8.29.2012

Fashion Steal: IntiMINT's Me-Time Mystery Box [Only $39.98 for $89.95 value or more!]



There are few things in life I need more than surprises. It's weird, I know, but frequent (good) surprises keep me from boredom. Which is probably why I've been a big fan of Jewelmint's Mystery Bags. I agonize over what I'll get and have been so happy when some pieces I would never have considered turned out to be favorites thanks to the 'grab bag' style of them. Sure, there've been a few duds. I got one order of two Mystery Bags that I didn't like anything from. But I'll still buy Mystery Bags in hopes of a great surprise which is why I went crazy trying to sort out my finances just enough I could swing IntiMINT's first mystery package!

Now if you haven't joined IntiMINT yet please do. It's free to take the style profile and get your showroom and until you make your first purchase you won't be charged the monthly fee for a credit.

Don't know what all that means? You can visit the site via this link to learn more and join. If you use that link (and make your first purchase) I'll get rewards points I can use to buy stuff. It's win/win for both of us. ;)

If you're interested in getting started or you're already a fan the Me-Time Mystery Bag is a great deal.

Because your me-time should be enjoyed in style.
  • Guaranteed 2 panties & 2 sleep styles
  • Guaranteed value of $89.95 with up to a $129 value
 

Since Panties are 2 for $19.99 and Sleep pieces range from $19.99 to $99.95 you could get almost anything!

I think since the guaranteed value of $89.95 is equal to 4 and a half credits everyone will get 3 panties and 2 Sleep Styles.

Classic Tank in Sky
Based on the need to choose a color (but only having the one available) I'm guessing one that maybe of the 2 Sleep pieces is going to be the Classic Tank in Sky or the Lace Trim Shorts in Sky/Seafoam. I'm not a big blue wearer—why couldn't the choice have been Black!?!—but I decided to get the Me-Time Mystery Bag because I have loved my IntiMINT pieces I bought thus far but have been too broke to buy my favorites.

Wish me luck on getting at least one of the four Sleep items I've been oggling. I'm also guessing that the Lace Trim Romper will be included in many of them since it's a 2 credit item (it's the only one I'm hoping not to get since I already have something almost identical).

Lace Trim Romper
One thing I was surprised not to see as a choice was thong or not-thong as a choice. lol I rarely go for thongs myself (and would prefer not to get them) but I like all but one of the ones IntiMINT has put out so far enough I crossed my fingers and took the plunge.

So here's hoping my Me-Time Mystery Box purchase wasn't in vain! I shall be sure and post a reveal post when I get it. :) If you get one, please drop by and let me know what you get in yours too.






P.S. -- If you're not a member and you sign up the Me-Time Mystery Bag really is a good first purchase. I have been very impressed with my purchases so far. I practically live in my Racerback Maxi and Malibu Cardi and love that not only is everything very stylish and luxurious feeling, it's all unbelievably comfy. I wish I had more $$$ to spend every month so I could indulge... then I might never want to get dressed and leave the house. ;D
 

How-to: DIY Detangling Spray for CURLY Hair 'Recipe'

 
Guess what? Being a SAHM can kinda suck. Being a single income family means our car is older, we never go on vacations, and I have to get really savvy with the coupons and deals sometimes. Last month wasn't a good one for us. Lots of extra expenses going on the charge card and a bunch of stuff being needed for school and my husband's work. I actually haven't seen my financial situation look this scary since before our toddler was born. We always get through it, but if you're anything like us and live nearly paycheck to paycheck you know my frustration.

Lately I've been looking for easy ways to cheaply cut corners in areas that aren't a big deal so we can continue having things that really matter to us. Like buying inexpensive and gentle Ivory bar soap over the pricier stuff we were using before, so that I can spend the extra moolah on JASON Smoothing Sea Kelp Shampoo and Conditioner (which I love for containing natural and organic ingredients and how amazing it is).

One thing I was frustrated with, however, was paying about $2.40 a bottle for the Suave Detangling Spray I needed for my little girl. It smelled nice, like green apples, but it always left her hair very dry. Having been blessed (or cursed depending on how you look at it) with stick straight hair, then having my daughter wind up with the curls that skipped down from the great aunt she was named for has meant learning a whole new type of hair care.

Curls are insane to work with if you're new to it. I always thought the humidity thing was an exageration. I know better now. lol

Anyway, we ran out of the apple stuff, we were a little broke, and I thought 'why can't I make my own?' which prompted a little searching of the web for some recipes. Most of them were generic. 1 part conditioner to 5 parts water seemed to be the concensus. Lightbulb moment! I could make a 'green' one all by myself!

