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LipSense | Go Buy It Or Pass By It

LipSense. The must have product du jour. I have been invited to multiple LipSense parties over the past several months. I was always intrigued, but for some reason, not quite ready to take the plunge.

Honestly, despite some half assed attempts, I have never been much of a lip product girl. All the lipstick I own was a pressure purchase after having my makeup professionally done for a wedding or our annual family photography session. I always justified the purchase with the notion that I might need to reapply later. Basically, you can count the number of lipsticks I own on one hand. Lip gloss always seemed like something I wanted. In theory. I would grab a pretty, sparkly tube at the grocery store, only to hate it as soon as I put it on and my hair was stuck in it. To the bottom of the purse it would go. So lips have been au natural most of my life.

Over the last few years, however, I have been a hard core Younique girl. Pretty much my entire makeup bag is Younique products. I decided to try their lip gloss early on, and much to my surprise, I LOVE it. For the first time in my life, I had shiny, sparkly, colorful lips! I have tubes in my car, in my purse, at my desk. It’s not sticky and there is a mirror on the tube. Sold.

So perhaps it was my love affair with Younique that made me pause about trying a new brand on my lips. But when my friend (and photography and LLR client) Kate signed on as a LipSense consultant, I knew my time to jump off the fence had come. And jump I did. Head first into a pool of pretty lip color.

LipSense is the headliner product for makeup and skincare company, SeneGence. It isn’t a lipstick or even a lip stain. It is like this crazy, magic lip color. And the claim is that it is actually good for your lips! Like most commercial products, most of the stuff we put on our lips is made up of fillers and waxes and all around crap to give us the illusion that our [insert body part] are soft and supple. In reality, we just have a whole lotta buildup. So the first few weeks of using LipSense exfoliates and sheds all the crap off your lips, while the moisturizing Glossy Gloss does its thing. I must say after about 3 weeks of using LipSense, my lips do, somehow seem different.

I bought the Starter Collection to see what all the hype was about. The Starter Collection includes an Oops! Remover, a color of your choice (I picked a pretty neutral, Praline Rose) and a Gloss (I picked Glossy Gloss).

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I was a bit skeptical with the first application. It is different than just slapping on some gloss and going. I did as the instructions provided by my Lip Lady said, cleaning my lips first with the Oops! Remover. Then I applied the first layer of Praline Rose. It stung. It felt weird and when I let my lips touch in the slightest, they sort of stuck together. But. I forged ahead. Layer two stung less, but I still couldn’t let my lips touch resulting in the strangest of faces. Layer three, ohhhh, this is pretty! Shit. Don’t let your lips touch. Once I thought the color was dry, I put on the Glossy Gloss and was able to let my lips touch, smack, eat, suck (a STRAW! Get your mind outta the gutter), ANYTHING! And the color stayed put! The color was gorgeous, and,by the end of the day, still there!

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Of course, I immediately needed more. Like, give me all the colors! And glosses! Glossy Gloss is not the only option. MATTE GLOSS. Need I say more?! It’s freaking amazing. Here is perhaps my favorite color, Sheer Berry, with both Matte and Glossy Gloss.

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Ordering LipSense is a little more than just going to a site and finding your dream color. Most consultants seem to carry inventory in hand, and purchasing directly from them seems to be the method of choice. With the brand popularity growing like a wild fire, many of the colors are out of stock almost as soon as they are restocked. I have heard that consultants have the option of web ordering, but I have not experienced purchasing that way yet. I did peruse SeneGence’s website at one point, trying to see different colors but it is not what I consider user friendly and I gave up quickly. Regardless, the urgency arises when you see your girl has a color you have been crushing on to get it before it’s gone. Sound familiar?

My collection has grown to 2 glosses and 5 colors: Praline Rose, Pomegranate, Blu Red (my first Color of the Month surprise!), Sheer Berry and Kiss for a Cause (OBSESSED).

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And as if this isn’t all amazing enough, you can create different colors with COCKTAILS! You always need 3 layers of color. The first layer primes your lip. The second is the star of the show all day and the third takes the beating of whatever your day throws at you. So you can do 3 layers of one color, or start mixing it up! Simply put. 2 colors will yield you 8 different looks. Here is my Blu Red-Praline Rose-Praline Rose cocktail! For reference, the second picture is what 3 layers of Blu Red looks like on me! Seriously, look at the difference!

