Subscription Saturday: January

As you all know, I gave up my subscription to PopSugar a while back for financial reasons.  I am not the baller I used to be.  I am still, however, enrolled in Influenster, which is sorta like a subscription box, but it’s more like sampling the latest and greatest products out there. I recently received the Degree Unilever Spray Deodorant. WOW. DSC00644

 

Ok, so I guess there has been this movement towards spraying products that dry quickly. Flash back to Vaseline Spray Lotion.  I love that this a female-friendly spray deodorant that dries quickly. When I think of spray deodorants, I think of freshman year dorms with boys who sprayed Axe everywhere. This is so not it. When I think of deodorant in general, I think of that gross white stripe on my black work tops that mean that I was too quick to put on clothes after I put on deodorant. A very likely thing now that I work out and shower at the gym before work.

I like Degree’s pleasant scent and it’s quick-dry formula. There’s really not much that we ask out of deodorant, yet somehow they always fall below the mark. NOT ANY LONGER!

Degree Unilever Spray was provided to me via Influenster

Daily Dose 1/30

Ah even slower week at work but, fingers crossed, things should be picking up again next week! I feel like I keep saying that, and it is not true, at all. At least they predicted this lull in events. But here are some highlights (still working on doing it once a day):

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A real hard grind at the gym!

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Delighted to see the best day of the year of the future doing the last season of Parks and Rec. I cannot believe they did not resurrect this in the past.

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Bored at work? Buzzfeed quizzes it is. And I found out what I really want for Valentines day is a Pizza. I told my boyfriend and he said he would get me a stuffed-crust pizza in the shape of a heart. #truelove

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My sister and her business partner went to a dental conference. I told them I felt like floss. Seriously, totally feeling left out but they brought home cake for me.

Have a great weekend! (and enjoy the Super Bowl!)

What’s in my Gym Bag?

Today marks day 25 of my 100-day challenge! A quarter of the way through, I do feel a lot better about myself. I am not sluggish in the morning and my clothes fit just a tad better. I am not looking to lose weight, but I am just looking to establish a daily routine where I put my health first.

I had originally planned this post without thinking which day of the challenge it fell on, but I felt it important to share the milestone. I wanted to share what I pack in my gym bag (and why I needed to bring an actual gym bag).

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1) Toiletries bag (full of my little samples)

2)Icy hot rub (things hurt…)

3) Make up bag

4) Headphones (can’t just jam to Tay without headphones. Also, I like watching the Today Show)

5) Shampoo (used up all my shampoo/conditioner samples by the time I took this picture)

6) Supplements (yeah I’m one of those)

7) Shower shoes (because…public showers)

Not pictured: bath towel, work clothes, water bottle

Everything seems a little excessive, but there is not one thing in the bag that I do not use. the inclusion of my work clothes basically necessitates the use of a big bag. Yup, my old cheerleading bag from high school. Don’t worry, that side is turned in when I walk into the gym.

WIW: Winter Work Wear

Don’t make fun of me. I wear Uggs to work. Sorry, but when it’s like 20 degrees out, and your office is not much warmer than that, a girl has got to find out some ways to keep warm. I mean I don’t see clients and I don’t really get up from my desk that often. I DO WHAT I WANT.

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Ok, so I cheat. I normally wear wide-leg dress pants so that they fit OVER my Uggs. Lord fire me on the spot the day I wear Uggs with my dress pants tucked in them. I pair it with a patterned button-up blouse and a cable-knit sweater for warmth. The key is not to let anyone notice that you are wearing Uggs. Also, dress in layers. My office is always super cold, so the layers are for insulation, not for changes in temperature.

Winter Skin Secrets

Winter is kind to no one. While writing this, we are all hunkering down for the snow storm that is about to pound the East Coast. Back in the day, we used to just take the weather forecast as a joke.  Snow storms in DC?? Whateva, we do what we want. Then my first year of pharmacy school hit (ok, whatever I was in Richmond, but it’s close), and the snow was out of control. Like it just hit everywhere and A LOT.

My point is, winter is here. It sucks. And it takes a toll on my already-dry skin. I did manage to find some favorites that will SAVE THE DAY.
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Hand: EOS Hand Cream A fan of the lip balm balls? YA me too. The hand cream is just as moisturizing and smells amazing. I have been using Cherry Blossom (Hello, spring, are you here yet?). I should also mention that I love O’Keefe’s Working Hands, as I was slathering it on during my hospital rotation days. I couldn’t get my hands on it for this picture, but it is definitely a life saver.

Cuticles: Deborah Lippmann The Cure OH MY. Ok this little cube is super expensive but it is so worth it.  I say that very seldom about beauty products. With winter around and the manicures are very infrequent, The Cure is the perfect to nourish your dry peeling cuticles.

