Saturday, June 7, 2014

Onward and upward

Hi friends,
 While I have enjoyed writing this blog very much I felt like it wasn't quite fitting me the way I wanted it to. I have regrouped, focused a bit more on living well rather than quite so random and I'm pleased to share my new blog The Pulse. I hope you'll follow me over there to enjoy great business features (with amazing offers for readers), new products, spotlights on foods, books, and other things meant to enrich your day to day life. I'm so excited! :D

There is a new Facebook page for The Pulse too, please drop in and give it a like. :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Last week's meal plan winners

While everything was pretty tasty last week two meals stood out as real winners. The first was this delicious Sugar Snap Pea and Carrot Soba Noodles. It was so good. The smokiness of the sesame oil combined with all the fresh veg made it a perfect spring/summer meal, nice and light. It's light in calories too as it's mostly veggies.

The second meal that was so tasty was this Southwestern Chopped Chicken Salad. Again, heavy on the veg so it doesn't weigh you down and it's low in calories as you can add as much or as little dressing as you like. Really really tasty. Both of these meals will be going into a regular rotation here.

If you try them for yourself let me know what you think!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Bite Beauty Agave Lip Mask review

Bite Beauty is a company out of Toronto that makes natural lip care products, in fact the ingredients are safe enough that you could eat them....but don't do that. I was excited to pick up this Agave Lip Mask as I wanted something that was going to really hydrate my lips and the idea of a lip mask rather than your regular balms etc... is an interesting idea, and one I hadn't tried before. 

I love this mask, love it. I put it on before I go to bed at night and when I wake up in the morning I can still feel it on my lips and they are so soft and hydrated. If you have been feeling the effects of a long dry winter or you just want awesomely soft and smoochable lips put this on your list.

You only need the very smallest amount, this tube will last you forever.

Have you ever tried a lip mask before? I'm sold.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My dinner menu for the week

I'm focusing on being healthy and one way for me to do that is to plan ahead. I don't want to sabotage myself by getting too hungry (or shopping hungry!) and stuffing the first available food into my mouth, I want to have good choices available to me which means planning ahead and stocking my house. That is exactly what I did this week. :)

I thought I would share my dinner menu with you in case you needed a little inspiration. I know I'm starting on Tuesday and I should have shared this a little earlier in the week but.....better late than never.

Here goes...

Last night I made a skinny version of chicken fried rice, very tasty and both kids ate it up. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook (and I hope you do!) you may have already seen this picture.

Here's a direct link to the recipe on Pinterest. I made a couple of changes, instead of four egg whites I used three whole eggs and I upped the peas to a full cup rather than a half....otherwise the same!

Tonight is all about the crock pot which means easy, and this one is easy even for a crock pot recipe! It's just chicken thighs, salsa, a few spices....and it turns into this delicious chicken which you can then put on top of a salad like in this picture where I got the recipe from, or if you have a daughter who loves all things Mexican then you can have it in tacos which is what we'll be doing tonight.

Here is a link to the recipe on Skinnytaste. I'm looking forward to having the leftovers on top of romaine for my lunch tomorrow.

Wednesday will be this delicious looking quinoa salad and moose steaks (I'm so lucky to have a father who hunts and shares!).

It will be a very protein dense meal between the steaks and the quinoa, I have a feeling we will be full. Here is a link to the recipe.

Thursday will be another one from Skinnytaste, one I've had before and is really tasty. Dirty brown rice with Shrimp....yum!

Here's a link to the recipe, Gina has yet to steer me wrong!

And finally Friday will be pan fried pork chops with these delicious grilled zucchinis.

You can find the recipe here.

Some good stuff coming up this week, and I'm already working on next weeks meals too. Pinterest is great for finding some wonderfully inspired cooking, and a good place to find lower calorie meals too if that's what you're looking for. Feel free to follow me by clicking here.

I am always looking for cooking inspiration so if there is a recipe or recipes you've been enjoying then please share in the comments section.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Five minute hair

Looking for a quick way to tame your unruly locks before heading out the door? Today I'm sharing two quick styles that I've relied on many times. They look polished and pulled together and take hardly any time at all.

