A Daily Dose of Fun!

Happy Friday, all! Here’s to the weekend! Here’s to free time! Here’s to…shopping? Well, of course! I have a new shopping site you need to learn to love! Daily Look – found here they feature 3 cute outfits each day with all items discounted. Today they are featuring two ADORABLE looks that I’m seriously having a hard time not purchasing. I’m including screen shots of the site for you to drool over. Head over now and take a look!

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Beauty Balm: A conclusion

So I did a product comparison last week – a Beauty Beat Down. It involved two American Beauty Balm creams with one from Maybelline and one from L’Oreal. Last weekend I picked up another one – Garnier Beauty Balm. I purchased it for about $11.99 from my local Wal Mart. I had high hopes for this because, though I liked both the Maybelline and L’Oreal versions I wasn’t 100% sold on them as Beauty Balms.

After using the Garnier version I have come to a conclusion regarding American Beauty Balms: they are all essentially tinted moisturizers that offer few of the real benefits of a true Beauty Balm.

In my opinion all three of these products offer various benefits but for the most part they are essentially tinted moisturizers with varying degrees of match and coverage. Of the three, so far, my favorite is the Garnier. It has been a better base for my foundation than either the Maybelline or L’Oreal versions, though I will say that the L’Oreal has a better match for color. The Garnier is more bang for your buck though: the tube is huge especially compared to what you get in the Maybelline and L’Oreal versions.

In my opinion the best points of this product are the size, coverage and moisturizing properties. The downside, as was my complaint with the other two products, is that it doesn’t feel or wear truly like a Beauty Balm [to me]. In a Beauty Balm I want a product that offers me coverage, a little moisture, primer properties and long wear – the Garnier product offers coverage and long wear but it over moisturizes. As was my complaint with the other two my combination skin seemed to get oilier from wearing the BB cream during the day. I found myself needing to powder more often than if I had worn just a primer, concealer and foundation. I will say that having the BB creams under my foundation and concealer did help to even out my skin tone in a way that I enjoyed – I felt like I could go a little lighter on the foundation because I had the BB cream on.

All in all none of the products are bad products but don’t expect a true BB cream out of these. Look to them more as BB Cream Lite. My favorite of all three is for sure the Garnier. The price doubled with the volume you get means it is the best use of your beauty dollars. In addition I felt like it offered the best coverage option as well as it was the one of the three that caused the least amount of extra oil on my skin. If you’re looking to try out a drugstore version of a BB cream this is my recommendation for sure. Keep in mind it comes in two different colors: light/medium or medium/dark – so color options are a lot more limited than either Maybelline or L’Oreal – but it seems to blend into my skin really well – so that counteracts the lack of color choice.

Have you tried any of these products? What are your thoughts? Are you more tempted to try a high end or over-seas version than the drug store ones? Let me know, I’d love some more feedback.

Why Learning to Love Your Body Is Hard

I was at a loss for what to title this post so I just went with what felt right. I have a fitness blog that I write in dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle and being fit. That has nothing to do with weight, size, measurements – etc. It is about being fit, feeling good and loving yourself in your own skin. That’s what I’m all about. As someone who has faced and lived through struggles with weight and eating disorders, I’m not ashamed to say that I am very firm in my beliefs about bodies, health and perception. I tend to get my hackles in a rise of any kind of shaming culture or hate culture when it comes to bodies.

First, let me say that we all come in different sizes and shapes – and that’s ok. Not everyone can be what a society or profession deems “ideal” because “ideals” are based on a perfect case scenario that has nothing to do with health or safety, especially when we’re talking about beauty. In American culture our idea of what is beautiful has shifted through the years. We’ve idolized the curves of the screen sirens of the 50’s and we’ve loved the lanky limbs of Twiggy. We’ve prized fitness and tone while lauding praise on underweight models. In our culture today our vision of perfection and beauty is an airbrushed image that’s been so altered it doesn’t actually represent the original subject. And through all of it, we have a culture of shaming – almost always directed at the overweight.