Body: Amlactin Cerapeutic Restoring Body Lotion Remember that thing I said about dry skin? Yeah my skin is very dry and I have several bouts of eczema throughout the year. I generally love using my Cerave Lotion, the first to use alpha-hydroxy ceramide (skin builders, basically), but it is SUPER expensive and sometimes hard to find. Amlactin recently came out with similar technology, but with their own formula. I came across a tiny bottle at a CVS and it’s been a total skin saver.

Feet: O’Keefe’s Healthy Feet foot cream A brother of Working Hangs, the Healthy Feet is great for dry cracking on your feet, which probably goes through the rough and tumble during the winter.

Face: Josie Maran Argan Oil Ok, I definitely had a lot of trouble trying to find a place for this product in my life. I had bought it a few years ago and after woes of spilling it everywhere, and making my hair look like a greasy mess, I had to throw it to the side.  With winter upon us, I found my skin so dry, to the point that it was cracking and peeling on my face.  I stumbled upon my Josie Maran Argan Oil again and slathered it on my face before bed and woke up with skin that was not as thirsty any longer. I definitely use a light hand on it, as my skin is prone to oiliness.

Lips: First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Lip Therapy This might be the reason I am even writing this post. I love this balm SO much. I started getting cracking peeling lips when the cold weather finally hit. I put on the balm before I went to bed and woke up with perfectly smooth lips. I am 100% sold on this product.

So these have been my life savers for the past few weeks. Spoiled with an unusually warm December and then January came in and set me back in my place. NOT COOL.

Make Up Monday 1/26

Ok, so there are times that I try make up and I HATE IT at first. After a while, and out of desperation and poverty, I try it again and I turn out to LOVE IT. On such example is the POP Color Peak Performance Brilliant Mascara.

 

I had bought this while I was in New York and curiously intrigued by the bounty of Duane Reads and their selection. I was in love with unique applicator and twist up formula of the mascara. Mascara tends to go bad due to exposure to oxygen and the air that comes in when you pump the brush. WELL, if its a twist up, it doesn’t quite go bad as quickly. I love a beauty product with a long shelf life.

I used to very recently and was SO PLEASED that it lasted the whole day without smearing. Like for real. I am used to having disgusting raccoon-panda eyes by the end of the day with my mascara. This, when lightly applied, STAYED PUT THE WHOLE DAY.

Since I already have black lashes, I just need a very light coating on the lashes to thicken them up. You just have to be very careful when you apply it. Just one click- TWO CLICKS MAX- is enough for one eye. Keep a lash comb at the ready to brush off any excess goop. At the end, it takes some learning, but it is SO WORTH IT.

 

 

Sunday Smiles 1/25

Ok I’ve been wanting to do Sunday Smiles for A WHILE. Like, Daily Dose is supposed to be my favorite things that I have come across in my week. Sunday Smiles is kind of stuff that have been going around the internet that I have been obsessed with during the week. OH AND THIS WEEK IS GOOD.

Reddit user live-blogs his cheating wife and the whole ordeal that ensued. YOU GUYS this is like the best thing I have ever read. I don’t even care of it is fake, the saga itself is just amazing. The user unfortunately has taken it down due to some legal issues, but you can read the screen shot of the part 3 of the story here. Parts 1 and 2 were just about how he came to the conclusion that his wife was cheating and the accounts he was getting from the private investigator. Part 3 is here it gets juicy.

Seahawks-Packers Game I was a little sad that I had missed the beginning of this game last week. I am indeed a Seahawks fan, as a buddy from college is on the team (can you guess who??). I was really sad that the Packers were giving them a run for their money, but I sure am happy with the last few minutes of the game!

Netflix Struggles Always neatly put together by Buzzfeed although I do think Netflix doubling as a dating app would help the majority of people I know.

 

Book of the Month: January 2015

Ok you guys, don’t make fun of me. I haven’t been reading a whole lot lately, so I am basically scraping the barrel for books that I actually have read.

So this book…I got it free (first big giveaway) because I recently read Fifty Shades of Grey (second giveaway). Good lord, I felt silly reading it. Think of it as a really sexually frustrating Sweet Home Alabama. Except, Texas. That’s the gist of this book. It’s still free on iBooks and free on Kindle. No ra-grats here.

I can’t even explain this book. It’s not even long. Apparently there is a series of these books…I can’t imagine myself reading the rest of it, so I will never know what will happen to the people fighting over a Texas ranch.

