Monday, December 14, 2015

Confession:

Confession: I like food. A lot. And I know, if you know me in person, that was a "Thanks, Captain Obvious!" sort of moment, but hear me out!

I like food, and I like to eat. But I sometimes am left feeling like my brain doesn't really know how to shut it down. You know? I'll catch myself eating because there's food there. A time or two, I've caught myself eating food I didn't even think was all that good! And if I haven't had something sweet to eat? Forget it!

So that's why I was pretty curious to try "MealEnders", a small mint that promises to stop you from overeating. Really? Alright, I'll hear you out, MealEnders - what do you got?

MealEnders promise a "Duo-Sensory" taste system, using a dose of sweet, followed by a refreshing palate cleanse, to reward and then reset your taste buds, which will get you through that "overeating zone", where you're compelled to eat more food.

And the holiday season is an excellent time to use MealEnders! MealEnders are promised to be excellent to use when you want a second helping but know you should stop, at the end of a meal to replace desserts, or to curb snack cravings.

Perfect!

So let's get to my own personal experiences!


I was a little bit leery of a product like this, just because I didn't want it to feel super obvious that I was using something like this, right? But this is clear, distinct packaging, that would look at home next to any other bag of mints or hard candies in your cabinet. Need a little help? Your secret is safe with MealEnders. They come in four flavors - Citrus, Mocha, Chocolate Mint and Cinnamon, so that your palette can be cleansed in whatever flavor suits your preferences the most!


My breakfast of choice. Sometimes with smoothies, I find that I actually forgot that I ate - or that it counted as having eaten, at least. Calorically, that's a meal, even if my brain didn't think so, right?


Again - that'd be perfectly at home anywhere. You could pull this right out of your bag, and have no fear that you'd be looked at any differently. Unless you want to be. My husband was pretty curious about these when he noticed them, I was happy to answer all of his questions.


The unwrapped mint. That's a chocolate coating, with a "refreshing palette cleanser" to help reset my brain.

So, I dutifully drank my coffee shake, and sucked on my MealEnders candy. Do not crunch it - you actually have to suck on it, all the way through.

I...I didn't like this flavor as much as I wanted to. The chocolate was OK enough, but honestly, that "palette cleanser" part? Really just made my tongue itch. I was OK at first - a little minty. Kind of tingly. Then I was pondering the merits of reaching in to my mouth and scratching my tongue. Boy, that escalated quickly. 

But you know what? It WORKED. Darn it, it worked. The tingle eased up quickly after the mint was gone. The taste of coffee had been sufficiently cut through in my mouth, and I was completely satisfied and made it until lunch without want for anything else.

I was a real skeptic, but consider it confirmed. I wasn't on board with the mouth feel, but they work!

If I've piqued your curiosity, and you'd like to try some for yourself, I have two ways you can do it!

You can go to MealEnders.com, and use the code "FitHoliday20" (no quotes, of course) to save 20% off of your own order.

OR, and I'm pretty excited about this one, you can win a four pack right here!

Here's how you do it!

Like my Facebook page! There will be a thread for you to comment on, leave your name, and tomorrow, I'll pick a winner, and you will receive your very own four pack of MealEnders! You have 24 hours! GO!





Tuesday, December 1, 2015

I Can't Decide on A Title...

Mainly because the title I want to be using, "And sometimes people are stupid..." seems like a bad way of going about things. So, let's stick with "I can't decide on a title..."


At any rate, the kid in this picture is my ridiculously awesome nine year old son (yes, SON), James. This kid is my whole world, you guys. I'd do anything for him. He's tremendous - he's got a razor sharp sense of humor - which fortunately also came with a good sense of the appropriate times and places to deploy it. He's a good reader although he doesn't enjoy doing it, and rarely misses on his spelling tests at school, even though he enjoys that even less. He's got a beyond his years sense for music - he likes to play it and dance to it - and has been known to help me choreograph dances on occasion, even at his age. He's a passionate Detroit Red Wings fan, and day dreams about what his grown up life will be like, when he's an astronaut. He's got guys that he looks up to, that he aspires to be like in the world - he loves his hip-hop teacher Ross, thinks his gym teacher "Mr. J" is the coolest, and looks forward to getting to draw with his art teacher, "Mr. H", every single week. My point? James is as well rounded a nine year old as I know how to produce. He's interesting. Talk to him some time - you might learn more about Minecraft than you'd ever hoped for, but you won't be sorry.

