though, it is back to work for me. I hope the rest of your Monday goes swimmingly.


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Spring Into Clean Skin Campaign – Shop Curated Bundles

A few of my favorite things…

So often the focus is on the new and the different and the things I am trying out. I know, not surprising, this is a review site. But there are a few things that right now i use on a daily basis that I think deserve mentioning. At one time they were all things I tried out and now, they have become standards. So here are five products that I use day in and day out.

The first up has to be the Soda Stream. For a long time I used a plastic bottle for the Soda Stream. It was good, but after a time the plastic has to be replaced. So this past year I switched to the glass bottle for the Soda Stream. For those who don’t know, the Soda Stream is basically just away of getting carbonation into your water. It turns tap water sparkling. It’s called a Soda Stream because it lets you make your own soda at home. They sell all sorts of flavors. I like their flavors (lemon lime is my favorite) but honestly I use it to encourage myself to drink more water.

In general I find that carbonated water doesn’t sit as heavy in my stomach as regular water does. Occasionally i will add a lemon wedge or even a cucumber slice to the water, but for the most part I drink the water plain. And I’ve actually experimented with keeping tabs on my water consumption and found I drink almost twice as much water when it is carbonated than I d when it isn’t. So for me the Soda Stream is a valuable tool in keeping me hydrated.

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But if you are going to drink water, you need something to put it in don’t you? This is where item number two comes in. It is a stemless Champagne flute from the Rachel Zoe Collection. I love glassware. I do. I collect glasses of all kinds and I often have a real problem getting rid of class containers. Most end up repurposed to hold seedlings as I start my garden seeds indoors and then plant them outside. And I also like drinking my water out of a pretty glass as well. While I do use these glasses for cocktails (or mocktails) I use this one daily for my water. I like pouring it from the carafe into a pretty glass. It makes me feel as though the water itself is special and not like i am forcing myself to drink more water to stay hydrated. I love the rainbow sheen of the glass and the bubbles fizzing through it. I also love the way the glass feels in my hand. I think it elevates my water drinking and makes it feel almost decadent. And if you are trying to convince yourself to drink more water, why not make it feel decadent?

The next two items are always on my desk. Or at least within easy reach. The first of these are my ThinOptics reading glasses. They come in a variety of finishes, This set is the tortoise shell look. I like the look of them (although the black is stunning). I think part of why i like the tortoise shell is because when I was little we had a family friend who would always answer the crazy questions I would ask. He always had a good answer for everything and I thought he was the smartest person in the world. He wore tortoise shell glasses so even now when I wear them I feel like i am smarter.

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I know I’m not, just like I now know that some of the answers I got to my questions back then were made up (I still admire his ability to think fast though). But I still feel smarter. And my eyes have never been great. I wore glasses as a kid, switched to contacts as soon as it was an option and now need the reading glasses. These are thin and the case is actually clipped to the back of cell phone. The Thin Optics also don’t leave the nose dents in my makeup because they are so light. They are quite amazing and extremely useful.

Useful in a different way is the jar of peppermints. They are LifeSaver Peppermint candies. Occasionally throughout the day I will find myself wanting a snack. While I do have a snack most afternoons as it keeps me from over eating at dinnertime, I can’t snack all day. The problem is that I work from home so when I leave my desk I often have to pass through the kitchen to get anywhere. that means any snack foods left out are tempting. And let’s face it, the pantry and fridge are also tempting. It can spiral very easily. Having the peppermints on my desk not only gives me something low in calories to reach for if I feel like I want a snack even though I’m not hungry, it also gives me peppermint-y breath.

I know, my computer monitor doesn’t always appreciate the fresh breath, but the peppermint flavor helps prevent snacking. Most items that I would pick up from the kitchen quickly to snack on, taste weird with peppermint. It just isn’t a good mix. So if I put in a peppermint when I am craving something I can always tell myself, that I can think about a snack after the peppermint flavor fades. And by then I am usually in the middle of something else and have forgotten about the snack I didn’t really need in the first place.

And finally one of my current top five everyday items are my Tomahawk Shades. This particular set is my favorite. It just has that nice retro vibe to it. I actually have several pair of sunglasses from them. Not all of them look retro. And I do trade them out. What I love about them is that they are good quality sunglasses that I can pick up in a variety of styles without breaking the bank. I have seen a lot of fantastic sunglasses out there and there are several really expensive ones I tend to drool over. At the same time, I know me and sunglasses. With a new pair I will be very careful for the first few weeks. Then I’ll forget. I’ll shove them up into my hair or drop them in my purse without looking for a case. I’ll toss them into the passenger’s seat of my car if I am by myself. And then I’ll forget. They will end up scratched or even sat upon. I used to get one pair of sunglasses each spring and then I would be lucky if they made it through the year. If I made it to the next spring with only one scratch on the lens I was shocked.

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So I don’t spend a lot of money on sunglasses (or maybe i do if you look at the history instead of the pair) These sunglasses are not only good quality and inexpensive but they are durable. This retro looking one isn’t just my favorite because of looks but because the plastic is flexible instead of brittle. They have a bit of give to them. I’ve sat on them a couple of times at this point and routinely slide them into my purse without bothering with a case. Going into this spring they look just as good as they did last spring despite being my most worn pair of sunglasses. I actually don’t need to replace them this spring. I’ll probably still go on to the Tomahawk Shades Website to see what they have this year, but replacing them isn’t a requirement.