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CONCLUSION!!! LipSense – Go Buy It or Pass By It? I am giving it a FIRM GO BUY IT! Like. Right. Now. I have been overall impressed by this product, and NEED more. Most days, I get all day coverage. In fact, most mornings (because I terrible about washing my face at night) I wake up and still have color on my lips! I do usually try to reapply my gloss a couple of times a day to help protect and prolong the color because I have noticed that if I don’t, the color doesn’t last quite as long. But seriously, what other product is going to give you even 4-6 hours of color without any re-application? …… Exactly.

Go now. Find a friend who sells. And if by some miracle nobody in your friend list is a Lip Lady, shoot me a message and I will connect you with my girl. Cause, yeah, I’ve got a girl.

 

 

 

I’ve Got a Girl | Keepin’ It Real

The other day, I was thinking while in the shower … my best place for thinking. I try to take my showers while Maddie Jane is at Pre-K so that the house is completely quiet and I can think (and cleanse) without interruption. Or without yelling STOP! at the top of my lungs, in my “I mean it voice,” only to have to do it again 5 seconds later. Rinse and repeat.

So as I washed my face with my Mary Kay facial cleanser, followed by using some of my Lemongrass Body Polish on my dry, itchy, almost done with winter skin and then stepping out onto my Norwex Bath Mat, I started thinking about HOW MANY of the products I use and consume every. single. day. are from a kick ass direct sales consultant.

I make Wildtree dinners regularly, using almost exclusively Pampered Chef tools. I put the leftovers in my Tupperware, clean the kitchen with my Norwex products, while clothed in LuLaRoe with Younique products on my face, LipSense on my lips and Jamberry lacquer on my nails. All while a relaxing blend of Young Living essential oils being diffused.

There are days when everything touching my body except my underwear and shoes is a direct sales product (if you know an underwear girl, give me her info stat!). I can make an entire meal using direct sales products from the measuring cups to the chopper to the pots and pans. Hell. I just recently bought SHEETS for my bed from a direct sales consultant! And they are SOFT!

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I try to buy as much as I can from direct sales consultants for several reasons. For one, I really, genuinely love all of the products that I use. Some of the best, top of the line, long lasting products I have are from direct sales consultants. It is some good stuff! Trust me, I wouldn’t use them if I didn’t love them. And I certainly wouldn’t give them the shout outs that I do if I didn’t love them. Of course, I also love the convenience of shopping online. Seriously, what is better than shopping at home in your pajamas? Not the mall. But quite possibly shopping at a friend’s home filled with good company and tasty treats (bonus points for wine). But what I love even more than good shit and convenient shopping is that I am actually helping and supporting women hustling and working their tails off to make a difference in their family’s lives. Whether it is as a side business to supplement her full time job or her way to stay home with her kiddos and still contribute, I want to support her. For putting herself out there, for taking a risk, for being a freakin’ rock star boss lady, I want to support her. So when I say, “I’ve got a girl.” I mean it. I’ve got a girl, and she is freakin’ awesome. And so is the stuff she is slinging. Make a real difference and get your makeup, your clothes, your meal solutions, your cleaning products, your nail art, your bath products, your kitchen gadgets, and for the love of all things holy, your SHEETS, from a kick ass woman and make a difference in her world!

It Takes a Village | Keepin’ It Real

We have all heard it before. It takes a village to raise a child. And it should. Community, love, support, encouragement, unity, inclusion. These are all basic things needed to raise hardworking, empathetic, productive adults. But. I fear it is slipping away. Being replaced by the modern day Wild West, social media.

There should be a great fear, a common fear, among us all when children become the target of hateful, disgusting, and inappropriate posts by adults. When a child, a 10 year old child, is the victim of social media attacks. Barron Trump did not ask to be put in the spotlight, in the public eye. He did not ask to have a businessman turned celebrity turned President of the United States as his father. He is just a child.