The most awesome part about James? He beats to his own drummer, he's really got a great drive to find his own way in the world. He tried starting a business at recess once. He sold his drawings for 1 cent a piece, because he explained to me "I wanted it to feel like a real store where people had to give me money, but I didn't want to take all their money.", he holds "drawing challenges" at recess where all of his friends have to draw pictures, and then a friend who didn't participate finds the best ones...and he has long hair.

When I was a kid, we got to pick out our own hairstyles. I'm the second of five kids, and that's a lot of heads to monitor at the hair salon all at once. Plus, I'd wager, my mom was just doing the math that if we picked out awful haircuts, we were the ones that looked like dummies, so what did it really matter to her? I've always liked the sort of low stakes adventure that hair represents. There's not a single thing that can be done to hair that's permanent. If I color it, I can change it. If I cut it, it can grow back. If I curl it, I can wash it or straighten it. You can constantly change up your hair, and nothing sticks. It always changes!

Once he was old enough to have an opinion, James got to start picking out his own hairstyles. Summer between first and second grade, he asked for a mohawk. Thinking better of that one, I talked him in to a fauxhawk. It was cool - he was the talk of the school - and I learned how to get a pretty mean hawk going on. If you're interested, Herbal Essences hair gel and a flat iron will get that bugger right up there!

Second grade was also a awful winter, one of the worst on record. So James discovered the wonder that is a winter hat, and realized that he couldn't have a mohawk and a winter hat at the same time, so the mohawk lost out. We tried shaved on the back and sides and long on the top, but the kids at school shut that down (as their known to do), so once the shaved sides grew back in, we were on the hunt for a new hairstyle again.

Lo and behold, James' third grade best friend, a boy named Michael, started growing his hair long, and James got stars in his eyes. "Mom, can I please grow my hair long?" After cautioning him that his long hair wasn't going to look like Michael's (Michael's hair is a gorgeous chestnut brown, and he has that type of hair that you put it in to a ponytail, and the tail is the size of your wrist. James' hair is sandy blonde, fine, and a little wavy), I went "Sure, why not?"

And the grow out was on.

And fight for it, he has. Many, many one sided arguments from his dad. Many, many debates about just how brushed out snarls really needed to be before I'd get off his case about them (My argument is very, his contention is "Oh come on, mom!"). Many, many household debates about how to keep his bangs out of his eyes once they started getting long enough that they were in his eyes.

But the weirdest thing? Taking him out in public. He gets mistaken for a girl, at minimum once a day.

Of late, there was the woman at the town thrift shop that asked what "us ladies" were out shopping for, choosing to ignore the black winter jacket, blue jeans, and beat up black Chuck Taylor's that stuck out from the bottom. Or the woman today at Marshall's, who very politely said "Excuse me m'am," before hanging a handful of dresses on the rack right behind his head.

But the biggest one? Maybe the worst ever?

"James, James, James! Tell my brother if you're a boy or a girl!"

Thunk. My heart probably dropped to my knees.

Let me back up a second. James is taking a course through our local Community Education program, learning to play Floor Hockey. I like for him to tie his hair back off his face when he's doing activities like that, and he wears it up in a pony.

So he very excitedly runs up the stairs on a water break, ready to exclaim over how awesome he felt the scrimmage was going, and another little boy I don't know runs, hot on his heels, and sits next to him. "James, James, James! Tell my brother if you're a boy or a girl!"

I immediately squinted. I had several options. I could have let James defend himself. I could have just let him play along. I could have waited for the mom to tell the kid that he was an ingrate, and that no other kid there had been asked to justify his gender, so why should mine have to.

Two of those options were reasonable. One of those options was all but required by the situation at hand. None of them happened. So I finally come out of my squint - "I don't like that game. Why would you ask him a question like that?"

James looks down, like "My mom's got this one, I don't have to say a word." (And may he always know that I have his back like that. I'll advocate for that kid until my last breath, and I should hope any decent mom would do the same.), the mom of the other kid offers up a meek "Exactly...", and Coach blows the whistle to call the kids back out on to the field. Situation over.

Except...was it? My kid - who doesn't dress feminine, sound feminine, or carry himself in a feminine way - has once again been asked to justify the choices that he's made. He gets to select his own hairstyle. It's important that kids get to learn to control things, and hair is a pretty low stakes thing to give him to be in charge of. He thought hard on it, and decided long hair was the image that he wanted to present to the world. Fine. Go forth, and grow the best head of hair you know how, my man. Mom's got your back.