Facebook started all this. Via Facebook I learned a couple things. First of which was the fact that a size 6 is a plus size now [in the modeling world] – excuse me – A SIX!? are you kidding me? Why?? There is nothing wrong with a size six – in fact it’s a nice size [depending on whose sizing chart you’re using] and all types of bodies wear a size six – but to say that a size six is plus sized makes me sick to my stomach. I know of people who have amazing bodies and are athletes with incredible muscle tone and they look stellar in a bikini and they wear a size 10 jeans – and there is no way you could look at these women and say “Oh, yeah – she’s big. We’ll label her plus sized”. In fact, you would probably look at her and go – wow! you look amazing!

Second thing I came across was a post by my girlfriend, who is a fitness nut [and looks amazing – might I say], pointing out a website called “Skinny Gossip”. I’m loathe to post it here because I don’t want to promote this girl’s site or her ideas. In her disclaimer section she states that she [and her site] are against pro-anorexia culture and strive to do no harm – wait a minute? what?! But then on her front page she has articles about why Kate Upton is a “cow” who has “Huge thighs, NO waist, big fat floppy boobs, terrible body definition – she looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are “striving” for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for? Sorry, but: eww!” I’m sorry – but do you see Miss Upton to your right? WHAT?! First, she isn’t fat – not at all.

This woman has beautiful curves and a lovely body shape. She also has a stunning face. Now, to be fair, her “girls” need a little bit more coverage – but you can’t blame a body for ill fitting clothes. This is not a body to loathe or put down. You’re calling her lazy? I’m sorry, no. She’s probably naturally skinny and she does look like she works out some – she’s not a gymrat but why would she be? It burns me that this site rips apart a woman like this and then, in turn, goes on to state that models shouldn’t represent the average woman but rather be an aspiration.

Again – NO! A model is, in essence, a thing. A sculpture on which an artist/designer displays their art. Given that, each designer has a right to say “Ok, I want this type” but what the problem is that when they choose that “type” our society goes – “ok, that’s what I need to be” forgetting than less than 1% of the population of the world can/does/or will look like that in their lifetime.

The other article that I read before I could stomach this girl’s website no longer was regarding a ‘fat loving’ magazine and their articles about “Fat Pride”.  Under each photo taken from the editorial this website blogger states her absolute hatred of anyone “fat” or “plus sized” as well as how awful they must be to their bodies to look that way. To close her article she posts:
“The whole “fat pride” movement is irritating because plus-sizers want to tell us “big is beautiful” and it should be represented more in the modeling industry. I say it’s the opposite: if big really was beautiful, and most people wanted to be big, and wanted to see big people, don’t you think we’d see a lot more fat people modeling? I do. But we don’t – because it isn’t”

I have so many issues with this! First, the average size of a runway model has diminished in the past 20 years. This is fact and science. This has nothing to do with the size of the average American woman – which admittedly has increased. The pictures of the plus sized model in the editorial are lovely. She’s a beautiful woman with curves and yes, “rolls”. But why is that disgusting to us? The Romans prized a curvy woman as it spoke to her health and robust zest for life as well as her ability to bear children. Again – our idea [as humans] of what is beautiful changes and fluxuates but this young woman who runs this website is filled with a hatred for any body type not her “ideal” that it turns my stomach. That kind of hatred comes from inside and when it spills outside it infects like a disease. It is part of the reason our culture has such a distaste for the overweight.

I recently read a book “Fit2Fat2Fit” about a [male] physical trainer who put on almost 70 lbs in six months so he could understand the other side of that coin. He then put in the work to take it off. He did what he had to in order to understand the whole spectrum and it gave him perspective. He also learned to love himself and his life just a little more.

I don’t advocate anything lifestyle that would jeopardize one’s health – I can’t. That means I don’t advocate excess in either direction: too much or too little. I think all bodies can be beautiful and it is about how comfortable you are in your own skin. I’ve been all kinds of sizes [and you can read more about that struggle over at my fitness blog here] from a 0/2 up to a 14 and I find myself to be most comfortable in my own skin when I”m wearing a 6/8 and am working out. I like muscle. That’s my preference for my body – I like to keep some curves but be toned and strong – those are my goals; but I also recognize the beauty of different body types – tiny, toned, curvy, plus sized – all of it. How a woman wears her skin is more important to me than the size of the dress she’s putting on it.