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And then there is this gem of a tweet. Posted by Saturday Night Live writer, Katie Rich.

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I can only imagine the outrage I would see if the SNL writer made a post attacking someone’s race or national origin. Lives and careers would be destroyed in a blaze of fire across the interwebs. Over the last several days and months, we have seen a massive movement form. We have heard their voices, their concerns for the future. We have heard their cries.

But a hateful attack on an innocent child?!  Silence. 

Silence is tolerance. Tolerance becomes acceptance. We cannot accept attacks on our children. We cannot tolerate this type of behavior by adults. We cannot be silent when it comes to protecting our children.

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Where are the battle cries for our children? The uproar, the passion? Where is the call of action to Saturday Night Live to acknowledge the wrong done by one of its staffers? Looking through Saturday Night Live’s Facebook page, not a mention of Katie Rich’s tweet. No apology. Just silence … Tolerance … Acceptance. Most major news outlets have remained just as silent. Scrolling through my newsfeed, there are very few posts about the attack by adults on Barron Trump. It does not matter who his father is, or how much you dislike his father. Barron is a child. We must protect our children.

We all must rise together to say it is NOT alright to attack a child. That it is NOT alright to bully a 10 year old. That the children are off limits. Because the moment it becomes acceptable to publicly treat children like this is the moment we destroy this country, this society. If our children are raised in a world where it is accepted for adults to bully, degrade and attack children, then our children’s future is a scary place.

It takes a village to raise and protect our children, our future. It takes a village to stand up against those who hurt our children. We must treat and protect all children as if they are our own. Barron Trump is my son. And I will not silently accept or tolerate any attack on him. It takes a village.

 

Norwex Cleaning Products | Go Buy It or Pass By It

I have heard great things about the Norwex cleaning cloths and products for some time now. Because I don’t have a Norwex consultant in my newsfeed and hadn’t been invited to a party (both shocking, I know), I never took the time to take the next step of learning more. But. I was intrigued. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, and I was FINALLY invited to a par-tay (thanks Julie)! I was most interested in learning more about the cloth, which I learned is called the Envirocloth.

Let’s back up for a second so I can tell you how I normally clean things that need cleaning like countertops, sinks, etc. I have Clorox wipes as a monthly Subscribe and Save item from Amazon. Mmm hmmm. I do see the problems in this, so just in this past month I ordered the Thieves essential oil cleaner and have made up a spray bottle solution that I have been using. It smells fantastic and I am a oily believer.

I am honestly still a little unsure about how I feel about the Envirocloth, and the science behind it. I really need to take an hour or so in my life to do a little research, and I will. Once I find that hour. But here is the nitty gritty, from what I understand. All of the products are chemical free (yay!). The cloths do NOT have any type of cleaning solution already loaded up in them as I had been assuming. Rather, they are made of a super fine microfiber that contains silver. Apparently, the silver traps bacteria from whatever you are cleaning and doesn’t allow it to continue to grow, thereby killing it. The claim is that you can have a counter covered in raw chicken juice (or pick your choice of gross, bacteria-ridden mess), take a damp Envirocloth, wipe down the counter, and, voila, go ahead and eat off of it. As for your chicken juice soaked Envirocloth? Just rinse it off with water and hang it to dry until your next mess needs attacking. No cleaner, no spray. Just a dampened Envirocloth. Crazy, right? I watched a couple of videos provided in the party where consultant use this test strip that indicates bacteria, and test before (instant color change on the strip) and after (no color change). But it still makes me feel a little weird in my brainwashed-to-believe-you-need-chemicals-to-clean brain.Many of the Norwex products use this same technology of trapping and killing bacteria.

When it came time to order during the party, I decided to give the Envirocloth a try (how could I not?), as well as the Window Cloth, the Spirinetts, and they have a super cute Optic Scarf for cleaning things like glasses that matched my camera bag perfectly. And I really needed a new lens cloth, so I got that too! I have had a few days to use the products, and decided to start a new series for the blog, Go Buy It or Pass By It.