Look number 1: 
The 'do on the left side is the quickest of the two. All you need is a brush and one hair elastic. Brush through your hair to remove any knots, gather it over to whichever side you want the braid to be on and start a very loose french braid from the back of your head to the side and fasten with the elastic. If the braid is a bit too tight you can always gently pull on it to loosen it. You can leave it as is or loosen a few hairs from the front to soften the look a bit.

Look number 2: 
This one looks difficult but is actually very easy, all you need is a brush, one elastic and several bobby pins. Brush through your hair to remove any knots and then bend over at the waist and brush your hair forward. Start french braiding from the back of your head forward and once all the hair is in the braid (don't braid to the very end of the hair, only to the top of your head) secure the hair with the elastic but don't pull all the hair through on the final pull through, bring it about 3/4 of the way so it looks like a big bump. Spread the bump out into a big bun and start pinning it with bobby pins. Once the bun looks how you like give it a light mist of hair spray and you're good to go.

I hope you enjoyed these two looks, please let me know in the comments section which one is your favourite and if you'd like to see more posts like this one.

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara review

I know I know....its been a looooong time since I've posted, but a recent haul from Sephora meant that I just had to blog.
I bought quite a few things but what sparked the trip itself was Too Faced's Better Than Sex mascara, you know with a name like that I had to try it.
I love the packaging, the soft rose gold colour is so pretty and thanks to the popularity of things like the Naked 3 palette from Urban Decay this colour is everywhere.
The wand is shaped like an hourglass in homage to the sexy screen sirens of the past, but the middle part doesn't tuck in so far that you can't get the wand to reach your lashes.....a pet peeve of mine.

 I tried it the same night I got it home (excited much?) and was really happy to find that it not only gives you big lashes (and it does) but that it is very buildable, you can do several coats without it clumping up. I have been wearing it every day for the last week now and have found that it does get a little smudgy so I make sure and wear a primer around my eyes which really helps as it keeps the oil in your skin away from the mascara, and I also don't use it on my bottom lashes. I use a Sephora brand mascara on my bottom lashes that has some good staying power.

Look at the difference here, this is only one eye done (two coats):

And then both (three coats):

This is top lashes only as stated above. Look at the size of them...pretty amazing don't you think? Please don't judge the rest of me...I went make up free other than the mascara so you could see it in all it's glory. 

Overall I really like this mascara and would purchase it again. It doesn't make your lashes feel hard and brittle and it's easy to remove. I had purchased Benefit's They're Real mascara last year and hardly wore it because it was so hard to get off.

How about you? Have you tried this mascara? Thoughts? What is your very favourite mascara these days?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A few of my favourite things...

A few of my favourite things….I can't help but have the Sound of Music tune run through my head… "raindrops on roses…and whiskers on kittens..".

Here are a few of my very favourite products for the last couple of months.

My hair was having a hard time this winter..getting dry and frizzy looking and this Nourishing Oil Care shampoo and Treatment Conditioner from Dove has made my hair so soft and silky. So if you're looking for a great shampoo/conditioner combo on a budget don't hesitate to get this one. I think it works easily as well as many high end shampoos and conditioners so save your money and go with this one instead. 

Next is an old product that I somehow didn't know about before but is freaking awesome. I use this after curling my hair….just a little dot, rub my hands together and then run my fingers gently through my hair. It really is a secret weapon…I get beautiful curls/waves with no frizz at all, and it lasts. I will always have this product in my arsenal from now on.

And when I'm done styling I use this Garnier Fructis Hold and Flex hairspray. I don't like crunchy hairspray whatsoever so this is perfect for me. It holds the style but doesn't feel like you really have anything in your hair…no crunch, no build up….and it smells GREAT!

 And this might be a little random but I love this new Coconut Water Hydrating Body Wash from Dial. It smells great and doesn't dry my skin out at all, also lathers really well. Big thumbs up!

 The next couple of things are on the pricier side, but I think they are worth the splurge. This GlamGlow Exfoliating Treatment is awesome, truly…I use it once a week and my skin is smooooooth. They call it YouthMud and it really does make a difference, unclogs and tightens pores and makes your skin youthfully smooth. Try it, you'll love it.