Daily Dose 1/23

Yall this week was a little rough at work. Since it is the beginning of the year, all the Medicare Part D programs have not gotten their act together, and thus have not dropped yet. SO–work is really slow and really unproductive. And long story short, I will be super under budget this month. Yuck. I did have to find little sunshine in my week though:

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In honor of MLK Jr. Day, I thought this kids-are-hilarious picture to be very fitting.

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It snowed this week and that little square of light back there is my only window to see it.

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The March for Life was this past Thursday. It marks the 42nd Anniversary of the judgment of Roe v. Wade. I don’t want to get too much into the politics and the moralities of being pro-life, but that is my personal feelings about it. I am not trying to push anything, I just found this to be particularly moving.

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Definitely tried ramping up my workout this week, and the pay off is great, but boy did it burn!

Have a great weekend!

How to Save Money at the Gym

Remember that thing about it being really expensive to try to lose weight and stay in shape? Yeah. It doesn’t quite stop in the kitchen. Going to the gym can start to cut in the budget as well. Let’s be honest. Some gym memberships can be quite outrageous. Then the lifestyle of going to the gym can start to get expensive as well. With my desire to get back in shape and to stay within my budget, I have found some ways to cut down the cost of being a gym member.

1. Pick the best rate for what you need While some gyms can be low cost, watch out for contracts and cancellation fees.  Some gyms even charge a sign up cost (excuse me?!). First, look for a gym that does not have those ridiculous fees that are not part of the monthly membership. Second, it’s nice to have a pool, spa, classes, etc. But is it really that nice if you’re not going to use them ever? My boyfriend and I were looking for a gym and he wanted one that had a particular line of weight lifting equipment (former college football player problems) so we had to add that in our list of wants as well.

2. Be a bad gym customer This NPR article outlined it perfectly. Gyms make more money when you don’t use your membership. Even low-cost gyms turn a profit when you don’t go. I won’t lie though, my gym is definitely one of these fancy hotel-looking gyms. Before my 100-day challenge, I was going maybe like once a month just to say I went to the gym that month. If you’re going to pay for this membership, you sure as hell better go to the gym. I try to convince myself that I am getting the deal of the century the more I go because it reduces my monetary cost per workout. A $1.50 workout is a heck of a lot better sounding than a $35 workout.

3. Use your samples Ok, enough of membership logistics, here are my down and dirty tips. I use my samples. You know, those foil packets you get from Sephora and subscription boxes (I’m looking at your Birchbox). I just had them sitting all around my room forever and really had no use for them. FEAR NOT. I packed them all in a makeup bag and I pick out some face wash and shampoo/conditioner packages every time I head to the showers. It’s a great way to get rid of your samples–and finally test them out.

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4. Buy bulk instead of travel sizes So when you’re done using all your samples (the face washes went fast), the next thing to do is to buy tiny travel size bottles for the gym bag, right? I mean they fit right into your tiny makeup bag and they’re like only a dollar! WRONG WRONG WRONG it’s a cost that’s just going to ADD UP. Here is the thing. Go to Costco. For $17 you don’t get one, but TWO huge bottles of Cetaphil AND a tiny travel size bottle. When you’re done using the travel size, just fill it up again with one of your big bulk bottles. If Costco doesn’t have your desired products, you can just ball out and carry full size items to the shower. Maybe get a full size and a tiny bottle and keep refilling the tiny bottle. Whatever, just don’t keep buying tiny bottles, promise?

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5. Bring your own water bottle This kinda seems like a no-brainer, but it kinda annoys the crap out of me when someone buys a waterbottle just to go to the gym. Like a new Deer Park every time?? My boyfriend does this. It kills me. Gyms try to entice you with their fancy recovery drinks and electrolyte drinks. Don’t give into temptation! It’s really important to invest in a water bottle. I like my CamelBak because of the straw and I don’t have to unscrew a top like a Nalgene bottle. It’s important not to re-use disposable bottles because of the risk of bacteria growth.20131006-222512.jpg 6. Re-use an old gym bag For whatever reason, I was itching to get my hands on a new gym bag since being a bag lady at the gym was no longer a viable option (work clothes in this bag; toiletries in another tote…). Since I was still on a budget, I definitely could not justify going out and getting a big gym bag–not even at Marshall’s. Then I thought about all those years of high school sports. Ah, I have a big gym bag somewhere…back to my mom’s house to find one. Yup. With my 10-year reunion coming up, it’s considered vintage, amirite?

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While these are just a few tips to cut spending with going to the gym, there are definitely less costly options. I LOVED LOVED LOVED workout videos. I used to buy them all the time. SPOILER ALERT, they’re all on YouTube now. It’s a really nice option if you don’t have the funds for a gym membership or the means of travel to get to the gym. I do love my workout DVDs…That 30-day shred is basically my favorite. Someone borrowed it and never gave it back, so I was pretty excited to find it online.