So I rounded up the following:

  • Plastic spray bottle (I reused the Suave one after washing it out)
  • JASON Smoothing Sea Kelp Conditioner
  • 8 oz. (1 cup) Measuring Glass
  • Small funnel
  • Tap Water
 
 
 
This was crazy easy to make.
 
1. Fill the glass with 1 oz. of the conditioner.
 
You can do this with any one but I highly recommend the JASON Smoothing Sea Kelp because I use it on my fine hair to combat static and it has had such a great effect on my girl's curls. It's just a great product for hair that needs smoothing, softening treatment.
 
2. Add water up to the 6 oz. line.
 
I used tap water since we bathe in it but I bet it's better to use purified or distilled.
 
3. Stir until well blended.
 
I use a fine tooth comb to do it 'cause it go tthe job done quickly and it was already right there.
 
 
4. Carefully pour liquid into spray bottle, replace spray nozzle.
 
5. Before use shake bottle, then spray a small amount to tangled areas (or all over) avoiding eyes. Comb gently starting from the ends and working your way up through the tangles. Voila!
 
If you're using my suggested conditioner you'll find it smells like Plumeria and leaves the hair crazy soft. You could probably add more water if you want it a little lighter. I find that I have to wash my daughter's hair a little more often because it gets a little weighted down after a few days but otherwise I loooove my creation. At just 55¢ to make it was a steal and works way better than the apple stuff.
 
I was going to post a picture of my daughter's hair after I used this yesterday but for the life of me I can't find my phone cord to do it. lol If I get it found soon and remember I shall add it. You have to see her hair to believe it.
 
 
 
 Additional notes:
 
I got my Measuring Glass at the Dollar Tree years ago and can't find another one anywhere. Locally only one place carries the conditioner and I usually get it from about $7-$9 a bottle). But here are Amazon links for stuff mentioned here should you want to try it yourself.



8.27.2012

Beauty Rhi-flection: COVERGIRL & Olay • Luminous coverage for ageless, radiant looking skin...

 
Hey guys! So I've not been in on a BzzCampaign in forevs. I was getting kinda bummed about it. Then bam, I've got four back-to-back. I'm super excited to have some fun new stuff to share with you guys. :)
 
I thought my COVERGIRL & Olay kit was never going to arrive. Panic was setting in. I was stalking the mailman. It was getting crazy. But last week it finally showed up. Not on a day I could have possibly had time to snap a shot of my kit before diving into it.

You see, this week my little boy starts middle school and over the summer I've realized... he's not my little boy anymore. He's almost a teenager. Which makes me feel old. Really old. lol Looking young for our age does run in my family. Getting carded to buy Powerball tickets at 30 is amusing. Then suddenly I turned 31 and it stopped happening. I'm not totally sure why it stopped happening but I get a little bummed when they don't ask because for years it was the amusement of everyone around me that my youthful face was causing me grief. I get it now. I want waitresses and convenience store clerks to continue being the sheperds of my youth.

I'm still trying to figure out the whole foundation thing. I never wore it as a teenager or in my twenties. Sensitive skin and religious parents had a lot to do with it. But then the impending big 3-0 and still having acne was the straw and camel's back moment for me so I decided it was time to learn how to use it. I skipped over drug store brands and went straight to department store ones and have been very happy with my fancy brands. Could COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation and COVERGIRL & Olay Pressed Powder convince me to be thriftier?

Alas, after a week of using it I'm leaning toward no.



If you've been reading the blog for a while you know how troublesome my skin is. How I get painful cystic break outs and frustrating dryness with oily spots. Since using the Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation and Pressed Powder I went from being clear to having several whiteheads, one painful cystic eruption, and blackheads on my nose that won't go away. For me that's a big no-no. I believe it's largely due in part to how unbreathable this product wears. The entire time I had it on each day I was very aware of it, it felt like I had a mask on. Even my hands were hard to scrub clean after applying it. If you want a longwearing foundation I would definitely recommend it for that! :)


 As you can see, very blendable but if you look close, makes the lines on my hand more obvious.

There were lots of good things about it though. I found the shade blended very well for a drugstore brand and was very buildable. I also found that with the exception of one area that is easily irritated I wasn't as dry as usual. If you have dryer skin (which often happens with age so this is great for mature women in my humble opinion) you might find this to be a great one. My shade match (Classic Ivory Foundation and Fair Powder) worked well for me and I often have a difficult time finding one because I have both yellow and pink undertones so I think it's possible other fair skinned ladies will have luck with it too.

 
Here's the powder alone at left & over the foundation at right.


In addition to those good things I also found that one of my biggest areas of sadness as far as my looks are concerned actually looks much better! I have two big frown lines on my forehead that I've had for years that actually look less pronounced. Placebo effect? Maybe. But the fact is they look better and I do believe that's a big part of the COVERGIRL & Olay line's focus.