The face cream I have been using is very pricy, more than I would normally spend but wow what a difference. As you can see it is a sample size, and if I hadn't had it given to me as a sample I probably would never have tried it but this Renergie Lift Multi Action creme from Lancome makes my skin soft like a babies, I kid you not. Haha…see what I did there? Baby..kid…yeah. It does tighten and tone too and having had a birthday this month I'm all about the tightening, toning, and anti aging.
A little does go a long way but I'm coming to the end of this sample so once I figure out which kidney I'm going to sell then I'll head out to pick up a full size one.
I only use this at night as I like a very light moisturizer during the day, and I love my Philosophy Hope in a Jar for that.

While my go to shadow palette will probably always be the Naked Palette from Urban Decay I do occasionally (ok, more than occasionally) like to try out some new stuff and I have really been enjoying this Designer Chocolates quad from Maybelline. The colours are pretty, as well as complimentary to almost anyone as they are nice set of neutrals.

And I had to add in this watch my sister got me for my birthday, isn't it cute??

So what have you been loving lately, anything I should be trying??

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A few thoughts on my juice fast

I did six days of fasting in total and lost 10.2lbs. I have been eating carefully for the most part since I stopped and haven't gained any weight back….I haven't lost anymore either but I'm ok with that, I was really worried about gaining weight back after fasting.

Here are some of my observations about the juicing:

1. It provides very fast weight loss which is very motivating and for me is what helped me stick to it. 
2. While hunger is the worst at the beginning and gets easier as the days go by it never went away for me. This could be because I only fasted for six days but I was hungry pretty much the whole time, it just varied in intensity.
3. I was cold most of the time. This could be because my metabolism was slowing right down and I wasn't burning nearly as many calories but I was in sweatshirts, socks and slippers the whole time. I don't normally care for herbal tea very much but I did drink it because it helped warm me up.
4. Remember to take in at least 64oz of juice and the same in water to keep yourself properly hydrated, this will help with headaches.
5. I didn't have a lot of energy and overall felt quite weak.
6. Lemon and ginger added to most juices are so yummy and refreshing, not to mention good for you so don't hesitate to throw some in the mix.
7. Although it was difficult I would do it again. I think it's a good way to detox, reboot and kick start weight loss.

I am continuing to juice for the health benefits but I am also eating healthy as well. I get more veggies into myself this way as there is no way I could eat the amount that I am juicing.

I watched another documentary on Netflix called Hungry for Change and I highly recommend you check it out too:

It will motivate you to change up your diet and add juicing in as a way to up your nutritional intake.

I intend to do another juice fast again in the near future in order to keep my weigh loss going down. How about you? Have you tried juicing? Do you plan to?

Here's to our health!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Juicing days 2-4

I'll start with the best part, down 8.6 lbs in only three days. That's crazy! But very motivating and you need that kind of motivation to get through the first few days. I would definitely recommend mentally preparing yourself before taking on a juice fast because it's not easy. The first day was the hardest for me hunger wise and each day has gotten steadily better. It's the morning of the fourth day right now and I did wake up feeling hungry, my stomach was actually rumbling, but I've had two glasses of juice and I'm now drinking water and I feel pretty good.

I've been trying to really switch up the colours so I know I'm getting a variety of nutrients. I juiced a half a purple cabbage this morning and the juice is a beautiful deep deep purple.

This is a mix of carrots, orange bell pepper, cucumber, orange, apple and parsley...

This is spinach…

This is a mix of several different things with spinach being the base...

You are supposed to drink at least 64oz of juice per day as well as the same amount in water. This 2 liter jug is 66oz and I've been drinking it everyday. I find it easier to blend everything up in the morning so that way there is only one clean up. I don't have a specific time or amount I drink, I just kind of drink it all day long. The juice is good in the fridge for three days but I only make up a day at a time.

A couple of things I have noticed over the last three and a half days….

Day 2 and 3 I was freezing cold, just couldn't warm up. I had the fireplace going, sweaters and big booty slippers but still brrrr! I'm not sure why that was….metabolism slowed right down? Not burning nearly so many calories? Today I feel warm, almost too warm.
Day 1 and 2 I had a steady headache…right on through until I woke up on in the morning on day 3. I took some painkillers as it was making me irritable and that helped. I also upped my juice and water intake which I think was good for the headache as well.
 Day 2 and 3 I felt a bit foggy and today (day 4) I don't feel foggy but my back is killing me, right between my shoulder blades in the middle of my back. I'm clearly going into a healing crisis.

A friend sent me this interesting link to the different stages of a juice fast detox and if you are doing this with me, or planning to do a juice fast in the future you should definitely read it.

