product review

Product Review: The Perfect Work to Gym Bag

Product Review: The Perfect Work to Gym Bag

I've found the perfect work to gym bag that holds your laptop and your gym essentials all in one ergonomic, well designed, sleek package. If you’re looking for a review of the Lululemon City Adventurer backpack, I’ve got you covered!

Diary of a 3 Day Juice Cleanse

So, last week, the awesome people at Garden of Flavor sent me 3 days worth of their juice cleanse to test out. Now, I've done a 3-day juice cleanse before, so I kinda knew what I was getting myself into, but decided to post a 3 day diary so you can experience a 3-day cleanse too!

Day 1: Something is wrong with Otto. Its been happening for the past two days, and its getting worse. He's having a hard time standing up and walking up and down stairs. I haven't seen him this lethargic at any time other than (a) recovery from surgery or (b) the day after daycare at The Mutt Hutt. Yesterday I stress-ate a bag of hot Cheetos and a whole bar of cookies and creme chocolate. Whoops. Today I'm kinda glad I'm on this juice cleanse because at least I won't stress-eat!!!

Juice 1: 8 am. Goji Pineapple. Whoa ginger! This has a really nice kick to it!! Ginger is widely used in India for colds…hmmm, maybe these sniffles will go away?
Juice 2: 12 pm. Cucumber Fresh. Tastes like cucumber soup without the pulp. Hmmmm, maybe I should try and make this in my new Vitamix as a smoothie once this cleanse is done? Juice 2 is almost 2 hours later than it should be because I was at the vet (Otto likely has a strained muscle and/or arthritis- all fixable). But because its late, I'm STARVING!! I keep fantasizing about cheese….mmmmm a good, sharp cheddar…. Pro tip: make sure the lid is securely on the bottle before you shake. Not that I know from experience or anything…
Juice 3: 2 pm. Mean Green. Maybe my tastebuds are still active from the prior juice but I taste nothing. This is the mildest green juice I have ever tasted. Mostly I taste parsley? I am still hungry though…people keep posting pictures of spaghetti and meatballs… I have never wanted spaghetti and meatballs so bad in my life!!! I'm hoping this fills me up some more so I can stop fantasizing about food.
3:30 pm. 30 minutes until my next juice and I am OBSESSING about cheese. What?! Why is this happening?!
Juice 4: 4:30 pm. Twisted Roots.  I was dreading this juice. I hate beets. I really do. I've tried them baked, roasted, in a salad, in juice… they taste like mud. I was pleasantly surprised by this one! It is a beet, carrot and lemon juice, and honestly I tasted mostly carrot. It was actually quite good!
Juice 5: 7:00 pm. White Knight. This is the one I was most looking forward to- the cashew mylk. I LUUURVE cashew mylk and this one is good, although I wish it had more cinnamon in it. I put in some generous sprinkles of pumpkin spice, and it was delicious. And very, very filling. I'm so full I don't think I'm going to get to the 6th juice tonight. Which is totally fine, because then I will just have an extra for tomorrow!!!
Sidebar: I did have a bite of Nick's awesome Spaniard sub from Crust. It was delicious. And I don't feel the least bit guilty about it. 

Day 2: Stepped on the scale this morning. 150.8 lbs. Down 2 lbs since Monday!! WHOA!! Although, I have done these cleanses before and the last time, I lost 5 lbs, but put 2 of them back on as soon as I started eating solid food, so I'm cautiously optimistic
Juice 1: 8:30 am. Very distracted by work today, which is good. Maybe I will finally stop thinking about cheese?
9:00 am: someone brought in donuts. WHY? WHY? WHY? I'm just going to stay in my cube all day.
Juice 2: 10:00 am. Heading into a meeting with my juice. I feel a little weird toting these around, but I am not about to go into hangry mode!!
Juice 3: (subbed in the Lemon Pepp leftover from last night)1:00 pm. Uh-oh. I have the beginnings of a headache because I waited too long for Juice 3!
Juice 4: 4:00 pm. Work is consuming all my thoughts today. Plus side: I have not had any time to check instagram at lunch, so I'm not craving yumminess.  Down side: I really shouldn't wait 3 hours between drinks!!!
Juice 5 and 6: 7:00 pm. STARVING. RAGING HEADACHE. Chugged the Twisted Roots. Added cinnamon and cardamom to the White Knight and sipped it while Nick ate dinner. I cooked dinner for him tonight btw-- cajun chicken alfredo… it smelled really good.

Day 2 is always the hardest. Its when I start to question what the hell I was thinking when I signed up for 3 days of this. I haven't worked out in 3 days. And while I hate not having worked out, I'm kinda ok with it since I'm cleansing. At least I'm not putting junk food into my body!

Day 3: Weight 150.2 lbs. Not bad really.
Juice 1: 8:30 am. I'm really going to miss this juice. I'm feeling good. Exhausted (not cleanse related), but good.