Envirocloth ($16.99) and Window Cloth ($18.99)

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I decided to go with the Envirocloth that has a little scrubby corner for those harder to clean messes, i.e. dried up food that wasn’t immediately cleaned. Why? Well. Because this happens in my house. All the time. Ahem, cleaning isn’t my strong suit. The cloths are the same size, the only difference being the scrubby cleaner and a $2 difference ($18.99 v. $16.99). For me, worth the $2.

I attacked one of the bathrooms sinks that was covered in dried toothpaste (seriously, do kids use half a tube to brush their teeth?) first with the Envirocloth. I was genuinely surprised by 2 things. First, I didn’t have to do much more than a firm wipe to get the caked on toothpaste up, and only 1-2 swipes. Second, while I would normally choose to just throw away the washcloth I used to clean the sink rather than try to get all that toothpaste off (or, let’s face it, I would have just used a Clorox wipe), I just rinsed off the Envirocloth and it was clean!

As I said earlier, I still need to do some of my own research before I feel 100% confident in using the Envirocloth completely on its own to clean all counter tops regardless of what is on them but I have been using it for regular wipe downs and it does a good job. It picks up and holds crumbs fairly well. Much better than a Clorox wipe or a paper towel or a regular washcloth.

The Window Cloth isn’t an all-in-one like I had assumed. I am sure it was in a post or video during the party, but I probably didn’t watch it. Um, we have satellite internet. Videos are not watched on my computer, and I usually forget when I actually have my phone in hand. Instead, you use the Envirocloth with the Window Cloth. Wipe down the window or mirror or faucet with the dampened Envirocloth, and then dry with the Window Cloth. My mirrors were in bad shape. Really, who has time to clean mirrors?! I did the mirror over the kids’ sink first (code for the worst of them all). I tried to take pictures for you but it was not an easy thing to capture. Anyways, I wiped it down with the Envirocloth with minimal effort and then dried with the Window Cloth. And, I was impressed. I haven’t seen myself so clear in a very long time! These two cloths (minus the scrubby corner) also come in a set for $32.99.

Spirinetts ($5.99 for a set of 2)

I also got the Spirinetts, which are these little scrub balls of stainless steel. I decided to test them out today on a tough job. My stove top. The burners have been pretty grungy looking since we moved in. I have tried, on a couple of occasions, to do something about it with no success. Granted, I only put minimal effort into it as I do with most cleaning jobs but I used those green scrubby pads once. And another time, soaked them in scalding hot, soapy water, followed by the green scrubby pad. We have a propane stove, and just assumed this happens and they were long overdue in needing to be replaced. I wipe them down when I wipe down the stove top, and carry on with life.

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I grabbed one of the gray things first, brought it to the sink, turned on the water and went for the worst spot and gave it a rub with a Spirinett. I was shocked how easily pretty much all the stuff came off. And so, I continued.

Because I only put minimal effort into cleaning, I really didn’t go all crazy to try to make a point. There were only a few spots where I needed to scrub a little more vigorously, and really get into it but those were usually in the harder to reach spots. I had 4 gray things and then the four spots on the stove to clean, so it wasn’t a 15 minute job. But it also took me less than an hour. I probably could have had even better results if I really got into it but cleaning just isn’t my thing. Hence my need for products that make tough jobs (or everyday jobs) easier!

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I am pretty sure the hubs is going to shit his pants when he sees this. He almost did yesterday when he noticed the bathroom sinks and mirror!

Final Verdict

So far, less than a week in, I am happy with my purchase and impressed with the products. The products are to be used over and over, and should last quite some time thus eliminating the repeat purchases of Clorox wipes (bye bye Subscribe and Save), paper towels, Windex, etc. They are all CHEMICAL FREE. That should be worth its weight in gold. Now, if I need to clean up some raw chicken juice, you can bet I will be spraying my Thieves cleaner first. At least for now until I do some more research. But I am excited to try some of the other products as well, and will definitely be a repeat customer. They have these dryer balls that are high on my To Try list so that I can eliminate the use of dryer sheets.

I say Go Buy It if you want to reduce the use of chemicals in your cleaning, or if you are looking for a one size fits all cleaning cloth. And, if you have a really tough job, you definitely need a Spirinett! If you need a Norwex independent consultant, contact Laura Tangel! She is great and answered all my annoying and extremely skeptical sounding questions! Here are Laura’s Website and Facebook links. Host a party, and earn yourself some free goodies! Just be sure to invite me!