I tried some ginger in my juice this morning and it was so good. No need to peel, just throw a hunk in there, very refreshing!

I'm loving the interaction on the Random Thoughts Facebook page, if you haven't already please be sure to "like" it and share your juicing experiences, and sharing in the comment section below is most welcome too.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Juicing begins...

So I decided to do it. The documentary really inspired me. I spent a few days enjoying one juice a day for the health benefits, enjoyed a food frenzy of birthday celebration over the weekend and then yesterday started full on juicing.

I stocked up on fruits and veggies…

Got myself a juicer (I love this one by the way, the only drawback is it fills up with pulp fairly quickly and needs to be cleaned out before you can go on)…

And started making juice…

They aren't pretty, in fact Ella said it's a good thing they taste good because they look like swamp water, and she's right. They do taste good though, apples, carrots and pineapple are a great way to sweeten things up a bit.

I've been juicing a lot of spinach because it's on a great sale right now and it's just so darn good for you.

I made the mistake of juicing an orange without peeling it and I'm passing this on to you…don't do that. Lemons seem to be ok but orange peel is very bitter and even with a few extra apples the aftertaste of that juice was not pleasant.

Apples, carrots and cucumbers give you a ton of juice, spinach is pretty good and you get almost nothing from kale….which could be a good thing because it's not delicious and is better in small quantities. 

Remember to juice a lot of different colours (doing beets today) and really "taste the rainbow" to borrow the skittles line. The more variation in colours the better.

I've had a lot of people ask me what the difference is between juicing and blending and I've borrowed this great explanation from the Juicing for Dummies Facebook page:

What’s the difference between juicing with a juicer and making fruit and veggie-based drinks with a blender.

Both are amazing additions to any diet.

Juice allows us to work with the freshest fruits, vegetables and herbs to create drinks that are deliciously vibrant, deliver an amazing nutritional punch and are incredibly easy to digest.
Smoothies have their place in a daily menu as well. They can offer fiber, good fats and opportunities for adding more protein into your diet all while tasting deliciously decadent.

So what’s the difference?

When people ask me what the difference is I love to use the example using carrots. I can juice 2 pounds of carrots and drink them but there is no way I can blend 2 pounds and drink them.


When you juice you push clean produce through the chute of a juicer. This process removes the insoluble fiber (but the soluble fiber remains in the juice). Important micro nutrients typically more difficult to absorb become accessible to the human body. These nutrients include digestive enzymes and certain. Also, by creating an all liquid product, the body and consume more of these phytonutrients at once.

It amazes new Rebooters sometimes how small the juice yield is from vegetables like kale, and makes it clear that it’s a lot easier to drink a head of kale than to eat it! 


When you make smoothies, you load up a blender with clean, fresh or frozen fruits, and green leafy veggies and liquid like coconut water, juice or almond milk. You can also add ingredients like almonds, hemp or soy milk, cacao nibs or chia seed for fun.

When you drink smoothies, your body benefits from the phytonutrients found in the skin and flesh of fruits and veggies. You also benefit from the large amounts of fiber found in whole fruits and vegetables. Fiber is important for regulating blood sugar, keeping bowels regular, aiding in hunger control, and it may help prevent certain types of cancers.

Nutritional Tip
Remember: some juices and smoothies are meant to serve as full meals, while others are supplements. It’s important to look at your entire diet each day to ensure you are meeting your body’s nutritional needs while keeping your caloric intake in check.

Both smoothies and fresh juice can be a healthy and delicious way to boost the amount of micro nutrients.

Yesterday was not easy, I was really hungry but it seemed to come in waves. I would feel like I was starving but it only lasted a few minutes and would go away but it happened fairly frequently and by the end of the day I had a mild headache. Making spaghetti dinner for everyone was difficult but I did it. I had a great sleep last night and woke up three pounds lighter this morning. It's only just after 10am here but so far so good today, I don't feel too bad. Talking to others it sounds like the first 3 to 4 days of a juice fast are pretty difficult but after that you feel really good, I can't wait to get there.

If you are juicing with me I hope things are going well for you (please share in the comments section below!) and if you're not and would like to please follow along with the blog and "like" the Random Thoughts Facebook page as I will be posting regular updates there.

Here's to a healthy 2014!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Juicing….it is for me?

