August 11, 2014

Ipsy Glam Bag June, May, and April 2014

Three months of Ipsy~

Better late than never!  I decided to post all three of these together since my July bag will be shipped soon!

First off is the most recent glam bag. June was good to me!  Here is a look at what I got~

Ipsy June 2014
NYX Butter Gloss~ I received the color Eclair in my bag. I was super excited about getting this since I had been wanting to try it. I like it, but I don't love it. There is nothing wrong with just isn't anything special to me. I love NYX products and would like to try the Chunky Dunk Hydrating Lippie and see if it is more to my liking. What I like about the Butter Gloss is the pleasant smell and the way it feels on my lips. I dislike that it does not last and ends up sliding off my lips like the majority of lip glosses I have used.

Nicka K New York Shimmer Eyeliner~ A fun sparkling liquid eyeliner that I got in blue. This is a dramatic look that is great for summer nights. It is really pretty on and comes in twelve colors as well as two matte shades. I don't have a lot of experience with liquid eyeliner....the horror I know!  I prefer using a cream shadow stick to line my eyes with shimmery colors. It lasts longer and is less forgiving of mistakes. This was easy to apply and did not skip. It dried quickly and did not rub off or transfer. This is a bold look and not suitable for anyone that only wears neutral colors.

Carol's Daughter Sacred Tiare Anti-Breakage & Anti-frizz Styling Cream~ This is supposed to help with frizz and hair breakage as well as protect from heat and hold styles in place. I only used this once and knew that it was not for me. It is a thicker cream and did not help my comb glide through my hair. This is a huge requirement from any hair styling product that I use with the exception of a hairspray. I don't think this was intended to be used that way though. It is supposed to hold your style in place as you blow dry or flat iron your hair. I have naturally thick and loosely curly hair and do not use either of those. I'm not sure how this would work for those that do, so I can't really give an opinion on that. I will say that it had a nice smell since the ingredients include a lot of natural ingredients including Coprah Coconut Oil, Tiare Gardenia, and Shea Butter. 

Realtree fragrance sample spray~ I was turned off of this product when I read that it was made by a camouflage designer. My first thought was that it was going to smell like deer pee!  No kidding!  When I tried to test it the deluxe sample sprayer was broken and the perfume just dribbled out onto my hand. I didn't think it smelled good and that was the end of that....until I decided to try it again and just rub it onto my wrists and give it a fair chance about a week later. (I read on the Ipsy site that a lot of people had a problem with the spray not working and I could have emailed them for a new one, but the way I used it worked fine.)  It actually surprised me how well this really smells!  Nothing "sweaty men without showers hunting for baby animals" about it!  It has promegranate, lotus blossom, champaca flower, and amber along with a blend of other scents. I'm not a perfume expert. I just like it or I don't and I really like this. I'm happy that I gave it another try. 

OFRA Universal Brow Pencil~ This is another product that I was really excited to try. I have never really used  any eye brow products until recently. My eyebrows have always been kind of a neutral feature on my face as far as I know anyways.  I never started getting them waxed until I got older and felt like I needed it. Now my eyebrows have thinned along with my hair and my nails have become weak. I'm trying to change some habits, reduce stress, and I'm taking supplements to help, but in the meantime my eyebrows need a little help looking fuller. I have previously tried a powder and another brow pencil and neither of those impressed me much. However, the OFRA brow pencil did with my first use. I wouldn't say that it is truly a universal color because I don't think that would be possible unless it was clear. I do think it works for me and would probably work for anyone with blonde, brown, and red hair as long as it was not too light or too dark if that makes sense. It has a waxy feel and blends well with an eye brow brush. It works for me and I prefer my face with a darker brow. I will continue to use this even when my brows fill out again. 

That's it for the June bag-- next up is the May bag. I won't be going into as much detail, but I will let you know if I really do/don't like something. 

May 2014 Ipsy- I used all of the Avene Thermal Spring Water even though I doubted that I would use it at all. It is used to soothe different types of inflammation and other skin sensitivities like itching and redness. I actually found it to be quite useful and will probably repurchase this since I saw the price was not too outrageous to justify!  The nail polish is a full size Nailtini in "Bloody Mary."  I wish I had received one of the other colors since this is not a good color for me. I may try it this fall or give it away. I really love the Pacifica Mineral eyeshadow duo and use it almost daily. They are very pretty and blend easily. These are shimmery irredescent type shades and won't appeal to some people. I love them myself!  The Pur~lisse moisturizer was a thin liquid and nothing special to me.  Lastly, the Hang Ten sunscreen I use and keep it in my purse. I like to have it for touch ups and to put on my hands when I'm driving. It has a pleasant smell, but is pretty runny.