This goes both ways, that needs to be said. We talk a lot about “fat shaming’ but we do leave out the shaming of skinny people. Anyone who has struggled with Anorexia or Bulimia knows that it is a compulsion and it hurts. Looking that person in the eye and going “God, you’re too skinny. Why don’t you eat something?” can do more damage than good. And I’m guilty of this too. I’m not sitting here as a saint with no transgressions. I have a girlfriend who has done a 180 in her life to take off some weight and she looks amazing. Tinier than I’ve ever seen her and sometimes I do worry and I may have pointed that out to her a time or two when it wasn’t ideal. The point I’m making is that telling someone their too skinny can be as bad as telling someone their too fat. Trying to forcibly alter someone else’s body or habits is not the way to go. We need to learn to love and support each other.

If you’re worried about someone’s weight, whether up or down on the scale, take them aside and kindly talk to them. Ask them what their goals are, their ideals. Be supportive as long as the answer doesn’t inflict harm or put them in danger. We need to learn to love not only ourselves but others. We need to be accepting and supportive of all physical journeys and less judgmental.

If you take nothing away from my rant today at least take this: love yourself and be healthy. Live a life of moderation so that you can live a long life. Love your own skin. Be kind to others because you never know what they might be struggling with – and this goes for skinny girls too. Sometimes when we talk about body shaming we forget that we shame the skinny girls too. When you judge a girl for being too skinny or too fat you don’t know if it’s genetics, purpose or circumstance that put them there and you also don’t know if that girl is healthy or not. If you’re worried – you talk to that person alone.

It’s times like this that all I can think of is this: “Be the change you wish to see in the world” ~ Ghandi

 

Shopping Obsession

Ok, so this little girl right here has a conundrum: I live in the middle of nowhere so when I want to shop I have to get creative. Enter the Internet. My first love. My soulmate. The source of happiness and frustration at the same time. Happiness because the possibilities are endless and frustrating because it is hard to find the right thing sometimes; but, I digress.

Today I want to share with you a site I got turned onto by Fashion/Beauty/Awesome Blogger – Bentley Blonde [her youtube channel is here. Seriously, you need to check our her channel. I love her style and honesty about products. She turned me onto this site after sharing it on her youtube channel and I have to be honest in that I am totally addicted. The website is called: ShopLately. You have to sign up for an account [FREE] and then you can poke around. They offer a “sale rack” every day that is updated each morning. The sale rack offers awesome products even more deeply discounted

than their typical “store shelves”. You have to check this out.

Another bonus to the site is that they offer flat rate shipping at $2.99.

As an example, I just ordered this watch today and I am beside myself waiting for it. I would totally recommend that you join this site and get addicted!

Neon colors and sunshine

So I’ve been noticeable MIA for a while now. I’ve got a crazy work project that is eating ALL my spare time and the time I’m not at work I’m usually trying to rest/recoup enough to go back at it during that evening. Right now I’m working overnight type hours and they are getting on me. So, I’ve been bringing the sunshine and brightness with me

places in the form of neon nails, new bathing suits, and suntanning. First, the neon nails – I’m LOVING the color I’m wearing now. It’s by China Glaze and it’s called “Shocking Pink (Neon)”. First, shocking pink? Yes. I am not shocked and I’m excited. I have a love affair with the color pink that goes back to childhood. In the photo I’m wearing another China Glaze color that is a very bright orange-ish, sunset-ish, pink color that I love. It is basically day-glo which makes me smile.

The color in the bottle is currently on my toes and hands. If you have the chance, I would recommend stopping down to your nearest nail salon and having them douse your phalanges with this lovely shade. Honestly, it has done wonders for my mood [ok, the pedicure and manicure did help with that too].

The other thing I’ve been doing is trying to soak up at least an hour of sun a day. I’m incredibly fair skinned so the sun and I have this on-going love/hate relationship. I love the sun but the sun and my fair skin don’t get on so well. So I have to sun-worship in stages and with lots and lots of UV protection. I try to stay away from tanning beds unless I’m going somewhere tropical in which it would be far more dangerous to risk a serious day-burn than go in a bed once or twice before my trip. In the summer, however, I like to try and adapt my skin over time. So, I spend an hour outside flipping from front to back and sweating and hoping that I have put on enough UV to protect from a burn while still getting a little bit of color. I then enhance that with a little Victoria’s Secret lotion that I”m not sure they sell anymore but it has a touch of bronzer in it so it makes you sparkley and tan. I love it. I’ll figure out what it is and post when I do.