Side Note

I haven’t actually used my Optic Scarf on my camera yet (I know, I should have before breaking out the big camera for these pictures), but here is a cell phone picture of how fab it looks with my camera bag!! See why I had to have it??

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Ohhhh Baby I Love … Jamberry Nails Lacquer

It has literally been months since I have painted my nails. We have been plagued with every virus out there since Christmas, and, damn, sick kids are demanding! I am behind on my work, behind on the house, and just, well, behind.

Funny thing happened today. I was browsing my Facebook memories, as I like to do each day, and a year ago I tried the Jamberry lacquer for the first time. As I was looking at this, I was actually painting my nails (with Jamberry lacquer, of course)! I love how this crazy world works sometimes.

So why is this all significant? Because I suck at painting my nails. The last time I probably painted my nails before last year was like a decade ago. Seriously, a 5 year old could paint my nails better that I do. But I had a small stock pile of Jamberry lacquer that I had never used when I decided to try it a year ago. And I wish I had done it sooner because This. Stuff. Rocks. Since then, I have at least doubled my stash, and I usually try to keep my nails painted. Until #sickinitin2016 started.

It goes on ridiculously smooth and fills in the streaks and crevasses I somehow make with a miniature brush. It has a lovely shine to it. And after I clean up a few spots on my right hand, it looks almost like I had an actual manicure. As if I actually left the house and treated myself to such a thing! Really. I am not kidding.

It also holds up better than any polish I have used. Not that I am by any means a nail polish connoisseur. But lasts a million times longer than Sally Hanson. Henson? You know what I mean.

So many amazing colors to choose from. I am partial to the neutrals, but also have so many bright colors that I think next time I need to use one. Spring is in the air, right? Jamberry also offers a selection of base coats and top coats that can add different effects (matte, glitter, sparkle, shine). I also have their gel nail system and use it as my clear top coat for the lacquers. So easy. And it doesn’t take long at all.

Really, Jamberry is more than just nail wraps. Give a lacquer (or three) a try. They are amazing! One of my good friends, Kim Locastro, is a consultant! Check out her site at www.aandkjams.jamberry.com and drop her an email if you have any questions!

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Yes, yes, that is a stain on my shirt. Apparently, I totally dripped some of my Black Bean Soup on myself at lunch. I do, however, totally recommend it. I make it every week for my lunches. Just made a fresh batch today!

Now go, #treatyourself and get some Jamberry lacquer!

Black Bean Soup | Dinnertime and the Livin’s Easy

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Soup. I never realized how easy it is to make. Or that you had to put it in a blender! After my success with Pepper Soup, I decided to branch out. I had a lunch date with a client last week at Panera Bread, the week I started eating healthy. If you know me, you know I can devour a tuna sandwich on tomato basil bread, a cup of mac and cheese and whatever seasonal shortbread cookie is out. But, I am fat. And I am all in.

So I ordered half a tuna sandwich on tomato basil, and a cup of black bean soup. No cookie. And, I recorded it in MyFitnessPal. The black bean soup was so good, and full of fiber, that I decided to try it on my own! Fiber is key for me. I need it to feel good, and I have neglected it for, oh, the last 10 years.

I put together a couple recipes, and the results are easy, healthy, full of fiber and tasty! So give it a try and make your lunches for the week ahead of time!

Black Bean Soup

  • Servings: About 6
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 15-ounce cans of black beans
1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 cup of chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon of chili powder
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions:

1. Dump everything in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.

2. Blend in blender, or if you have one of those awesome hand blenders, use that, til desired consistency.

That’s it! So easy and so good! Plus a 1 cup serving is nice and filling because it is packed with fiber!

Nutritional information per serving: Calories 156; Fat 1.2g; Sodium 925 mg; Potassium 519.2 mg; Carbs 27 g (Fiber 8.8; Sugar 3.7 g); Protein 10.1 g; Vitamin A 14.6%; Vitamin C 11.7%; Calcium 11.7%; Iron 19.8%

 

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