Blah, just the foundation alone, see below for both & please don't mind my 'naked' face. lol
Unfortunately, as an overall product it just wasn't for me. The Powder wasn't as luminizing as my favorite product and I found it actually made my pores look larger, not smaller. The overall finish was matte, even with the powder and the claim of luminiousness from this line. The breakout I suffered was tough to clearup (still working on calming the cystic one down after 5 days) and I don't want to have to go crazy blasting blackheads after I wear makeup. The anti-aging effects just aren't worth the skin trouble I'm experiencing, I'd rather use a serum before my favorite foundations from other brands.

COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation (Classic Ivory) and Pressed Powder (Fair)


Want to try it for yourself? Drop by the COVERGIRL website and print the form under the Specials section for COVERGIRL & Olay Tone Rehab 2-in-1 Foundation. If you don't like it they'll refund your money. Kudos to them for that! Losing my $$ is half the reason I hesitate when trying new makeup.


  
What's the Bzz?
 
 
BzzAgent is a word-of-mouth social marketing company. Basically, I get invited to campaigns for products I fit a demographic for and get supplied with products to try for which I give my honest opinion and spread the word about. Want to know more about how it works and find out how you can be a BzzAgent like me? Check out the BzzAgent FAQ.

8.13.2012

Book Rhi-view: Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman's Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith and Alex Steelsmith

Great Sex, Naturally: Every Woman's Guide to Enhancing Her Sexuality Through the Secrets of Natural Medicine by Dr. Laurie Steelsmith and Alex Steelsmith
Sexual Health, Alternative Medicine
Paperback $16.95 (303 pages, HAY HOUSE)
Ebook $16.95
Do you want to powerfully transform your sexual energy, and boost your overall health at the same time? Whether you already enjoy a healthy sex life and would like to dramatically enhance it, or you need solutions to specific sexual health challenges, Great Sex, Naturally is the book you’ve been waiting for. It reveals for the first time how you can combine modern medicine, ancient secrets, and completely natural methods to dynamically recharge both your sexuality and your total health. This invaluable resource gives you many easy, safe, and effective tools and techniques—including Western and Eastern herbs, aphrodisiacs, nutritional supplements, dietary changes, exercises, natural hormones, vaginal lubricants and suppositories, acupressure, detoxification, and more—that you can use to increase your libido and transform your life on many levels.
A completely accessible all-purpose guide, Great Sex, Naturally is loaded with practical advice, specific tips, and simple solutions you can apply yourself. You can use it to directly address any immediate concerns you may have—such as enhancing libido naturally and safely, diminished sex drive, vaginal dryness, menstruation, ovulation, fertility, perimenopausal and menopausal changes, and many others—or you can read it cover to cover and experience the ultimate sexual health makeover. This unique book will empower you to take control of your sexual health and your overall well-being, and make changes in your life that will benefit you on a daily basis. A groundbreaking resource, innovative and comprehensive, this work is destined to become a classic for women who want to create more fulfilling sex lives.
More Info: drsteelsmith.com | steelsmithvitamins.com

A Wonderful Resource for ALL Women (4 stars)

Ladies, if you've ever found yourself in tears over an aspect of your sexual health and didn't know where to turn please consider picking this book up.

I'm not a medical professional, just another woman suffering from personal sexual issues who was desperate for some answers. As it happened I saw a copy offered up for review right around the time I was at an emotional breaking point over the problems that had seeped into my sexual relationship and it couldn't have been there at a better time. Traditional medicine has its place and unfortunately hasn't helped me yet.

GREAT SEX, NATURALLY is the perfect resource for perspective and an understanding of your options both in traditional and alternative medicine. I've always been open to both but with my particular issues didn't know where to start. My doctors kept telling me things like needing more relaxation time and drinking more water, to ask my spouse to focus on certain things and I'd pretty much given up on asking them for help after three years of worthless advice.

This book stresses that sexual health is all part of overall health and therefore does focus greatly on lifestyle changes in the early chapters. Fortunately, much of it is easy to accomplish if you're willing to change some of your poor lifestyle habits for the sake of your health. In particular I found that focusing on bringing healthier foods into my diet was an area I could easily change with much benefit. Other areas include meditation and physical activity, acupressure and focusing on specific ailments and their treatments.