April 2014 Ipsy~ I was very excited about the Cailyn Tinted lip balm, but it was drying and not a good color for me. I finally gave up on it and gave it to a friend. The Urban Decay 24/7 Velvet Glide-On Eye Pencil was something that I had heard so much about.  I didn't think it was wonderful when I tried it since it seemed to be dry and kind of brittle at first. With use it has become softer and one of my favorite pencils to use for tightlining.  This is a travel size, but still a good size. The City Color White Gold Shadow and Highlight Mousse creased on my lids which was unfortunate because I really like the color. I mainly use this for highlighting and do still really like it. It does have shimmer and I like that especially in the summertime. I did not find the Dr. Brandt microdermabrasion sample to be worth paying big bucks for. They all seem to work the same on my skin. The last item in this bag was a sample size of the Sexy Hair Root Pump Volumizing Spray Mousse. I've used this a couple of times and it's ok. I have thick hair and maybe this would be better for someone with fine hair. I am a fan of a lot of their other products. 

Well, that's it for this post!  Ipsy is a monthly subscription for $10 a month. I think it is a great bargain and love trying different products!  Some of the products I have received I could not afford to buy/sample on my own!  I just looked at the Ipsy website and the July bags will be going out soon!  I saw some sneak peeks that looked exciting!!!  I will post the July bag in July....amazing!  ;-)

July 10, 2014

Influenster #TLCVoxBox!

I'm a member of Influenster and was one of the lucky moms chosen to receive the #TLCVoxBox!  I was super excited since this is the first box I have qualified for from them. I always check out their Twitter posts and knew that they send out great stuff.

This box was sent to the Moms of Influenster Nation as a way to give back some of the care we give to everyone else. Moms are known to do anything and everything for everyone else sometimes without taking giving themselves a little TLC as well.  This box was a mix of practical things a mom needs to have on hand and a couple things just for mom.

Influenster #TLCVoxBox

Shell Fuel Rewards Network-  Sign up for free at Shell stations or click here for more details on how you can save $ at the pump while earning rewards.  I have not signed up for this because I usually use a gas station just down the road from my home. I may sign up to use this when I am out and about.

Breyers Gelato Indulgences- Gelato is a lot like ice cream, but typically has less fat. "Brewers Gelato Indulgences come with a unique trio of textures:  creamy gelato, luscious sauce, and gourmet toppings."  I have yet to try this because I have not been able to find it in the stores I use. I just found a store locator on there website here. I am definitely going to use it to find a store in my area and use the coupon I received to try out the Vanilla Caramel. Yummy!

Puffs to Go- I always carry tissue in my purse and car. My son has seasonal allergies that seem more like all year long allergies!  Even on his good days he blows his nose often. I was happy to get a package of the Puffs to Go and immediately put it in my purse. Puffs are always soft and gentle on sensitive skin. 

Neosporin Neo to Go- I already had one of these babies in my purse and now I have another for back up. These are "specially designed to give you infection protection, plus pain relief, anytime, anywhere."  Kids are always getting cuts and scrapes and there is no way that mine will let me touch their boo-boos or put anything that stings on them. These are perfect because with one hand you can spray it on and it will reduce the pain and protect them from yucky germs!  

Ivory Bar Soap- The original Ivory Bar Soap helps you to get clean without using perfumes or additives. Ivory is a brand that my family has used for as long as I can remember. I really like packaging on this bar. It's a really cute blue and white wrapper. I personally do not use bar soap anymore, but I did give this to my husband and he likes it.

Avon Anew Reversalist Express Wrinkle Smoother- I was most excited about this item in my box. It's "a finishing cream-to-powder skincare perfector in a portable compact, for application over moisturizer or makeup."  Just pat a little over any type of wrinkle without rubbing it in to smooth its appearance.  I tried this and had mixed feelings about it. It did seem to fill in some fine lines that I have on my forehead and near my eyes, but it didn't seem to last. I feel like I would need to carry this around with me and reapply it often.  I do like the packaging that it comes in. It's a square compact that slides open. I was able to use the reflective outside as a mirror to apply it. The compact was a little bulky to carry in my purse though.

Avon Anew Reversalist 
Complete Renewal Express

Avon also claims that this product "is formulated with Tri-Elastinex to enhance skin cells' ability to renew, regenerate and reconstruct itself."  I have not been able to notice any of these results myself yet. Finally, this product costs $30 full price on Avon's website. In my opinion it did not provide enough positive results to justify spending that kind of money on it. I will update this product as I continue to use it here and there if my opinion of it changes.

