Thursday, February 28, 2013

Julep Maven Program

I happened to come across an online ad for Julep when I was watching a make up tutorial on YouTube and although I had seen them in magazines before and had meant to check them out earlier I just never got there. I'm so glad I did this time, what a great program!
When you sign up to become a Julep Maven you begin with an online quiz asking you a few questions about your general style so they are able to customize a box to you. Once you're done you find out if you are a modern beauty, boho glam, bombshell or classic with a twist (that's me!). Then you can view that months box to see if you like it, if you do than it's on it's way, if you don't like it than you can either pass on that months box or send it to a friend if you think they might like it. I often get suspicious of programs like this because I worry about being locked in or ending up with product I don't like but this program takes those worries away. You can skip boxes without penalty and you can quit at any time. The cost per month is $19.99 which I think is very reasonable and the shipping is free. Also, they are running a special right now where your first box is free (details at the end of this post).

So my first box arrived and I was very excited! If you have been following this blog for any length of time than you know I love my beauty products and as a professional esthetician they have to be good quality or they don't stay. No matter how good the program seems the proof of course is in the product itself.

The box itself is chic and well packaged.

A lovely welcome letter...thank you!

My style profile card. :)

The product itself snuggled up all pretty in the box.

The packaging is pretty and came complete with a sample of foot cream.

The boxes consist of two polishes and a beauty product (depending on what profile you are). My product this month was cuticle oil which was actually perfect timing as my cuticles could use a little extra loving right now. The oil has a nice lavender scent and doesn't come pouring out of the bottle which is a pet peeve of mine with some other ones. It also soaked right in so gets a thumbs up from me. The polish colours I received were Meryl (grey) and Barbara (purple glitter).

Seeing as I was so excited to use the new product (and you can tell from the above photos that I had just taken my polish off and was in need of a mani) I went to work immediately.

I love purple and grey together and I love a glittery accent nail so I was able to try out both polishes right away. The polish was a little on the thinner side but had good coverage, and dried fairly quickly with a high gloss finish (the picture below shows dry nails with no top coat). I wish the polish bottles were a little larger (they contain about half the amount of a regular bottle of polish) but I almost never use an entire bottle of polish to the end so I'm ok with that. I do really like the rectangle shape of the bottles, it's different and fun.

If you would like to give the Julep Maven program a try (and why wouldn't you when the first box is free) than you can click here: Julep Maven and enter the code FREEBOX at checkout to get your first box for free (you will be charged $3.99 for shipping).

If you decide to try it out let me know what you think!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wardrobe Wednesday

Today I'm rocking denim on denim. I'd been looking for a chambray shirt for months now and just couldn't come across one that I really liked. I finally found this one at has a nice worn in look and feel and it's not too tight...unbelievably comfy, it was worth the wait.
 The most important thing when wearing denim on top and bottom is to remember to make sure they are very different tones, this light on top looks great with the dark denim.

Chambray shirt: Winners - Mel and Mo brand
Tank: Bootlegger
Jeans: Warehouse One
Shoes: Converse
Bracelets: G21 - Wal Mart
Necklace - birthday gift from several years ago

Probably my favourite part of this whole look is the super bold lip. This is really fun to wear and anyone can pull it off, just remember to keep the eyes simple.
This colour is by Maybelline and is called Fifth Ave Fuschia. Ella loved it and told me I looked like spring. ;)

And because I like to link up with The Pleated Poppy on Wednesday's for What I Wore Wednesday here is the link to her post: what i wore wednesday — The Pleated Poppy

I haven't shared my playlist in awhile so thought I would do that. It's been pretty mellow, mostly alternative stuff. I've found with running this kind of music helps me zone out and enjoy rather than pump me up to run faster. If I go faster than I can't maintain it for as long and I'm trying to take less and less walking breaks.

Data Romance - Can't Keep Your Mind Off - this is free on iTunes this week
Calvin Harris - Sweet Nothing ft. Florence Welch - the one exception to the mellow, this one pumps me up. 