What ultimately both floored and uplifted me was the areas focusing on hormonal imbalances. Taking hormonal birth control in my younger years caused dramatic emotional and physical problems for me forcing me to find other methods. Years later I'm having a whole slew of similarly dramatic problems that I quickly realized upon reading GREAT SEX, NATURALLY were likely due to a hormonal imbalance. I then asked around and found that the specific one I was concerned about actually runs in my family. It was a revelation that gives me hope I can take what I've learned and see a physician for the proper tests to get to the bottom of it. Tests I wasn't even aware were an option until I read this book. From there I now also have alternative medicinal options such as herbal supplements and bio-identical hormones (something I didn't know existed!) to work with.

If you're plagued by health issues that affect your sexual health, a lacking libido, struggling with menopause, or just looking for ways to improve your sex life—there's even a wonderful section focusing on male sexual health issues!—I cannot recommend this book highly enough. So much of what I learned here was information no M.D. had ever bothered to give me, I feel like the issues I was sobbing over a couple of months back might have an end in sight. If nothing else it has given me power over my sexual health I didn't know was mine for the taking. If I could personally thank Dr. and Mr. Steelsmith for their hard work putting this book together I would!




Notes: ARC received via NetGalley.



Other books from Dr. Laurie Steelsmith and Alex Steelsmith:


8.02.2012

Try it: Quick Summer Veggie Pasta 'recipe'


It's quite possible I was the only kid who thought that artichokes and asparagus were the tastiest things my mom could serve. I think it might be because in South Eastern Washington—where Walla Walla Sweet onions, brussels sprouts, and asparagus grow nicely next to apples, cherries, and grapes—you get fresh produce that actually tastes good.

As an adult living much farther inland where it's too cold most of the year to grow much I get a little desperate for the time of year when we can grow tomatoes and cucumbers and the grocery stores have some decent veggies from elsewhere. I've also learned the trick to making asparagus a veggie kids will eat. It starts in the store...

NEVER pick a bundle with thick stems. The thicker they get, the woodier the stems will be at the ends. Look for slim spears and they'll good more evenly from tip to end so you don't have soggy, chewy tips and crunchy, stringy ends. Then it's simply a matter of not overcooking them. I like to think of asparagus as a bit like pasta... it's best when it's al dente ("firm bite"). I cook it one of four ways: roasted in the oven, grilled, steamed (NEVER boil it!!!), and sauteed. My personal favorite is to sautee it in butter which isn't particularly healthy but sure is tasty. Olive oil is a great choice for roasting and sauteeing too, I just find it can lend a sourness to the asparagus versus the sweetness from butter.

While there's no way I can guarantee your kids will love asparagus my 12 and 2 year olds both eat it, even the hubs (who grew up with canned corn as the only veggie on the table) loves it. A great way to toss a bit of it in is with this simple meatless dish I literally threw together on a whim that's now a favorite!


1. Wash and trim ends of 1 bundle asparagus. Cut into 1 1/2 to 2 inch pieces, depending on your pasta choice you might want to go a little shorter. Sautee in butter adding a bit of garlic to taste if you like (I really like Tastefully Simple's Garlic Garlic for this dish). The pieces will turn bright green as they cook, you can test the doneness by stabbing a stem with a spear. Be sure you keep stirring them about as you sautee so they don't burn.


2. While the asparagus is sauteeing go ahead and get your pasta going. I recommend a short pasta like Campanelle or Gemelli but you might try Farfalle or Cellantani. Pick one that will sit well with asparagus and grape tomatoes, not shells or small shapes like elbows and ones that are asparagus-like in shape like Penne. I used Barilla's Campanelle, half a box which served the four of us with a little leftover.


3. About a minute before your asparagus should be done toss in about half a pint of grape tomatoes. You could add more if you love them but I wanted the asparagus to be the star of the dish. (If you have a toddler you can always cut them in half before you cook them or do what I do and cut everything tiny before I serve). Toss it all around for about a minute, check your asparagus for desired doneness and turn off the heat. You want the tomatoes warm, but not cooked until they pop.


4. Once your pasta is cooked drain it and return it to the pot. Add a tiny pat of butter and stir it gently until melted over the pasta. I dislike cooking my pasta in oil because I find it gives it a slick coating versus adding a tiny bit of butter after cooking which prevents sticking/tearing the noodles without the greasiness. Add the veggies to the pasta pot and gentle stir or vice versa. I find it easier to do the latter.


5. Serve in bowls topped with grated or shaved parmesan. Don't use that icky powdered kind, it's texture isn't suited to this dish and a little bit of the real deal goes a long way for adding flavor.

From start to finish this dish takes me about 20 minutes. I like to serve the occasional meat-free meal and it's a good one. It's great with grilled chicken breast and I bet a bit of shredded rotisserie chicken would make this a meat dish the kids would love. :) I hope you'll get inspired and give this dish a try or at least make asparagus a new friend.


The Rhialist (Rhianna Walker) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.