Juice 2: 10:30 am. Drank this while I was at a meeting, so I don't really remember what it tasted like. I saw Arianna Huffington speak last night, and she was talking about being in the moment and focussing on what you are doing (rather than multi-tasking) and it totally applies here. I really need to stop eating lunch and dinner while I'm doing other things!

11:30 am. I really miss chewing. Really. Miss. It.

Juice 3: noon.  There are multiple boxes of pizza in the cube behind me and the delicious smell of melty cheesiness continues to waft ever so gently into my cube. CHEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSEE. FML.

3:00 pm. Green tea

4:00 pm: Juice 4 Am now fantasizing about pizza. And thanksgiving dinner. And pretty much food in general.

6:00 pm: Am on the phone with Nick and he suggests cheese pizza for dinner. Cleanse over. I only have SO much self control.

Overall, I really liked this cleanse, even though I quit early. I enjoyed the juices, even the beet juice, although I do wish the cashew milk had more cinnamon in it. Would I do it again? Sure!! But probably only for 2 days. In fact, I'm probably going to do it in January! Any one want to join me?

Disclosure: Garden of Flavor sent me 3 days worth of juice for me to try out. As always, all opinions are 100% my own. You can buy Garden of Flavor juices at these locations

Product Testing: Mascara's Brush-to-Brush

So I stopped into Sephora today to pick up a few things, and while I was there, I decided to try out two different mascaras that both claim to mimic false eyelashes.

The contestants:

Benefit They're real: $22 at Sephora

Too Faced Better Than False Lashes: $35 at Sephora

How to:  The Benefit mascara is just like a regular mascara, except with a special formula and special brush. But as such, you just put it on like you put on any other mascara, wiggling your wand as you make your way up your lashes.  The Too Faced mascara is the three step process: apply mascara, then apply the white nylon fibers, then apply mascara again.

The claim: both claim to make your lashes look as thick and long as falsies

The verdict: 

The eye on the left has the Benefit product, and the eye on the right has the Too Faced product. Please ignore the dark circles under my eye- I'm not wearing concealer

So, I will preface my verdict by saying that I was using the Sephora mascara wands, so any impact from wand design was negated. As you can see, both eyes look pretty comparable- a nice improvement in length and thickness overall, but nowhere near sticking on falsies. In the end, I ended up buying the Benefit They're Real because I liked the feel of it way better. The Too Faced felt very tacky, and even now, I feel like my top and bottom lashes are going to stick together on that eye.

So there you have it: Great products if you're looking for thicker, longer lashes, but they won't replace your falsies!

Have you tried either of these mascaras? What did you think? Do you have another brand that's your favorite? 

Product Testing: Clip in Hair Extensions

So around this time last year, I experimented with hair extensions. The extensions I used at that time were the Jessica Simpson wavy clip in extensions, and although they looked really pretty, there's pretty much NO WAY I could get them in unassisted. And, as much as I know N loves me, I also know with 100% certainty that there is NO WAY he's going to help me with this. In an effort to get more length, and the sort of luscious volume Hollywood promises (via extensions of course), I decided to take the plunge and go for the "real" thing. I did some research on bonded hair extensions- the kind that get glued to your hair- and quickly decided against it. For one, it really bothers me that there would be something stuck to my hair, and second, I've heard that the weight really damages your own hair. I've also been told they're a bit of a pain to take care of, in that you have to be very very careful when washing and styling your hair. All of this just sounded like too much hassle, and so I decided to investigate the next best thing- clip ins!

Now, you can go ahead and buy your own clip-in human hair extensions, but if you go this route, I recommend you have your stylist do your extensions for you. My fabulous stylist Michelle at J. Romer Salon created a set of 4 pieces just for me- they're even dyed to match my hair color. The pieces include one wide piece that is fastened with tiny clips in line with my ears, a second wide piece that goes under my real hair right around my crown, and then two thinner side pieces for volume. The first time I had them put in was Jump Back Ball, and Michelle put them in and styled my hair, which you can see here:

I absolutely loved the look, but the real test would be if I could put them in on my own at home. I gave it another try this past Friday, and although I don't have any pictures, I'm happy to say it was really easy to get them in!! Here are the tips that Michelle gave me that were really helpful:
1. Make sure your own hair is a little dirty (at least a day post-washing), and if not, make sure you use some mousse to help give it texture.
2. Make sure you tease your own hair right where your extensions need to go- it helps them stay secure
3. Take good care of your extensions. Since they're real human hair, you can style them just as you do your own, but be careful when washing (light gentle shampoo and conditioner) and let them air dry. I know its a little gross to have bits of hair hanging in your bathroom, but the hairdryer may cause flyways.

There you have it- an easy, no-commitment, relatively inexpensive (compared to the bonded extensions) way to change your hair up and give it some serious oomph factor!  And really, who doesn't love a little extra OOMPH!!!