I recently watched this movie: 

It's a documentary made by and starring Joe Cross, an Australian fellow who was overweight, and had an autoimmune skin condition that he was taking multiple medications for in order to try to keep it under control. He wasn't well and decided to make a change. He went on a juice fast for 60 days in order to detox, reboot, lose weight and try to get off the medication he was taking. It worked..amazingly so. His weight loss was astounding, by the end of the 60 days I believe he was at about 80lbs. He continued to eat well once he was done the fast and his total weight loss is about 100lbs. He also got completely off his medications and has had no flair ups. Seriously motivating stuff.

You can learn more about the movie here.

This is the movie trailer:

In my last blog post I mentioned how I was having trouble getting motivated to change up my eating habits and get more exercise, this movie was the push I needed. Right now I'm in the prep stage. I think if I went cold turkey into juicing the detox would be a lot tougher. Right now I'm trying to up my water intake along with adding in more fruits and veggies. One thing I've really noticed when I eat processed foods and too many carbs is that my face gets very red and bumpy, and if I'm really bad than I get those same bumps on my body too. Super attractive… Foundation becomes my best friend, and winter clothes are awesome. 
Other than being nervous about going completely off of eating and only drinking juice my only other real concern is food costs. You need a lot of fruits and veggies and I'm trying to maintain a pretty tight budget here. I have started really looking for more cost effective options and I'm lucky to have a farmers market just down the road. The other big cost of course is the juicer itself. Wal Mart has some good options which I've found in my online searches and I'll be checking them out in store this week.
This will be a big change and there is no doubt it is going to be difficult but I really feel like 2014 is my year and there is no better time to do it.

If you're interested in joining me and would like a little more information:
There are lots of great recipes and diet plans here.
And the YouTube channel is great, you can find it here.
I also recommend watching the movie, I watched it on Netflix but it's also online.

I would love to hear from you if you have any experience with juicing or if you would like to do this with me (the more the merrier!). 
Please leave a comment in the section below.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Looooong overdue post and some tunes

 I can't believe my last post was Oct 30th, 2013….that's two and a half months! I just wasn't feeling the blogging motivation through November and then was completely caught up in the holidays in December and January and the last couple of weeks I have been going crazy with lists and getting everything back in order. My house is slowly getting to where I want it to be. I've done the big things like completely going through everything in my walk in closet (that was a huge job), cleaning out my pantry (another big job) and about one million other things. I get a little high every time I cross something off my list…such a first born.
 I have two main lists going that don't include things like groceries etc….my monthly list that has things I want to get accomplished in the month of January for example, as well as a regular to do list. The monthly list has big things (steam clean carpets - done!, learn to use Photoshop Elements..etc..) and the regular list is really long and I have been attacking both with great relish. I'm feeling very good and very accomplished these days.
 I've been committed to making bread every Monday which is quite a bit of work but is just so much better than buying bread in the store, plus the house smells amazing. I've also been doing lots of other baking for Chris and the kids lunches…muffins, breads, cookies etc.. This is great for the lunches but the major downfall is then I eat it too. Not good for the waistline whatsoever. The holidays were rough, lots of eating and drinking and general merriment to the tune of a nine pound weight gain. Granted, I weighed myself after a big meal and just before bed so it was a "heavy" time and my next weigh in was down three pounds. Still…that's a six pound gain. That's a lot. I just can't seem to get myself on the weight loss train. Everything else I'm 100% motivated on but curbing the eating and serious cardio?? Not so much.  I'm hoping it will know…all on it's on…I'll just magically want to eat salad and run 5K every day…. yeah….I'll keep you posted on how that works out…
 So that's a little update on how I've been doing and feeling the last little while. I thought I'd share some of my current playlist with you as well, it's always easier to work on crossing those things off the old to do list with some good tunes playing in the background. Here's what I'm loving:

                                    Yin Yang by USS - probably my favourite at the moment.

Rude by Magic - so stuck in my head right now!

Timber by Pitbull (feat. Kesha) - this song just makes me want to dance

How I Feel by Flo Rida - Flo Rida can always be counted on for a good ear worm

Adore You by Miley Cyrus - This song slows it down a little and I love it.

Those are my tops favourites of the moment, hope you enjoy!

What are you trying to improve on in 2014? Any goals you're hoping to meet? Please share in the comments section below.