That's everything from my #TLCVoxBox from Influenster. I do wish that it contained a couple more items that I could use for myself instead of my kiddos. I am grateful to Influenster and the brands listed above for allowing me to try and review their products. I hope that I will be chosen for more boxes in the future! You can sign up to be a part of the Influenster Nation by visiting their website at Sorry, my link function stopped working on me. :-/ 

*I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. 

April 9, 2014

Peeling Nail Polish

What the heck did I do wrong?~

***Update~ I used the Sally Hansen Double Duty base and top coat with another polish from a different brand. It peeled off exactly like this polish did. I don't know for sure that it caused it to happen, but I have never had this happen before. I have not purchased another base coat to compare because I am not currently painting my fingernails. They are in terrible shape and need some TLC.

Also, I have had some major problems with being completely exhausted 24/7 and had a larger than "normal" amount of pain last month. I have posts I'm working on finishing and some reviews coming up. :-D

***Original Post~
Ok, I am obsessed with all of the beautiful pastel Spring colors. I have always loved Easter decorations because they are so cute. My current favorite color is baby blue for nails. It is just adorable and I finally found one that looked like the shade of blue that I wanted. It's the NYC #151 Skyline Blue. I absolutely love it!

So, why is it peeling off in sheets from my nails?  I'm not a nail expert and I have never been good at painting my own nails. I usually end up cleaning up a lot of  messy edges when I'm done. I am right handed and the peeling only happened on my right hand.  

What I did:
On clean nails I applied the Sally Hansen Double Duty Base and Top Coat. After that dried I applied the first coat of the NYC nail color which was super streaky. Once I went back over it with the second coat it looked much better and I decided to stop at two and applied the NYC In A New York Minute Quick Dry. When it was all nice and dry I applied some Suave Moroccan Infusion to my cuticles. This is something I've just purchased as well. It isn't advertised as being a cuticle oil, but says that it is ok to use all over the body for moisture. This is supposed to be a dry oil, but it's pretty greasy to me.  I also noticed that mineral oil is listed in the ingredients. Maybe this caused the peeling?

The one good use I have found for this oil is to apply it just before I applied my shaving cream.  My legs usually end up irritated no matter what I use lately and this seemed to keep that from happening. I will try this again and see if it was a fluke or something I will continue to do.

Everything was great for about two days and then the first nail peeled. The next day the second and third nails both peeled off as well. I was going to apply a top coat about the time the first nail peeled, but that didn't happen.

Here are the pics-

NYC  Skyline Blue-about three days old
Left hand 

Peeled off color from the second nail after a trip
to the store. The polish came off like this
each time.

I have not tried using this polish again.  When I do I will add a top coat once everything is dried and leave the oil off.   If anyone knows why this happened please leave me a comment. Could this be a defect in this polish itself?  

April 2, 2014

Doctor advises counseling for chronic pain

Someone to talk to~

At my last office visit with  my primary care doctor she told me (again) that I really should consider counseling. She believes that it can benefit people with chronic pain to have a person that they can really share their emotions with. Anyone with chronic pain will probably agree with me that we are never completely open about it. When someone asks me about it I might not tell "the whole truth and nothing but the truth."  I mean who wants to hear about how horrible my pain can be for the 100th time!  I joke, but I think it could be very helpful.

It is easy to see that people who have been through certain traumatic events or who are having emotional difficulties need counseling. Isn't being in pain or dealing with another disabling condition traumatic as well?  I literally went from being "normal" with the exception of my own quirky problems one day to being a completely different individual the next. I will never be the same mom, wife, daughter, or even friend. I told someone recently that I miss the day before my neck pain began. It may sound silly, but I do. I have a lot of emotions tied to my pain. I know I'm not alone. I have guilt over being a less active mom with my daughter than what I was with my son. My daughter was only two when it started.  I doubt that she remembers dancing and jumping around with me back then.  Now I am guarded and I never jump around that is for sure.  I do dance sometimes, but I don't get my groove on or anything!  When we take walks now I can't keep up with her.  She is so honest at the age of five that she tells me what I do wrong and that I should try to walk faster.  Ahhh, to be young with no pains and full of energy!  I always say that mother nature got it so wrong. I should have all the energy and my kids should be the lethargic ones!  They would then get more energetic as they aged if I had my way!  