So why is it weird? I've made choices some parents didn't make. That doesn't make me a bad mom. My child has made choices your child either hasn't, or wasn't allowed to. That doesn't make him a bad kid. I was a kid who marched to my own drummer, and within reason, I was encouraged to do so. For heavens sake, I was a competitive clog dancer!

It's got to be exhausting to be James. I mean it, it really does. He's asked to explain his gender, or justify his gender, sometimes daily. And tonight at hockey, he was asked to do it in a big crowd of people. And what for? Because the image that he wants to present to the world isn't the same image you want your child to present? What do you care? What does your kid care? What do any of us care? Someone who's being encouraged to think for himself and not follow blindly with the crowd is something to be celebrated, not mocked. We hear all the talk about peer pressure, and how bad it is. I've got a kid that refuses to succumb to it, and he's being mocked for that too.

So, to James - and anyone else who finds his or her self in this position on the regular - get out there, and be the most amazing, awesome you that you know how. Even if that doesn't take the shape society thinks that it should. I've got your back.

I'd love it if you'd give me a like on Facebook!



Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday, September 10, 2015

K'Nex Battle Bow is Awesome - Let Us SHOW You!

So, I always find ways to keep in touch with you, but sometimes I like to change my game up!

James (my nine year old) and I were recently asked by K'Nex to take a toy, build it, and tell you guys all about it. So, since I've been feeling the YouTube vibe lately, we did this in a series of videos. Check our action!


We've got lift off on Battle Bow! The packaging is super bright and fun, and easy to understand. Admittedly, I was nervous to put this together. I'm not at ALL mechanically minded, so I'm not usually the parent that gets nominated for this sort of thing. My husband is an engineer, he usually does this stuff!

Then, because unboxing videos are stupidly popular, I let James shoot his first ever unboxing video!


He's got a little to learn, but he's pretty good, right? 

You guys, this toy went together so smoothly and easily, it was amazing. I'm not mechanically minded at all, and even I could hang with it, absolutely no problem. We were missing a connector, unfortunately, but we went ahead without it, and seemed to go on just fine.

Clicking those last few pieces in to place;



Clicking those last few pieces in to place! He says that this was harder to put together than his last Lego set, but I'll point out - his last Lego set took a college engineer to put together. This could be done by a nine year old. In other words...I don't agree with his assessment, haha!

Now, because this promises to shoot 75 feet - seventy five FEET! - I wasn't about to go letting him fire this off in the living room! We were headed out into the world!

Comically, and this is 100% true - we went to the tennis courts in our neighborhood to shoot the gun. We get there, and realize that we don't actually have the first guess how to shoot the gun at all. So we have to go back across the street, get on the suuuuuper slow computer in the clubhouse in our neighborhood, google K'Nex to try to find the instructions, give up on finding the instructions at all, and pull it up on my rapidly dying phone. All the while, the absolutely lovely woman that runs the clubhouse is trying to support us through this bizarre effort we've undertaken. Oh yes, the chaos that is my life is 100% real.


We figured it out! And there is absolutely zero trickery here, it really, legit shoots that far. If I was going to edit these videos, I would have taken out the part about him coming to your house, wouldn't I?


Our final wrap up video with the Battle Bow! He's had an absolute blast playing with it, and if you have a nine year old boy, you'll appreciate this - he didn't come running home to jump on YouTube, he actually wanted to PLAY!! Amazing! Thank you K'Nex, indeed!

If you've enjoyed watching our shenanigans, maybe come check out my YouTube channel?


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Taking This One To The Youtube!

I bought a new mask, that I was pretty disappointed in. I didn't think words were going to do my disappointment justice, and I didn't even feel like an Instagram post would do it justice. I had to take this one to the YouTubes!



Please to enjoy!

Like my reviews? You can find me on Facebook where I engage in all sorts of silliness!

Monday, August 31, 2015

Sometimes You Don't Need Something...Until You NEED It...



The good people at Healthy Solutions generously gave me a tube of their OxyRub Pain Relief Cream, in exchange for my sharing my opinions on it. Awesome. Well, as the way of the world goes, I have a good couple of weeks pain wise, and I didn't really have much of a need for it. So I looked at it, and I thought on it, and I couldn't decide what on earth to do!