So, of course! Since I’m rocking the neon nail trend I had to get a suit that fit that sunny, bright and LOUD description. Thankfully, Victoria’s Secret was having their semi-annual sale and all swim-wear was on sale. They also sent me two of those reward gift cards for $10 each – so basically I had to go shopping. I found the cutest bathing suit, got free shipping and $20 off – I paid $10 for a two piece and it is officially one of my favorites. The picture [Instagram addiction – this girl is guilty!] doesn’t do the colors justice but you get the idea. My deck is perfectly proportioned to lay out on comfortably and get a great sun angle. Unfortunately, it faces my neighbors but they haven’t complained about my daily sunbathing yet. Hopefully they won’t and I can keep this up.

So, that’s what I have been up to. Not too much crafting/cooking/etc. Though I have made six or seven maxi dresses just playing with fabrics, weight, color, tops – I’ll get a compilation picture up sometime this week.

Here is to a safe and happy Holiday this week. Happy Fourth of July!

I Made A Dress! Update!

So as you saw in my post yesterday I made a dress. I could for sure see the errors in it after I put it on. I did wear it to work and got a some great compliments on it. I was even stopped when out for lunch to compliment me on it. Which was awesome! So, anyway you can guess I was motivated to give it a try #2.

I was super excited because the fabric I had for dress two was pink and white stripped cotton stretch and I had a white tank top to pair with it. I love the idea of that dress. So I sat down this morning before work to get it done. Here is the finished product [taken with instagram, sorry, my digital camera was out of commission this morning]

Maxi Dresses

So I stumbled on this tutorial for how to make your own maxi dress. I found it on Pinterest [I know, I’m obsessed. Sorry!] and just had to try it. Kudos to the young lady over at “A Small Snippet” who posted this tutorial. Her version turned out STUNNING! You can find it here. I posted a picture of what her’s looked like. I love the fabric and

everything about it. So cute! So I read the tutorial and thought “yeah, I can do that!”. So off I ran to my nearest fabric store to gather my supplies.

I grabbed thread and elastic thread [which was WAY easier to use than I thought it would be!] and found a fabric that I really loved. I think I paid $10.88 per yard for the fabric. I got a lot of fabric because it has been ages since I’ve used a sewing machine and I wanted to make sure that I had enough in case I messed up. I also ran over to Wal Mart and picked upa basic black tank top for $3.88 which means my dress cost me about $15 when it was all said and done. Not too shabby!

Anyways, so I sat down and followed all the directions and ended up with a very cute dress that has some little quirks that I will be able to address better the next time I do it. For instance, my dress, I didn’t make a belt but

rather am planning on wearing my large black belt. My dress turned out like this and I’m pretty happy with it. I love the pattern and feel like it’s a really nice summer dress. When I wear it with a belt it looks super cute! We’ll see how it goes over in public because I’m planning on wearing it to work today 🙂

As for my “quirks”, I have a couple seams that didn’t quite line up, which is essentially OK because I’m wearing a belt with it. And, let’s be honest, I’m nothing if not forthcoming so I’m not going to lie to you, dear internet friends, and pretend my dress turned out perfect when it didn’t. As you can see from above, those seams are close but just not quite on the same page. They wanted to travel different paths and I let them. Probably because I was so excited about this and also because, in the original tutorial there were no guiding pins. Clearly this chick is better than I am at sewing. I give her props. Now I just have to get much better! [By the way, I love her website and you should check out her blog. The link is above!]. I also have this seam that wanted to do its own thing:So, as you can see, I am not perfect and I won’t pretend to be! At least you can bet on getting honest posts from this girl. Mistakes and all!

I will say this, I’m excited to give this another go. Using elastic thread was not nearly as scary as I thought and the dress finished nicely even without a serger. So I’m happy with that. I hope you get the gumption to try this out! It was a blast and I will for sure being doing another one and hopefully have a more perfect post to share 😉

Happy Monday all!