Happy Hump Day! :P

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Polka dot mani, walking, food, product, and some advice

Wow, this blog post today really fits the title of the blog...random, it's got a little bit of everything.
First let's start with the polka dot mani. I've had several people comment on this one and send me messages asking about it. It's super easy and looks really fun when you're done.

All you will need is:
A base colour of your choosing (the one I used is this gorgeous navy called Fashionista and it's by Revlon)
White polish

Apply your base coat followed by two coats of the colour you chose. I was lucky with this navy colour and got away with only one coat. 
Wait until it is dried completely and then take a toothpick and dip it in the white polish. Don't have too much polish on the toothpick or you will end up with giant blogs that take up too much space and never dry.
Make sure and stagger the dots...three on the side, four in the middle and then three more on the other side that line up with the first side.
 They don't have to be perfect, this is just a fun mani.
Once the dots are dry just polish on a quick top coat to make sure your hard work lasts and have a lovely polka dot manicure.

Now for some product talk.
I have Maybelline's color tattoo shadow in several shades and I love it. It's really long lasting (even without eye primer) and has great pigment. 
The teal or aqua eye is very popular right now so of course I had to try it out. In an effort to make sure my make up didn't look totally 80's I used the teal as an eyeliner rather than putting it all over my lid. The colour I used is Tenacious Teal and I love how it turned out.

I also had to share a hair find. I love professional product, don't get me wrong but when I find something at the drugstore that works just as well you better believe I will be using that. I have tried different Tresemme products in the past, including shampoo and conditioner and haven't been all that happy with the results (the dry shampoo is terrible!) so I'm not sure what made me decide to try again. Holy, am I glad I did, this 24 Hour Body shampoo and conditioner is awesome, it does give great body and my hair feels amazing. This is a definite try if you are looking for a new shampoo/conditioner.

If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw this little drugstore haul picture. I haven't used everything yet so there will be reviews to come but there is one I have to talk about.

 The Hard Candy Flirtified  Roughn' it body scrub may be the worst product I have ever used, and I use a lot. The only good quality is the scent which is quite nice. Otherwise I may as well have rolled myself in butter. It took two showers to get it all off and I had to scrub the bottom of my tub. A definite fail and I immediately returned it.

Another pic posted to Instagram was this light version of Shepherd's Pie. It turned out so delicious so I had to share the recipe:

I've been getting out every morning to walk and the weather has been mostly good, even some glorious sunny days like this one.

 The snowdrops are coming up everywhere, really feels like spring is just around the corner.

My walking buddy needs a granola bar to entice him into the stroller, but once he's in there he's awesome.

And now for a bit of advice. This video has been floating around Facebook and I think the message is excellent so I'm sharing it with you. Watch it, you'll be glad you did.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Motivation Monday

Nothing quite like watching the Oscars with all the stars in their beautiful gowns to motivate you to keep on track. Especially if you watched while indulging in your favourite treat (Miss Vickie's Salt and Vinegar chips anyone??). It has been my only indiscretion since I began but holy..bloat central. My wedding rings are tight this morning and I don't feel fit...more fat..with bloaty water weight. Back on track today which seems appropriate for Motivation Monday. 
I have been carefully counting calories and working out a lot but haven't managed to budge another pound so I need this motivation today. I think in horsey terms I would be what's known as an "easy keeper". This is the week though, there is going to be a big jump, I can feel it.

Just have to maintain the right attitude.

I want this bad. There are so many reasons to be being the big one, but also to be a good role model for my children and of course um...clothes. ;) Lord knows I love the skinny jeans.

Just have to keep your eyes on the prize ladies, you can do it!

Having said that I'm out to the door to hit the trail!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday Deals and Steals

Good Morning friends! Today was my turn to get up early (Chris and I take turns on the weekends getting up to let puppies out and feed and settle the kiddies) so I was able to get a head start on the Deals and Steals post. I know I always say it but I love online shopping! I get to sit with a cup of tea and ooo and aww over the things I like. I spend no money on gas, I don't have to try to find parking, and I don't have to worry about running out of time because the kids are bored. Often shipping is free and there are more options too. Love it! :)

So here are today's gatherings.....