And then because sometimes life works out like that, I tossed it in my bag when we left for vacation. And within a matter of hours, my son has shin splints - and me without my children's aspirin! - and I jam my toe on the sliding door at the hotel, with no ibuprofen either.

OxyRub, take me away!

I applied it to my son first. It is mentholated, and I thought almost had a wintergreen sort of smell to it, although the Amazon listing claims the smell is citrus. I did not get that, I'll take their word for it. Despite the fact that I did not smell the citrus that they claimed, I do actually like the scent.

I noticed a little went a long way, I squeezed out the amount of rub that I figured would cover one leg, and was able to capably cover both.

Afterward, I asked his opinion on how the lotion went on, and how it felt. He said that it went on nice, but reported feeling like it took a long time to absorb. He described it as feeling a "little greasy". I will tell you to take that with a grain of salt though, he's pretty fussy with his opinions of lotion.

He also reported that it relieved the pain for 1 to 2 hours, and that when the pain returned, it was noticeably less. So, other than the greasy factor, he was a fan.

And I've now used it myself several times since we've been here, and one of them was admittedly kind of silly, so stay with me.

I jammed my toe on the hotel door. There is a sliding glass door, and I tried to go out it. The seal is really high, and my second toe didn't make the cut. Brutal. So I slathered up my toe, and down around the joint.

My opinion differed from my son a little bit. I found it easy to use, and fast absorbing. And it was very cooling, which immediately helped me be more comfortable, and feel like my pain was more under control, which was great. I was able to get comfortable and up off of my foot. By morning, of course, the effect had completely worn off.

Today, I used the cream again, for a reason that is admittedly sillier. We're on vacation today, and we did a lot of walking. Like, more steps than I'd ever done in one day on my Fitbit. And my feet were tired! I slicked the soles of both feet down with my OxyRub, gave it a minute to absorb, and walked to dinner. You guys...I didn't feel so silly after that! I mean yes, my feet were still sore, but I was in so much better shape! I'm not sure I could have made it across the street without the pain rub!

So, like I said - I was initially a little perplexed by this product. But if you need a quick acting pain relieving alternative - for cases like mine, where you're caught without, or just because it's your own preference not to take a pill - OxyRub has got you taken care of!

As a special treat for my readers, go to Amazon, use code "SAVEOXY2" and take 20% off of your purchase. It's well worth it - quick acting pain relievers are hard to come by, take advantage of the good ones!

Find them online;

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EASY536
http://www.healthydirections.com/product/oxyrub


Friday, August 28, 2015

Link Round Up, Maybelline Edition!

In blogger speak, a "link round up" is like a party of sorts, where everyone can bring the newest thing they've written or talked about, it's all collected in to one single place, and then the reader can come and be pointed at all the different articles, in one neat spot.

Rather than inviting multiple bloggers, I figured I'd just make my own tiny link round up! This one features all my posts where I've talked about Maybelline makeup!

Oh, There Will Be Shenanigans! (original post date: July 8, 2015) Where I talked about Maybelline Great Lash Real Impact! mascara. And had it proven to me, once again, that eyelashes are weird things to take pictures of. :)

Swatchery Version 2.0 (original post date: May 18, 2015) Featuring a swatch of "Cherry Me" from the Baby Lips line.

Swatchery! (original post date: May 5, 2015) Featuring a swatch of "Melon Mania" from the Baby Lips line, which was brought back for Christmas 2014 as part of their "Customer Favorites" selection.

Doctor To The Rescue! (original post date: March 13, 2015) Featuring some pictures of displays from the Spring 2015 selection of Baby Lips, as well as swatches from some of the Baby Lips: Doctor Rescue line.

Battle Of The BB Creams, Round Two! (original post date: January 14, 2015) Talking BB Cream, and my opinions on the Maybelline version.

Go, Go Electro! (original post date: January 6, 2015) Swatches from the Baby Lips: Electro line, which at the time looked to be getting closed out - and it feels like it's been a while since I've seen them in the store - but are still listed on Maybelline.com.

Makeup Primer, And How To Make It Work For You (original post date: December 24, 2014) Where I actually try my hand at a video demonstration of makeup primer, and why it's important, featuring Maybelline's Baby Skin primer.

I'm obviously a big fan of the Baby Lips line. I don't even know what happened! I had one, next thing I knew, I had 12! They just come out of nowhere!

When I'm not writing long form reviews like these, I can usually be found on Instagram writing short form reviews! Let's be friends there too!