So there you have it mu darlings a few of the things I use on a daily basis, quietly working in the background as i go about trying out the new and the different. Somedays, it is good to acknowledge the fabulousness of everyday things.

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Weekly Weight: 215.4 lbs

The Scale: January 7th, 2022

Good morning my darlings. What a mess it is out there. Most of the world looks like it has been encased in glass. And honestly the afternoon doesn’t look like it is going to get much better. Yesterday’s power was spotty almost as if the powerlines were sending out Morse code messages. Twenty minutes out equals a dot and forty minutes out is a dash.

I am not fluent enough in Morse Code to know exactly what was being said but I like to think a rough interpretation would be: Help, this Ice is too heavy for me to carry.

We ended up losing power for a few hours sometime in the night, but it was back on in the morning and all the clocks were flashing at us. I think it may be the first time all of our clocks were showing the exact same time.

But you didn’t tune in for the weather report, you came for the weight report. The first of the new year. If you have been following along then you know that I took December off from the scale. It was a gift to myself and a kindness to others. While I didn’t plan to go completely bonkers, I wasn’t going to let concerns over my calorie count dominate the holidays. I was going to enjoy being with friends and family and let the weight take a back seat. Especially as celebrations were less through video cameras this year than last.

Over all I did fairly well. My last weight post with the scale in November was 212.0 so there was a bit of a gain over the holidays, but it wasn’t too devastatingly bad. And to be fair, the treats I did indulge in, were the sorts of treats that only come around once a year. They aren’t everyday things. I think that was my biggest fear. That I would use the rich holiday foods to start indulging in everyday items. You know the sort of thing…

After a wedge of that baked brie with apricot jam, surely a candy bar won’t actually matter.

But I am happy to say that didn’t happen. I stuck to small portions of the special holiday treats and did not let them lead me to indulgences that are available year round. I’m not saying that a wheel of brie coated in apricot jam and then wrapped in prosciutto and puff pastry is in any way diet food (which is why there was a gain over the holidays) but it isn’t something I typically make on a Wednesday evening either.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t mind having it more often because it is delicious. I just know I shouldn’t. So we are starting fresh with the stats. while I will still list my original starting weight as a reminder (and encouragement), today’s weight is where we start off 2022.

The Stats:

Starting Weight: 246.0 lbs

This week’s weight (and the start of 2022): 215.4 lbs

While I am happy with the healthier aspects I’ve built into my life and understand that stress and elements well beyond my control took a toll on my weight loss plans, I feel that I now have a better handle on things. And I have a good feeling about this year’s weight loss. I look forward to chipping away at that number and hope to see a significantly smaller one at the end of this year. More important than the number though, I’ve figured out what I need to be healthy and happy, and that, more than the number on the scale, is my ultimate goal.

Weekly Weight: The December Break, December 3rd, 2021

I believe I mentioned this just before taking off for Thanksgiving, but I am going scale free this holiday season. That’s right. it is my gift to myself. There will still be walking and monitoring the food I take in to make certain I don’t overdo it. When I have my regular meals at home I will log the foods in and keep track of calories as normal.

However there will be no scale.

Part of that is because there are so many gatherings and special events this month that my actual meal plan is more or less only about half of the food that I will consume this month. egular meals will be skipped and canapes served, both by me and by other people.

Yes, I will try not to go over board with the holiday treats, but I am not going to go to a friends house and ask them how many calories are in their homemade eggnog. Partially because if you are drinking homemade eggnog then you should really either just enjoy it and not worry about it or skip it all together.

Just know it is highly caloric, have one glass and don’t go back for five additional ones.

Admittedly with the eggnog my friends make, three eggnogs would have you spinning. They are a bit potent. Delicious, but my decision to stick to only one isn’t solely calorie based. While this is the season of joy and celebration it is also the season where a little bit of personal restraint isn’t a bad thing.

This season I will be practicing some restraint, but enjoying myself as I spend time with those I love. Having to get on the scale would just add a layer of stress that I think I can do without this year, so I am.

It is part of my, ‘treat myself with some of the kindness I generally reserve for other people’ program for the new year. I know, I still need to work on my titles. But the theme is there as is the intent. I think that sometimes I can be too hard on myself. I’m sure several of you out there suffer from the same thing. It seems to be quite common. So This year I am going to remember that I sometimes deserve a little kindness too and give myself a break.

As for fitness. This week I had only one missed day of walking. It was the first of the month when everyone seemed to realize the end of the year was almost neigh and there were projects to complete. The following day, I made up for the lack with an extra walk slipped into the day. So even without the scale I feel relatively balanced and good about what I accomplished. And as the end goal of my weight loss is more to feel good in my skin than to hit an actual number, I am pretty happy with that assessment.

i will say though, it was really hard not to get on the scale this morning. Habit, and sheer perversity made me want to step on it even though I knew it wasn’t part of the plan. I think that for the rest of the month i may take the scale out of the bathroom and slide it under the bed. It may be less of a temptation that way.

for now, I am feeling pretty pleased with myself and I’m ready to tackle whatever Friday holds and ease myself into the weekend. I hope you have a fantastic one yourself.

BOLDLOFT Couple Gifts for Christmas