Sometimes I feel like a burden to my husband.  He has taken on so much more because I can't anymore.  Money is a majorly stressful subject in our household.  My meds and doctor appointments alone are very costly since we have a high deductible.  Once we hit our 100% it is such a relief.  That's when we don't hesitate to seek medical care or worry about how we will pay for an antibiotic.  It is partly our fault for not saving like we used to.  The bigger problem is that when our son was two I went back to work, but I haven't been able to this time.   Honestly... the only thing that doesn't hurt me is to either lay in bed or stand perfectly still.  Well, that is until that starts to hurt too!  He is great and I'm lucky to have him. He isn't perfect though and it has taken me almost 18 years to get him molded into the "almost perfect" man. Just kidding??? How different would it all be if I had hurt my neck in the beginning?  Would we have made it this far?  

Some of the other feelings I struggle with are anger, depression, embarrassment or shame, and self pity. I suppose talking about it all would be helpful. Maybe I will go now that I have put this out here. I googled pain counseling and found doctors that are called Pain Psychologists. I am thinking about trying it. I could use someone to talk to about my son's anxiety too. Boy that is some major stress in my life!  Do they just listen or do they offer advice?  I welcome ideas, but I can be pretty stubborn about criticism especially regarding my pain. Don't tell my hubby that I admitted it!  On the other hand, I don't think having someone sit and listen without telling me whether I've been a complete idiot or not would drive me nuts!

I'm still undecided on going.  If I do I will post about it here of course.  Maybe that would help someone else to decide whether or not counseling could help them.  I would not give them the name of my blog so that I could be completely honest about my experiences.  I haven't given the name of my blog to any of my friends or family by the way.  I want to write whatever I want and not worry about what they might think.  I also have a Twitter account that has none of my real life friends or family.  I recommend this for anyone with chronic pain or another #spoonie problem.  Look up "The Spoon Theory" if you aren't familiar with the term spoonie.   I tweet away about a bad pain day  because all of my twitter friends are dealing with similar issues. I think it is a great idea for anyone with a hobby or something else that your real life friends and family might not have any interest in.  

Ok, that's it for this post.  Let me know what your thoughts are about this!  Oh and my son did have strep throat for anyone that read my last post.  He is on antibiotics and doing great. I feel awful and I think it is my turn to be sick. Such is life! 

March 31, 2014

A rough week

It's always something~

Last week was a tough one!  My daughter had a cold and would wake me up around 3am and not go back to sleep until around 10am.  We would then "nap" until it was time to pick up my son from school.  I felt like a zombie!  My daughter is feeling better now and just has a lingering cough, but my son is sick.  I think he has strep throat and I have a doctor appointment for him this evening.  I got the very last appointment the doctor's office had.  We go to an office that has at least ten doctors and they also have Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants.  Getting the last appointment tells me that a lot of people are sick right now!

I had to keep him home from school today.  He has missed so many days that we get letters from the school truancy department basically implying that we are terrible parents.  He has severe anxiety with depression. We have notes from his doctor and he is on a 504 plan at school which is kind of a protection of sorts for children with disabilities.  We should be ok, but the last letter we got was more threatening.  I guess I should call them, but I just don't know what to say.  My son stays awake until he can no longer keep his eyes open. He is afraid to go to sleep and sleeps with the light on and he sleeps with me.  My poor husband sleeps in my son's room.  We are hoping to eventually get him back into his own room, but we can't force the issue without causing more anxiety for him.

I will say that even though my son has missed a ton of school and is late all the time that he has also improved tremendously.  He overcomes anxiety every single day of his life.  He has panic attacks in large spaces and loud noises cause him anxiety as well.  He was in third grade when this all first started.  He had chronic strep throat and had an incident where he felt like he was choking because his tonsils were swollen.  It set off his anxiety and we have been dealing with it since.  There were days that he would lay on the floor crying and begging me not to take him to school.  It was awful.  To make matters worse I was having terrible pain and headaches from my neck.  I had not even been diagnosed with herniated discs and was having a hard time getting my doctor to help me.  That is another story all together....doctors afraid to help there patients with pain.  Most people don't think this is a problem until they need help themselves.  It's normal to feel like "that" will never happen to me or my children, etc...

I'm not sure what to classify this post as.  I think venting is what I needed.  I barely touched on the subject of my son's anxiety.  It is way more complicated than I can get into this random post.   I would also like to write a dedicated post about my Idiopathic Hypersomnia as well.  It has a huge impact on our lives.  I have so many "problems" now that I feel like I am falling apart!  Luckily I have my family to help pick up the pieces! Too cheesy?  Oh well, I'm also pouting about not getting to order Bath and Body Works yesterday.  They had some awesome deals, but we have other more important things to spend money medicine and food.  Maybe next time!

Oh, and did I mention that my throat is sore?

"When it rains it pours!" Show me the rainbow!