Love this striped shirt from J Crew, very nautical. There are three different colours available but black and blue is my fav. Regularly almost $70, on for $42.

Check out this great bubble necklace from Fash Forward Boutique. Love the mint green (perfect for spring) and only $19.99!

Two other great finds at Fash Forward, this Bermuda Triangle Necklace for $16.99

And this Starfish Bracelet Cuff  for $19.99

Love this great cardigan from Kiki La Rue, on clearance for only $25.

Thank you (or not!) Kathleen for introducing me to Mod Cloth. So many goodies so little time....
Love this tote bag. The bright punch of colour...awesome. And from a Vancouver based company it when it's local.

And from Next...I love this top so much:
Sleeveless Shirt for $41. Just as an FYI, you can spend so much time on this site. So many great clothes and accessories. Free (and fast) shipping.

And finally, for today only you can get 35% off any order from The Gap if you use the code GAPCDRESS at checkout. Free shipping on orders over $50.

Hope you are having a great weekend!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Pinspiration Friday...umm...Saturday...eep, it's almost Sunday!

My Friday was so crazy that I just didn't get a chance to get my Pinspired post together, but to make it up to you I have tried out not one, but three different Pinterest inspired recipes. Overall, pretty on my friends... :)

The first was Baked Apple Slices or Chips. 

These guys were pretty straight forward. All you needed was your apples (I used Braeburn which is my personal favourite), cinnamon and I made it my own by adding just the smallest amount of brown sugar.

Preheat your oven to 200F.

Using a mandolin slice the apples on the "very thin" setting. I did mine on the "thin" setting and I think a little thinner would have been better. Don't worry about removing the core.
 Line a sheet with either wax or parchment paper and lay the slices out making sure none overlap each other.

Sprinkle the slices lightly with cinnamon and brown sugar.

Doesn't that look good?

 Cook for 30 minutes in the oven and then flip the slices over, lightly dusting the other side with cinnamon and brown sugar and cook for another 30min.
The slices will look wavy and dried out and your house will smell amazing, like you have been baking apple pie all day.

These slices tasted really good when they were warm and soft, almost like little apple pies. I think they would have been more chip like if they had been cut a little thinner. I will definitely be making these again. It was a great low calorie way to satisfy my need for baking treats will still being uber low in calories.

The next thing I made were these Triple Chocolate Chunk muffins. I didn't change anything about the recipe so I will just give you a direct link: Triple Chocolate Chunk Muffins. I will admit these weren't my favourite, even though I really wanted them to be. The cooking time was way longer than it was stated in the recipe. I had to keep putting the muffins back in the oven to cook because they weren't passing the toothpick test. The batter itself was very watery so I had my doubts about the cooking time to begin with and I was right. Stevia is used in place of sugar in this recipe and although I have had it in drinks before this was the first time I had cooked with it. Overall, not a fan. Although the aftertaste isn't as strong as with some sweeteners, it does still have one and I would rather use sugar or some kind of fruit (bananas or applesauce) to sweeten without as many calories.
The recipe was just ok for me, although I do like that they pack a good chocolate punch for only 95 calories each.

And my last recipe of the day was this Green Tea and Lime cooler.

This was easy to put together. All you need is:

Green tea in the brand of your choice
the juice of half a lime (you can add more to taste if you wish)
1 tsp of blue agave syrup (again this is to taste)

Pour boiling water over the tea bag and let it steep, remove bag and let the tea cool. Add the lime juice and agave syrup (you can use a sweetener of your choice if you don't have agave syrup), mix all together and add lots of ice (more than you see in my glass here).

Have your taste tester who won't go to sleep, come out of her bedroom (for the 100th time) and let you know what she thinks.

It's a winner! Overall very refreshing, a great summer drink and although I didn't have any on hand I think some chopped mint would have been excellent in it.

See you tomorrow for Sunday Deals and Steals!